Networking & Wireless forum

General discussion

can't maintain internet connection on networked computers

by Brandon Eng / October 5, 2006 2:25 AM PDT

I have a Netgear WGT624 router where I can hardwire my computers or use its wireless access point. For the sake of this post, I'll limit my computers to 2.
1. my home-built desktop
Asus PVPXXX motherboard
1 gig ram in dual channel
Hardwired to router
2. Compaq notebook model V231OUS
1 gig ram
WLAN @ 54 Mbps

I just changed isps. My new isp issues dynamic ip addresses (which I suspect has something to do with my problem). My old isp had a static ip address.

Calling tech support to Time Warner my new isp is no help, as they don't support home lans, but they did offer to lease me a secondary ip address (NOT!).

A direct connection to either computer gives me no problem. BAM! Connections are nearly instantaneous. I get about 5 Megs downstream. However, when connecting via the router, I often have to power-cycle the router to connect to the internet. When both computers are on, sometimes 1 computer stays connected while the other loses it's connection. The problem is equal 'tween the desktop and notebook. The loss of connection is random.

The drivers for both computers are up to date, as are the bioses.

I spoke to the IT gurus at work. 1 suggestion was to prolong the lease on the setup page. I noticed the lease on my setup page is never more than 9 hrs. There's no area in my setup page to prolong the lease. There were many other suggestions made, but quite frankly, I'm lost. I'm pretty good with pc hardware and the XP OS, but I only learned enough about networking to create a network.

A secondary problem is my desktop can browse my notebook, but my notebook can't browse the desktop. I checked the workgroup name is the same, and entered a range of ip addresses in ZoneAlarm Pro which is loaded on both computers. I'm just tossing this in for informational purposes, fwiw. My main concern is staying on the internet and not have these random dropouts.

I've tried different ports on the router with the cat line from desktop to router. I've hardwired a connection from router to notebook. Still the same.

Firmware is up to date on the router.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. If more info is needed, please tell me. I'm at a loss, and it's driving me crazy. Thanks in advance.

PS- I just lost the connection on my notebook as I was writing this; luckily, I was able to re-connect this time using "view available networks" and reconnecting to the network name. Could it simply be the router has gone bad?

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: can't maintain internet connection on networked computers
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: can't maintain internet connection on networked computers
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
2 ideas.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 5, 2006 3:39 AM PDT
Collapse -
Hello Bob. Nope, router firmware up to date...
by Brandon Eng / October 5, 2006 10:15 AM PDT
In reply to: 2 ideas.

as are the drivers for the network adapters for both computers. I've disabled ZoneAlarm entirely on both computers, and yes, I found a problem that seemed to have prevented my laptop browse my desktop. I set the range of addresses on my desktop to: , while I set the notebook range to However, I set the unique ip addresses of each computer manually into the trusted zone, that is, on both computers, as I have in the past. Worked for me in the past, go figger, but thanks for having me look at the firewall again. But back to my major problem...not being able to stay connected to the internet...

I have the MS firewall disabled. The unique SSID name is the same. The workgroup name is the same. I read through the thread you pointed to, but I don't see anywhere where I may have gone wrong. No error messages (excepting the one about not being allowed to access the local network, which has now been fixed).

I've helped numerous people setup networks, so I'm pretty familiar with how it's done, i.e, enabling file sharing, use same workgroup name, basically, I've RTFM, and been to networking sites where I've made a laundry list of exactly what protocols are needed like the sub-components of networking like simple tcp/ip. But I make no claims to being an expert- that's why I'm here.

The major difference here, is that I've changed isp's, my last one used a static address, while the current one uses a dynamic one. The IT people at work tell me that shouldn't be a problem, as the setup page for the router is set to "Get Dynamically From ISP" for Internet IP Address.

Some additional info: I have a digital phone that gets its signal via the modem supplied to me. The modem is is a Touchstone/Arris Telephony modem, fwiw. The phone is VoIP as I'm sure you've figured out. Time Warner must have the worst tech people in the world- I asked the tech to ping me, and she didn't know what I was talking about; she wanted to send out a tech, but I can't afford the 4 hr. window for tech support to arrive. I can ping the other computer and vice versa. All the lights on the modem that should be lit are lit.

When the tech that installed my cable, broadband, and telephone services, he logged into a Time Warner site to test my internet connection speed, and it was very close to the 5 meg downstream as it should be. I also checked at pcpitstop and get about 4.8 megs downstream, so it doesn't seem that I'm getting a weak signal. It's the constant dropouts I get that's annoying the heck out of me.

I'm thinking about spoofing my mac address, but want input from others before I foul things up entirely.

Also, fwiw, I live in NYC, where Time Warner has a monopoly on cable tv/broadband internet and can get over the phone any areas that's lost service. My area has yet to be hit in the 2 1/2 weeks I've had their service.

This is as much info that I can think of to supply. Maybe simply a router gone bad? My last router, an SMC lasted me about 7 yrs, but I'm told by the pc gurus, SMC make about the best routers in the world.Again, when things are working, everything works fine. It's the random loss of my internet connection that's making me crazy. If I missed anything, please let me know, and thanks for the input.

