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Internet randomly disconnecting

Discussion in 'Networking' started by jimbob11, Oct 18, 2007.

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  1. jimbob11

    jimbob11 Thread Starter

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    Alright. For the last year or so, my internet has been randomly disconnecting for (generally) no more than a few seconds at a time. Up until recently, it's done it for a period of about an hour, every five minutes or so. It stopped doing it completely for a couple of months at summer, and then started back worse than ever a month or two ago. It now does it... well... all the time. It's not my ISP; a few weeks ago, my internet connection was cut off for a week due to an area problem, and I left my wireless router (my PC is connected to it wired) switched on out of curiosity. The "Sync" light on it still blinked off for brief periods every now and again, as it does during the random drops when I'm actually connected to the internet. Today, I bought a new router; however, the problem is still occuring.
    I'm not given an error message when it occurs; the only notification is in the online/sync lights on the router going off, and in, er, my lack of ability to access the internet when that happens.

    So, in summary, it's not my ISP, it's not my router, and (as the problem occurs to devices accessing the network wirelessly as well, and the router can be used without anything connected to it wired) it's not my PC. What exactly could be causing the problem?
     
  2. freaknut

    freaknut

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    Right after you lose internet connectivity, go to whatismyip.com and write down the IP address. Do that after each time you lose connectivity. If the number is different each time, then you keep getting a new IP address assigned, which cuts your connection out for a short period.

    Let me know what the results are.
     
  3. jimbob11

    jimbob11 Thread Starter

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    Ah, it does change, thanks. That would explain why it sometimes logs me out if I'm browsing forums when it happens, I guess. Didn't think it would drop my connection, though... how would I stop it changing?
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    You have an ISP or modem issue if the broadband modem is getting connected. I'm not sure how you came to the opinion it's not your ISP, they're my top suspect!
     
  5. jimbob11

    jimbob11 Thread Starter

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    Because my internet was down for a week and my router was still showing signs of the same problem. I have four lights on the router; Power, Sync, Online and WLAN. Power and WLAN are self-evident, and never go out when it's turned on. When the problem occurs, the online light goes out and the Sync light blinks on and off for a few minutes until things go back to normal. When my internet was down, I left the router plugged in, and the Sync light still periodically went through its little on-off routine. I was receiving nothing from my ISP whatsoever over that week, so they weren't at fault there. Led me to briefly consider that it was my telephone extension socket that was at fault or something, but since the IP changes every time it goes down, I'm hoping freaknut is on the right track.
    If only because setting up a static IP is considerably easier than trying to get yourself understood by Orange customer support or changing extension sockets.
     
  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    The fact that you're getting a new IP address assigned is why I'm saying it's the ISP's issue! That only happens from their end of the world!
     
  7. jimbob11

    jimbob11 Thread Starter

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    Ah, I wasn't sure about that. That's strange, because I assure you, the problem still happened when my ISP was out of the picture. =\ I'm used to watching the little pattern the router light goes through when it disconnects, believe me... it was the same one. I would have been disconnected from the internet if I, er, hadn't already been. How can I set up a static IP, just to eliminate that possibility?
     
  8. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Perhaps I'm not not on the right page.

    Please post this:

    Start, Run, CMD to open a command prompt:

    Type the following command:

    IPCONFIG /ALL

    Right click in the command window and choose Select All, then hit Enter.
    Paste the results in a message here.

    If you are on a machine with no network connection, use a floppy, USB disk, or a CD-RW disk to transfer a text file with the information to allow pasting it here.
     
  9. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    A router with 'online' and 'sync' LEDs? Could be, but sounds a lot more like a DSL modem/router combo. What is the brand and model of your modem and your router?

    Exactly what does your User Manual say about the 'sync' LED? I would expect that anytime the device does not have a connection ('online' is off) it would periodically try to sync, which would explain the action during the week that you could not get online. If it did not try to sync, it would never get onliine.
     
  10. jimbob11

    jimbob11 Thread Starter

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    Microsoft(R) Windows DOS
    (C)Copyright Microsoft Corp 1990-2001.

