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NetGear/AOL


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#1
_iii_

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Hi. Forgive the newbish post, but I'm at my wit's end.

I'm connected to AOL through a wireless NetGear DG834Gv3 router. The past couple of days, the Internet connection for both computers connected to the network has been extremely slow, refuses access to certain webpages (Hotmail, MySpace, &c), and disconnects approximately every two hours.

Naturally, I assumed this was a malfunction with the router itself (it was over three years old), and so I replaced it with a new one, only to find that it did nothing to fix the problem (firmware is, of course, the most recent). Connection is still much slower than it should be, still refuses access to certain webpages, and still disconnects itself every couple of hours. I have ruled out a faulty router being the cause, since it'd be pretty coincidental that two different routers would give the exact same problem. So I'm now at a loss as to what the problem is.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.

Edited by _iii_, 28 January 2008 - 05:43 AM.

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#2
Doobieus

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Okay a couple of questions.

1. What version of AOL?

2. When did this problem start occurring?
(For example, was there a program you installed/updated before this started to occur?)

3. What errors (If you have been getting any) is AOL giving you while trying to browse?

4. Have you tried browsing through another internet browser like Internet Explorer or Firefox? If so are the results the same?

5. Have you tried a ping to see if your connection is lagging? If you need assistance on how to do this I'll be glad to assist.

Aside from the questions, Linksys works better with AOL. Netgear's work but they don't work as well as Linksys, trust me on that one :).

I'm almost willing to bet that the problem resides in either:

1. The settings on Netgear and AOL.

2. The AOL Connectivity Service (AOL ACS)

3. The AOL browser software.

If you do happen to get an error code while browsing, save that for me and I'll see what I can do. :)
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#3
_iii_

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Thanks for the reply! Will try and answer as best I can.

1. What version of AOL?
AOL 9.0 is the active version on one of the computers. This one, I don't use the AOL browser, just FireFox and Internet Explorer.

2. When did this problem start occurring?
It started, completely at random, at the start of the weekend. Nothing seemed to cause it, so far as I can tell (no new programs have been installed recently on any of the computers connected to the network).

3. What errors (If you have been getting any) is AOL giving you while trying to browse?
No error messages. The connection just gives out, then starts back up again.

4. Have you tried browsing through another internet browser like Internet Explorer or Firefox? If so are the results the same?
Having tried through multiple browsers, the browsing problem persisted. Though I have, since making this post, fixed the problem with accessing certain webpages, by changing the MTU number. This didn't do anything to fix the lag or the disconnection, though.

5. Have you tried a ping to see if your connection is lagging? If you need assistance on how to do this I'll be glad to assist.
Afraid I'm going to have to ask for assistance on how to do this. Again, sorry to be a pain. :)
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#4
Doobieus

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Hey no problem, I'm here to help.

If AOL is not being used by anyone on that computer, uninstall it and the AOL ACS and any other programs related to AOL.

Now onto the ping:

1. Click on Start

2. Click on Run

3. In the box type cmd

4. When the screen comes up type:

ping www.google.com -t

5. Enter

6. Let it go for a little bit and then press Ctrl + C

7. Look at where it says a number followed by ms (Example: 32ms)

8. See if it's spiking or timing out. (Example: 32ms,32ms,84ms,32ms, connection timed out, etc. etc.)

9. To exit out just type exit and then hit the enter key.

Another thing to consider is Malware (Example:Virus, Trojan, Spyware, etc.). As a Geek in training I can only recommend to go to the Malware forum Here and posting a HijackThis log. To see if possibly this could be a Malware issue.

Of course, if your computer is acting fine with all other applications and what not then there might not be a need.

Let's go ahead and see if this is network related first though. Update me with your findings, and we'll take it from there.

Also don't feel as if you're being a pain, I'm here to help. :)
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#5
_iii_

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Thanks again for the reply.

Never actually got around to putting AOL itself and its related software onto this computer, since I never used their browser, and it wasn't necessary for accessing the internet with the router.

RE: the ping thing. It does seem to be spiking somewhat. 30 packets sent, 26 received, four timeouts. Seemed to take 22-25ms on average, with a couple of small spikes in the 30s and one big one of 73.

Did consider malware as an option, but everything else on the computer runs perfectly (and the two others connected to the network too). Will try the HijakThis option, though, if it'll help. :)
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#6
Doobieus

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No problem.

