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Network, no internet

By ronjewell ·
I have a home network set up with two computers hardwired into my 4-port wireless-G LinkSys router. In addition, I have 3 computers connected wirelessly (with USB wireless-G adapters). These wireless computers intermitently lose connection with the internet; the message I get is that the computer *is* connected to the network, but *not* connected to the internet. What up?

Do I have to power-cycle everything to get them back? Can I not troubleshoot them one a time?

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I suspect low signal strength

by nepenthe0 In reply to Network, no internet

Check the signal strength by hovering the mouse over the wireless network icon in the system tray. If the signal strength is low, that is the most likely reason.

Wi-Fi is short range 2.4GHz radio, essentially worthless beyond 150 feet from the access point. Here are some tips that may help reduce dropped connections with your laptops:

1) A vertical booster antenna for the router can enhance horizontal coverage by ~50%

2) If the router is located one floor up or down from the laptops, consider relocating the router to the same floor

3) If the wireless adapters are 802.11g, program the router to broadcast only in G mode

4) Enable SSID broadcast in your router setup

5) WPA encryption is more squirrely than WEP, but WEP is less secure

6) How important is encryption for your use of these laptops? If there are no likely snoopers within 150 feet, consider disabling encryption. With encryption disabled, connection is faster, data transmission faster, and there are fewer dropped connections

7) If you disable encryption, it would be wise to enable the MAC address filter in the router setup. Enter the MAC addresses of the wireless adapters, and the native MAC addresses of the two desktop computers

If you disable encryption and enable MAC address filtration, periodically check for intruders. With Linksys, open the router setup, and navigate:

Status > Local Network > DHCP Client Table

The only MAC addresses posted on that table should be your own equipment. Any other MAC address is an intruder, and you can banish that person by adding that MAC address to the naughty list:

Wireless > Wireless MAC Filter > Prevent PCs listed below from accessing the wireless network

9) check for 2.4GHz radiofrequency interference near the laptops (cordless telephone base stations)

10) check for RF interference (fans, motors, hard drives, etc.)

11) check for shielding (metal cabinets, etc)

That about exhausts my suggestions.

Rick/Portland, OR

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Thanks! I am regaining my faith in humanity...

by ronjewell In reply to I suspect low signal stre ...

The signal strength is notoriously low at the furtherest computer, but the other two connected wirelessly are reporting good signal.

The furtherest is approximately 125 ft from the router, but there is a floor difference and many walls and potentially other interference in the way. I had to employ a Range Expander to get a signal at all, and its still weak.

1) A vertical booster antenna for the router can enhance horizontal coverage by ~50%
THANKS! I will research this animal...

2) If the router is located one floor up or down from the laptops, consider relocating the router to the same floor
Nah. Its in my wife's office, and she'll insist I earn my keep.

3) If the wireless adapters are 802.11g, program the router to broadcast only in G mode
DONE. More great help, thanks.

4) Enable SSID broadcast in your router setup
ALREADY enabled.

5) WPA encryption is more squirrely than WEP, but WEP is less secure
No encryption at all - it seems simpler.

6) How important is encryption for your use of these laptops? If there are no likely snoopers within 150 feet, consider disabling encryption. With encryption disabled, connection is faster, data transmission faster, and there are fewer dropped connections
Like I said...

7) If you disable encryption, it would be wise to enable the MAC address filter in the router setup. Enter the MAC addresses of the wireless adapters, and the native MAC addresses of the two desktop computers

If you disable encryption and enable MAC address filtration, periodically check for intruders. With Linksys, open the router setup, and navigate:

Status > Local Network > DHCP Client Table

The only MAC addresses posted on that table should be your own equipment. Any other MAC address is an intruder, and you can banish that person by adding that MAC address to the naughty list:

Wireless > Wireless MAC Filter > Prevent PCs listed below from accessing the wireless network
EXCELLENT knowledge! I will do this. I have been checking the DHCP Client Table in order to gain some insight as to what is going on, and I notice there are two 'clients' there that have nothing in the NAME field. These could be intruders as you say. But they could also be other equipment I have on the network (I have two Airport iTunes Express devices for example) Is there any way to interrogate the DHCP Client Table (or my gear, for that matter) to see what is listed in the DHCP Client Table?


