Wireless connection (DNS?) headaches

  • DeadWolfBones
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello all...

I was Googling for answers to my predicament and stumbled across this forum. It seemed like a good place to look for help, so here I am.

My problem is this:

I just recently got cable internet and installed a wireless router to let our three computers share the connection. We're using the USRobotics USR8054 router and the corresponding PCI adapter cards (Model 5416, I believe). The central computer (the one closest to the modem/router) is wired to the router. The other two are wireless.

Everything works pretty well. On my personal computer, about 25ft away and through a couple walls, the connection is strong and I get good speed on both ethernet and internet. However, there's a problem...

While everything is fast and works well right after I boot up, if I go idle for any period of time (a few hours or more, it seems) or if I play a fullscreen online game for any length of time, my connection loses the ability to look up websites. Everything else continues to work (p2p, AIM, etc), but I can't open webpages. Everything indicates the connection strength and speed are fine. And, if I use numeric IPs, I can load any page.

I'm running XP Pro SP1 and using ZoneAlarm Pro as my firewall. I've tried using both the supplied router utility and the built-in Windows one, and neither seems to prevent this issue from occuring. I've tried repairing the connection, doing an "ipconfig /renew" or "/renew all", but neither works. Disabling and re-enabling the wireless adapter doesn't help. Logging off doesn't help. Only restarting my computer or the router fixes it.

I have a friend with a different router and a wired connection who is also having the exact same problem.

Any ideas would be much appreciated. Also, feel free to message me at AIM: DeadWolfBones

Thanks!
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • technical
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Post 3+ Months Ago

This is the most wierd problem i heard in my life. There is one possibility tho. It could be that your system standbys after a while and your network wireless card is not compatible with that or your IE is not. I don't know. Try disabling system stand by or system hibernation. If it doesn't work reinstall your Internet Explorer and your wireless network card. Also make sure you have the latest windows updates. you can also call your wireless network card help desk. Hope this helped.
  • DeadWolfBones
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Post 3+ Months Ago

technical wrote:
This is the most wierd problem i heard in my life. There is one possibility tho. It could be that your system standbys after a while and your network wireless card is not compatible with that or your IE is not. I don't know. Try disabling system stand by or system hibernation. If it doesn't work reinstall your Internet Explorer and your wireless network card. Also make sure you have the latest windows updates. you can also call your wireless network card help desk. Hope this helped.


Hey, thanks for the reply. I don't think it's standby or hibernation. In fact I'm sure of it. And I've tried it in three browsers (Opera 7, IE6, Firefox). Got the latest windows updates just a couple days ago. And yeah, I could call USRobotics, but I've heard nothing but terrible things about their tech support (not to mention that it's not toll free at all). Thing is, this isn't really a huge deal... it's just annoying. Oh well. If anyone else has got any ideas...
  • technical
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Sorry to hear that it didn't help but I can give you an advice for wireless network. Not be advertising but i think Netgear is the best option for wireless networking. Buy a netgear wireless router and netgear wireless cards and there would be no problem. I am doing the same and the good thing is the router is 100 feet away from my laptop in the basement! IT still works with 80% signal strength through two floors of ceiling and walls. Or the other option is to choose two of the PC's that you use a lot and connect them using a 45 feet cable. You can hide the cable under the carpet and use the 3rd PC with wireless network. The still would still be fast.

hope this helps
  • derekisgod
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have the same problem, after a few hours, the connection will just drop off the face of the planet, and I wont be able to go to any websites.

I thought it might be a problem with the DHCP, but everytime I make a change to it, on the router, it seems to take no effect.

Even when I'm in the middle of an online game for hours, it will just drop and I have to restart my router.

if you have found any solutions I'm all ears. Thanks
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have a few thoughts about this, but I'm not entirely certain how close I am to the correct root cause or not. Without getting too techinical I'll try to explain my theory in the simplest terms possible. On a Network of anykind including home networks like yours the computers talk to each other via a "default gateway". In your case the default gateway is your router. The router contains a built in DHCP server which assigns your local computers IP addresses. It also (I think in most cases) contains a (we'll call it "mimi") DNS server as does each of your computers. Essentially that builds up a local cache of frequently visited sites so it doesn't always have to go out to your ISP's DNS servers to translate domain names.

That being said let me give you an example from my own experience. I remote into work throuh a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection. In the past I always had this same problem as you're having when I had my VPN connection active. I couldn't connect to any websites, but messenger programs would all work fine. The problem was that by default when I was connected VPN the network connection properties forced me to use the work default gateway which is my work server. So by default my computer was attempting to resolve internet domain names by requesting them of my work DNS server which doesn't have all of them. However, messenger programs and such are connecting in most cases via IP addresses and they don't need a DNS server to resolve names.

I'm assuming when you play games, you are most likely connecting to some sort of game server. What I think is happening is that your computer is defaulting to trying to use the game server as the gateway and there is no way to resolve DNS. What theoritically may happen is yeah, you can start out playing your games and still may be able to connect to some sites, because they are most likely sites that you visit frequently and are in your computer's local DNS cache. But if you try to visit a site that you haven't visited recently, your computer doesn't know how to find it, and since you're on a different default gateway for your game, it doesn't know how to find it. Then if you go and do your release and renew you wipe out your local cache so now you can't access your frequently visited sites either.

I'm assumimg that rebooting the computer fixes everything and your just fine?

Keep in mind this is a theory, but I think I'm not too far off. Unfortunately, I've never run games on game servers like that so I don't have a solution. But I think if you'll search along those lines you'll come up with them. Also read the documentation and FAQ's on the game site. Most likely you're not the only one that's ever had the problem and they may have a solution.

For my example, there was a solution. In network properties for the VPN connection there was an option not to use the remote default gateway. Once I checked that, no more problems. I don't know if your solution would be as simple or not.

Hope that helps some.

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