Collapse -
by superchuckles / October 6, 2006 12:44 AM PDT

if you're still having problems using default settings and are hardwired networked to the router, then first, try different cables..... if this makes no difference, then try another router. seen it all too often..... router will work intermittently (faulty hardware) & make you keep second guessing for hours (sometimes days) at the problem..... routers like this are cheap... get a buffalo router (imho much better) & if it makes no difference, return it to the store for something that will (like a sledge hammer...... ok, just kidding about the sledge).

Collapse -
I have another SMC somewhere
by Brandon Eng / October 6, 2006 6:13 AM PDT
In reply to: router

just can't find it at the moment, but I find it strange that as soon as I change isp providors, I suddenly lose my connection? For now, I'm stuck with the Netgear, which has given me no problems in the 2 yrs. I've had it. Thanks for your input.

Collapse -
NT: I did try different cables. Thx.
by Brandon Eng / October 6, 2006 6:14 AM PDT
In reply to: router


Collapse -
Start with factory default
by samkh / October 5, 2006 9:29 AM PDT

Make sure your router is configured for DHCP on the WAN side. Easiest way is to push the reset button and get back to factory default. Then config it for security, etc after you achieve stable connection.

Collapse -
It already is...
by Brandon Eng / October 5, 2006 10:20 AM PDT

however, as far as security, when I set my laptop for WEP encryption, my surfing slowed to a crawl. I catch people trying to steal my wireless access point from a popup from ZoneAlarm or "attached devices" from the router setup page, then block them from within ZA. When things hopefully settle down with my 'net connection, I'm gonna post again about how to properly lockdown my wireless. Thanks for the input.

Collapse -
About slow WEP. Yup.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 5, 2006 10:26 AM PDT
In reply to: It already is...

When I see that I use MAC filtering next time.

I hope you didn't disable SSID broadcasts.


Collapse -
MAC filtering is exactly what the IT guys at work were
by Brandon Eng / October 5, 2006 12:49 PM PDT
In reply to: About slow WEP. Yup.

talking about, but for the life of me, I've yet to figure it out. The netgear manual is about 200 pages, and can't find it in the index. I probably should just google it.

No, I haven't disabled SSID broadcasts.

What I find strange about the quickstart guides in the routers I've dealt with is they all seem to say to leave things at default settings, which doesn't seem that secure to me.

Collapse -
Did you try
by samkh / October 5, 2006 3:45 PM PDT
In reply to: It already is...

the support link at Netgear? Did you run the wizard to connect?

WGT624 has 3 versions so make sure you are using the right firmware.

Factory defaults have security and SPI turned off and you should leave them off until you finish troubleshooting the intermittent connection. Resolve one issue at a time. Discourage piggybacking while troubleshooting by removing your antenna.

Also try MAC cloning the router in case ISP recognizes only the PC's MAC.

Collapse -
thanks for the excellent link
by Brandon Eng / October 6, 2006 6:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Did you try

I don't have time to read it all right now, but I haven't come across this particular page.

In my setup page, I can check for any firmware upgrades; in any case, I know I have the WTG624 v2 router.

I'm not going to try MAC cloning until I fully understand- or at least understand it better. I don't want to put myself in the position of having no internet access at all.

Thanks again for the link.

Collapse -
NT: what do you mean by piggybacking? Thx.
by Brandon Eng / October 6, 2006 12:52 PM PDT
In reply to: Did you try


Collapse -
by nickynoo1974 / April 21, 2007 1:30 PM PDT

I THINK, it refers to a sort of doubling up of yr chip 2 in same system?

Collapse -
Thanks much Sam, and to the others for their
by Brandon Eng / October 6, 2006 10:51 PM PDT
In reply to: Did you try

suggestions. I cloned my PC's MAC address, and things seem stable now. Only time will tell whether it'll stick, but this is the longest I've been online (2 hrs.) where I haven't been booted off.

Now I'll have to do a bit more research on how to lockdown security.

With my old isp, for some reason, I didn't see as many networks populated for some reason. Mine is unsecure at the moment. I'm going to look for the brand new SMC router I have buried somewhere, and link the Netgear one to it. The SMC has a printserver. With the Netgear, I have to have my desktop on and have it host the printer.

Thanks again.

Collapse -
"Security Dashboard" in said router.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 5, 2006 10:24 AM PDT

The other discussion found yet another firewall in the router. Even then they found they had to unshare and reshare the share, etc.

I'm unsure why you are playing with the IP addresses but seeing the router has it's own firewall it's that usual item I need to go fix.

Collapse -
Playing with the IP addresses...
by Brandon Eng / October 5, 2006 12:43 PM PDT

I enter the addresses in ZoneAlarm so I know when an outside source is trying to intrude, and I set a range of addresses in the setup page of the router to limit the # of PCs that can grab an address from the router. I read somewhere this should be done as a precaution- coulda been or someplace like that. I tested it, and it seems to work. Anyway, it's just become a habit.

