What's going on with my girlfriend's wifi/LAN?
June 11, 2014 5:24 AM   Subscribe

Recently my girlfriend switched internet providers, from Verizon to Time Warner. Since installing the new Time Warner-provided router, we've both been having problems with our phones seemingly not being able to use certain apps or services.

We both have Android phones, and she's even switched phones recently and the problem remains. Regular web access is fine, but Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Gmail, and probably others can't be access through their respective apps. I can browse Facebook on Chrome, but the app will never update or refresh feeds. I also do not get notifications from any of these apps. I'm guessing something is stopping my phone from syncing with some Google service, among other things, but I can't figure out what it is. The router has been reset to factory settings more than once, and I've got through every option looking for something that might explain it but I can't figure it out. Has anyone else dealt with something similar?
posted by Venadium to Technology (10 answers total)
Do the apps work if you are on the cellular network rather than wifi?
posted by J. Wilson at 5:31 AM on June 11, 2014

Kind of. I have pretty terrible cellular service at her house, most of the time none at all, so it's wifi or nothing. But when I do have a cellular data signal the apps and notifications work fine, as well as on pretty much every other wifi network I've connected to. The issue seems to be unique to her AP/network
posted by Venadium at 5:36 AM on June 11, 2014

Maybe try changing your phone's DNS server to (one of Google's easy to remember public ones) and see if that has an effect.
posted by justkevin at 5:48 AM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Have you tried uninstall/reinstall an app that is giving both of you the problem?
Have you hard reset your phone (pull battery)?
posted by sio42 at 5:48 AM on June 11, 2014

Yes, echoing DNS issues -- those apps are probably trying to access a server out there, but can't resolve the domain name because the LAN isn't properly pointing to a proper resolver. Can you set the DNS on the router? Firewalls generally do the DNS resolving for you, so the router may be the source of the bad info.

Did the wireless network's "name" change during the upgrade, or did you name the new router the same as the old router? It may be the phone is saving bogus settings from the old router, thinking the new router is the same one. Try changing the wifi name of the router and reconnect, see if that fixes anything.
posted by AzraelBrown at 6:22 AM on June 11, 2014

You might also have two routers. Are you using the timewarner router to connect or do you have another wireless router?
posted by empath at 6:24 AM on June 11, 2014

I haven't reinstalled any apps specifically to try to fix this issue but I have flashed an entirely different ROM onto my phone, so yea, all the apps have been reinstalled recently. My girlfriend's first phone was a Samsung S4 with a custom ROM, but she's still having the same issues with her new stock/unrooted HTC One. DNS issue does sound likely though, I wish I'd thought of that. There is definitely only one AP in the house, and its SSID is not even close to the old router's.
posted by Venadium at 6:30 AM on June 11, 2014

I had a similar problem when I was using my own WiFi router behind my providers everything worked great if I wired in, but I didn't get more that the first block of any sizable download I fixed my problem by assigning my 802.11AC router to one of my public IPs

If you're not using the router provided by your provider, try it as a troubleshooting step.
posted by Mad_Carew at 6:35 AM on June 11, 2014

That smells suspiciously like an problem of incomplete IPv6 deployment. If you have IPv6 enabled on your local router but not on the upstream to Time Warner, it can cause problems for any site that advertises an IPv6 address, a set which includes Facebook, Google, and their associated sites.

Try going to Time Warner's IPv6 page and click the "Take the Test" link in the right-hand column. If it passes, this likely isn't your problem, but if it fails, you either need to turn on v6 on the link to Time Warner (contact their help desk for this) or turn it off in your router.

The comments above about two routers in-line could also be causing trouble. It's the isolation to certain sites/access methods that makes me suspicious.
posted by five toed sloth at 10:27 AM on June 11, 2014

What router is she using? Sounds like a QoS issue.
posted by I-baLL at 5:02 PM on June 17, 2014

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