General discussion

Some devices can't connect to the internet

Hello everyone,

I'm fairly good with comptuers / networking but this issue has me baffled. Help would be greatly appreciated.

I have a linksys router (WRK54G) and have 2 desktops and 2 laptops connected to it wirelessly at the moment. I bought 3 smart phones (AT&T Tilts) and a new laptop recently. I don't use encryption but I do have MAC address filtering enabled.

The issue is that 1 of the smart phones can connect to the network and the internet, but the other 2 phones and the laptop can connect to the network but not the internet.

I did add their MAC addresses to the "allow" list ofcourse, which is why they're able to connect to the network. DHCP is enabled, and these devices get an IP address. I can see them as connected when i log in to my router as well through one of my other computers (I see the MAC address and the IP assigned to those devices) so I know they're properly connected to the network. However, when i try to pull up a website (using either its ip or its domain name), the devices try to open up the page but eventually give me a "The page cannot be displayed or downloaded because the connection was lost" on the pocket PCs, and a generic "page cannot be found" on the laptop. I don't see these requests in the outgoing log table of the router either... I'm supposed to see them as when i use one of my desktops, I can see which site was accessed by which IP.

So basically, the requests from 2 smart phones and 1 laptop aren't even getting to the router apparently. What could be wrong? These devices can access the internet on other routers elsewhere at my workplace or at wi-fi spots.. just not at home, which is a major inconvenience. Why would the router be stopping some devices from connecting to the internet and allowing others? I know it's not a setting in the devices as it can access the internet through other wi-fi spots elsewhere..

Help will be truly appreciated.

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re "MAC address filtering enabled"

That's no security at all since the basic wifi hack tools list the connecting MAC addresses and have a button to spoof the MAC so they can use your connection.

-> I will be blunt here.

1. Some routers don't work proper with MAC filtering. You may as well leave it disabled. If you feel it should work, talk to them, not me since all I want is a secure working system.

2. My tests would be to take the router defaults, radio on, mixed B and B wifi, no security, change the SSID and test immediately. If the device won't connect then I go to a free wifi hot spot and test there. If I can't connect at free wifi hot spots I know I will be wasting my time at home.

3. Finally with the system working I enable WPA. If you use MAC filtering and/or WEP it's good for about 2 minutes given the new wifi hack software that children can run. It's that simple and causes many un-needed service calls.

More at


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Make sure you have enough DHCP users allowed to connect to router, that it's not limited to less than needed. (sounds like you do). The devices that aren't connecting, make sure they are using TCP/IP protocol and are set to accept a DHCP assignment. Set to proper SSID and any encryption key used.

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No go

Thanks for the reply, guys Happy I appreciate it.

R. Proffitt,
MAC address filtering serves the purpose in my case since the people in my neighborhood are not good with computers. I've monitored my connection for the past year or so and we haven't had any unauthorized accesses. In any case, i disabled MAC address filtering to check if the connection worked, but the same 3 devices failed to connect. If the MAC filtering was an issue, the devices wouldn't even connect to the network at all, but in any case, I'm not too particular about MAC filtering so I can get rid of it if need be.

Free wifi spots work. I can connect to them without any problems on all 3 devices.

Security comes second. My first concern is just to get the devices working. Once that's taken care of, I can easily secure my connection.

James Denison,
The devices are all connecting to the proper SSID, and currently I have encryption disabled. The devices also show the right IP address that is assigned to them by the router, so DHCP seems to be working properly. I have my router set to allow 50 DHCP addresses, which is far more than I need.

Anything else that i should try? I appreciate the help Happy

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Try it without MAC address filtering and...

Be sure the 802.11b plus g mixed networking is enabled.

If it doesn't work and you've tried it our way then you've proven it's a bum router.


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About your hapless neighbors. You need bullet proof.

By them being dullards in computers means you need the best security you can stand. Here's why. Next trojans and more are now packing wifi exploits that will automagically exploit the old WEP and MAC secured networks.

