Solved: Intermittent internet connection

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BroncosFan

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Jan 2, 2013
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My internet connection keeps dropping every 2-5 minutes. It's off for about a minute, then comes back on.

I'm using a Zoom cable modem (series 1051) supplied by Charter Internet to receive the DSL signal, and run that to a Linksys/Cisco router (model WRT54GS). My desktop is hard-wired to the router and my laptop connects via wifi, and they both lose the connection during the interruptions.

When the interruptions occur, the lights on the router remain constant, but the lights on the modem go berserk. This leads me to believe that it's either a problem with the modem or the flow of data coming into the modem. It's my understanding that the router doesn't push any data or signal back to the modem, so a router problem wouldn't cause the modem lights to flash. But, hey, my knowledge of these things is somewhat limited, hence I'm asking the question here. ;)

I've tried unplugging/re-setting both devices a few times, and that made no difference.

I tried calling Charter but didn't get very far. Since I'm rural and don't get a cell phone signal at my house, I use a cell signal booster that is tied to the Internet. Unfortunately, when the internet goes down so does my phone, so just when I was getting to the juicy part with Charter the signal was lost. I didn't fare much better with their online chat. I was able to confirm that they haven't had any reported outages in my area for that particular night.
 

etaf

Wayne
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Oct 2, 2003
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65,454
can you connect a PC directly to the modem by cable and see what happens - it does sound like a modem/line/ISP issue
do a powercycle each time a change is made
------------------------------------------------------------------------

How to power cycle

“power cycle” process to reboot or reset the modem/router
  • Switch off all the devices modem, router and computers also unplug their power cables.
  • Wait at least 1 to 5 minutes,
  • Plug the power cords back in, but don’t switch them on.
  • First turn on the modem and then wait for a few minutes for it to settle and all the lights to become stable.
  • Next switch on the router (if a separate device) and then wait for a few minutes for it to settle and all the lights to become stable.
  • Now turn on your computer, You should now be able to access the Internet.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

TerryNet

Terry
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Mar 23, 2005
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80,833
but the lights on the modem go berserk.
Do you have a user guide for the modem that explains what "go berserk" means? I'm familiar with modems that have LEDs that show such things as Power, Receive, Send, Online and Activity and usually are steady or blink to show different conditions.
 

BroncosFan

Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
3
First, thank you for the replies, and I apologize for taking so long to circle back. It's been difficult to maintain a connection long enough to get anything done.

As etaf suggested, I connected my desktop to the modem directly, bypassing the router entirely. The problem persisted, so I think that narrows it down to the modem or the signal coming in through the cable.

I was able to find a user's manual online for the modem, but all it said was that if the US, DS, or online lights are blank, there is no connection to the internet, and if they are blinking, then a connection is being established. Pretty much what I had been able to deduce.

It turns out that I own the modem, not my internet provider, so my next hurdle, I think, is trying to replace the modem and see if that works. This is something I've never done. I may be posting another thread on that one soon :)
 

BroncosFan

Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
3
etaf, thank you for pointing me towards resetting the modem. I didn't even know that was an option. dug up some instructions online on how to do that and attempted it. I either did something incorrectly, or the modem is completely toast, because it had no effect.

Two days ago, I bought and installed a new cable modem and the internet connection has been working beautifully since.

Thank you for all of your help and suggestions.
 
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