    C:\DOCUME~1\CRAIG>ipconfig /all

    Windows IP Configuration

    Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : home-a8608d8b93
    Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
    Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Unknown
    IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
    WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No

    Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection 2:

    Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
    Description . . . . . . . . . . . : NVIDIA nForce Networking Controller
    Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-13-8F-75-0A-00
    Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
    Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
    IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.64
    Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
    Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
    DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
    DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
    Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : 18 October 2007 23:00:40
    Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : 19 October 2007 11:00:40




    Er, yes, sorry, it's an ADSL modem/router combo. 3Com OfficeConnect ADSL Wireless 108 Mbps 11g Firewall Router. The sync LED... well, er, the manual's not very good, frankly. To be more precise, it's a fold-out leaflet. All it says about the sync LED is that it signifies that a "successful line connection has been made". What line, and what exactly it means by that, it doesn't actually say. Left open to interpretation? I'm not really sure.
    Anyway, the sync line was on "solidly" when my internet was down as much as it is when my internet is available, about 90% of the time (the other 10% being startup and the problem downtime) so, as far as I can tell, it's not directly related to my online status. I'm guessing it's just there to show that it's successfully connected to a telephone socket and, proving I have an internet account set up, I could get online?
     
  11. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    I found a somewhat larger manual ( http://support.3com.com/infodeli/tools/wireless/3crwdr200a/3CRWDR200A_User-Guide.pdf ) but it's not much help on the LEDs either.

    I think the sync LED indicates, as you said, the existence of whatever low level signals are necessary for a DSL connection. My guess is that when it blinks it has lost sync. And continuing to guess, it loses sync because of an ISP problem, a wiring problem or a problem with the modem.

    The WAN (or internet) status may or may not show the lease time. If it does, what is it? For example, your ipconfig shows that the router gives your computer a lease time of 12 hours (it will renew it half way through). Just looking at your ipconfig it means that if you disconnect that PC from your router and then reconnect it anytime before 19 October 2007 11:00:40 the PC will get the same IP address.

    This is usually (if not always) the way your router gets a public IP address from your ISP. So your router getting a different address after a short disconnect seems to me to mean that the lease time is very short or there is something strange going on with your ISP.

    I'm not sure I understand all I've hypothesized, but the bottom line is that I'm with JohnWill--primary suspect is ISP. Second is wiring. Third is modem part of the modem/router.
     
  12. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Is it the 192.168.x.x address that keeps changing, or your public IP address. You can check your public IP address at http://whatsmyip.org/


    If it's interior wiring, here's my suggested fix. Note that I still think this is an ISP issue...

    Purchase a DSL splitter and install it at the telco service entrance. Run a direct line from the DSL port on the splitter directly to the DSL modem. Connect all of the other phone instruments to the telephone output of the DSL splitter. All of the DSL analog side wiring should be CAT3 or better twisted pair from the telco service entrance to the DSL/ADSL modem. You can use one of the twisted pairs in CAT5 cable if you have that on hand.

    This is as good as it gets for DSL installations, and will usually solve in-house wiring issues.

    Here's a good detailed description of the process: DSL Wiring Upgrade Tutorial
     
  13. Courtneyc

    Courtneyc

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    Jimbob11, out of curiosity, when you got your DSL modem, you also received several filters. Are those filters installed on EVERY SINGLE phone in your house EXCEPT the DSL modem? Also, ensure the DSL modem is not connected to any other telephone (such as attached to a Y connector).

    Courtney
     
  14. jimbob11

    jimbob11 Thread Starter

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    It's the public IP that changes (91.105.xxx.xx), my lease time is twelve hours, and I have filters installed on all phone sockets. Including the one my router is plugged into (modem is onboard router), because if I don't have one there, I can't use telephones and the internet at the same time. =\

    I can definitely see why you'd think it's the ISP, and you're the experts so I'm not trying to argue, but I still hold by the belief that if it was my ISP, the router wouldn't have behaved the way it did during the week my internet connection was down - I was pretty convinced that was where the fault lay until that happened. If it is the ISP, however, events are out of my control until my parents realize Orange lives up to its reputation as one of the worst UK internet providers available and switch. They won't be doing that soon, and yes, I've mentioned this problem to them. Vocally.
    It's not the router, as the same problem occured with the replacement router I bought (and took back) today. I'll definitely have a look at the wiring tutorial tomorrow, thank you... it's 3am, so it might not be too feasible tonight. Thanks for putting up with me so far.
     
  15. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    No problem. If you were the expert, you wouldn't be here, right? :) Let us know how you make out.

    FWIW, I've heard tell of ISP's that deliberately disconnect and reconnect to prevent people from running servers from their home systems. Perhaps this is the issue here.

    With a lease time of 12 hours, is that the time when the IP changes, or is it more random?
     
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