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netgear wgt624 router connections drop

Posted on 2007-11-26
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I run Windows Server 2003 SBS over a LinkSys WRT54G.  It only has four ports and I need at least six, so I did my research an bought an unmanaged switch, a NetGear FS116.  It is supposed to be 100% compatible because it is unmanaged and it autosenses port speed and uplink cable, etc.

When I run just the NetGear switch my network is very fast and very reliable.  When I introduce the LinkSys WRT54G it gets slower and I start to have dropouts.

When I discussed the problem with CompUSA they told me I needed to buy a NetGear WGT624 to keep it "all in the family".  That's when my trouble really started.

I cannot seem to stay connnected more than an hour.  My internet connection drops but so do my local connections.  Their support had me swap out the FS116 switch (I don't think it is the problem) and then hard reset (with a paper clip) the WGT624.  It ran smoothly for a few hours and now I am back to no connectivity.

What should I do?  I am back to my venerable LinkSys router with too few ports, but at least I can run my business.  I read online (after I purchased) about all the unhappy owners of the WGT624, class action lawsuits, etc.  I just want it to work.  Are there settings on my server that must be modified?  I will try just about anything, but I am tired of throwing so much time at this problem.
Many thanks. Keith
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Question by:rowek
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by:DToolshed
ID: 20353330
Are you connecting more than one port from the router to the switch?

Is your internet connection DSL PPPoE, cable, T1, etc.?

Are you seeing the connection lights on the NICs or the switch turn off, or are the activity lights flashing more and more? (losing connection, or packet storm?)

Is the SBS the gateway for all the machines, and the router the gateway for the server? Or is the router the internet gateway for all the machines?
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by:rowek
ID: 20353388
Okay.  I will answer in order:
1) I have one lone cable connecting the router to the switch.  My goal is to only have only one cable going to the 16 port switch and one cable going to the Motorola SB5100 SurfBoard modem.

2) ComCast cable connection.  It stays up rock solid when I simply connect a PC to it.  I can tell because I stream XMRadio to my speakers and do not miss a lick.

3) The NICS and the switch lights seem fine, occaisional flicker, but the NetGear Router goes nuts...1,2,3,4, then all off, then again, etc.  When I paper clip the router it behaves for a while - five minutes, one hour, who knows, then goes back to trouble.

4) SBS has only one NIC card so it is not the gateway.  It does serve DNS, etc., but the router is the Internet gateway for all machines.
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by:DToolshed
ID: 20353536
The router may be pooched. It may not. When the lights go, it's likely a bad box.

From what I have seen, there may be an issue with certain routers on Motorola SB51xx modems. Seen on some Linksys, and a number of Netgear units.

On the Linksys, you may be able to get away with lowering the MTU setting to stabilize it. Cable shouldn't need it, but it may help.

On the Netgear, the integreated Trend Micro security in the router (some of them use McAfee) sends packets out to all machines on the network. Security suites (especially Norton) will then block the router for these "bad" packets. That may be the big trouble for you.
http://kbserver.netgear.com/inquira/default.asp?ui_mode=answer&prior_transaction_id=844490&action_code=5&highlight_info=16778460,72,93&turl=http%3A%2F%2Fkbserver.netgear.com%2Fkb_web_files%2Fn101616.asp&answer_id=37766281#__highlight
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by:rowek
ID: 20353667
The lights still work, they just flicker a lot and very fast.  The LinkSys stays up for a long time but it loses it's mind whenever I give it some big file copies.  That's why I bought the 16 port switch, to do my heavy lifting.

Conceptually, this should work, true?  I will read you link, must handle a request. Thanks!
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DToolshed earned 500 total points
ID: 20353841
Yes, it should work, if you are talking file transfers on the LAN. Usually. ;)
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Author Closing Comment

by:rowek
ID: 31411066
While this is not the exact soluiton I want to award points because he helped me to arrive at the proper conclustion.
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Author Comment

by:rowek
ID: 20421537
Bottom line: Don't buy this router and expect it to support any amount of traffic.  It keeps loosing it's mind and has to be reset to factory settings. It will then work for one hour - one day and lose its settings again.  I am back to the venerable LinkSys router attached to the NetGear 16 port unmanaged switch.
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by:DToolshed
ID: 20425585
Thank you.

If you still have dropouts with the Linksys, I would suggest getting a more powerful router. It would definitely cost more, but would give you much more manageability and reliability. Somthing like a Sonicwall TZ150 would work well, but they start at around $250 USD, and the update subscriptions are a yearly cost.

If you have an old pc lying around, you can even make your own with Open Source software available. Smoothwall, IPCop, and others are all good, and are very powerful, even on a low-end pc. The trade off is a little more work to get it running they way you want it to.

Cheers!
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Author Comment

by:rowek
ID: 20427416
Thank you, sir.  I may try that.  I have a Linux guy that is dying to implement us a "real" solution.  All the info you gave me was good stuff.  Cheers.
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