Collapse -
One last try.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 5, 2006 10:58 PM PDT

What about the firewall in the router.


Collapse -
re: firewall in setup page for router-
by Brandon Eng / October 6, 2006 6:09 AM PDT
In reply to: One last try.

The only reference is in the WAN setup, and "disable SPI firewall" is NOT checked, so I assume the router firewall IS enabled- to what degree, and how secure it makes my computers, I don't know.

Getting back to broadcasting my SSID- I went to the Netgear support site yesterday, and it said to NOT broadcast my SSID, and to check WPA, which promptly knocked my wireless notebook off, and since my SSID wasn't broadcast, I couldn't find it to connect to it, so I went back and undid everything.

Could be that it's Time Warner; I've spoken to all my neighbors, and they say they all hate it. The only other option is satellite.

Collapse -
Your choice here.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 6, 2006 7:05 AM PDT

You've second guessed me a few times so it's a sure thing you'll eventually trip over what's amiss.

The SSID disabled setting alone pays for "Tech"'s lunches so who am I to take food away from him?


Collapse -
I don't see where I've 2nd guessed you, Bob
by Brandon Eng / October 6, 2006 12:50 PM PDT
In reply to: Your choice here.

I double checked everything you suggested. I was just reporting what happened when I followed Netgear's advice. I put everything back as I said, and am now broadcasting my SSID. I can't expect you to do all the heavy lifting for me, so I went to the Netgear site. I do appreciate your input.

I'm just trying to figure out a way to stop the random internet dropouts for now. I'll start a new thread when it comes to securing my wireless connection. I see alot more networks now than when I used my old SMC router when I linked the Netgear w/access point. You may not rememember that thread you tried to assist me with, but I was trying to keep the SMC router with print server, while enabling wireless, which I managed to accomplish somehow.

Collapse -
I've had this discussion too often.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 6, 2006 1:27 PM PDT

SSID broadcast is not a true security issue and is well known to cause issues with some hardware or drivers. It's a lesson I share but wonder if it's worth the effort at times.

The other lesson is that we need to start with the router defaults and research if there is some ISP interaction. The detail is not in your posts for me to look into that. One ISP has us reduce some setting or it randomly disconnects.

Good hunting,

Collapse -
Not with me you haven't
by Brandon Eng / October 6, 2006 10:41 PM PDT

I've provided as much information as possible. I've RTFM as you often suggest to people. I don't post a problem unless I've troubleshot the problem as much as I can.

I stated that browsing my network is secondary to my primary problem, i.e, random dropouts to my 'net connection.

I also stated that my isp isn't forthcoming with any information other than leasing me another ip address.

Because I went to the Netgear site, and did what they suggested is cause for you to end your "assistance" with "happy hunting"? In the same vein when I was trying to link my wireless router to my SMC router a couple of yrs back, you said it couldn't be done, but I managed to do it.

You always lecture people with your "give a man a fish vs. teaching them how to fish" story, but God forbid anyone deviate from something YOU'VE said.

You seem to post for the sake of posting, without fully reading the posts. Do us both a favor Bob, don't respond to any of my posts, so I don't waste your valuable time.

Collapse -
Now that we had our get to know each other...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 6, 2006 11:39 PM PDT

Let me just state I rarely have any issues with these router setups. In fact none.

Let me share my recipe.

1. Latest firmware.
2. Take the defaults and don't secure the Wifi until I get it all working.
3. Add machines.
4. Secure wifi. I don't disable SSID broadcast for reasons I've noted before. If they insist then we don't give them any break on support later.

I sometimes ran into an oddball issue with MTU and some providers but haven't for over a year for what I guess is that newer firmware seems to sniff that issue out.

The recurring themes of issues 99% of the time revolve around firewalls and fixed IP addressing.

Hope this gives you some ideas. None of this will help on bum hardware or pest damaged operating systems.

I write happy hunting as well as good luck to those that may not have found it yet. As to SSID I hope the pundits continue to write that. It keeps "Tech" well fed.


Collapse -
network connection
by swc123 / October 7, 2006 1:58 PM PDT

I had similar problem with connection using DSL. Both the modem and the router had the same IP address, I changed the IP address on the Router. It helped my problem. DSL uses a PPOE Account. On Zone Alarm click on firewall,click on Zones tab, add the IP address of both computers in the Trusted Zone, click apply and you should be able to see both computers. Do the samet thing
to the other computer if you have Zone Alarm on it as well. Hope some of this info will help.

Collapse -
The modem has an IP address?
by Brandon Eng / October 7, 2006 9:30 PM PDT
In reply to: network connection

Do you mean your external ip address? Anyway, as a general rule, I always add the addresses of my computers into ZAs trusted zone. My wireless is now WPA encrypted, and the router's firewall is up, so I feel pretty safe. Thanks for your input.

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

Does BMW or Volvo do it best?

Pint-size luxury and funky style

Shopping for a new car this weekend? See how the BMW X2 stacks up against the Volvo XC40 in our side-by-side comparison.