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Author Topic: Weird Router Issue Hoping someone has seen before  (Read 2253 times)

questorfla

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Weird Router Issue Hoping someone has seen before
« on: July 18, 2014, 05:59:28 PM »
This is pretty specific and while I have seen just about everything this one has me stumped.  The network layout itself would be hard to even describe but if that is the problem it has been the same for 8 years and never had as issue like this till now.
We are using a Linksys model AC1900 (I think it is the high end AC unit only a few months old)  The router is set to use a "private sub of 10.0.50.xx".  The router is set for WPA. 

The office it is in has connections where people use wired when they think about it and wireless when in a hurry.  Almost every system is a laptop.  In most case they are always plugged in (and while it annoys me that it does so) almost every one of them will always connect (Windows default unless overridden) to Both the wired and the Wi-Fi.

Again, it has been doing this for many years, through different router and different ISP's and no problems till lately.  (by that maybe 2 or 3 months tops).  I am on one of these laptops right now and this is the issue:

Windows is showing the Wired connection being down.  At the same time, this user also said they had no internet.  This was true and windows showed such.  However, I was able to get the Wi-Fi to work by doing the following:  Unplug the wired adaptor.  Nothing changed.  This happened while nothing was being done.  The wire goes to a connector and direct to the router.  The Wi-Fi signal is the only one also coming direct from the router.  Plugging the wire back in immediately kills the wife's ability to connect to the net.  But it does not disconnect the signal or show anything other than Windows saying it is "unable to determine the problem"

Initially we thought it was the ISP.  We had their network techs out yesterday.  He gave a pass on the whole setup and at the time, of course, there was nothing to show. It was all up and running.

The Wi-Fi is a Ralink device if that matters on Windows 7x64.  This is a recurrent issue that intuition says is the router but as for the logic to back-up that guess I have no idea.

I am about to try switching it anyway to one of the new Netgear Nighthawks but I was wondering if there were any Wi-Fi Experts inhere with a reason for this behavior.  This is not the only laptop that has exhibited this.  Worse, in some cases, people have found the exact opposite.  That disabling the Wi-Fi makes the wired start working.  No changes in anything, just use the windows control panel to disable the wireless.

90& of the time, almost every system in here is connected to Both with no problems.  The 10% that are left...
We have done a full power cycle on all components and the issue, when here, stays until.. it stops.  Might be an hour or whenever.
I hate to make this any longer but the one final detail that makes this a real mystery is that on a few occasions,  Every System in here fails and when that happens Windows reports unable to contact primary DNS server.  That was why we called the ISP.  Even during the times when we are unable to connect to the primary dns, the ISP shows we are up with no problems and nothing they can find shows any issues with their DNS.

OK.  That is my question for the weekend.  What  might be the reason  (PS, We just had the whole office network setup re-wired just in case.  No change. Same problems.  New router, New Switches, new cables.  Same Old Problem.
Many thanks for any Input  I am sure someone else has to have seen something like this somewhere.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Weird Router Issue Hoping someone has seen before
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2014, 06:21:29 PM »
You're only supposed to have one default gateway. But with the configuration you describe you actually have two different default gateways identified as the same target. This configuration is not supposed to work.

We have several HP AIOs at the office that are connected to the internal Gb wired network, but also have built in wireless adapters. Every now and then one of them (through no fault of the user... {Ha!}) will end up with a running wireless connection, and a bunch of connection issues.

Point being...just because Windows has gotten better at compensating for this rather typical configuration booboo it doesn't mean it's supposed ever to happen, or the right way to do something.

BGM

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Re: Weird Router Issue Hoping someone has seen before
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2014, 07:29:29 PM »
Are you using DHCP?  Each laptop has a different MAC address for it's wired card and for its wireless card.  You have to enter both addresses in your DHCP configuration.
-bgmCoder

40hz

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Re: Weird Router Issue Hoping someone has seen before
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2014, 08:43:15 PM »
A couple of things:

1) Check your subnet mask setting. Although you're on a 10.x.x.x network (which implies a /8), you're only using 10.0.50.x (which makes it effectively a /24 network) so your subnet mask should be set to 255.255.255.0.

2) I've seen many consumer/SOHO grade routers where their DHCP server has trouble with anything other than the 192.168.x.x range of addresses. If you don't need the huge address space a 10.x.x.x/8 network provides, use 192.168.x.x/24 for your address range.

3) SJ's note about the default gateway is super important. Run an ipconfig /all on any machine that's having a problem and see if they're picking up a strange gateway.

4) Don't always trust your wiring if you're in a shared office space. I went bonkers for about three hours trying to run down a network connectivity issue at one of my client's offices. Some client machines could get the web, but suddenly could not see the servers. Turned out their telco people had installed a router over the weekend for their new VoIP phones and commandeered some of the existing network wiring so that the router I thought some of my user's PCs were connecting to was the telco's rather than theirs. Having the exact same address on the box plus the same DNS entries and DHCP scope served from both routers hid the culprit pretty effectively. It wasn't until I noticed two PCs had the exact same IP address (and the network hadn't crashed) that I realized what was up. Changing the router configuration and DHCP scope confirmed my suspicions. That didn't fix the actual wiring, which needed to be redone. But at least it identified who screwed it up.

