Erratic network behavior
October 20, 2008 12:39 PM   Subscribe

My net connection has dropped like clockwork around midnight over the past few days. What's up?

For the past 4 or 5 days, around midnight, give or take 10 minutes, I lose my net connection and don't get it back till morning. It doesn't happen during the day.

At first, I thought it was my router Netgear WGR614 v7 since it has been flaky before. But I bridged my LAN/WAN cables together (my ISP has a switch in the building and I get a CAT-5 direct from there) and the issue persists.

So, I try to ping the gateway but can't, and Wireshark shows other customers trying to get the gateway's MAC via ARP. BTW, I am assigned a static private IP i.e. behind a NAT, due to "scarce IPs".

So, today morning, with my connection on, I note down my gateway's MAC. An hour ago, my connection dropped momentarily. When I checked my gateway MAC, it was different than in the morning. When I flushed ARP and checked again soon after, it was different again and was a 3rd set of numbers, this time I could resolve names but not connect anywhere; this one also happened to be listed twice i.e. for another IP as well. I noted all numbers, and tried each as a static entry. The first one (morning) worked but was erratic (dropouts), the middle one seems to work normally (so far), and the final one doesn't.

What seems to be going on? Local or remote?

My OS is XP SP2. This is in India.
posted by Gyan to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Sounds remote to me. I'd contact my ISP if this kept happening.
posted by damn dirty ape at 2:22 PM on October 20, 2008

It's difficult to interpret without knowing the upstream network architecture.. but wireshark showing other machines also arping out for an IP and getting no answers suggests the problem is not you.
posted by TravellingDen at 2:35 PM on October 20, 2008

Given the hours it occurs, it sounds like your ISP is taking down the network for maintenance and rearranging its connections.
posted by exphysicist345 at 3:04 PM on October 20, 2008

I contacted my ISP when this happened to me (cable network) and it turned out there was some guy who came home at 9pm every night and turned on his TV. And the amplifier attached to it. Which was wired wrong and blasting the everloving crap out of the internet/digital signals.
posted by squorch at 3:26 PM on October 20, 2008

In our area, where service is provided by HughesNet (formerly DirectWay) via a dish, there's a brief blip when one satellite hands off to another, which happens several times a day but most notably at around 10:30 pm CST.
posted by carmicha at 4:44 PM on October 20, 2008

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