9) check for 2.4GHz radiofrequency interference near the laptops (cordless telephone base stations)
DONE.

10) check for RF interference (fans, motors, hard drives, etc.)
How?

11) check for shielding (metal cabinets, etc)
How?

That about exhausts my suggestions.
REALLY GREAT! Thanks Rick.

Rick/Portland, OR

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Do they recover if you right click and select 'repair'

by robo_dev In reply to Network, no internet

on the network interface?

When it's in a 'failed state' can you ping the IP address of your router?

What authentication are you using for your WLAN (none, WEP, WPA, WPA2).

What OS on these three wireless computers?

Are you using Windows Wireless Zero Configuration (WZC) or is the Linksys utility being used to configure/manage the adapters?

Several common problems:

- Both WZC and the native utility are enabled, and they both get confused.

- Adapters bouncing between 802.11b and g. Sometimes you have to lock them to stay on one.

- WZC is configured to connect to best access point, and it hunts between your WLAN and your neighbors WLAN.

-Interference: The default WLAN channel is channel 6. If your neighbor is using channel 6 and is within ~200 feet, it could be interfering. Also 2.4GHZ phones or even old microwave ovens could be at fault.

-Having 802.1x enabled on the WLAN client..or having a WLAN supplicant or connection manager such as Odyssey or similar product. These will periodically re-authenticate if they are misconfigured.

-Power management settings: Many WLAN adapters don't wake up gracefully. IF the PC is an older one, and it's power management is marginally compatible, then the WLAN adapter often won't recover from sleep/hibernate.

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Wow. You guys are good...

by ronjewell In reply to Do they recover if you ri ...

Do they recover if you right click and select 'repair' on the network interface?
No. The repair process fails because it cannot complete this action: "Renewing your IP address". I then get a message that suggests that I contact the person that manages my network. So, I contact myself, which is of little help.


When it's in a 'failed state' can you ping the IP address of your router?
I don't know. How do I know the IP address of my router? I'll ping it!

What authentication are you using for your WLAN (none, WEP, WPA, WPA2).
Authentication type is set to 'Auto' on the router setup.

What OS on these three wireless computers?
Win2000 and WinXP.

Are you using Windows Wireless Zero Configuration (WZC) or is the Linksys utility being used to configure/manage the adapters?
WZC by default, although I have switched back and forth during the learning process. The LinkSys utility seems to help me learn about what I'm trying to do...

Several common problems:

- Both WZC and the native utility are enabled, and they both get confused.
I don't know how to enable both simulataneously; there is a dialog box asking me if I want to switch.

- Adapters bouncing between 802.11b and g. Sometimes you have to lock them to stay on one.
I just now switched the router config to G only.

- WZC is configured to connect to best access point, and it hunts between your WLAN and your neighbors WLAN.
This is probably happening all the time.

-Interference: The default WLAN channel is channel 6. If your neighbor is using channel 6 and is within ~200 feet, it could be interfering. Also 2.4GHZ phones or even old microwave ovens could be at fault.
I'm now on channel 11.

-Having 802.1x enabled on the WLAN client..or having a WLAN supplicant or connection manager such as Odyssey or similar product. These will periodically re-authenticate if they are misconfigured.
How can I check for such a situation?

-Power management settings: Many WLAN adapters don't wake up gracefully. IF the PC is an older one, and it's power management is marginally compatible, then the WLAN adapter often won't recover from sleep/hibernate.
I don't think this is the case...

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I would be looking at the USB Devices being the problem here

by OH Smeg In reply to Network, no internet

They don't seem to work as well as Internal PCI Cards do and have a smaller aerial so they are subject to signal loss and interference.

