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Simple 2 PC network - cable modem

Posted on 2003-03-26
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Last Modified: 2013-11-29
Just wondering exactly how I want to setup my network software-wise... I have a wireless access point router with 4 port built in switch, (BEFW11S4 Linksys router access point). I have one computer with a linksys wireless ethernet card, and another with a linksys ethernet card directly connected to the router/switch with CAT5 cable. So far I have been using "Obtain IP Address automatically", on both comptuers, but recently it has been causing problems. I read some forum stuff and figured out that my router is lagging when both my computers are connected to it. If i unplug mine, the wireless one works better. So, I figured I had a software ip problem...

My question is... Do I want to set each computer with a static IP, and keep the router on "Obtain IP address automatically" ?? I have AT&T/Comcast cable, and they say to have it on "obtain automatically", but I don't know if they knew I'd have a router hooked up. If I do set static IPs for the computers, what IPs should I use???? A simple question, that I should know the answer to myself, but I have forgotten my networking knowledge... :(

Thanks,
    -Grymlot
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Question by:Grymlot
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jdost8 earned 200 total points
ID: 8209984
Well you definitly need to maintain the DHCP settings for the Router (DHCP is what you use when you 'Obtain IP Automatically') That is so the router is able to get an IP address from your ISP. Your router ~probably~ does NAT (Network Address Translation) which does not require that you use DHCP for your computers on the local side of your router, and does mean you should be able to use static.

But there is no reason that I know of that your router should be slowing down when you are useing both Wireless and a cable connected.... I would say check and verify that your cabled system is NOT in the Uplink or WAN port (may be labled either one), that should go into your cable modem. Perhaps it is doing a lot of logging or there is otherwise some interference (is the Wireless close to a large monitor, TV, Microwave or something else that gives off a lot of radiation?).

Hope that helps.
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Expert Comment

by:Cromag
ID: 8211152
I agree, you must have the router perform DHCP for its address (where it connects to your ISP). As far as the addresses on the internal LAN, it really doesn't matter if those two have static or dynamic (DHCP) assigned addresses. It is, however, very important that they hae addresses from a reserved range of IP addresses (ones that are set aside, and not specifically given to other computers on the Internet).

For two computers (and keeping it simple), give them addresses of 192.168.0.x with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. I think that's probably what the router came setup with as the range it gives to internal clients. (Please don't anybody go into a huge discussion of IP, it's not necessary, and will just confuse things here).

There are situations where NAT works better (or even will only work), where the internal clients have static addresses. I would go ahead and give them fixed addresses. For example, LAN port on router: 192.168.0.1; PC1: 192.168.0.2; PC2: 192.168.0.3. Both PC1 and PC2 would have 192.168.0.1 as their Default Gateway.

As far as why they are slower when both are plugged in, I have no idea. Since it is a router (as opposed to a hub), and only one device is wireless (multiple wireless devices share bandwidth within a single access point), it shouldn't slow down noticeably when both are working. If both are transferring lots of data from the Internet at the same time, you could see a slow down, but you would have to be doing pretty significant transfers to see it (ie. FTP or Kazaa, not just web browsing).

There is probably just a goofy TCP/IP setting somewhere, and if you go through and set things up for fixed addresses, I'll bet you get it straightened out in the process.



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Author Comment

by:Grymlot
ID: 8213858
Well, when I play games online, such as Unreal Tournament 2003, or Battlefield 1942, etc. I noticed when I am plugged in through the router, I get great bandwidth, but no consistency. I went to some speed test sites, and they would say I'm getting fantastic bandwitdth, so then I try a game over tcp/ip, and every 5-10 seconds the game lags, and says "connection problem detected". when I plugh my compurter directly into the modem, it works fine.

Also, you said make sure something isn't plugged into the Uplink/WAN slot.... Well I have both. The Router/Switch has 6 RJ45 plug-ins... UPlink, 4, 3, 2, 1, WAN. Right now I have my cable modem connected to the "WAN" one with CAT5, and my computer is plugged into #1. Is this wrong?