I showed my IT super guru buddy that he couldn't detect this new exploit because the machine was spoofing all the way from MAC to machine name. The only giveaway was the traffic count was above normal.

Feel free to feel safe in your setup but they are gunning for you, even if it's not your neighbor in or out of control.


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Still a no-go

Lol, Bob, I'll keep the security thing in mind. It's a non-issue at the moment though. I can take care of that later pretty easily. Making it just secure enough wouldn't take me long.

I do have mixed networking enabled and the computers that currently work use both.. one desktop is running G and another is running B. Both run fine.

I guess I could blame the router but since 2 desktops, 2 laptops, and one of the phones can run without any issues... don't know, it just doesn't fit. Not to mention it's the same 3 devices that fail to connect each time.

So, still confused. Anything else I should try? I guess doing a full reset on everything would be my last resort since it'll take a while to reconfigure the router. I'm highly sceptical about it working either, though. I'm 99% sure it won't.

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Before I replace a router I...

Update the firmware to latest and test it with stock settings with the radio enabled and the barest number of changes. I know some that won't do that and they'll buy a new router instead.

Hard to explain that action.


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Agreed :P

I'll try do that tomorrow. The firmware update is a good idea as I haven't done that in a long time. I'll try doing the hard reset tomorrow to see how that works out. Will definitely post back with a progress report Silly

If there's anything else you think of that i should try as well first, let me know Happy I want to keep this router till I can upgrade all the network cards in my house and get an N router.

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Try changing the SSID name

now try to connect everything.


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What is that SSID name?

That's a good idea. If you use anything but alpha you might trip over a device's name bug. Or if you use more than 8 characters you might trip over some device's name bug. Maybe another reason I rarely have any issues here. Besides what's in our forum tip, I keep the SSID to 8 characters or less. No numbers even.

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I was thinking, again

that if one of the devices has a bad encryption key, wrong type of encryption, bad ip address, etc...

That changing the SSID would allow them to basically start the connection over without having them going into the network and deleting the profile and then trying again. Never thought about the devices having bugs with characters. Some of the networks in the neighborhood that were setup by Comcast have 12 characters, besides I thought your SSID was Virus Farm. How many characters is that?


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The SSIDs here are...

VIRUS and TROJAN. I have some linux install on a Buffalo that is named OPENTEST but that's in honor of it's open source roots.

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Got busy :(

Sorry guys, got a little busy with work so haven't had a chance to do this yet. Hopefully I'll get a chance to do a full reset over the weekend. If not, I will on monday.

My SSID is WLAN, by the way. Short and no numbers Silly But I can see how it could maybe cause some issues. Will change that first chance I get.

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"the other 2 phones and the laptop can connect to the netw..
"the other 2 phones and the laptop can connect to the network but not the internet."

Can you explain how you determine this, and if this "connect to the network" is accomplished through the router or some other means?

On what do you base this conclusion?
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wireless connect, no internet

I still can't help but feel you have some sort of encryption problem with the wireless devices involved. Your description of a connection made but no useable data transfer is a classic for encryption not matching up. If you are sure encryption for now is disabled on the router, then double check the devices too and make sure some old "key" you inserted isn't still be used to try and encrypt the connection.

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IPs and logs

The router shows those MAC addresses as connected to the network. Also, the devices are being assigned the correct IP according to the router logs so i know they're receiving that information correctly.

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Remember we can spoof MACs.

Between that and WEPCRACK it's why I move to WPA fast.

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I know :)

I'll work on securing the network next, which is when I'll go WPA. For now the first priority is getting everything working properly.

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Just down the street...

Is an example where just trying to get it to work doesn't work. Some apartment of moochers(is that what we call them) and the moment your insecure or WEP network is on, in 2 minutes some "robot" cracks the WEP, spoofs the MAC and they are downloading what appears to be P2P goods.

While this is a fine example I'm getting similar reports from my buddies that make a lot of service calls that they are running into this more and more. They can't set it up sans WPA anymore in some locations. And looking in the router logs shows no foreign devices.

