Very Basic Router Question

I have a brand new Belkin 802.11g router which is connected by cable to one PC and wirelessly to a laptop.

90% of the time things work fine.

10% of the time, NEITHER computer will connect to the internet. (connection is via a cable modem)

2 questions:

1) Is it safe to assume that a new router will typically function 100% of the time or not work at all?

2) If there is a router problem, will the pc connected via cable also lose it's connection?


PS: Roadrunner always tells me that there is no problem with the signal they are sending me. (BIG surprise!!!)

Perhaps this belongs in another newsgroup, but is there a way for me to help diagnose WHY I lose my connection and/or if it's a Roadrunner problem, a cable modem problem, or a router problem???

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You'd need to work out if it really was the router. Try plugging the cable from the modem directly into one PC's network port and see if it is stable. If it isn't its your ISP.

If it is stable then your router is having troubles, so you'd need to check for firmware upgrades and the like.

Perhaps. I had an issue awhile back with my wireless router where wireless clients would keep dropping out, but wired would still remain connected.

Seeing as you're losing connection on both however, if it *is* a router issue then yes it will lose its connection (wait, haven't you already lost connection on the wired one?).

My ISP is twice as incompetent as happens.

See above. That will at least eliminate the router from your investigations :)

Reply to
David Fairbrother

Thanks...I'll try a direct connection from my cable modem to my PC to see if that's stable. Last time I tried that, I still didn't have any internet access!!!

Roadrunner had me reboot my modem repeatedly & it was somewhat better the next day, but it intermittently still loses it's connection.

I'm betting Roadrunner will say it's a modem or PC problem and I'm not sure how to verify that!!??

Reply to

phil6666 hath wroth:

Any particular model number Belkin router?

Ask Belkin for a 10% discound and you'll break even.

No. Bottom of the line routers are not 100% reliable. There have been products that will stay up and functional literally forever. There are also losers that hang and have to be rebooted (power cycled) either regularly or erratically.

Your activities also have a big effect on stability. If you're using a file sharing program (BiTorrent based), and have not bothered to limit the available number of connections or traffic, chances are good that you will crash the router. For example, each connection requires allocating some buffer space. If you open too many connections, the router runs out of buffer space. Same with table space for things like the routeing table, ARP table, etc.

There are also internet based exploits that tend to crash routers. Try the test at:

Most modern routers will pass just fine, but I have some old losers that will hang.

Yes. Everything goes through the router. If the router crashes or hickups, every device connected to the router is also disconnected. You can simulate what will happen by simply turning off the router. Does the PC work? Probably not.

So, do your own testing. The cable modem probably has a build in web page with diagnostic output. It will give signal levels and connection statistics. The lights on the front panel will also give you a clue. It could be a problem with the Belkin router, the cable modem, or the RR service. Hard to tell from here.

This is NOT a wireless problem. Try a Roadrunner support forum:

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

The router is a Belkin F5D7230-4

Not sure if it's a good model, but it was free....

Took your advice and first time I lost my internet connection, I connected directly from the cable modem to my PC. NO IMPROVEMENT, so I'll assume the router isn't the problem. (After 2 minutes, everything was back to normal.)

I'll have to check into the diagnostics for my cable modem, plus I'll run Ping Plotter on an on-going basis to chart my down times.

I'll also check out the Roadrunner forum you linked to.


PS: Any other suggestions????

Reply to

Connecting your PC directly to the cable modem may or may not work. Some cable modems, and the cable ISP, allow one MAC address to communicate. If you change from a router to a PC, the cable modem might not let you connect to the internet. You should try that swap when PC-router-cable is working, so you know if it is a valid test.

In my case I did a "clone" of the MAC address of one PC to the router, so either one can be connected to the cable modem, and the cable modem sees the same MAC.

Another way this might work is to turn off the cable modem for about five minutes before connecting the other device. But power cycling the modem might defeat part of the test. should show something from the modem, although some modems aren't very forthcoming with their logs, which are accessible on hidden pages, but not from a link on the main page.

Look at the signal levels from time to time, to get a feel for what it looks like when it's good.

I had an SMC router that didn't work well with WinXP, but was perfectly consistent. I had several SMC of an earlier vintage that were unreliable junk. I have had Linksys, DLink, and Netgear routers that just work for months. I have more power failures in the house than unexplained outages in the router.

The cable connections are dicey. I had some connector problems at a grounding block on the roof, but MCHSI was able to tell me that the modem was rebooting several times a day, and they eventually sorted that out.

Reply to

phil6666 hath wroth:

Free is good. I'm not thrilled with that model, but it's been known to work. It's also hackable. See:

Sounds like you're losing your cable connection. After 2 minutes, did it come back when you were connected directly to the modem, or to the router? If the modem, then it's certainly a problem between the cable ISP and your cable modem. However, it you move the CAT5 cable back to the router, it's indeterminate.

Good idea. MRTG works well for this.