If you are using other wireless devices like Cordless Phones or Ceil Phones these can interfere with WiFi Signal.

Also if you can still access the internal Network but not the Net forget the computers and look at the Router being subject to power Spikes which cause the Internet Connection to drop out on the WiFi, a failing Access Point or incorrectly configured Router.

Start by unplugging the Router and leave it for 10 seconds then plug back in. If it now works you need to find out what is causing the loss. It could just be dirty Mains Power in which case a UPS or some filtering device inserted between the mains and Router will cure that problem or it could be more serious in which case you need to track down the problem and rectify.

Of course if it isn't correctly configured you need to access the router from a wired connection and reset the Routers Internal Configuration.

Col

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Thanks for your guidance...

by ronjewell In reply to I would be looking at the ...

I would be looking at the USB Devices being the problem here...
I have heard this and I will investigate... the problem is that I have three to purchase/install/maintain.


Also if you can still access the internal Network but not the Net forget the computers and look at the Router being subject to power Spikes which cause the Internet Connection to drop out on the WiFi, a failing Access Point or incorrectly configured Router.
I have a four-port wireless router that has two computers connected thru CAT-5 cable. These never* lose internet access. More specifically, they maintain access even when I am experiencing difficulty with the wireless computers. This is what is so unnerving...

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Not really an issue here

by OH Smeg In reply to Thanks for your guidance. ...

If the unit gets a big enough Power Spike it can kill off the WiFi side of things while retaining the wired side of things. So if the wired works and not the WiFi it only means that there is a issue with the WiFi adapter in the router.

As for pinging the Router look at the HTTP Address of it. There should be a number 192.xxx.xxx.01 or something along those lines that is the IP Address of the router. Click on Start and then Run and type in at the command like Ping 192.xxx.xxx01 whatever the Routers IP Address is and see what response you get.

Also you may find it useful to add another WiFi Access Point by running a CAT5 Cable and plugging it into a Access Point located closer to the problem computers. This will cut down the possibility of Interference from household devices and god only knows what else. If you can mount the Access Device at about the mid point between all 3 computers it may improve the situation considerably, but you also need to look at how the Radio Waves Propagate from the Aerial of the Router or Access Device. They tend to stay in the one plane so if the Routers Areal is Horizontal the strongest Signals will in a Horizontal Plane from the Router. If the Aerial is Vertical the strongest signals will be in a Vertical Plane from the Router. Adding a Access Point closer to the problem units or at least the biggest number of them cuts down the possibility of interference and absorbed signal from Electrical Wiring, Pluming through Metal Pipes in the Walls & Floors. These can successfully stop or absorb a large part of the signal and changing floors doesn't help.

Also you should not have CAT Cable within 4 inches of Electrical Wiring but I personally prefer to keep it further away where possible.

I hope that is some use to you.

Col

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Try this...Power-down your router (turn it off) and wait 15 seconds..

Sometimes the router with wireless loses(shutsdown) when it gets too warm and just needs a little boost to re-connect. Make sure all of the cables are securely attached to the router, if they are not this can trip it out also.

Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.

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On your usb wireless-G adapters,, Right click on it ..

And select "properties" look for "power management" and make sure there are NO ticks in any boxes, then exit out of the pages. There might be a power issue when you us these wireless usb adapters. Basically they do not (usually) have enough power to connect so they drop the link or the usb ports drop the voltage.

Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.

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DHCP Client Table lists all machines on the network

by nepenthe0 In reply to Network, no internet

I suspect the MAC addresses you're seeing are your hardwired desktops. Remember, the listed MAC address for the hardwired desktops will be the built-in network card.

To determine the MAC address of the network card, check System Information, or install the free SIW utility:

http://www.gtopala.com/

For the wireless connections, the MAC address will be the one listed on the adapter.

Write down these MAC addresses so that you can review the DHCP Client Table posting and confirm there are no intruders. Don't kick yourself off your own network...

Rick/Portland, OR

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