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  1. #1
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    Randomly regular disconnect of cable Internet service (Cox cable USA)

    My internet connectivity fails with "random regularity" for periods of about one minute. Both the big computer connected directly to my Trendnet TEW432BRP wireless router by a cat5 cable and a separate laptop connected wirelessly lose the signal at exactly the same time and for the exact same period. How could either computer cause the signal loss?

    This is a table of data collected by Internet Connectivity Monitor over a 24 hour period starting Friday Nov 30 slightly after 8 am local time.

    Time of Previous Period of Period of
    failure reconnect connection loss
    09:26:21 08:06:53 1.0 Started at 08:06:53
    09:36:20 09:25:55 10.0 1.0
    09:41:21 09:35:54 5.0 1.0
    09:46:23 09:40:55 5.0 1.0
    09:51:20 09:45:56 5.0 1.0
    11:02:28 09:50:54 71.1 0.9
    11:32:27 11:02:02 30.0 1.1
    11:37:27 11:32:01 5.0 1.1
    18:37:54 11:32:01 425.5 1.0
    18:42:55 18:37:28 5.0 0.9
    18:47:53 18:42:29 5.0 1.1
    20:11:17 18:47:27 83.4 1.0
    20:16:15 20:10:51 5.0 1.0
    20:21:12 20:15:49 4.9 0.8
    20:26:15 20:20:46 5.1 1.0
    21:12:51 20:25:49 46.6 0.5
    08:18:40 21:12:51 665.7 1.1
    09:32:12 08:18:03 73.7 0.9
    09:37:10 09:31:45 5.0 1.0
    09:42:12 09:36:44 5.0 0.9
    09:47:12 09:41:46 5.0 0.9
    09:52:09 09:46:46 5.0 0.9
    09:57:07 09:51:43 5.0 1.0


    As you can see from the last figure in each row, all but two of 23 disconnects were close to one minute duration. Internet Connectivity Monitor checks every 5 seconds, therefore the data is granular. Periods of good signal (third figure) between failures seem to be based on 5, most are five minutes. Eight of 23 are longer (to 11 hours five minutes) and half of those are even multiples of five. There’s so much “five” in this table, I cannot imagine it is not significant of something but I don't know what.

    I am a geologist, not technically inept, and quite capable of maintaining my own system especially with the help I get from the Forum. This looks to me (not a network engineer) like a server problem.

    Cox seems clueless, the first two tech support guys (maybe the same guy signing different names) could not tell the difference between OFF and slow. When the network is connected, download speeds average 25 Mb/s and uploads of 9 Mb/s - better than what I need. I asked, twice, for a network engineer but none of the replies reflect this particular expertise. I'm communicating with Cox by e-mail because I'm hard of hearing and completely baffled by thick foreign accents.

    I have started this thread to ask if anybody knows of anything that could go wrong in either a cable modem or a wireless router that would yield this 5-5-5 data set. Cox has offered to send somebody out to check my computer (and charge me if it's not their gear). I just want to check all the angles.

    WAIT! 555 is 111 less than 666. This may be the mark of the mini-beast (Does he drive a Mini-Cooper?) getting ready to end the Mayan world. I always thought their calendar stopped because they ran out of rock to carve it in.

    I've had 21 disconnects in the last 4 hours.

    SORRY! I just posted thisand the table is crap. Tabs went to single spaces. I can send a csvfile to anybody who's interested.

    Dan Lynch
    Last edited by stonecherub; 2012-12-02 at 15:49. Reason: apology
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

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  3. #2
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    We have Cox internet at home, and we have had some problems with it, although not exactly like yours. Specifically, from time to time (a few times per week), we would lose connectivity, and I would then have to power down the modem and router, then power up the modem, then power up the router. Sometimes I had to do this a few times before connectivity was restored.

    One day we got Vonage, which plugs in between the modem and the router. Since getting Vonage, we NEVER have internet problems. I have come to the conclusion that Vonage does automatic error correction on the internet connection. This further confirms my opinion about Vonage that they work very hard to make VOIP work well.

  4. #3
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    I guess my biggest problem is with Cox tech non-support. I switched from qWest to Cox when one of their techs suggested that my computermight be "dirty." Now, Cox will neither forward my problem to an engineer nor even acknowledge that anybody there understands it. Is Vonnage an ISP or just VOIP?
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

  5. #4
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Can you connect a computer directly to the cable modem? This would either eliminate your router as the source of the problem or point to it.

    Is your cable connection overhead or buried? Mine is buried and I had connection problems when critters stated gnawing the cable. Comcast came out and layed new cable.

    Can you connect to your cable modem to read its signal levels? Here is a list of where they should be at:
    http://www.dslreports.com/faq/3412

    The Cox tech should have done this.