Well, trying static IPs now, I'll check back later
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Expert Comment

by:Sebastien_B
ID: 8214195
There also some possible explanations :

Some ISP (like AT&T for you) don't want their customer to share the Internet access with router (or anything like)

So maybe, if they "sniff" that you are using more than 1 computer at a time on your link... they will slow it down.

You can check if it's the case by the following tests:

Once your "connection goes down" (so both computer are plugged) simply try to access the one from the other (then you'll know if it's a router or localIP issue... or a ISP issue)

Hope it will help,

Seb
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Author Comment

by:Grymlot
ID: 8217174
Well, I had a friend come over and see if he could set it up. But it was a little different than any of you said... IP addresses are 192.168.1.100 and up, if you do 192.168.0.whatever, it won't work. Anyways it works fine for the time being, I'm gonna wait and see if AT&T does something that makes the computers lag again, once I we got the IP addresses set and working, there wasn't any lag on either one. If it lags tomorrow I'll know that AT&T is doing something. Even though they told us we could have up to 5 computers on the connection...

My friend mentioned that they changed to Comcast, so maybe new rules, but I dunno
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by:Cromag
ID: 8218260
192.168.1.100 and on is fine. If that's waht is in there, there's no need to change it. I just threw the other one out to use as an example, but the one you have is a perfectly good private range of IP addresses.
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Expert Comment

by:guildencrantz
ID: 8221964
"jdost8"  said: "Well you definitly need to maintain the DHCP settings for the Router (DHCP is what you use when you 'Obtain IP Automatically') That is so the router is able to get an IP address from your ISP."

You don't NEED to do this.  I have "stolen" an IP address (I logged in with DHCP and then set my router to use this as its external settings).  With Comcast/ATT it works great.  I've been doing it for about a year without any problems (I lost the IP once when my power went out for 12 hours and someone must have been given my IP).

This is what you really need to do if you have any kind of server setup on the network which you want to access from the outside.

~~Guildencrantz  
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by:Sebastien_B
ID: 8223067
Guilden : Using non-assigned static IP is really a bullshit for network admins ...

You know there a lot of free Dynamic-DNS around the net, their main purpose is to keep your dynamic IP always mapped to a choosen domainname like "myhomepc.dyndns.org"


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Expert Comment

by:jdost8
ID: 8226064
guildencrantz, you wouldn't have gotten away with setting a static IP on the cable network I used to work for ;) (not comcast). Your statement seems to point out that you don't understand DHCP very well. Sebastien_B correct in that there are legitimate and, as you point out yourself, more reliable ways to have a server on the internet.

I would suggest reading a bit more on DHCP, here is a link to all the DHCP pertinent RFCs, including relatively new information on DHCP and DOCSIS devices.

http://www.ietf.org/html.charters/dhc-charter.html
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Expert Comment

by:guildencrantz
ID: 8236542
Oh, I do understand DHCP.  I currently run my own BIND server and know that there are several services available for updating BIND settings, but it's more of a hassel for me.  If comcast wants to charge me extra for a static IP than forget it, I'll grab one.

I've looked into DNS updaters before, but never found one that I liked.  I've dealt with companies who checked the IPs before and made if functionally impossible to steal IPs, so I dealt with it.  Since Comcast doesn't, I'm doing it this way.  It's much more reliable for me.  Sorry if you don't agree with it but it's my little protest against charges I don't think Comcast should be making.

~~Guildencrantz
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by:Sebastien_B
ID: 8236864
Anybody using a static IP on my network will shortly become offline, you're lucky if Comcast don't bother about it :)

Why don't you become your own provider if you don't like Comcast policies?
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by:CleanupPing
ID: 9152878
Grymlot:
This old question needs to be finalized -- accept an answer, split points, or get a refund.  For information on your options, please click here-> http:/help/closing.jsp#1 
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by:juliancrawford
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No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave the following recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area:

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