Aside from Malware being the issue.

I would say to call your provider and have them check if you have an intermittent signal. The only reason I state this is, because when you're getting your signal your signal is great. The issue is the spikes and the timeouts. The spikes will cause the lag/slow browsing, the timeouts will cause the disconnects. Also intermittent signals can happen all of a sudden as well.

Also I'm sure you've gone through many trouble shooting steps, but I just want to make sure. Are your port mappings/port forwarding settings set properly?

Keep me updated, I'll help as much as I can. :)
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#7
_iii_

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Thanks again.

Yep, port forwarding et al is set the way it should be. Other than the MTU settings, which I had to change to fix the browsing problem, everything is set exactly the way it was when the connection was flawless.

Will get onto provider in the morning, see if they can offer any info' on the signal. Thanks so much for your patience and advice. :)
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#8
Doobieus

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No problem :)

Just keep me updated on your findings.

Also you're welcome. :)
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#9
_iii_

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Thanks once again. And, update...

Provider couldn't find anything wrong with the signal... but, having said that, for the whole of yesterday the connection was absolutely flawless - no lag, no disconnects, no problems whatsoever. Today, without anything having changed, it's back to the way it was, lagged and disconnecting every half-hour. Once again, at a loss.
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#10
Doobieus

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Okay I see that you've been using a Wireless router.

Now I'm assuming at least one of the computers on your network is on a wireless connection. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

If the computer you're having the issues with, is the wireless one. Check if you have any cordless phones nearby, because that can mess with the signal, also satellites can tend to make the connection kind of screwy. If the computer having the signal issue is near a cordless phone or satellite try and move it somewhere not so close. Also I know you've messed with the mtu, but try 1400, if that doesn't improve anything change it back.

Another thing to consider is getting a static IP (Which is usually set up on provider's side), I'd save this as a last resort however.

Also if you are using a wireless router, is the card USB, Ethernet, built in, etc.?

Also let's try and hard wire the computer into the router and see if the connection improves or not. This way we can narrow it down to either being specific to the computer's side, or more so on the wireless signal side.

I'm sorry if this is starting to get frustrating but connection issues can be pretty complicated at times.

Try some of these out, and keep me updated. :)
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#11
_iii_

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Thanks again for the repy - not frustrating at all. Thanks for sticking it out this long in spite of my router's stubborn refusal to acknowledge all your help. :)

Yep, the computers are all connected to the router wirelessly. The computer in question is relatively new, and a laptop, so it came with a wireless card already built in.

Have moved the phones around a little, and the connection seems to have been mostly stable for an hour or so. Not entirely sure whether it's a fix, but it's an improvement. :) Shall keep an eye on it, and keep you updated as necessary.

Thanks again for all your advice, and patience.
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#12
Doobieus

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Hey again,

Glad to hear that you're getting a stable connection, let's go ahead and keep a watch on it for a couple days and see if this helps.

Anyhow here's an explanation on the whole cordless phone deal. Modern cordless phones use the same technology now as wireless cards/devices. So because of that, it screws with the wireless signal.

I'm crossing my fingers for you. :)

Also again no problem, I'm here to help.

Edited by Doobieus, 02 February 2008 - 07:36 AM.

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#13
Doobieus

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Hello again,

So it's been 2-3 days, so how's the connection doing?

I'm hoping/assuming well :).
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#14
_iii_

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Hey, thanks for the interest.

Seems to be running fairly stable, thankfully. Pings are still returning an awful lot of timeouts and some latency spikes... but computer doesn't seem to be disconnecting any more. Though, having said that, I have got one or two "WB" instant messages from people, who seemed to think I'd been booted, even though my computer and Trillian both insisted I hadn't been disconnected at all. On the whole, though, it does seem, to all appearances, much more stable.

Thanks again. :)
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#15
Doobieus

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Hello again,

No problem, I'm glad to hear that it's stable again. As far as the latency spikes and timeouts, if it's unbearable. Talk to your Isp and setup a static IP, this tends to help wireless signals as well. One more thing to consider is, even though it has a built in receiver, a ethernet/usb etc. receiver may work better.

If any other connection issues arise, go ahead and shoot a message my way.

Take care and happy browsing!!

:)
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