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Solved: Wireless Networking with Linksys WRT300N Router

Discussion in 'Networking' started by navel_gazer, Nov 24, 2007.

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  1. navel_gazer

    navel_gazer Thread Starter

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    Just purchased and installed a WRT300N to replace a DLink wireless router that was having some performance problems. The DLink worked ok except it had lousy range and speed to the Internet. But it worked and I was able to use it with an IBM NetVista desktop and 2 IBM ThinkPad’s to connect to the Internet and to share an HP Network ready printer that was plugged into Port 4 of the router.

    With the Linksys, the Desktop is wired directly to Port 1 of the router and that worked fine right out of the box. I had some problems connecting with the laptops so with some help from the Linksys call centre I was able to get them connected to the net using the EasyLink Connect download tool. All was good it seemed. However the next day I went to print from one of the laptops and it could not find the printer, the home network but could still get out to the Internet. Same with the other Laptop and the desktop. Another call to Linksys support and he had me verifying the router config (all looked good) but when we tried to ping the laptops from the desktop, we got nothing. Time outs. Same with the laptops to the desktop. So, net result is everything works fine going out to the Internet, but the internal home LAN is not working. I only use Windows Firewall and wireless WEP security is set on each device (and obviously working as all can get to the Net). The tech said it must be a Windows problem or an IBM problem and he quickly passed the buck and closed the call. Not impressed! Everything was working fine the day before with the DLink (and a previous Dlink prior to that) so I am really doubtful about it being a Windows/IBM problem when the only thing that has changed is the Linksys router.

    Any ideas? I really like the speed and range of the WRT300N but we do need to share printers and files and right now we cannot do that. I'm ready to take this back and go back to Dlink but I'm willing to try here for any ideas first.


    Thanks.
     
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    First off, unless something changed in the configurations, it seems difficult to believe that just changing the router caused all these issues.

    Turn off any firewalls for debugging. If the firewall is the problem, you'll have to configure it to allow access to "trusted zone" addresses. Note that some firewalls must be completely uninstalled to stop them from affecting your networking.

    Start, Run, CMD to open a command prompt for the following commands.

    PING each remote computer by IP address, and if successful, PING by name. Open a command prompt as described above and type.

    PING <ip address>
    or
    PING <computer name>

    Where:
    <ip address> - is the x.x.x.x IP address
    <computer name> - is the computer name

    A failure to PING is almost always a firewall configuration issue. Any failure to PING needs to be corrected before you go any farther.

    Note: You can obtain the IP address and computer name of a computer by opening a command prompt (DOS window) and typing IPCONFIG /ALL. This should work for any Windows version. The IPCONFIG /ALL display will provide a wealth of useful information for debugging your network connection.

    Check your Services are Started on all PCs:
    • Computer Browser
    • DHCP Client
    • DNS Client
    • Network Connections
    • Network Location Awareness
    • Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
    • Server
    • TCP/IP Netbios helper
    • Workstation

    Note: You can check the services in Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Services.

    All of these services should be started, and their startup type should be automatic.

    All computers should be in the same workgroup for computer browsing to function properly. File & Print Sharing has to be enabled on any computer you wish to share files or printers from. You also need to actually share the resource in question from My Computer, right click on the drive/printer/folder, and select sharing.

    If you encounter difficulties accessing computers that are visible in Network Neighborhood, make sure the computer being accessed has an account with the same name/password as the system connecting to it uses to login.

    While the default NetBIOS setting is correct for normal network configurations, it's possible for it to be altered, and it costs nothing to make sure it's correct. NETBIOS over TCP/IP must be enabled for normal network browsing.
     
  3. navel_gazer

    navel_gazer Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Thanks for the quick reply. A few things. I reverted back to the old DLink router and everything was good. I was able to connect to the Internet with all 3 PC's as well as see each other PC and the use the printer. Following your reply, I switched back to the new router and everything is the same as the initial install, as I figured it would be.

    Not sure what you mean about turning off the Firewall. The only one I use on each of the PC's is the Windows Firewall and my understanding is that this should always be on. I don't have any other firewalls. So I have left the Windows one on for now.

