Lose Connection to Internet occasionally

Okay. This happens to me occasionally but I just got a call from my brother-in-law says that this is currently happening to him. So I'd like to find out what I can do to fix it.

I have a Linksys cable modem coming in. That goes to my Linksys WRV200 (he has a WRT54G). Occasionally, I will lose connection to my ISP or it seems so. I directly connect a machine to the cable modem and I have access to the Internet. All is well. Yet, when I bring the machine back onto the router it's gone.

Logging into my router shows me that I am not getting a WAN IP (Status Tab). I try to renew it, and I get nothing. For me, power cycling the modem router does the trick to get it back. I just have to wait a couple of minutes before I bring everything back up sequentially. For my brother-in-law, that didn't help. SO, I actually have to really fix it. (....I am lazy)

Is there any suggestions or fixes anyone can suggestion before I contact Linksys support?
WhopulaAsked:
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MiniDevoCommented:
You can try a firmware upgrade, but I would only recommend this while on the phone with Linksys tech support.

Hold old is the router? To be frank, I have found Linksys routers to be flaky in general in terms of home use. I use Netgear.
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WhopulaAuthor Commented:
About a year and a half maybe? I've always used them and not had much problem. Hmm. I'll give them a call. Thanks.
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damonterCommented:
I don't know, at this point, why Linksys suggests this, but the below article shows MAC address cloning as a possible solution:
http://linksys.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/linksys.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=4986&lid=3365434823B01
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kevinkcwCommented:
Ya, damonter, I got that advice from Linksys tech support, but they couldn't explain why. They directed me to my ISP. My ISP couldn't explain why. Not willing to let things go, I investigated further, and here are  my observations:

1.) The brother-in-law in this scenario probably isn't waiting long enough to plug in the cable modem after he's unplugged it, or the router is off while he's power cycling the modem. If he were to leave on the router (WRT54G) while he power cycled the modem, left the modem unplugged for a full two minutes before plugging it in, and then waited another full two minutes for the modem to come back up fully, THEN power cycled the router, it would probably come back up.

2.) I suspect that the modem or something upstream retains a memory of the MAC address which last pulled the DHCP request from the modem. This needs to be cleared and then there has to be a new MAC address downstream when it comes back online in order for a new one to be authorized.

3.) The reason the MAC address clone trick works is that the computer that the ISP tech support is directing you to connect to during troubleshooting supplied a fresh MAC to the modem, which the router has to then emulate in order for the router to pull the WAN IP.

4.) We tend to rush the power cycling when we can't connect to the Internet and we're frustrated.
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