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Internet connection problem-losing the connection

Posted on 2006-11-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hi,
I will try to explain this the best way I can, cause it's a bit complicated. I have Windows XP, Professional. I am the only user of this PC. I have recently installed a DSL router, along with a new DSL connection (a month ago). Also, I have installed Skype, and i have MSN as well and Emule. (These are the programs I mainly use). The thing is that when I made some settings to my router for emule to work better (i.e. I have assigned 2 ports so that i can have a high ID in emule), ever since I have this problem: If I turn on emule and then close it, Explorer, Skype and MSN cannot connect to the Internet, and only emule can reconnect. If I turn on my PC, and open only Skype or MSN, it connects for some minutes, I can send and receive messages (this goes for MSN as well) and then I lose the connection and Explorer stops working too. By "stops", I mean that I see that I am online but I do not see any pages ( I get the blank page) or receive or send messages. So basically, everyone else sees me as offline, when I see that I am online. I have contacted my Internet provider and they say the line is fine, without any problems. I should point out that the router is working fine, the line does not disconnect and only rebooting the PC or shutting down the router can correct the problem for 4-5 minutes only.
Can anyone please tell me what could be a possible reason for this? Where can I look to locate this problem?
Thank you so much!
Kalliana
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Question by:kalliana
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Expert Comment

by:Nick Denny
ID: 17914176
First thing I would try, to ensure there is no "corruption" of port forwarding, is the place your computer in the DMZ.
There will be an option in the router somewhere to do this.
See if that makes a difference. If not then revert back to how it is now.
If it does, then reconfigure all port forwarding.

Check the ports you have used with emule. Are they conflicting with those used by Skpye etc?
For emule, suggest use 4662.

Did you have this problem at all before port forwarding Emule?

I would also check connectivity between computer and router.
If wireless - maybe signal dropping, or interference e.g. cell phone, digital cordless phone etc.
If wired, check/change the cable.
My best guess at this stage, is short random disconnections from router to PC. Possible faulty NIC?

Also, just a thought, have you assigned a static IP to your computer or are you letting the router assign IP's with DHCP?

More info would also help:
1/ make model of router
2/ how are you connecting to it
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Expert Comment

by:Nick Denny
ID: 17914198
Additionaly:
How are you sure your line is still open in the router - indicator lights?
Have you tried updating the firmware in the router and on you NIC?
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Author Comment

by:kalliana
ID: 17917678
Hi seriousnick,

I should tell you that I am not a PC expert so some things make no sense to me!
>> First thing I would try, to ensure there is no "corruption" of port forwarding, is the place your computer in the DMZ.
There will be an option in the router somewhere to do this.
I see no such option in the routers configuration page.
>> Check the ports you have used with emule. Are they conflicting with those used by Skpye etc?
For emule, suggest use 4662.

 The ports I use in emule are 4662 and 4672. Skype has a different number, 12589.
>>Did you have this problem at all before port forwarding Emule?
I did not have this problem before port forwarding Emule.
>>If wired, check/change the cable.
My best guess at this stage, is short random disconnections from router to PC. Possible faulty NIC?

The router is wired, and it is a brand new Microcom AD 2636.

I do not know what NIC is (as you mentioned)...
>> Also, just a thought, have you assigned a static IP to your computer or are you letting the router assign IP's with DHCP?
My PC does not have a static IP. I suppose the router is assigning them, although I have made some changes in the TCP/IP Internet Protocol page of the Properties tab, for my connection, as instructed by the Internet service provider.
>>How are you sure your line is still open in the router - indicator lights?
Yes, the indicator lights show that I am online, plus the two little computers keep blinking as usual on the Windows taskbar.
>>Have you tried updating the firmware in the router and on you NIC?
I did not update the firmware

Last but not least, I have found that rebooting the modem helps, but the connection drops again after 5 minutes or so.

Thank you for your help!!
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Expert Comment

by:Nick Denny
ID: 17918351
Hi kalliana

The DMZ is the "de-militarized zone". By placing your computer in the DMZ you are effectively forwarding ALL traffic to the PC. Only use for testing though.
You would need to firstly check the IP that the router is giving your PC. The likelihood is that it will always give the same due to length of "leases" offered by the DHCP in the router. Once you know this, set that IP as the DMZ.
There is an option for it according to the Microcom site here
http://www.microcom-ce.com/category.php?itid=7

NIC is "Network Interface Card", either wired, wireless, PCI, USB or whatever. Just a general reference to a network card.
This could be faulty or in need of updated drivers. Check on the manufacturers site for any updated drivers.

Your cable from PC to router could be faulty (even if new). If you could borrow another to elimate this...

Another possibility that springs to mind is possible saturation of your upstream limit.
i.e. you are maybe leaving emule running and minimising to system tray?? and are maxing out your upload.
This will kill your download and bring network activity to an almost standstill. (If you want the explanation for this - let us know).
Double click on the 2 little screens when you lose activity and watch for data transmission....

