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Motorola Netopia Firewall Settings to Solve Streaming Media Problems?
November 1, 2011 5:18 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know how to configure the firewall settings on a new-model Motorola Netopia 2247-N8 modem/router? I am having severe issues with streaming audio/video (endless buffering, permanent stopping), and my ISP's only suggestion is to adjust the firewall on my device. However, my GUI seems to be missing the buttons/links/menus necessary to even access the firewall settings.

When I initially set up and configured this box, about 2 months ago, I don't think I was even offered the option to configure the firewall.

The guy on the phone from my ISP (sonic.net) has screenshots of the GUI page that concerns the firewall, but they don't quite match mine, and his opinion was that I have a newer model.

I've looked through every admin config screen I can find for this thing, but nothing mentions the firewall. Google returns a surprisingly small and ultimately useless list of results related to this box.

Any ideas? Tia.
posted by kaboomer to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
 
What specifically did they say to modify?

Firewalls don't make things stutter like that. They either block or allow connections. If you can connect to something, then it is being allowed.

The only fw thing that could make what you describe better or worse is stateful packet inspection. You'd want that enabled.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 5:22 PM on November 1, 2011


My networker husband agrees (and laughed at the firewall suggestion). He says:

"In case you can't find anything labeled 'stateful packet inspection,' you might look for QoS, or Quality of Service.

I'm a little more curious: how much is your bandwidth? In a regular home, you shouldn't have to implement QoS just to get streaming stuff to work. Try going to speedtest.net and see what kind of speed performance you're getting. Make sure it's as much as the provider is telling you that you're supposed to get. If you're getting less than 3 Mbps, it's going to slow down."
posted by Madamina at 6:24 PM on November 1, 2011


Hey, thanks for the quick response!

I don't have anything labeled 'stateful packet inspection', or QoS. In fact, I don't actually seem to have access to much of anything. The interface lists all kinds of information, but has very few actual controls.

I have a 'reset router', 'restart router', 'restart connection' and 'upgrade software' button, but that's about it.

Also, this is a pretty screaming connection. I consistently get about 20mbps down.

A few other data points:

- The problem is extremely consistent. Streaming audio and video files play for about 3 minutes, then stop

- This is occurring on my wireless macbook, wireless pc laptop, and ethernet-connected mac desktop

- An iPhone 3gs, connected to the same wifi network, has no problems with audio or video
posted by kaboomer at 7:22 PM on November 1, 2011


Oh, forgot to mention that this happens with Chrome, FF, Safari, Camino...

I also tried completely uninstalling Flash and then installing the latest version. No dice.
posted by kaboomer at 7:24 PM on November 1, 2011


The guy was trying to keep his average call time low. Run a speedtest to get an idea of how fast your connection is for non-streaming stuff, then call again. They may be throttling you.
posted by devnull at 5:00 AM on November 2, 2011


Here is the admin guide that might be helpful.
posted by white_devil at 7:25 AM on November 2, 2011


Check the temp of the unit when the connection is more or less idle, and then check the temp as it is running a stream. (Just feel it with your hands, probably.) See if it is warming up in any appreciable manner.

Fire up a stream on one machine, wait a minute or so, and then start one on another machine. See if the streams start to have issues at the same time, or if they have their issues at their own 3 minute mark. If they have issues at the same moment, that leads me to believe the problem is somehow related to the modem/router. If they still stop at their individual 3 minute marks, I would start to think it is something else. (Lord knows what.)

See if there is a way to get packet statistics, to see if packets are getting lost or something. This, combined with the router warming up, would tell me that the router is no good. Same thing would be true if you ran a couple of speedtests back to back, and the latter ones started to slow down.

It is also possible that the unit is just cheap, and its CPU can't keep up. I had a similar situation with a Linksys wrs54g. It was fast enough, but not as fast as it could be. It really slowed down when using wireless. I switched to a different router and things sped up. What you might try is turning off all the router/firewall stuff on the unit and making it act just as a modem, and then connecting one device directly to it, and then seeing if the problem is the same. If it is the same, it might not be the modem's fault. If it doesn't happen, that pretty much guarantees the router is somehow at fault.

I would guess that the reason the iPhone works fine is that the streams are lower bandwidth for that device.
posted by gjc at 8:04 AM on November 2, 2011


I'm sure no one will be looking at this thread anymore, but just for the sake of completeness, I ended up replacing the thing completely, which seems to have solved the problem. Thanks to all for their advice!
posted by kaboomer at 8:57 PM on November 23, 2011


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