    I followed your ping suggestions and as it was the first time, the desktop cannot ping either of the laptops. It can ping the printer. The laptops cannot ping each other or the desktop but they can ping the printer. When I say they cannot ping, I mean it times out after 3 try's. So, I did not try with the names. I just pinged with the IP address.

    I did make a few of the changes you suggested in the Services and set them as you suggested but still no difference. Again, I am able to get out the Internet with all PC's but the problem arises when I try to see the other PC'a on the network or use the printer from the laptops (the printer works from the desktop).

    If I am using the Dlink Router and go into Network Places on the desktop and select View Workgroup Computers, I can see the other laptops. I can also see the printer and the other PC's when doing the same from the laptops. They are under a home network I called MSHOME. When I try the same using the Linksys router, I don;t see any of the other PC's when selecting View Workgroup Computers and if I try to add a network place (from any of the PC's) I get an error message saying "MSHOME is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource. Contact the administrator of this server to find out if you have access permissions. The List of Servers for this workgroup in not available".

    Also, if I check the Printer & Fax list rom the laptops when using the Linksys router, the shared printer shows either offline or unable to connect.

    So, it seems to me that for some reason, the Linksys is blocking MSHOME workgroup, my home network - which is the only one we use. We don't specificly sign in to that workgroup, it is just always there (not sure how we would sign in to it anyway?!?) Again, all of this goes away if I revert back to the Dlink router (albeit at a slower pace).

    Hopefully this sheds a little more light on things. Right now we are tossed between 1) using the Linksys for faster web browsing for all the PC's but no printer access or file management across PC's; and 2) Using the Dlink for slower browsing but getting the local networking funtionality.

    Thanks,
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    It's a total mystery! If the old router works, and the new router doesn't allow even a PING to go through, I'd try the following.

    Upgrade the firmware on the new router.
    Reset it to factory defaults and reconfigure after the firmware upgrade.

    If that doesn't do it, send it back for a replacement.
     
  5. navel_gazer

    navel_gazer Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your reply John. Glad I am not the only one who thinks this is a total mystery.

    I tried your suggestion and went to the Linksys download page for the WRT300N and found the latest firmware. I thought it a bit strange that the date of it was a month older than what I was currently running and the version number (1.03.3) for download was quite different than what I was running (1.51.2). However, I had nothing to loose so I went ahead and downloaded it anyway. I tried to install if following the Linksys instructions, and I got an error message almost right away saying “Firmware Upgrade Failed”. No other detail or explanation and I couldn’t find anything on this message in their technical help area. I suspect it was because I was trying to install an earlier version from what was already installed.

    So as I write this I am using the Linksys, but following this post I guess I have no other choice than to revert back to the old Dlink and return the Linksys for a refund. My dilemma now is wondering if I just got a dud and to replace it with the same make/model or maybe they all have this issue with; or go to a different brand make/model……. Ah, technology…!

    Thanks for your help!
     
  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I'd go with a different brand. :D

    Just curious, what kind of modem (make and model), is this connected to? We may be overlooking something obvious.
     
  7. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    You're absolutely sure that you do not have a 3rd party firewall (internet security) running?

    The reason I ask is that if you do and it is configured to allow only LAN access for the IPs used on the D-Link and the Linksys is using a different set of IPs you should get exactly the symptoms that you are reporting.
     
  8. navel_gazer

    navel_gazer Thread Starter

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    John...any recommendations? I know you probably can't be biased towards any products or brands on this board but, uh... does it start with a "B" or a "N" or a "D" or other?

    Terry... unless there is some hidden software somewhere that's acting as a firewall, I don't have any 3rd party internet security running on any of the PC's. But you are right..it seems to me like the Linksys is doing the blocking to those IP's (for internal LAN routing).

    I've got the Linksys re-packaged and ready to go back but I'll hold off if we're on to something here.

    Thanks guys.
     
  9. navel_gazer

    navel_gazer Thread Starter

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    Hi guys,

    I just realized that I DO have a 3rd party firewall. I have Norton 360 installed on all 3 PC's and I just re-realized that it also includes a Firewall. :eek: :confused: Sorry!! I was thinking it was only an AV program.

