WiFi to router, but no further?
September 10, 2008 10:55 AM   Subscribe

My daughter has an iBook G4, running OSX 10.5 (Leopard). She's in Argentina, and having issues with the wireless connection. I need a little MetaFilter brain power: She can connect to the router in her apartment (she rents a room), and she can access, and gets router login prompt. But she can't get out to the Internet.

She put OpenDNS IP addresses in the DNS entries for the wireless card.

She has limited control over the hardware in her apartment. It appears to be a Dlink DWL 800 AP plugged into a Tenda TEH800S switch, with a Zyxtel 645 Prestige ADSL modem connected too.

Other people in her apartment allegedly can get out via wireless. And there's no indication that there's any WEP or WPA protection. the AP is set to channel 6.
posted by cameradv to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Without being able to get into the D-Link router's configuration page(s), there won't be much she can do to solve this problem. It *appears* that the D-Link router is not getting an IP number from the Zyxtel ADSL modem. All routers, by default, have two IP numbers: 1) a LAN IP and a 2) WAN IP. The IP number here is the router's LAN IP number. It needs also a publicly-addressable WAN IP number, which is handed out by the DLS modem.

Most DSL modems require some kind of authentication for their IP assignation, whereas cable modems tend to rely on DHCP, which is authentication-less. The username and password used by the router to send to the DSL modem is entered in the router's configuration page, which is why she will likely need the admin password to the router. The default admin password for most D-Link routers is blank or "admin". So you could have her try to log into the D-Link as:

username: admin

username: admin
password: admin

If it lets her in, she'll *then* need to have the username and password for the account associated with the ISP, which may not be available to her. The person she's renting the room from may be able to help with this, as it's likely they opened the account.

Alternatively, she could try plugging an ethernet cable directly between her iBook and the Tenda TEH switch, as that would bypass the routing that's happening by the D-Link router/access point. If she can actually get out to the internet when plugged directly into the switch with an ethernet cable, then the problem is clearly with the D-Link. If not, then it may be an issue with the Zyxtel DSL modem not communicating (authenticating) with the ISP.

More information about how other people are connecting to the Internet could be useful. For instance, maybe they are actually joined to a different wireless network but think they are on the one provided by the D-Link.

posted by mrbarrett.com at 11:12 AM on September 10, 2008

Sounds like a DNS problem to me. If there is a static dns route in her network configuration on the mac then either have her remove it or replace it with the DNS server address that the router is using. It should be listed on the "status" or "config" page of the router. If she can't get it that way she can copy the dns server address that one of her friends' machines is using.
posted by frieze at 11:44 AM on September 10, 2008

If she can get to the router then its not a wireless problem. most likely the line itself is bad. Have her plug into the ethernet directly and verify or call your ISP.

>Other people in her apartment allegedly can get out via wireless.

Is she absolutely sure she's connected to the same wireless network? Her pals could be on 'dumbenoughtoleftWPAoff' and she could be on the real connection. Or vice versa.

You can test DNS issues easily. Put this in the browser: If she gets ebay than its a DNS issue, if not its a line issue.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:54 AM on September 10, 2008

Looks like the router in this setup is actually built into the DSL modem (that DLink piece is just an access point/repeater.) According to this page the default credentials for that model are:

user: admin
pass: 1234
posted by contraption at 11:58 AM on September 10, 2008

Leave the DNS entries empty/automatic instead of using the OpenDNS IP addresses. If she must enter an IP for a DNS server, use that of the router:

If she can get to the login page of the router, than there's probably no issue with wireless connectivity.
posted by roofone at 12:57 PM on September 10, 2008

Thank you for all the suggestions. I don't think it's a DNS problem, because we tried entering some IP quads and received the same "Host not found. Not connected to the Internet" error from Safari.
posted by cameradv at 5:18 AM on September 11, 2008

It turns out that the modem was NOT set to provide DHCP. And the switch and access points were just relays. The house computer was hardwired, and set to a static IP. So, likely my dtrs wireless was getting sent upstream to the ISP for an IP assignment. Likely there's a "one IP addr" restriction, so she wasn't getting anything from the upstream DHCP server.

So, I talked her through enabling the DHCP server on the Zytel modem, made sure her iBook airport was set to receive a DHCP address, and Bob's your uncle!

or, as she put it ... "Houston, we have Gmail!"
posted by cameradv at 9:13 AM on September 13, 2008

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