« Last Edit: July 19, 2014, 06:09:28 AM by 40hz »

Ath

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Re: Weird Router Issue Hoping someone has seen before
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2014, 05:32:58 AM »
I've seen similar, intermittent, connection issues when I bought a new Linksys (ea6700) AC router. It was cured after I replaced it with a Netgear aparatus, as the ea6700 was originally bought with the intention to fix connection-issues we had with a Linksys wrt160...
Not even bios updates have yet been able to cure the intermittent wi-fi connection issues with the ea6700 (that is still here, being used in my tech-testing network, not directly connected to the interwebs)

questorfla

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Re: Weird Router Issue Hoping someone has seen before
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2014, 10:54:39 PM »
Sorry guys, Been slammed for a while now. but i see there are several good points here.  I will cover them in the order presented.
StoicJ.  The default gateway is the same whether wired or wireless.  It is the same router and shows being 10.0.50.1 no matter which connection is active.

BGM:  yes and no on this one.  Until recently, this was left at DHCP on every system,  However, I have found that in the past few laptop purchases, some that only had wireless and No wired at all, that unless I specifically configured the "alternate config" for IPV4 (which usd to be an area that I swear was not even  there on many systems but i could have been overlooking it) anyway, i found that using autoc/auto for the IP and dns would not work.  These new Ultrabooks with No wired at all require that I put in the Office WORK network specifically and ssign an IP and a DNS and i MUST do this in the alternate or the user would have effectively a No connection laptop once they leave the office.   I recently noticed Another Option there as well.  It says Automatic Private IP as opposed to (I guess) the normal Automatically obtain IP ( Public IP ?) option in the primary window.  I would tend to believe that since they only have  ONE business network that i am better of putting in a static IP in the alternate configuration

40Hz;  The specific i should have just typed it all out are:
10.0.50.1 gateway
255.255.255.0 is subnet
dhcp is set to handle from  10.0.50.100 to 10.0.50.200.

The printers and misc items that have static only are below the 100 so prevent possible conflicts.
10.0.50.75     76    77    78     are all printers
there are a few other misc items that stay down there too.

Above the 200 mark are reserved for special application issues.  currently there are none

ALL laptops I have been able to find retail ALWAYS activate Both Wired and WiFi unless you manually turn on Airplane mode or disable to WiFi adapter.
I have always considered this a bad practice just intuitively without an real reason fo it.  For one thing , in dhcp , it doubles the IP;s in play since each device gets one for each adapter.

There used to be a product that was FREE once and then disappeared for a while then came back as a "pay-to-play" utility that would switch off the WiFi when you plug in wired.  I have even see a few mfrs. say their laptops have this feature.  No One has the old Manual WiFi ON/Off switch (and glad it is gone!)  The utility old for about $20 but I don't even remember the name.  If nothing else it would save battery power if you were wired for network and not connected to a charger.

I am wondering if any of this is related to the continued push toward IPV6  as well?

Either way, Can anyone see a reason to NOT disable WiFi when you have a Better Wired connection?  Wired in our office is always 1GB,  WiFi may be getting better but not THAT fast.  Not even AC band.

This would work like the option to disable the touch pad if using a wired mouse (which IS a good option, everyone likes that one).
If I could find that utility again, I  would consider buying it.  Don't know why it isn't a built in option anyway

Other than for the fact that Windows now seems to use create several Virtual WiFi adapters for ad-hoc connections to whatever devices you are smart enough to configure them for.  Whether or not you even know they are there.  Mini Hot spots broadcasting and receiving though i have never checked much to see what they are meant for nor why some laptops seem to have more than one of them.

Thanks for all the info and i am still on the lookout for any  info to give this a better solution.  If it were an ALL the time thing it would be easier.  But it is intermittent and I am leaning toward the possibility that 40Hz brought up about some router not working well on anything but 192.168.x.x.

For the record, 40HZ, maybe I can one-up your #4.  We had people who, when the office CABLE IP went down, they would whip out their cellphone and connect their WiFi to IT.  But leave their WIRED connection plugged in TOO!

Left me scratching my head as well when i suddenly found half the office able to get internet even though the service was down.  Evewn if i unplugged the router.
The solution got a bit clearer when people started complaining they could not print to the network printer.  THAT was when i checked their ipconfig/all and saw a WEIRD setup. 
Turns out that the Internet connection by one person on the cellphone was provisioning backward through the network switches to offices over 100ft away.
Smart switch did not care if their wire was an IN or an OUT so it happily allowed anyone connected to the same switch that was online before the CABLE went out to stay online feeding though that one cellphone.

I was totally flummoxed!  I would not have thought it would work that easily with no provisions for protection or anything,   We later found out that this same setup was creating havoc on the network when it was up. In this case . YES there WERE two distinct separate gateways as well as two DNS servers.

