I know the anwer is Googleable, but even if I find it I can't understand it.
January 7, 2012 6:19 AM   Subscribe

What am I doing wrong? Wireless broadband edition.

Yesterday my wife and I moved into a new house in a new city, and had our really fast Comcast internet installed. If I plug my laptop directly into the modem, it's really fast: speed test puts it over 35Mbps, which is a revelation given that our last internet connection was 1.5Mbps.

The problem is that it's not playing nicely with our old wireless router. I'm trying to use a Linksys WRT54G that's a few years old, and when I connect to the internet through that router, either hardwired or wirelessly, most of the internet simply stops working and the parts that work at all (Google, Amazon) slow to a crawl and/or don't work properly (Amazon images are all broken and pages don't display properly). Is this a case of an old router being unable to handle the data firehose that is my new ISP, or have I likely configured something wrongly?

If I need a new router, what sort do I need to handle this? If relevant, the modem is a Motorola SB6120, and we intend to use it with 2 laptops (one new, the other a older Dell), a couple of iPod touches and a low-end Roku box.
posted by jon1270 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
A couple thoughts. First, in the advanced settings of your Linksys, check if QoS is turned on and, if so, whether it specifies the available bandwidth. If so, try disabling it. (On my Linksys WRT54G, I find this option in the admin interface under Applications & Gaming->QoS.)

Another thought is updating the firmware of the router. You'll have to find the exact version of your WRT54G (which may be printed near the serial number on the bottom of the router). You can download the latest version here.
posted by maxim0512 at 7:09 AM on January 7, 2012

IT could be that the router is not beefy enough to handle the new speeds. Do a speed test at speedtest.net and then post the results.
posted by majortom1981 at 9:15 AM on January 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you think your router is the issue (process of elimination seems to indicate it might be), you can always reset it to the factory defaults and then upgrade the firmware to see if the issues persist.

Here's a benchmark of the WRT54G v5 throughput, it should be well over what you're seeing.
posted by Brian Puccio at 10:19 AM on January 7, 2012

You might want to check the routers DNS settings just make sure it's not looping and crapping your network
posted by webhund at 11:03 AM on January 7, 2012

Response by poster: Sorry for the delay in responding; we went out on some errands that took longer than anticipated.

To address the questions that have been asked:

1. QoS is and was disabled.

2. I updated the firmware before posting this question, reset the router and ran the original setup CD-Rom to get it configured.

3. I tried half a dozen speed test websites, but they won't even load if I'm connected through the router. I just end up with a bunch of 'problem loading page' / 'Server not found' errors. Like I said, though -- Google works and Amazon sorta works, so I know I've got some internet access.

Webhund, I doubt the DNS settings are 'looping and crapping the network,' because I haven't mucked around with it much since resetting the router, but I don't know what DNS looping is or what to look for to make sure.
posted by jon1270 at 1:14 PM on January 7, 2012

Try cloning the mac address of the laptop you plugged directly into your cable modem onto your router. See if that helps any.
posted by inviolable at 5:55 PM on January 7, 2012

Best answer: I think it's mostly fixed now, mostly by luck.

I tried cloning the MAC address, and that didn't help. I then ran the Windows 7 network troubleshooter and asked it to diagnose problems connecting to a particular website that wasn't working, and it suggested that my DNS server might be unavailable. Googling that error message led me to a similar problem described on, of all places, Yahoo Answers, and I followed the suggested steps to restart DNSClient, power cycle the modem, reset the router and did the command prompt ipconfig release, flushdns and renew steps. With that the internet seems to be working pretty well. Download speeds are testing above 19Mbps through the router, which is plenty for me. Upload speeds are testing very slow for some reason (less than 1Mbps) but that's less of a problem and, I suspect, a different issue entirely.

Thanks everyone.
posted by jon1270 at 4:58 AM on January 8, 2012

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