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network issues in an office

Posted on 2011-10-17
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I look after an office with a number of Real Estate people in it. Over the last year or so, we have had a number of network issues and they all seem to be similar in issue. The last issue that we had last week was that everyone lost their internet connection and about a half hour after that, the wired workstations regained their connection while the other half the office (wireless side) was still down.

When I got there, I tried to diagnose what the issues are but I couldn't get access to either of the routers. After I power cycled the main router (D-Link DI-615 with wireless turned off) I was able to get access it but of course couldn't find anything wrong with it.

The wireless router (also a DI-615) was still inaccessible. I had to reset the unit and reprogram it.

Both routers and unmanaged switch are on backup power supplies.

We don't know if someone is putting something on the network and thus causing havoc.

We have been trying resolve this issue but don't know what the cause of the problem is.

I thought about installing a managed switch and setting it for only one IP address per port.

I also considered setting all units up to access the main router and that the only way they were getting internet access was to confirm a MAC address with the router. Lots of work since I will have to get everyone's MAC address for their devices.

So is there a better way to do this?

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Question by:johnbowden
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Expert Comment

by:Em Man
ID: 36983606
it be possible that your wireless was hacked and password was changed.

You might also need to secure those equipment physically so that nobody can touch it. imho
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by:Kenmcse1969
ID: 36983649
how are both routers connected. If they are truely independent it would be a slim chance that both  are failing at the same time.

Could be a broadcast storm of some sort. If it's not power related....
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by:Juan Ocasio
ID: 36983673
How old are the routers?  It's quite possible they need to be replaced.  I was having similar issues with one of my wireless routers.  I replaced it and voila! all was well again.
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by:johnbowden
ID: 36985793
I don't believe that the wireless router was hacked. We have a pretty secure key and second, I couldn't even ping the router. It was like it was shut off.

The wireless router has a static LAN IP and is connected to the main network. DHCP is turned off and nothing is connected to the WAN port. The main router has the wireless turned off, DHCP turned on and the WAN port connects up to an ADSL modem for internet access. It's a very simple network, no servers, the realtors just need internet access, that's it.

Since we have had these issues, both routers (DI-615) are brand new, maybe a month old since they were replaced last time we had issues.

If I have to remove the existing hardware and install new equipment, I will do that but I want to make sure that I am installing something that is going to work.
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by:Juan Ocasio
ID: 36986024
I would suggest going with another set of routers.  DLinks are known for router to router issues.  Try linksys;  I think you'll have better luck
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by:Kenmcse1969
ID: 36988447
You say both are brand new...have you still checked to see if there is a firmware update? That helps out alot of people in alot of senarios.

Just a question, from your explanation of your network setup you call it "simple'. Why are you using two routers in this fashion? Just let one router do the LAN and wireless functions at the same time. In a small office like you suggest, they are not going to overload it. Just my opinion.  
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Author Comment

by:johnbowden
ID: 36988495
I have upgraded the firmware on both routers. I can't use a single router for both tasks since it's a big building and the wireless won't cover all the offices. The wireless router is located in a central area for all of the users workstations.
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by:Juan Ocasio
ID: 36988574
I had the same exact set up in my office except I was using a fortigate router and a dlink.  I scrapped the  for a linksys and all was well.
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by:Kenmcse1969
ID: 36989907
This is not a solution to your problem (I think its your routers personally)...but more of a suggestion going forward as I wouldn't recommend the setup.

First off, if your DSL modem has built in DHCP server turn it on and let it manage your clients. If it doesn't ditch it and upgrade your modem. Most modern DSL modems have this built in as well as a firewall. Much more dependable IMHO.

Hang a switch (any good brand, dumb or managed) off the modem and connect your client PC's to that for their LAN connection. Place an Access Point in the middle of the room (Cisco) or the like. Do not use those multi-use flakey Router\AP (Dlink, Netgear,etc). When I say access point I mean 100% access point that is nothing else.

I have alot of years in the field as a Professional and this is a solid setup for the money.  I'm sure opionions will vary as everyone has one :)
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Author Comment

by:johnbowden
ID: 36990123
I was looking at replacing the hardware with Netgear business equipment but you're saying that that hardware is flakey?
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Kenmcse1969 earned 2000 total points
ID: 36990423
Any brand's business line should be better than its consumer line. I have no dealings with Netgear Business so I'll remain indifferent on the subject. I'm a Cisco Engineer so you know where my heart is....
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