Feel free to ignore this but the lesson is here that the old days are long gone.


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Point taken :P

As I said though, securing isn't the #1 issue on my mind right now. Trust me, I know this stuff too Silly I used to be very paranoid about my security ever since I got my first computer when I was 10. I grew up around some people who were hackers and at one point in time I got mailbombed with about 1000 emails on my primary email address. I've always been about securing my network etc, etc.

I really don't want to argue about encryption etc right now Silly It's truly not important to me. I don't live in apartments and only about 2-3 homes could even get into my network if they wanted to due to how far apart the houses are here. Out of those 2-3, one has an unsecured network without even MAC address control enabled. one other person has a secured network but isn't a techie by any means. So there's no clear and imminent danger there.

I appreciate your concern though and truly appreciate the tips Happy Will go WPA in a day or two, as soon as I get the main issues worked out (connectivity). If I do a hard reset, I'll try connect the devices with the bare minimum settings, and once that's up and running, I'll incorporate WPA, and possibly MAC address control as an added step of "security".

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I was just thinking and that's dangerous

Do you have the router set for channels 1,6 or 11. I'm thinking some devices might only work on these channels.

Also have the router set for b and g mode. Maybe some of the devices are still using the B mode.

Some devices are also set to only work with WPA Security.

Like Bob and myself tell others,

Update the firmware in the Wireless router
Broadcast SSID
Do NOT use anything else, like Mac addresses, etc. They conflict with the security.

Also look for firmware updates for the devices and drivers.

Maybe a list of devices, make and model, of what you are trying to connect would help. Bob is pretty good at figuring out the problem devices. I don't have many devices hooked up to mine. I only have a Westell 6100 DSL modem/router, Netgear WGR614 v6, Dell Wireless Printer Adapter 3300 hooked up to a Dell Photo AIO Printer 964.

We have had people connect their xBoxex and other item using WPA security, so I'm just trying to sort out the items that won't connect.


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Thanks :)

Thanks for the reply, Rick Happy

The devices are set to channel 11, so that should be fine. The router is set to mixed mode (B and G). My desktop connects fine (running G) and my second desktop also connects fine (using B).

The 2 phones that aren't working are the exact same as 1 phone that is working, so they're not set to work only with WPA.

The firmware is up to date.

The router is Linksys WRK54G.

The phones are AT&T tilt.

The laptop isn't an issue anymore. It's back in the office Silly

I do have a PS3 that's connected and works fine, and a Dell photo AIO printer as well, and an HP printer (not sure of the model number, offhand), along with 2 laptops and 2 desktops now. All of that works fine, and so does one of the AT&T tilts. 2 others, same model, are the devices that are giving me issues at the moment. They can connect to other networks elsewhere (connect at work and at wi-fi spots as well as in college).

I appreciate the reply, Rick Happy

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I wonder if

the ATT Tilts are trying to connect using the ip address as one of the other devices. Since you have everything working well, is there a way to change the ip address in the ATT Tilt?


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Or maybe something in the settings

for the other ATT Tilt phones.

Compare the settings of the one that works. See that the others are set the same. Maybe you can delete the connection settings in the 2 Tilt phones that don't work and try starting over.

To me, you problems are now with those 2 phones.


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I like that idea.

I would try that. Turn EVERYTHING off, reboot the router and use ONLY the device that won't connect.

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Then you are proving it's the router.

Time to swap it for anything else. As to security, as long as it's not done, it's up as a possible issue. I know you don't want to discuss it but then again you do want it to work.


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wifi channel

I found that when I changed my router's wifi channel to 12, 13 or 14, some devices could not detect the wifi from my router. If your wifi channel is set to auto (as default), it will sometimes change itself to these channels and then some devices cannot connect to your wifi. Therefore, it is better to change it to either channel 1, 6 or 11 as advised by other people on the internet. How to change? Go to the wireless setting of your router.

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