Routers not working properly
February 28, 2008 12:53 PM   Subscribe

The last two routers I've owned, they needed to be reset every couple days to get my connection back. Now it happens with my new router, after months of it working perfectly. Any ideas?

My first two routers were both standard Linksys routers, but this latest one is a Linksys WRTP54G Vonage router. Like I said, it worked perfectly and I didn't have to reset it until about a month ago, and now it happens once or twice a week. It's not the biggest problem in the world, but it's annoying and an inconvenience. Are all of these routers going bad because they're constantly on? Is there some setting that I'm not putting on?
posted by CliffDiving44 to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Could be: overheating, too many connections.

Where do you have the router located? Make sure they have proper airflow on the top and bottom, take it off carpet if you have it there, just to be on the safe side.

Are you running oodles of torrents? Anything else that might connect to hundreds of different hostnames all the time? Check your machines for spyware as well.
posted by cellphone at 1:12 PM on February 28, 2008

I second this question. I have a netgear wireless router and it's horrible. Sometimes it's only plugged in for an hour or two before it starts disconnecting, sometimes it lasts as long as a week before giving me the "There is a network cable unplugged" error. Pain in the arse. I've heard there might a fix in making sure the drivers are up-to-date, but that hasn't helped with mine yet. Soooooo annoying.
posted by Grither at 1:13 PM on February 28, 2008

Torrenting will do this if you haven't put a cap on the number of connections. More than a few hundred will cause many routers to lock up.

Start with two or three hundred and see if it's stable, then move up gradually to see where your router's limit is.

If you're not torrenting, it's possible that somebody else is. Maybe a roommate or family member, or a neighbor if your network is open?
posted by svolix at 1:16 PM on February 28, 2008 [2 favorites]

I used to have that problem with my Linksys WRT54GS. I ended up having to reset my router on a daily basis. I ended up flashing it with ddWRT (Info Here, and Here.) Note: your warrenty will be voided, so I would suggest test out the software on one of your "standard linkysys routers" first assuming your warrenty has run out and it is listed there.

If it works, you might be able to return your vonage router and just use the older router.

Site note: I learned a lot about networking from playing around with the various settings on ddWRT, and now have a incredibly stable network, with speeds fast enough to stream 720p content to my television over the WPA2 secured wireless network.
posted by mrw at 1:26 PM on February 28, 2008

I used to have the same problem with a Linksys router. It only happened every now and then... maybe once a week? I started using a wired router (connected to an Airport Express to stream internet to my Mac) and haven't had the problem since.

I use Vonage too, by the way. I have a basic wired Linksys Vonage box and I'm very happy with it. When I first got Vonage a year ago, I bought a wireless linksys Vonage router (not the router I mentioned above), but I returned it within a few days because it was so unreliable.

My setup now is a cable modem going into a Belkin non-wireless router. Coming out of the router is the Vonage box (again, not wireless) and the Airport Express. Like I said, my setup has been rock solid ever since I set it up this way.
posted by 2oh1 at 1:30 PM on February 28, 2008

P.S. I should mention that I bricked my Linksys WRT54G modem when trying to install the ddWRT on it (completely my own fault though). Be careful if you go that route! I'm told I can fix my Linksys, but the instructions are only for PCs and I'm a Mac user. Eventually, I do plan on doing that. Till then, it's sitting in storage.
posted by 2oh1 at 1:34 PM on February 28, 2008

Short of changing the FW to DD-WRT as offered above, at least confirm that it is running the newest Linksys FW. That and seconding the limit for the torrent connections in your client.
posted by tdischino at 1:46 PM on February 28, 2008

I deal with this a lot where I work, as losing sync is a really common issue. Two things to check for: first, make sure that it's not a problem with the power supply. If you are consistently bricking routers and they are all being plugged into the same place, I'd look at that/ try a different spot.

As to the de-syncing issue, it might not actually be your router at all. Is it possible that your modem is dropping offline long enough that your router times out on the DHCP connection? It's probably the most common issue where rebooting the router is the solution. A simple way to test for this is if you have more than one machine hooked up, when you lose connectivity to the internet, can your machines still talk to one another. If so, your problem is most likely not in the router at all, but the modem or the modem's connection.
posted by quin at 1:58 PM on February 28, 2008

The last two routers I've owned, they needed to be reset every couple days to get my connection back.

That's uselessly vague. Start at the lowest level and go up, and figure out what exactly is broken about it.

# Is the power light on?
# Does your Ethernet card have its link-light lit?
# Can you ping the device?
# Can you reach the web interface for it?
# Can you ping from the web interface to the upstream router?
# Can you ping further than that?
# Can you ping from your computer to the upstream-from-the-Linksys router?
# Can you surf to a well-known web site by IP address?
# Can you surf normally?

Where do you get your first "no"?
posted by cmiller at 2:36 PM on February 28, 2008

My god - I thought I was the only person who had this problem. And I've had this with PCs and Macs, on Linksys and Netgear and Apple routers. Can anyone recommend a rock solid, will not fail under penalty of death, wireless router that will *just work*? (CliffDiving44, I'm sorry to hijack your question; I'll be looking for answers too.)
posted by sachinag at 3:01 PM on February 28, 2008

Response by poster: When my router disconnects, the computers still say they're connected, and disabling the connection and re-enabling it again doesn't work. Repairing the connection doesn't work either. The only reason I know it's not connected is that the I can't get to the internet on any application, and this happens on multiple PCs (including my little eee pc that runs linux). The PCs don't have spyware, and I've only had to do a hard reset of the router AND the modem a few times. My house is too far away from other houses to be shared with neighbors, and when it started happening again, my connection was secured with WEP. Nobody in my house uses torrents. Also, I should note that when I was on my second router, I went back to the first one and it worked fine for a couple of weeks, and then it started acting up again.
posted by CliffDiving44 at 4:15 PM on February 28, 2008

Response by poster: # Is the power light on? Yes
# Does your Ethernet card have its link-light lit? Yes
# Can you ping the device? I've never tried
# Can you reach the web interface for it? No
# Can you ping from the web interface to the upstream router?
# Can you ping further than that?
# Can you ping from your computer to the upstream-from-the-Linksys router?
# Can you surf to a well-known web site by IP address? No
# Can you surf normally? No

When my router goes down, I can't do anything except reset the router to reestablish my connection.
posted by CliffDiving44 at 4:19 PM on February 28, 2008

I've owned 4 WRT54G routers over the years. Every single one has had this issue.

About 6 months ago, I purchased a Motorola SBG900. I haven't had to reset it in all that time.
posted by dmd at 4:54 PM on February 28, 2008

I had a Linksys router that went stale so I replaced it with a newer model that included wireless. The replacement worked OK except that I could only connect via VPN to work for precisely 1 minute. After 1 minute, the connection dropped. Updated to current Linksys firmware, nothing good.

Switched it to dd-wrt and have had not a single problem with it since.
posted by plinth at 6:00 PM on February 28, 2008

What is your router plugged into? A cable modem? A dsl modem?

What do you mean by out? You cannot access the internet? Can you still ping the router? Can you still see other computers on your network?

It might be that your equipment is fine but youre either misconfiguring them or theres something wrong on the isp level (dhcp lease). Or there's a chance one of the cables you are using is bad.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:36 PM on February 28, 2008

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