    Jerry

  6. #5
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    I have tried to plug the cable from the computer directly into the modem but that never seems to work. I had thought that the router was necessary but can't remember why. The cable outside is buried in a condominium patio with no evidence of burrowing critters.

    I finally got the modem connected to the computer, pinged the gateway and everything looks OK.
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

  7. #6
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stonecherub View Post
    I guess my biggest problem is with Cox tech non-support. I switched from qWest to Cox when one of their techs suggested that my computermight be "dirty." Now, Cox will neither forward my problem to an engineer nor even acknowledge that anybody there understands it. Is Vonnage an ISP or just VOIP?
    Vonage is only VOIP, nothing more.

    (I pay only $12 per month for the service, so it's well worth it.)

    My experience with Cox has been very good. They even sent a tech out on a Sunday morning once to fix a problem with the cable coming into the house! I had just switched from AT&T to Cox, and Cox was far more customer-responsive than AT&T was.

  8. #7
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stonecherub View Post
    I have tried to plug the cable from the computer directly into the modem but that never seems to work. I had thought that the router was necessary but can't remember why. The cable outside is buried in a condominium patio with no evidence of burrowing critters.

    I finally got the modem connected to the computer, pinged the gateway and everything looks OK.
    There are only two reasons you would need a router:

    1. To connect more than one device to the internet.

    2. To provide a wireless connection.

    For example, if all you have is a desktop computer, and the modem is right by the computer, there's no need for a router. In fact, by eliminating the router, you eliminate a source of possible connection issues.

  9. #8
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    A third reason for a router is to have a hardware Firewall.

    Jerry

  10. #9
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    A third reason for a router is to have a hardware Firewall.

    Jerry
    Very true; I was merely trying to keep it simple.

    A fourth reason would be, if you have a wild child who won't behave, you can block their internet connection, till they calm down!

    And you can use QoS to give Dad high priority!
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2012-12-04 at 17:30.

  11. #10
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    PROBLEM SOLVED. After getting the network connected directly to the modem, I ran ICM overnight and into the following day with no disconnects. It's the router, q.e.d. Ordered a new one, arrives tomorrow. I still don't understand the 5 minute thing but, at this point, don't care.

    Thanks all.
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

  12. #11
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    I don't have any hard knowledge concerning the internet disconnect problem, but from many articles/messages that I have read a possible work around might be to assign permanent IP addresses to your computers. This assumes that your router/access point is currently assigning NAT addresses via the DHCP service. This seems to cure many unusual problems.

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    You probably also have a "dynamic" 'Net connection thru Cox. You don't get/ keep the same IP#, and every so often the may change it on you. We have TWC (like Cox), and they do this also. If I run XP or Linux, I may have a short occasional glitch but otherwise it stays working. On Win7, tho, I'll have to reboot to regain my Internet in maybe 20 minutes. Same PC, just diff partitions and OS. Once in a while I can "release" and "renew" in ipconfig and get back on, but most times "renew" won't work by that time.

  14. #13
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    My problem was my router went walkabout. After i bypassed the router and connected directly to the modem, the failures stopped. Installation of a new router got my wife back on line and we've had no failures since. Thanks for thinking of me.
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

  15. #14
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    I had Cox and later Verizon. I had intermittent Internet lost and then reconnect, and slow (at times). I blaimed Cox, the cable modem, etc. Moved to Verizon Fiber, better and less of the same, but still same problems.
    Finally rooted the old Linksys router. Installed Tomato to it. Better, still same old same old. Finally, decided to ask Verizon to update to a new wireless Actiontec router, replacing the old Dlink router (also from Verizon). With the new Actiontec, no more intermittent Internet connection problems.
    I used two routers, one from Verizon (for only wired connections). The other is the old Linksys for wireless only, which was in series (to the WAN of Linksys) with Actiontec. This way, wireless intrusion is stop by the last firewall: Actiontec.

    Turned out old routers, the Linksys and the Dlink, have problems with faster Internet speed, IMO. The old Linksys with Tomato seems to reboot frequently. The solution is that I scheduled it to reboot every day. Still have same problem but less occurrence.
    Finally tests of Internet speed showed that the WAN side of the old routers was limited to 10Mbps. Seems the 'modern' Internet service high speed, 20Mbps, overwhelms the firmware + the hardware.
    I proved it by putting an old professional 10Mbps network hub (not switch) before the old routers. This worked and no more intermittent disconnections.
    Conclusion:
    If you still have old routers, old modems too, with WAN side speed of 10Mbps, it is time to upgrade the router, and the modem. At least match, or faster, WAN speed to your Internet service speed.
    Last edited by scaisson; 2012-12-20 at 16:56.

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