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Old 04-04-2013, 11:45 AM   #1
RxZ OP
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Router/networking help needed (home use)

Well, look at this picture and let me know if it seems normal or not.



The problem I have I notice especially when playing online games or Netflix. My connection just seems to "drop out" randomly. Last night for example I played Call of Duty for about an hour, and lost my connection 3 times during that span. Actually, this has happened since moving into the house 5 years ago, although some days are much worse than others. Last night was a bad night. Some nights I can play for hours and never loose the connection. The previous ISP (Embarq) told me nothing was wrong, and CenturyLink says the same. My brother has the same service as I do, but in another town (different backbones to the network I am sure) and he never has these issues.

Basically, can anyone help me figure out what may be going on here? I am not going to do anything drastic to fix the issue due to having the house on the market, but if there is something simple I can do I will give it a shot. Maybe I even have settings configured incorrectly somewhere and it isn't a problem with the components or network. Maybe my router or modem need replacing.

Ask any questions if you need more info about the issue or my network, I'll do my best to answer them.

I have CenturyLink DSL internet service (even if the service didn't drop I wouldn't be a big fan), a Xyzel 660 DSL modem they supplied, my wifi router (I can't remember the brand, I'll have to look when I get home, although I think it says "Made by Cisco" on the bottom; its blue and black in color if that helps), then the devices that connect to it... XBox, PS3, computer, laptop, cell phones, whatever else. All are wireless, nothing is hard wired in, and doing that is not possible with the modem's current location.
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:47 PM   #2
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it looks like your lease time for your assigned address via dhcp is set to one half hour.

Try hunting that down in the settings and cranking it up to 24 hours or so.
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:50 PM   #3
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If you can get into the config side of your dsl modem that is.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:29 PM   #4
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Have you called Century Link and spoken with tech support and I mean really talk to them, not the 1st tier support morons that go through a basic checklist.

What you want to ask for is a line quality test.

They are going to check the signal strength between your DSL Modem and the Central Office. DSL can be fussy with the signal strength. Just because someone on the other end of town has no issues doesn't mean this isn't the problem. A better person to ask is a neighbour. There are strict distance limitations between your DEMARC (your house) and the Central Office. Rule of thumb is about 2 miles of wire for good speeds.

This log that you posted is from what? The DSL Modem? You mentioned a Router that said made by Cisco and is black and blue. That would be a Linksys. The photo doesn't look like a Linksys screen. Not one that I have noticed but then again I haven't been on every model of Linksys devices. So I think it is on the DSL Modem. The other thing to ask when talking to Centurylink is what kind of service do you have. It looks like you are getting a disconnect every 8 hrs roughly. This may or may not be normal. I can't see enough of the log to say that it is every 8 hrs or there just happened to be some other issue that caused the drop almost exactly 8 hrs apart. The reason this may be normal is many of the DSL service providers will offer a basic plan where the service does a reset after XX hrs. If you have a basic service and that xx = 08 that would explain the log. It would explain a drop every now and then but not multiple drops while gaming unless you are spending way too much time gaming and not enough on your MC.

The comment about a short DHCP lease. This is the process that gives your computers (xbox and other devices) an IP Address. This normally won't cause drops. The way it works is the server (or router) says here is your IP, you can have it for XXX minutes. This is a setting on the server (router in your case) I forget the exact timings of things but usually at about half life of the lease the client will ask for a renewal. So if the lease is 60 minutes roughly every 30 minutes the client will say "hey server, I am still here can I still have this address." The Server will then acknowledge the request and the timers are reset. This is why you won't see a drop in a DHCP lease. Some places do really short lease times. For instance if you are on a public hotspot. They may have a lease of 10 minutes. Where at your home you might go 7 days. The reason for this is just because of what the turnover of equipment is on the network. A public access point may only be able to hand out 250 addresses, if someone connects and gets a lease that is good for 7 days but they are there for 30 minutes, the server can't reuse that address until the lease is up. It will eventually run out of addresses if the turnover is too high. That isn't an issue in most homes. So sure you could bump out a DHPC lease duration but because of the renewal process and the fact that it won't cause a drop, makes me say it really doesn't matter.

