Router Software Makin' Trouble. HELP!
September 12, 2006 3:14 PM   Subscribe

What single tech issue is likely to cause these three things to occur (when they all recently worked):
  1. Inability to upload using Flickr Uploadr (the message says "can't connect to Flickr")
  2. Inability to sub to podcasts in iTunes
  3. GMail notified can't connect to the server?
All issues relate to stand-alone programs which read information on the internet. And yet, visiting these web sites directly is no problem at all. These issues are all new, and I think they relate to my new Netgear router software. I don't have these problems on my laptop, even when I'm using it at home wirelessly. Any of you brainiacs got any ideas? I'm tired of calling India!!More details about this problem can be found in the FlickrBugs forum.
posted by abbyladybug to Computers & Internet (16 answers total)
Either your firewall or your router isn't allowing outgoing connections. You upgraded the router firmware?

See if you have the problem when you're directly connected to the modem -- take the router out of the circuit. Then report back.
posted by orthogonality at 3:19 PM on September 12, 2006

It may be that the relevant ports are blocked. Those tools may not be trying to use port 80, which is what your browser uses.

Also, the Microsoft firewall defaults to not letting apps use the internet as a way of protecting against worms which announce the machine as having been infected. If it's the firewall that's the problem, you should be able to find out by looking in the firewall logfile. (It's got a default location and name but I don't remember where it is.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 4:04 PM on September 12, 2006

Could be an MTU issue. Try poking through these for more info.
posted by Good Brain at 5:16 PM on September 12, 2006

Response by poster: OK, reporting back. I connected it directly taking the router out of the circuit, and it didn't work. I so hoped it would! I've tried turning off the Windows firewall, and that didn't help. Will explore more and check back in a bit.
posted by abbyladybug at 5:17 PM on September 12, 2006

With the router out of the circuit, you did test that you could browse the web, yes?

I dunno about Flickr, but iTunes uses port 80 (and I suspect GMail does too (or port 443)), so it's not a blocked port. So are you sure you don't have a firewall that's blocking applications?

Try this: at a command prompt, type: tracert

And paste the output here.
posted by orthogonality at 5:51 PM on September 12, 2006

Response by poster: "With the router out of the circuit, you did test that you could browse the web, yes?"

Yes. I could.

Here's the output
posted by abbyladybug at 6:04 PM on September 12, 2006

Er, sorry, did you do the tracert with the firewall off or on? (And I can't make any sense of the tracert, it seems to time out on all hops except the router and the destination (?), hopefully someone more knowledgeable than me will be able to.)

And what exactly did you do to install your "new Netgear router software"?
posted by orthogonality at 6:14 PM on September 12, 2006

abbyladybug, the tracert command output you posted is typical of ISP's who block Windows ICMP packets (based on their default 92 byte packet sized), which is a pretty common practice since the introduction of Blaster type worms. You can find hundreds of articles about this and related ICMP topics, some more general about ICMP issues than others. PingPlotter overcomes many of the problems of standard Windows ping and tracert commands.

/related derail
posted by paulsc at 7:03 PM on September 12, 2006

Umm, forgot to address your problem directly; sorry, here goes:

If, as you posted in the Flickr thread, you can upload to Flickr from your laptop, but not from your desktop, when both are connecting to the Internet at the same time through the same router, then the problem is most likely not the router, unless you've done some custom configuration of the router, trying to make separate wired/wireless zone sub-nets, with different packet filtering rules, or tried to enable port forwarding for the desktop, etc. People do this sometimes, trying to make their desktop machines remotely accessible when away from home, or trying to set up certain applications or services for P2P networks, etc.

But if you haven't been doing major router features modification/setup, I'd explore what's really happening with your desktop machine using a free packet sniffer tool like Ethereal. Download and install Ethereal on both machines, turn on logfile recording, and try your upload process from each machine, then stop logging, and post your logfile for analysis; it should be pretty easy to see what the differences are at the packet level.
posted by paulsc at 7:14 PM on September 12, 2006

Are you sure your web browser isn't set up to use some sort of proxy? This could explain the behavior of your web browser being able to access the Web and other applications being unable to.

Or, alternatively, you could be running some draconian firewall software. Is Windows Firewall enabled?
posted by neckro23 at 12:24 AM on September 13, 2006

Response by poster: I wasn't able to get on AskMefi at ALL yesterday! Man, that was annoying. So I'm back.

unless you've done some custom configuration of the router...

I haven't, so I'll try that Ethereal thing and report back.

Wouldn't I know if I had some proxy set up? I haven't done that knowingly, and I've recently reinstalled Windows and reinstalled all of my software.

I found another thing I can't do: Go to the Windows Update page using IE.

I will not rest until this is fixed! Thanks, everyone.
posted by abbyladybug at 6:04 AM on September 14, 2006

Response by poster: Got the thing downloaded. Just trying to figure out how to "turn on logfile recording".
posted by abbyladybug at 6:50 AM on September 14, 2006

Response by poster: OK, I've done Edit -> Preferences -> Capture
Then checked: Capture packets in promiscuous mode, update list of packets in real time, and Automatic scrolling in live capture
Then Capture, Start

Is that right? And if not, what should I do instead?
posted by abbyladybug at 7:11 AM on September 14, 2006

Response by poster: I also keep getting this ERROR message that may or may not be related.

A few other things I can't do: access iTunes Music Store.


I don't think these Ethereal settings are right. I have to do some real work but will get back on this in a few hours.
posted by abbyladybug at 7:14 AM on September 14, 2006

Response by poster: Crap! So I switched the entire router to my old one, which never gave me any problems. That isn't working either! I'm so freakin' confused!
posted by abbyladybug at 8:57 PM on September 14, 2006

OK, I lost track of this thread in the past few days, but I've sent you an e-mail response that covers how to set Capture and record a log file. Ethereal log files get fairly big, very quickly, because packet traffic at one line in the log file for every packet can produce thousands of lines of entries in a few seconds.

So only Capture and post direct action sequences that aren't working. Or, if they're of more than a few dozen lines of error activity, email them to me as text files.
posted by paulsc at 12:18 PM on September 17, 2006

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