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Intermittent internet connection is driving me nuts

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Atomic Banana
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Ive been having a problem with connecting to websites lately. Im running 3 computers (2 run XP Home Edition, the 3rd runs Win 98) through a Netgear RP614 router on a cable connection, and all three have the same problem with intermittent connection. I just moved over the weekend, and at the place I lived before I didnt have this problem so Im tempted to blame my new provider. Before I call them up though, Id like to make sure its not a problem with something like a setting. Im not computer illiterate, but the scope of my knowledge generally consists of just enough to get video games to work.

I never have a problem with getting disconnected once Im connected to a site or game, just with making the first connection to a site or game. For example if I get on an internet radio site, it will keep on playing, even if the other computers in my network cant even get onto google. But if I close out the radio connection, theres a good chance I wont be able to get it back again for a while either. Sometimes it just takes a couple tries to connect or reconnect to a site, sometimes it can take enough for me to give up and go watch tv for a while. I can be stubborn too, so that's a lot of tries.

I play everquest also, and while Im in a single game zone Ill be able to stay as long as I want, but as soon as I switch zones theres a big chance Ill get booted again, and it may take a while before it will pull up a simple site like a search engine, much less let me into the game. All three computers are having this same problem. Ive tried pinging the other computers in my system, and sometimes it works, other times it doesnt.


Ive run virus scans, spybot, ad-aware, and everything else I can think of, so my comps should be pretty clean. Ive also tried hooking one computer up directly into the cable modem, bypassing the router, and had the same issues. Is there anything else I can change or try on my end before I call up the cable company?

Sorry about the length of this thread btw, just wasnt sure what information was pertinent and what wasnt )

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TheComputerGeek
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If nothing has changed but your physical location and your provider I would be tempted to think it was one of those two things. I would call your provider.

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TallCool1
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Ive been having a problem with connecting to websites lately. Im running 3 computers (2 run XP Home Edition, the 3rd runs Win 98) through a Netgear RP614 router on a cable connection, and all three have the same problem with intermittent connection. I just moved over the weekend, and at the place I lived before I didnt have this problem so Im tempted to blame my new provider.

It may be that the DNS stuff is different from one to the other. If the old one used a static DNS setup, but the new one requires DHCP (for example), it might lead to this kind of problem. Contact your provider -- but don't mention the router until you know their policy on them!

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RC_Razor
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very good point about the router.. tallcool1... CHECK BEFORE YOU MENTION IT!!!

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Wee Mc
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Did you manage to fix your problem. I seem to be having the same problem. All your infor was useful..

Good advice about not mentioning the router. I did and now the ISP and broadband supplier blames it!.

Please let us know if you resolved it.

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kc0arf
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Hello,

I would too suggest that it is DNS related. But, unless your new provider is blocking materials on port 53, or the old DNS provider filters incoming requests, the DNS should still work. I run an open DNS on a cable modem, my Grandma who uses dialup across town uses it because her Windows setup refuses to grab DNS from her ISP. Oh well.

But, there was something else you said:

All three computers are having this same problem. I've tried pinging the other computers in my system, and sometimes it works, other times it doesn't.

This indicates a problem that is not DNS, unless you have an internal DNS server, and have assigned names to them. This is something else. I wonder if there is something wrong with the NPGear Router. I wonder if your new location has power issues. Don't laugh -- minor power hiccups that are fine to lightbulbs will kill off a computer connection, or cause an issue on the switch. You might want to consider a UPS to eliminate those risks.

What would I do?

I would find some external network address to ping, and I would ping it with a packet sniffer installed. Find out what the packets are doing. This step is beyond the beginner though, but it might give you some ideas.

Good Luck,

Christian

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bentkey
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To test your connection, place one of your pcs directly on your modem, instead of the router, your ISP will ask you to do this anyway. Make sure you reboot your machine or reset the IP address information as they sent it to you. Next, do an extended PING to your default gateway like this, PING [gateway IP] -n 100 -l 1500 . the second option is a lowercase L . This will send 100 pings loaded each packet loaded to 1500 bytes. If ANY fail, you have a physical connection problem to your ISP. Next try an standard ping to known sites to test dns: like this PING yourisp.com or PING daniweb.com if dns is working, it will convert the name to the correct IP address and ping the host. If you have trouble ever pinging from one of your local IP addresses to another, it sounds like you have your internal networking mucked up. ;)

Good Luck,

bentkey MCSE,CCNA
Bytewiser Data Systems,

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cyclone3211
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Had the same issue until I followed the following:

Reduce DNS errors in Windows 2000/XP
Windows 2000 and Windows XP come with a "DNS Client" Service that automatically caches (temporarily saves) DNS addresses. This boosts performance by avoiding repetitive DNS lookups of the same address -- the results of a successful lookup (positive response) are saved and reused until the cache expires.
By default the DNS Client also caches negative responses (including the lack of any response from the DNS server). Unfortunately, that can prevent you from recovering from transient DNS errors for an extended period of time. If, for example, the DNS servers at your ISP are temporarily overloaded, or slow to respond due to network congestion, the DNS Client will cache the negative response. Until that cache entry expires, which can take several minutes, it won't even try to lookup that name again -- you'll just get an immediate error. That prevents you from quickly recovering from DNS errors by simply retrying, the recommended thing to do. This can lead to frustrating delays and seeming loss of connectivity problems.
The best way for the typical Internet user to deal with this issue is to disable negative caching, leaving positive caching intact. (Completely disabling the DNS Client is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater because you would then lose the benefits of positive caching.) Negative caching can be disabled by adding three Registry Values (NegativeCacheTime, NegativeSOACacheTime, and NetFailureCacheTime, all not normally present), setting them to zero. Since manual editing of the Registry is a tricky and risky business, I've provided a simple Registry script to do the job. (Click the link to start the download; save the script to your desktop; and then double-click on it to run it. When you get the "Are you sure you want to add the information..." dialog box, click Yes. The script can then be discarded.)
There is no real downside to making these changes -- just delay if you make repeated tries to an invalid Internet name. (Nevertheless, please note that you do this at your own risk, and that it's always a good idea to back up your Registry before making any change.)
To go back to Windows default behavior, simply remove the three Registry Values described above. Since manual editing of the Registry is a tricky and risky business, I've provided a simple INF script to do the removal. (Click the link to start the download; save the INF file to your desktop; right-click on it, and then choose Install to run it. The INF file can then be discarded.)
For a more complete discussion and explanation of this issue, see "Broadband Tip: How to keep DNS Errors from slowing you down!

Note: I did not understand all of the above but............the problem has gone away.

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Limitedwarranty
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Hi Cyclone,
I am having the same problems the others seem to have. You mentioned a link for a script........it is not in your post. Could you please post that link? Thanks :)

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cyclone3211
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http://cable-dsl.home.att.net/
This is the area that had that information and much more.

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Hilberto55
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Where are is the link to download?

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Blahhx99
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Alright so I went to the link provided and was able to find the "download" link. However when I click on it all I get is a link to the webpage http://cable-dsl.home.att.net/files/W2KWXPDNSfix.reg where it just has plain texts reading...

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Dnscache\Parameters]
"NegativeCacheTime"=dword:00000000
"NetFailureCacheTime"=dword:00000000
"NegativeSOACacheTime"=dword:00000000

I presume this will help my problems with intermittent connectivity issues, so if anyone could tell me how to solve this that would be awsome, thx :)

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Spriggan
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copy that text into notepad and save it as a something.reg file. then you should be able to double click it to add it to your registry.

but it could still be a problem with your ISP (or their providedd equp.)

also so as not to be off topic, i think a packet sniffer or calling your ISP (though they will probably blame your network card(S) or OS settings) is the only way to know for sure.

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MrMagnum444
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I am having the same problem ........... after trying a lot of things, I went to my (dual boot) Linux OS. I did not have any issues with my connection, so this problem exists only in Windows. I am going to try this fix as it does sound like it's worth a try.

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brucknek
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I've had problems with intermittant internet connections twice in the past coupla years.

First with Windows XP. Second with Windows Vista.

Both times i had a top of the line Netgear router

Both times, after trying heaps of things, the solutions was to...

Login to the router and reduce the Router max speed to min and see if you get problems - I've found it works every time. Can increase till the problems start occuring

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tsberry901
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Here's an OUT OF THE BOX solution for some of you who have tried "EVERYTHING" and are looking for one more:

TRY TURNING OFF YOUR OVERCLOCKING. (System instability can cause ALL KINDS of problems....even this one!! (All it takes is one component in your system (that is involved in the communication process) that doesn't like overclocking to cause the problem.

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goyalindia2
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same problem occured with me. i have grid hosting account on godaddy. when i emailed them about this problem, they admitted that they are having this problem because of network security and they are working to resolve this issue. i think sometimes this problem occurs due to wrong chmod settings of .htaccess file. chmod it to 644.

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