Things to try.

Open a command prompt from a computer and run ping command that is continuous. If you know you are getting a drop every 5 minutes then watch it for that long.

In your case start with your DSL modem.

ping 192.168.20.1 -t

That will ping whatever device you connected to for the screen shot in a continuous loop until you stop it. To stop hold CTRL and press C or close the command window.

If things look good then go to the next hop.

ping 184.5.118.108 -t

Again watch for any drops over 5 min or however long it normally takes to drop.

If that looks good go further out on the Internet.

ping 8.8.8.8 -t

In case you are wondering who 8.8.8.8 is, it is one of Google's Public DNS Servers which will respond to pings. Another is 8.8.4.4

Another thing to try is a network speed test.

http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/

There are also some other tests here such as the line quality ping test.

http://www.dslreports.com/tools

I would bet that you will find it in the call to the ISP when the do either a line quality test or a configuration on their end where they have to re-provision your DSL modem. Remember the first people to answer the phone are clueless. The tools I mentioned above will help you show them that there is an issue. The first people will answer the phone and go through a flip book to tell you to reboot your equipment. This rarely solves the issue in my experience and after 5-10 min I am on to tier 2 or 3 support.

Hope this helps some.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:55 PM   #5
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sennister:


I'll give all of that a shot tonight. Now that you have said the name, yes it is a Linksys router. That screen shot is from the router's log, not the modem's. There is a box at the end of my subdivision that is some sort of junction for all the users of DSL and phone in the area (it even has a big poster plastered on it saying to call CenturyLink for Internet service). It is about 1/2 mile from my house following the roads. Some of my neighbors I have talked to have said they are not fans of the internet service here, but none of them have noticed the intermittent dropping of the signal. None play CoD either

Oh, and too much time gaming and not enough on the MC... I will usually play for about an hour a couple of times a week, so not too much. The bike I pretty much only get to ride to work. Oh well, such is this stage of life, and I wouldn't change it

Thanks again for the advice. I will report back when I have had time to go through all that.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:58 PM   #6
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My take on it too. If you habe too much trouble, make the ip address static rather than dhcp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dismount View Post
it looks like your lease time for your assigned address via dhcp is set to one half hour.

Try hunting that down in the settings and cranking it up to 24 hours or so.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:20 PM   #7
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My take on it too. If you habe too much trouble, make the ip address static rather than dhcp.
Not a good idea if the provider requires dynamic IP. Of course, having a 30 minute lease time and getting the same number over and over doesn't make sense, either.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:28 PM   #8
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Like I mentioned, having a short lease on DHCP isn't going to cause an issue. The shorter the lease the more traffic it will generate on the network but on a home network it will not cause congestion. Now if the IP were changing every time it did a renew, then I would agree that it is something to look at. You are not going to get network disconnects when an IP Address is renewed. It just resets the timers and the server (router) and computer agree to extend the lease for XXX amount of time. If it were changing then you might drop a packet or two but that isn't the case.

The DHCP traffic really isn't the interesting thing about the log. The more interesting thing is the WAN (Wide Area Network) disconnects. This is showing that the internet dropped at those times. That would cause an interruption which would impact Netflix and gaming would probably not be noticed by basic surfing or email type work if the outage was brief and didn't happen at the same time you requested a page or were doing a download. Like I mentioned before, this may be by design. Many of your basic DSL plans will do resets. How often they happen really depends on the ISP. It is usually spelled out in the Service Level Agreement on whatever contract he has with the ISP. 8hr resets are not uncommon with basic DSL Service. If he is paying for an upper tier service which includes static IPs then he shouldn't see this.

As for the static IP, Jonnylotto is dead on. Don't mess with it. If it is pulling DHCP then he isn't on a static IP from the ISP. It may not change but if it does he will be dead in the water. It is one thing doing static IPs on your internal network. For instance between your router and computers. It is a very different thing when you do a static IP between your router and DSL modem. If you look at the IP in the photo, that isn't a private internal IP in the log.