  1. Collect enough simple information that you can convince RR outsourced support (Stream International) that it's their problem. If they try to pass the buck, get the trouble ticket number and mumble something about posting the problem to one of the public RR forums, which should get the attention of RR management.
  2. Verify your cable signal level at the modem. If you're going through a maze of splitters, couplers, and amplifiers, you may have created the problem at your end. Also verify the signal level at the point of entry to insure that the mice haven't chewed up the cable. It's all too common.
  3. Verify if the outages coincide with operating a TV or radio that are plugged into the cable. Some of these belch local oscillator radiation back into the cable which may be acting as ingres.
  4. Verify that any and all splitters and couplers are 5-1000MHz. It's the low end that's important. Anything higher than 5MHz will attenuate the reverse channel and cause problems.
  5. You can can get signal level statistics from your modem status page. You didn't specify the maker or model number so I can't lookup what's normal. Different models have somewhat different target ranges.
Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Thanks for the help!!

When I lost my internet connection, I quickly eliminated the router and connected the PC directly to the cable modem.

Internet connection remained unavailable for 2 minutes, when it came back without my doing anything.

I then put the router back in the loop and connection remained stable as it still remains, 3 hours later.

I have an old Motorola SB4200 Surfboard modem and d>You can can get signal level statistics from your modem status page.

Not sure about that at all......

My setup has been rock-stable for years......both TV and internet, but has had these intermittent problems for the last month or so. No splitters or amplifiers.

I don't think it's on my end, but that's hard to prove.

(The last problem I had was intermittent log-in timeouts with my email accounts. RoadRunner suggested that I do everything under the sun, include reformatting my HD and calling in experts. Long story short, our town had a power failure, once it was restored, I had even more email problems that night, but the next day it was back to perfect. NOTHING at all was changed on my end and somehow it was fixed!!!)


Reply to

phil6666 hath wroth:

That's totally useless. If you didn't get a connection at any time when connected directly to the modem, you haven't eliminated the router as a possible problem. Since the connection is work right now, let's try it. Turn OFF the modem and then turn it back on. Connect the CAT5 cable from the PC to the modem. Run: start -> run -> cmd ipconfig Do you have a routeable IP address? Or does it say If it says or, then run: ipconfig /release (wait a few seconds) ipconfig /renew ipconfig Now do you have an IP address?

Note that I'm assuming that you're NOT using the USB port.

Umm, try again at:

Search for the SB4200 section. It should be in the user guide or FAQ. Well, maybe not. Try this:

  1. Setup your PC for a: static IP address of gateway = blank netmask =
  2. Try: ping If that works, try: to various web site, the SB4200 has an internal web page at this IP address.

This is interesting:

It's not the first flakey SB4200 that someone found that has had problems.

I am. Google finds numerous articles mentioning statisitics and the SB4200.

Yeah right. Assumption, the mother of all screwups. Kindly check your connections, even if you think they're perfect.

Actually, it's fairly easy by substituting different hardware and taking the house wiring out of the puzzle. Can you run a coax cable from the SB4200 directly to the cable point of entry?

The first step to solving a problem is to blame someone. When nobody else is available, most large support disorganizations will blame the customer. That puts you in the position of proving to them that you're NOT the problem. That's rather difficult to do.

What I do is specifically request to talk to a different support person that is not hung up on blaming the customer. That always gets the attention of the pit boss at the support pool. A change of support person always implies a disatisfied and irate customer. Things usually move more smoothly after that.

However, don't go blaming someone in India for problems at RR. In many cases, India does not have the information or the diagnostic tools to determine the cause of system problems. They also tend to be the last ones to be told that a system problem exists or is even being worked on.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Windows IP Configuration

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection: IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . :

IPv6 Address. . . . . . . . . . . :

2001:0:4136:e38a:30e4:394d:b34b:xxxx Is that good????


Not using USB port.


Downstream Value Frequency 711000000 Hz Locked Signal to Noise Ratio 37 dB Power Level -1 dBmV

Upstream Value Channel ID 15 Frequency 38000000 Hz Ranged Power Level 43 dBmV

Not sure how to interpret any of this, but my connection has been stable for 6+ hours which is not uncommon, but it might go flakey anytime soon and not surprise me.......


Reply to

phil6666 hath wroth:

That's a routeable IP address. That means your modem is probably working.

That's the frequency used for downloading. 711MHz.

SNR is fine. It should be greater than 33 dB SNR.

Anything between -10 dBmV and +10 dBmV will work. -1 is fine.

That's the frequency used by the return channel. 38MHz.

Normal. 30 to 55 dBmV is acceptable.

See if the values change when it craps out. I'm fairly sure they will.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann's starting to fall into place.

Next time I lose my internet connection, go to the modem status screen and copy the values.

I'll post them here to see if any of you pros can definitvely say what might be causing my outage...if it's Roadrunner, I'll take it up with them!

THANKS A TON!!!!!!!!!

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