I just can't figure this out!!!
December 13, 2011 8:34 PM   Subscribe

I can't figure out why I can't connect to certain sites through my wireless router. HELP!

I have 5 wireless devices. In my home, I have a wireless router (Linksys Wireless G 2.4 GHz WRT54GS). When at home, none of my wireless devices (a Samsung Galaxy Tab, a Droid X, an Apple iPad, an iPhone 4 and an HP laptop) are able to connect to ebay, of all things. Also, seemingly unrelated, unconnected sites (the Bloggess, an organic garlic seller and my work email site). Other than some random sites, the connection is fine. I have turned off the router and turned it off again. I cannot think of anything else to do. I can't think of anything other than getting a new router! I am completely stumped.
posted by Sophie1 to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So if you connect directly instead of going through the router, you can connect to those sites? You're sure it's the router?
posted by XMLicious at 8:38 PM on December 13, 2011

Does your router have any kind of parental or access controls enabled? Perhaps there's something left over ... Also you didn't say if directly connected devices have this problem.
posted by zomg at 8:41 PM on December 13, 2011

OK - the desktop won't connect either. I guess it's not the router. What could it be?
posted by Sophie1 at 8:44 PM on December 13, 2011

No parental access.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:44 PM on December 13, 2011

Is your desktop not connected through the router? Or do you have two routers?
posted by nightwood at 8:52 PM on December 13, 2011

It is connected through the router. Clearly I'm not much of a computer geek. Embarrassed...
posted by Sophie1 at 8:54 PM on December 13, 2011

Ping ebay.com from the command line. What do you get back?
posted by empath at 8:59 PM on December 13, 2011

If you get the same results with or without the router in-between, your computer and the cable modem/ISDN line etc., ignore the following:

You may want to update the firmware on the router. If you are not sure how to do this/what this means, ask a friend who knows better to do it for you. I had a Netgear router once that would not connect to Google or any Google sites (Gmail etc). After searching Google (via a computer attached directly to the cable modem) I discovered that was a known problem with that model of router and a firmware update fixed it, thankfully.
posted by dhens at 9:04 PM on December 13, 2011

I don't even know how to ping...what is "ping"? I feel like such a noob. I may just need to call in a geek.
posted by Sophie1 at 9:06 PM on December 13, 2011

At a "c" prompt literally type the words: "ping ebay.com" Wait a few seconds. You will either see 4 response times or 4 "timed out". Timed out is not good. It means you are not even reaching the site.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:24 PM on December 13, 2011

or you'll get an error saying that you can't resolve the domain name, which is actually what I think will happen..
posted by empath at 9:50 PM on December 13, 2011

Certain websites have given me trouble if my mtu is low. I don't have a good explanation for why this is the case, but I've tested it and I'm fairly confident the mtu is the problem.

See if you can change yours. I believe cable modems usually use 1500 and PPPoE uses 1492.
posted by chndrcks at 11:17 PM on December 13, 2011

In general, you shouldn't just randomly change anything on your computer unless you have a reason to. You can find out if MTU is the problem by pinging at different packet lengths to the destination ip. I kind of doubt that it is, and I wouldn't start with that. You have to start with a ping test to see if A) ebay.com resolves to an ip address and B) if the ip address is reachable.

If it doesn't resolve to an ip, then DNS is the problem and you can probably just change your DNS server to or and fix it.

If it resolves and you can't reach the IP, then you'll want to run a traceroute to see where it dies, then open up a ticket with your ISP with that information.

If it resolves and you can reach the IP, but you can't load the website, then you can start looking at stuff like firewalls, browser cache, or MTU problems, but I really doubt it's anything but a DNS problem.
posted by empath at 11:41 PM on December 13, 2011

It was mentioned in the first response, but what happens if you don't use the router and try and visit those sites?
posted by backwards guitar at 3:44 AM on December 14, 2011

You're probably going to want instructions on how to do most of what's been mentioned above:

Pinging ebay (checks to see if the server is available):
1. Click on start then click run on the HP laptop (if vista or 7, there is no run option but a search box)
2. Type CMD in the run box and press enter
3. Type the following to ping ebay: ping -t www.ebay.com
4. Watch for timeouts, spikes in ms, or other issues.

Tracerouting ebay (check to see where the communication is broken):
1. Click on start then click run on the HP laptop (if vista or 7, there is no run option but a search box)
2. Type CMD in the run box and press enter
3. Type the following to traceroute ebay: tracert www.ebay.com
4. Watch for where the communication stops. If immediately, then it is likely your router blocking traffic. If at you ISP, then you may want to call and verify your ISP isn't blocking ebay traffic.

Changing DNS:
1. On your HP Laptop, click on Start then Control Panel
2. Open your network properties (in Vista or 7 this is under the Network and Sharing Center/Change adapter settings)
3. Right click on your Local Area Connection and select properties
4. Click on TCP/IP (or TCP/IPv4) and click Properties
5. On the General tab, add the following DNS server addresses: Alternate:
6. Click OK and close out of the Control Panel. Try pinging ebay again
posted by samsara at 5:54 AM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

Call your ISP's tech support number. Don't tell them about wireless anything first off; that will take you down side trails that make resolution slower. Tell them you've got a desktop computer wired to a WRT54GS that can't get to eBay and a couple of other assorted sites. Let them walk you through the process of running tests and applying fixes. Do your best to follow their instructions, and tell them straight away if there's something they've asked you to do that you don't understand how to do. Helping non-technical people resolve technical issues is what your ISP's tech support crew is for. If you have a half-decent ISP I would expect your trouble to be resolved much more quickly this way than by trying random suggestions from well-meaning Internet strangers.
posted by flabdablet at 7:36 AM on December 14, 2011

It would be even better to connect your computer directly to their modem before you call, because they'll blame it on the router if they can.
posted by empath at 7:57 AM on December 14, 2011

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