In our district (not sure how far this applies) COX has begun using a "Locked DNS" setup.  We cannot use ANY other DNS at all.  If i change from the primary and secondary THEY provide, we immediately lose Internet connection.  Error will be Unable to contact Primary DNS server.  I have been told that we are the only place tat has this setup as far as I know.  And no one will even explain WHY.  Just that we MUST use what they give or.. No Internet at all.

Any ideas on that one?



Stoic Joker

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Re: Weird Router Issue Hoping someone has seen before
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2014, 12:52:11 AM »
StoicJ.  The default gateway is the same whether wired or wireless.  It is the same router and shows being 10.0.50.1 no matter which connection is active.

Yes, as it typically is in these cases. The problem is that the routing table has to play 50/50 on which interface to access it through (because they'll both try to have priority). One registers, then the other one registers, then the first one registers again ...(this can go on for days)... Then they both miss...

questorfla

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Re: Weird Router Issue Hoping someone has seen before
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2014, 09:45:49 AM »
agreed on that but then WHY do the Mfrs. make them that way?

questorfla

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Re: Weird Router Issue Hoping someone has seen before
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2014, 09:56:30 AM »
I've seen similar, intermittent, connection issues when I bought a new Linksys (ea6700) AC router. It was cured after I replaced it with a Netgear aparatus, as the ea6700 was originally bought with the intention to fix connection-issues we had with a Linksys wrt160...
Not even bios updates have yet been able to cure the intermittent wi-fi connection issues with the ea6700 (that is still here, being used in my tech-testing network, not directly connected to the interwebs)

WEIRD!  This is EXACTLY how we got to this point!  Only difference is my setup went all the way back to the WRT-54G!


Same brands same problems.  I have the new Nighthawk next up as soon as I get time to program it.  There is no real reason why we MUST use the 10.50.xxx.xxx setup (other than it makes it easier to see WHOSE network you are really on) and I am tempted to leave the defaults.
But I wish I still had the name of that automatic Wi-Fi OFF switch to disable Wifi when WIRED is connected.  No one is voluntarily going to do it and that issue with the Cellphone hot-spots crossing through the Wired network "hubs" (or Smart Switches) gave me nightmares over security


OFF TOPIC but a valid question:  I noticed a while back that the forum now has built-in spell check.  Is that from the browser or from the DC coding?  I wish it worked like Outlook's version where I could tell it to auto-correct typos that I make often



40hz

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Re: Weird Router Issue Hoping someone has seen before
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2014, 10:53:20 AM »
In our district (not sure how far this applies) COX has begun using a "Locked DNS" setup.  We cannot use ANY other DNS at all.

I'm guessing someone (on a very high level) who was involved in acquiring your connectivity either (a) asked for it; (b) got sold on it as a "security feature"; or (c) it's being done to restrict/monitor or possibly datamine your internet use. Because there's no technical reason why it should be so restricted. But they also probably want it to stomp on Netflix and related competing streaming content providers who aren't paying protection money to Cox for adequate bandwidth.

For the record, 40HZ, maybe I can one-up your #4.  We had people who, when the office CABLE IP went down, they would whip out their cellphone and connect their WiFi to IT.  But leave their WIRED connection plugged in TOO!

Yep. One up me it did. (That's pretty awesome btw!) And the proof it never happened to a network I was responsible for is: I'm not in jail right now for clubbing the person who did it to death with their cellphone. ;D

40hz

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Re: Weird Router Issue Hoping someone has seen before
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2014, 11:05:48 AM »

Either way, Can anyone see a reason to NOT disable WiFi when you have a Better Wired connection?  Wired in our office is always 1GB,  WiFi may be getting better but not THAT fast.  Not even AC band.


I have two basic rules (actually it's more what you'd call call guidelines):

1. Switch when you can - route if you must.

2. Wired if you can - wireless if you must.

To go with #2 - wireless is for mobile client devices. If the device is never going to move around once it's set up... plug a wire into it.

The only reason people use wifi as much as they do is because they don't have a network drop available - or they don't want to pay to install one. It's just a cheap and easy way out of pulling wire. With the end result that a lot of employees are working with lousy connectivity and losing productivity despite the fact the people they're working for have a big fat internet connection  and a GB speed switch that sits at 80-90% idle because everything in the company is accessing the network through one or two cheapo access points.
 :-\

Stoic Joker

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Re: Weird Router Issue Hoping someone has seen before
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2014, 12:01:37 PM »
For the record, 40HZ, maybe I can one-up your #4.  We had people who, when the office CABLE IP went down, they would whip out their cellphone and connect their WiFi to IT.  But leave their WIRED connection plugged in TOO!

Yep. One up me it did. (That's pretty awesome btw!) And the proof it never happened to a network I was responsible for is: I'm not in jail right now for clubbing the person who did it to death with their cellphone. ;D
:D :-* :Thmbsup:

Stoic Joker

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Re: Weird Router Issue Hoping someone has seen before
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2014, 12:09:32 PM »
agreed on that but then WHY do the Mfrs. make them that way?

Because people keep buying them..?

It generally works fine for short term usage, but if left too long - and the time varies - it go boom. Some of the machines here have remote access. An they're the ones that fail when an outside user tries to connect ... Gateway goes Ping-Pong Poof!