Help with Comcast Cable and a LinkSys Router
July 9, 2004 9:20 AM   Subscribe

I'm only able to get intermittent Internet access on my small home-network using Comcast Cable and a LinkSys Router. I've exausted all troubleshooting that I can come up with. Details follow.

Everything was working fine until a week ago the internet started only working for a few hours/day. I discovered that if I take the router out of the mix and just plug the cable modem directly into the computer then everything works fine. Thinking the router must be busted I went out and bought a new one, but I'm still having the exact same problem with a brand new router. I'm no expert on this stuff, so I've run out of troubleshooting options. I think that it's possible I have a virus or two on the computer, but I don't know what the best virus scan software is. So, I guess this is really a three-part question:

1) How do I try to make my internet work again?
2) Could this be a virus?
3) What's the best virus protection for two computers connected to Cable Modem through a Router? Should I buy software, or is there something good for free?

(oh, of course -- Windows XP and 2000 pro)
posted by TurkishGolds to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
Have you changed the name of your wireless network from the default "Linksys"? I had problems with mine until I did this. It seemed that someone else in the neighborhood had the same setup and we were stepping on each other's toes.

Whether or not this was weird juju or an actual fix, I dunno, but it worked for me.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:25 AM on July 9, 2004

Are you connecting to the router wirelessly or through a cat5 cable?
posted by ph00dz at 10:16 AM on July 9, 2004

Cat5 -- but I'm 100% sure the cable from the router --> cable modem is good -- so that doesn't explain why both computers would go down at the same time.
posted by TurkishGolds at 10:46 AM on July 9, 2004

Intermittent network troubleshooting is a royal pain!

Anyhoo, have you noticed if your cable light on your cable modem is going off when you lose internet connectivity?

Have you tried leaving the router out of it to see if you can isolate which computer might be causing issues?

It could be a virus/trojan/spyware. Do the trinity: adaware - spybot - anti-virus.

Make sure both your systems have all the latest service packs and critical updates - one was released the other day.

Get the latest firmware for your router - use default settings until you get it all working.

Just a few ideas... If you try all this and STILL have the issue, call the cable company. It could be your cable modem that needs a replacement.
posted by jopreacher at 11:28 AM on July 9, 2004

When the access craps out next, look up what WAN address the LinkSys is getting. The DHCP assignment from the cable modem might be timing out and the LinkSys might not be renewing it's lease. Is the firmware up to date on the Linksys?

Oh, and don't bother to call the cable company if it works fine with a computer plugged directly into the modem, they won't offer support.
posted by cmonkey at 12:46 PM on July 9, 2004

If the DHCP assignment got screwed up and refuses to resolve, turn off the router, modem, and computer. Then re-power the modem, wait 'til it's done. Re-power the router, wait 'til it's done. Then turn the computer back on. Make sure you do it in that order.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 2:55 PM on July 9, 2004


My modem craps out when I attempt to connect to too many p2p users (through bittorrent) at the same time. I think, over 50 or so (which sounds like a lot, but there are normally a number of users per file). I cut back on downloading, and it works fine now.
posted by graventy at 5:24 PM on July 9, 2004

I should say, my router.
posted by graventy at 5:24 PM on July 9, 2004

Just something to try.. If you go under the advanced settings for your router, there should be a tab for DMZ. Try setting that to the IP address of the computer you are currently using ( I've had a problem where the internet connection will seem flaky (downloads stop part way, pages won't load completely, messaging programs don't work correctly) until I set that computer in the DMZ zone. It's annoying, but I haven't found any other solutions short of buying a new router.
posted by shinynewnick at 12:54 AM on July 10, 2004

Hey Graventy, that happens to me, too... do you have a wrt54g? It just seems like it overloads and quits working, particularly with bittorrent.
posted by ph00dz at 8:09 AM on July 10, 2004

Linky's die. The half life seems to be about a year.

I was recommending NetGear mr-814's, but I've got one of *those* giving me trouble now. <sigh>
posted by baylink at 6:59 PM on July 12, 2004

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