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ATTN: Network geniuses

Strange Internet connection problem

2:51 am on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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joined:Nov 13, 2004
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I have been at this for months off and on but no luck, I hope someone who is smarter than me can help.

My Setup:
Dell 2400 P4 2.8GHZ
Windows XP Home SP2
Motorola SB5100 Modem
Broadcom 440x 10/100 Integrated Controller NIC
Linksys BEFW11S4 801.11B router
6MB Cable Connection

How I have things connected:
Cable is going into the Motorola modem
Motorola modem is connected to Linksys router
Router is connected to the Broadcom NIC in my computer

My Problem:
For no reason my internet will drop out, the LED lights on the model all say everything is ok (no blinking) and sometimes if I unplug the router and plug it back things will start working sometimes, other times it will stay out all night, so my first thought was it's the router, now I don't think so.

When I plug my modem directly into my computers NIC I still receive no connection, but here is the strangest thing ... when it drops out I can still access my ISPs website, but no other site! I can check my web mail, etc. just as long as it's on my ISPs domain.

I have called them several times and they act like they know this is going on and say they are trying to find out what may be causing it but don't really give me a direct answer.

Any help on this one?

3:45 am on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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The next time it dies, try connecting to Google or some other well-known site by using an IP address instead of a domain name. For example, access Google at []

If that still works, then the problem is that you cannot connect to the DNS system, so your machine cannot resolve domains to IP addresses, and therefore cannot connect to 'outside' Web sites. If you can always connect to your ISP, then they may have an 'inside' DNS server for their network, and an 'outside' or 'public' DNS server for everything outside their network.

So, you call them up and tell them that their public DNS server is unreachable. A specific error report may get them moving on the problem -- I have found that my ISPs all respond much more quickly if I nail down the problem and call them up and tell them something like, "Your edge router at, located in the Smallville colocation center, is dead. I can't even ping it. Please reboot it or replace it," rather than saying something general like "I can't connect to anything." Note: is used above as an example IP only; It is a non-routable address.

You can also use your operating system's built-in ping and tracert (trace route) utilities, and if you're on Windows, look at ipconfig to get information about your IP setup. On NT-based OSes, you get to them using Start->Run->cmd->OK, to get to a DOS prompt, enter the utility name and required parameters, and hit Enter.

Often, intermittent connection problems are caused by misconfigured DHCP in the modem/router/LAN. But since you report that you can still connect to your ISP's services, that pretty much rules out DHCP issues and points to DNS issues as a more-likely candidate.


6:14 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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First step, check for an update for the firmware on your Linksys router. Then, check for a driver update for your network card. I am going to assume you already have Windows patched & updated. If you provided your own cablemodem, you'll need to check for a firmware update for it also.

Power off your cable modem for 5 full minutes to give the ISP server a chance to clear the connection info. When the server sees the cablemodem power back up, it should check for and then push a firmware or configuration update (if the cablemodem was provided as part of the service).

TIP: Always power cycle your cable modem after unplugging the ethernet cable from your router or desktop. You need to give the cablemodem and cable service server a chance to clear the MAC address from the previous device.

While testing, You should make sure your network settings on your computer are set to automatically receive an IP address AND nameservers. I've seen where folks have had old or just plain wrong nameserver IP addresses hard coded on their computers from info they received when they first setup their account.

10:55 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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>>points to DNS issues as a more-likely candidate

I agree with Jim. Try using an IP address next time.