Also, try pinging google.com by ip and by name:
(Pinging is simply sending packets of data to another computer which should then return them).
Start>Run>cmd   this opens a command prompt window.
At the prompt, type  "ping www.google.com"  (without the quote marks).
See if you get 4 responses.
Then try typing "ping 64.233.187.99" at the command prompt.
This will check that your DNS servers are correct. (Dont worry about terminology on that just yet unless the "google" fails and the "IP number" works).

>>"made some changes in the TCP/IP Internet Protocol"<< - can you remember what these were?

Cheers

Nick
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Author Comment

by:kalliana
ID: 17919018
Hi Nick!

The DMZ is the "de-militarized zone". By placing your computer in the DMZ you are effectively forwarding ALL traffic to the PC. Only use for testing though.
>>I can see a setting that can be changed in the routers configuration sheet--> DMZ is disabled and the DMZ HOST IP is 0.0.0.0. I know the IP that the router is giving my PC. What do I need to do after I set the DMZ HOST IP to my PCs' IP? Reboot? Then what?

This could be faulty or in need of updated drivers. Check on the manufacturers site for any updated drivers.
>> Ok, I tried this but the drivers are up to date.
Your cable from PC to router could be faulty (even if new). If you could borrow another to elimate this...
>> I borrowed a cable from a friend who has the same cable and I get the same problem.

Another possibility that springs to mind is possible saturation of your upstream limit.
i.e. you are maybe leaving emule running and minimising to system tray?? and are maxing out your upload.
This will kill your download and bring network activity to an almost standstill. (If you want the explanation for this - let us know).
>> This problem occurs even if I shut down emule, and even if I do not turn it on at all. I also checked the computers running programs (from ctrl+alt+del) and it does not appear there.
Double click on the 2 little screens when you lose activity and watch for data transmission
>> there is no data activity when I lose the connection.

Also, try pinging google.com by ip and by name:
Then try typing "ping 64.233.187.99" at the command prompt.
>> I got 4 responses for each ping, none of them failed.

>>"made some changes in the TCP/IP Internet Protocol"<< - can you remember what these were?
>>The Internet service provider made me assign IPs to each field of the General tab in TCP/IP Internet protocol and also, I wrote an IP address in the Advanced tab of the same menu.

Can all of this be because of the service provider? They say that my line is fine and everything is working ok (no noise in the line or anything).
I should also tell you that the router is connected via Ethernet and that I have uninstalled the USB drivers, according to a technician's advice.
I also run a Diagnostic test (the one the router has) and everything passes except "Test PPPoPvc 0 PPPOE connection" which results as Unknown. does that affect anything?
Also, I have the router's firewall enabled. Perhaps I should try and change the settings there or disable it, but I'm afraid I might mess things up and leave my PC unprotected.
I was thinking that maybe I should return the router to its default settings and forget about having a High ID in emule..cause when I changed those settings is when the problem started.
Any thoughts??
Thanks!
Kalliana
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Accepted Solution

by:
Nick Denny earned 150 total points
ID: 17919515
I am a bit puzzled.

Just changing some port forwarding should not affect the connection at all in this way.

With regards to the DMZ, you just need to assign your IP to it. Then, although not really necessary, reboot both router, then PC.

This now will simulate being directly connected to the internet, so ensure antivirus (at least) is on and up to date.

Run the system for a few minutes to see if you experience the same problems.

Perhaps this was a coincidence that about the time you port forwarded, your line degraded???

Resetting router to factory default settings would be worth trying as you say, to eliminate your custom settings causing the problem.

With ADSL, you dont use PPPoE (ethernet) so long as the PPPoA has passed  -this should be OK.

>>"The Internet service provider made me assign IPs"<<
I'm guessing your ISP has set you a static IP then. This should be on a private subnet like 192.168.x.x and then you would also have to manually set your DNS servers. The IP he gave you would need to be in the same subnet as the routers LAN side (internal network side - Local Area Network - as opposed to the WAN - the IP the world see's - Wide Area Network).
I would suggest noting these settings then reverting to "obtain automatically" - then revisit the settings to see if they differ.

Final test would be the routers firewall, although none of these factors should cause the problems you are having only when you port forward.

If all goes well when you reset your router, perhaps try a different port number like 415.
If all else fails, try a bit-torrent client instead of Emule.

From the sounds of it and with all the evidence - I think your router is functioning oddly. If possible, try another ADSL modem/router.

Cheers

Nick
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Author Comment

by:kalliana
ID: 17920860
Thank you Nick!

I will try everything you said and if nothing happens then I will have a little chat with the ISP...I found out yesterday that a lot of people have problems with the routers they are giving out as part of the ADSL package we buy...so my best guess is that the router has the problem!
But thank you so much for trying!

Best regards,

Kalliana
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Nick Denny
ID: 17920874
Thanks for the points and grade.
I would hope that you see an improvement with a new router -as that is really all that is left.
Good luck.
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