RxZ - I will be watching this thread from time to time to see if I can help out anymore. If you are not getting anywhere, let me know, PM would probably be better as I am not on here all that much. I may have some time to look into it from my end. Maybe this weekend between wrenching on my bikes. I will be limited on what I can do but I have located your DSL modem and have pinged it. With that established I won't do anything else without clearing it through you. There are some monitoring tools that I can leverage to do some testing against your modem from here. I don't want to hammer your connection though without your knowledge as it could introduce some lag on your end and it won't help you in diagnosing things if you start chasing after something that might have been me.

Also I was looking at what you wrote in your first post again. You mentioned that everything is wireless. Does that include the Xbox and PS3? I say that because for a while I had my xbox connected via wireless but went to a wired connection. I had way too much cutting out when trying to do streaming video. It looks like this has always happened in this house. I often don't look at wireless being the issue because I don't use it for the more intense things like streaming video. What is your neighborhood like. Years ago I lived in a townhouse. This is great and it sucks. It is great because there are so many wireless access points that with moderate security odds are you will never get hacked because there are so many fish out there with little to no security. If someone is driving around the neighborhood they may not mess with your moderately secured wireless network when there are easier targets. The bad is that there are so many wireless networks that they tend to step on each other. There are only so many channels and if you get too many accesspoints all taking on the same channel you will have issues with things that are network heavy. When you turn on your laptop to connect to your wifi, do you see a lot of other networks that are your neighbors? If so I would recommend looking at what channels they are using. By possibly changing your channel to one further away from them. Linksys are popular WAPs and most of them default to channel 7. If you have a bunch in a close area that are on different networks but all running default settings you could have drops like you mentioned. When they happen would differ based on how busy the other networks are. If all your neighbors are gone, or sleeping, it may not be bad. If their kids are surfing streaming videos at the same time, you could see drops.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:24 AM   #9
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One suggestion: when you do move, upgrade your wireless to 802.11n and get everything into the 5GHz frequencies. Less interference and faster point-to-point within your network.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:22 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jonnylotto View Post
One suggestion: when you do move, upgrade your wireless to 802.11n and get everything into the 5GHz frequencies. Less interference and faster point-to-point within your network.
N is good but one of the issues is that I don't know if they have an N wireless adapter for the Xbox. I do run N at my house but all my devices are also N capable. Basically phones, tablets and laptops. Everything else is hardwired.

Now that N has been out for a while if you are in a dense area you still get a lot of channel over use but there are fewer other things on 5GHz such as garage door openers and cordless phones.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sennister View Post
N is good but one of the issues is that I don't know if they have an N wireless adapter for the Xbox. I do run N at my house but all my devices are also N capable. Basically phones, tablets and laptops. Everything else is hardwired.

Now that N has been out for a while if you are in a dense area you still get a lot of channel over use but there are fewer other things on 5GHz such as garage door openers and cordless phones.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
Microsoft has their own, overpriced n unit out but street price on others is ~$50
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sennister View Post
Also I was looking at what you wrote in your first post again. You mentioned that everything is wireless. Does that include the Xbox and PS3? I say that because for a while I had my xbox connected via wireless but went to a wired connection. I had way too much cutting out when trying to do streaming video. It looks like this has always happened in this house. I often don't look at wireless being the issue because I don't use it for the more intense things like streaming video. What is your neighborhood like.
Yes, currently everything is wireless. However, when we first moved in the room the modem and router are in was used as an office and I had my PC hooked up directly to the router. I did try back then going straight into the modem as well thinking it may have been a router thing, but same results. Playing Battlefield 2 and 2142 I had the same issues. Everything would work great with a low ping and I was getting the advertised speed of my connection as tested by speedtest.net, then bam, lost connection kicking me out of the game.

As for the local environment, there is only one neighbor who has wireless that reaches my house. But I made sure long ago that we were not using the same channel.