    The FW is set to on and there are many general rules set around in/outbound ICMP, NetBios, Loopback, File Sharing, Bootp, ICMPV6, Web Services on devices, LLMNR (Shared networks), Web Service Directory, SSDP and a few others as well as many Program rules set.

    I will unpack the Linksys and try it again tomorrow (been a long day today) with the Firewall set to off. If this works with the FW set to off, I have no idea where to start to look to set the FW rules to allow it. First steps first I guess....

    Thanks again and sorry for the confusion and my oversight.

    (still don't know why the same FW settings and rules would work with the DLink and not the not the Linksys though..... :confused: )
     
  10. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Strange things these computers. ;) It'll be interesting to see if the firewall is the issue.
     
  11. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    The D-Link probably defaults to LAN addresses 192.168.0.x while the Linksys probably defaults to 192.168.1.x. If you have Norton set to allow access from 192.168.0.x (or whatever the D-Link uses) but not to allow 192.168.1.x (or whatever the Linksys uses) then that is precisely the cause of all our head scratching (and your frustration).
     
  12. navel_gazer

    navel_gazer Thread Starter

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    Well, if I didn't see it with my own eyes, I wouldn't believe it. The Linksys in now working like a charm!! (y) :)

    I unpacked the Linksys, switched it over, turned off the Norton FW on my desktop and laptop and before I even plugged the cable router back in, I was able to see my local home network, share the printer, etc.! I plugged in the cable router and lo and behold both could get out to the Internet. Now I hadn't changed any of the FW settings - just turned it off. I looked in all of it's convoluted settings and couldn't clearly see where I could allow the 192.168.1.x addresses, but it did have a section on trusted sites and limited trusted sites. The old Dlink IP address was in the Limited Trusted section. The only other entries looked like Mac address or something and I'm not sure just what they are.

    Anyway, I turned the FW back on and also turned on the Alerts (they were set to off) and fully expected it to go back to the way it was - blocking all 192.168.1.x traffic and a bunch of Alerts coming up. But nothing happened...it all kept working... no Alerts, the PC's could print and surf.

    So.... I think I am back to where I wanted to be last Friday. We'll see tonight when my wife gets home with her laptop and hopefully it will work out as well.

    Thanks so much John and Terry for your help and guidance in this matter!!!(y)
     
  13. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    I love those internet security suites. What I love the most about them is that I use NONE of them! :)

    When you're confident your network is going to continue working as desired please mark this 'solved' using the Thread Tools at the upper right.
     
  14. navel_gazer

    navel_gazer Thread Starter

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    Ok, lesson learned....! What I thought might be a little more convenient, is well... right. I get the message. :)

    Thanks again and once I make sure wifey's laptop is working fine, I will mark this as 'solved' and buy another t-shirt or something!
     
  15. navel_gazer

    navel_gazer Thread Starter

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    The saga continues... ugh!

    Wifey came home, fired up her laptop and...nothing. Couldn't connect to printer etc. Could get out to the Internet. Same old...:mad: So, I once again, turned off the Norton FW on the desktop and my laptop - and her laptop and she was able to connect again and the world was good. Only thing was, as it entered my mind, is that this is just a band-aid fix right now. In order for everything to work right, we're going to have to go through this turning off the Norton FW, connecting and then turning the FW back on again. Not a good solution. This was further solidified this morning when I powered up everything for a new day and it was all right back to square one. No Internal access.

    So, the good news is that it seems to be narrowed down to a FW issue with Norton. The bad news is I have played around and around with the configuration of it and there is nowhere where I can add 192.168.1.x as a trusted address, etc. Oh, and there is no uninstall with Norton 360 either (yes, yes, lesson learned!). I will try to get hold of their support people on this but I'm not holding my breath based on a previous live text session I had with them in the past....

    Or..maybe I can just keep the Norton FW off and only use the Windows FW. Thoughts?

    Not quite ready to mark this as solved yet.....
     
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