I'll send you a PM later about the rest...
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sennister View Post
Like I mentioned, having a short lease on DHCP isn't going to cause an issue. The shorter the lease the more traffic it will generate on the network but on a home network it will not cause congestion. Now if the IP were changing every time it did a renew, then I would agree that it is something to look at. You are not going to get network disconnects when an IP Address is renewed. It just resets the timers and the server (router) and computer agree to extend the lease for XXX amount of time. If it were changing then you might drop a packet or two but that isn't the case.

The DHCP traffic really isn't the interesting thing about the log. The more interesting thing is the WAN (Wide Area Network) disconnects. This is showing that the internet dropped at those times. That would cause an interruption which would impact Netflix and gaming would probably not be noticed by basic surfing or email type work if the outage was brief and didn't happen at the same time you requested a page or were doing a download. Like I mentioned before, this may be by design. Many of your basic DSL plans will do resets. How often they happen really depends on the ISP. It is usually spelled out in the Service Level Agreement on whatever contract he has with the ISP. 8hr resets are not uncommon with basic DSL Service. If he is paying for an upper tier service which includes static IPs then he shouldn't see this.

As for the static IP, Jonnylotto is dead on. Don't mess with it. If it is pulling DHCP then he isn't on a static IP from the ISP. It may not change but if it does he will be dead in the water. It is one thing doing static IPs on your internal network. For instance between your router and computers. It is a very different thing when you do a static IP between your router and DSL modem. If you look at the IP in the photo, that isn't a private internal IP in the log.

RxZ - I will be watching this thread from time to time to see if I can help out anymore. If you are not getting anywhere, let me know, PM would probably be better as I am not on here all that much. I may have some time to look into it from my end. Maybe this weekend between wrenching on my bikes. I will be limited on what I can do but I have located your DSL modem and have pinged it. With that established I won't do anything else without clearing it through you. There are some monitoring tools that I can leverage to do some testing against your modem from here. I don't want to hammer your connection though without your knowledge as it could introduce some lag on your end and it won't help you in diagnosing things if you start chasing after something that might have been me.

Also I was looking at what you wrote in your first post again. You mentioned that everything is wireless. Does that include the Xbox and PS3? I say that because for a while I had my xbox connected via wireless but went to a wired connection. I had way too much cutting out when trying to do streaming video. It looks like this has always happened in this house. I often don't look at wireless being the issue because I don't use it for the more intense things like streaming video. What is your neighborhood like. Years ago I lived in a townhouse. This is great and it sucks. It is great because there are so many wireless access points that with moderate security odds are you will never get hacked because there are so many fish out there with little to no security. If someone is driving around the neighborhood they may not mess with your moderately secured wireless network when there are easier targets. The bad is that there are so many wireless networks that they tend to step on each other. There are only so many channels and if you get too many accesspoints all taking on the same channel you will have issues with things that are network heavy. When you turn on your laptop to connect to your wifi, do you see a lot of other networks that are your neighbors? If so I would recommend looking at what channels they are using. By possibly changing your channel to one further away from them. Linksys are popular WAPs and most of them default to channel 7. If you have a bunch in a close area that are on different networks but all running default settings you could have drops like you mentioned. When they happen would differ based on how busy the other networks are. If all your neighbors are gone, or sleeping, it may not be bad. If their kids are surfing streaming videos at the same time, you could see drops.

I was looking more at the disconnects coming exactly 10 seconds after a renew.

I'd trust the dsl modem and router about as far as i could throw em if you glued em to a boulder.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:57 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dismount View Post
I was looking more at the disconnects coming exactly 10 seconds after a renew.

I'd trust the dsl modem and router about as far as i could throw em if you glued em to a boulder.
I was wondering if a longer log sample would show that consistently?

It would still point at the provider, who would still be clueless, but I'd fell better knowing.

Kinda like the perp that surrendered to Dirty Harry and his empty gun.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:28 PM   #15
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More logs are always a good thing
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