Question Should I buy a new router or go in a different direction?

PrinceXizor

Platinum Member
Oct 4, 2002
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I currently have an Arris SB8200 modem used with Spectrum at 200Mbps tier. Router is a Netgear Nighthawk AC2100 (yes, that's the actual model# stamped on the stupid thing; best i can see it is an R7200).

I have the following devices: Wired main computer; wireless to secondary computer
Two laptops, 3 tablets, two phones, Roku StreamingStick and Switch. We watch 99% of our TV via streaming.

So, after a storm a few weeks ago our internet was out. Spectrum came, replaced our line from the pole to the house. Everything worked fine.
Soon after the router loses internet (not Wifi, actual connection to the WWW) regularly.

Modem lights and logs do not indicate an outage or loss of signal.
Router network does not go down as I can connect to both the router and the modem via web interface.
I have reset both devices and updated to the latest firmware.

It still randomly drops connection and is only solvable via router power cycle. Ocasionally, whatever the issue is self-resolves after a minute (i.e. i will lose internet, then after between 30-60 seconds, it comes back). Usually though, a power cycle is required to restore functionality.

The modem is newer than the router. I estimate the router was purchased 3 years ago.

1. Any general thoughts on this issue?
2. I've been thinking (since I now own our home) of possibly redoing the basic infrastructure of our home network if it makes sense. Before splashing out for a new router, is there a better more reliable setup for my home network?

Thanks for the input.
 

PrinceXizor

Platinum Member
Oct 4, 2002
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So, added wrinkle...
Internet has been stable all day today. Possibilty 1, some of my tweaks from yesterday took and worked.
Possiblity 2, the router has been placed upside down all day. Would that do anything? Weird.
 

Zoozuu

Member
Oct 21, 2020
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did you leave its power off for an extended period of time before you put it that way? did they check the modem? easiest way to know it's your router is to plug the modem in directly to a computer or a completely different/new router. same thing happens then check the connections/cables or get a new modem. maybe pay for a rental from your isp for a few months? those are like 15$ instead of 50 to 150 for a new router. I use a motorola 8600 and a netgear rax15.
 

Tech Junky

Golden Member
Jan 27, 2022
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First things you check id the Ethernet cable between the two devices.

3 years on a router shouldn't be an issue however Netgear firmware on the other hand can be an issue.

I had a R7800 for awhile and the constant SW updates made it an issue to figure out any connectivity issues if they were the router or a client issue. Not to mention the bugs in the SW/FW. I got sick of dealing with off the shelf devices and just built my own instead. I went to the extreme with an PC build but, you can do it for ~$200 with a used PC or even a new SFF PC + 4-port NIC. For the WIFI I switched to an internal PCI card initially until WIFI 6 came out and there still isn't a PCI version at this time. I switched to a WIFI6 AP for WIFI and it's much more stable.

Alternatively if it's just the WIFI being an issue you can disable the AP function on the router and just plug in an AP to the LAN port and use it that way as well. It sounds like there might be a heat issue though from you saying you put the router upside down and it worked fine for a day+.

As @Zoozuu mentioned the MB8600, I sue one as well for the past 7 years w/o any issues. It's nice w/ the 4 ports on the back with the ability to also bundle two of them together to get both higher than provisioned speeds on the gig+ plans but, it also offers redundancy if one happens to die.

Personally I would be looking at the router as being the issue if the cable doesn't fix it.. If you go into the logs on the router it should give some clues as to the underlying issue.
 

PrinceXizor

Platinum Member
Oct 4, 2002
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1. While I haven't swapped the cable (long cable run in the basement), two things minimize it's possibility. A. I can use said cable to get to the web interface of the modem even when the internet is down. B. The light on the router is amber which per the user manual means the router can see the modem through the cable (white means it's actually working).
2. It is not a WiFi issue. It is definitively an internet connectivity issue.
3. I don't believe there was an extended period of power off more than any other time I was messing around with power cycling.
4. I haven't hard wired the modem to my computer when the issue is presenting itself. Existing cabling doesn't lend itself. However, I can definitely schlep a laptop to the modem and hardwire it in and see if it suddenly has internet access. That's a good call. Should have thought of that myself.
5. I'm not going to mess with it for a few days as long as its working in its current state. Wasted enough evening time already.

It sounds like there might be a heat issue though from you saying you put the router upside down and it worked fine for a day+.
There is a possibility with this as well. It only occurred to me yesterday but, I think I thought I had this sorted another time when the router was in a similar spot (but right side up). It might not be liking its cooped up location next to our couch. Definitely another avenue of investigation.
 

Tech Junky

Golden Member
Jan 27, 2022
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If you go direct to the modem make sure you power cycle it to get an ip.

With the cable ruled out then it's either the router or the modem causing the issue. Sometimes the modem will appear up but there's a comm issue on the cable side.
 

PrinceXizor

Platinum Member
Oct 4, 2002
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So, the issues continue. I replaced the wifi/router with another cheap one just to see and it still has issues. A cable tester is on the way to check my cables. If there is a modem issues it's subtle because the modem shows no breaks in uptime.

A couple of things that MIGHT be causing the issues to get your input on:
1. Bad Roku Streaming Stick
Not a scientific study by any means but the Roku seems to make things flakier. How would the Roku knock out the internet for wired devices? (See 2)
2. IP Conflicts
So my wife's computer in the basement will sometimes have IP conflict errors when she goes downstairs to use it. We've also run into that in a couple of instances that I don't remember any of the details of any more. I have a pretty bog standard setup at the moment with no real mucking around with network and IP settings. So, if everything is set to auto as far as assigning IPs dynamically...then how am I getting conflicts?

I appreciate everyone's input. I'm reading up on networking and going to replace the existing wired backhaul (not installed by me) that is kind of hackey (too many connections and not to any jack terminations) at some point (another reason for the tester). But, I wanted to get some input on the two points I mentioned above. Thanks!
 

Tech Junky

Golden Member
Jan 27, 2022
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Roku shouldn't make a difference as it's just like any other device. i just picked up a Dynalink because I wanted something a bit more powerful that doesn't force transcoding on the server as often. So far it's the best $40 I've spent and I've tried a lot of different sticks / boxes over the years. I've had it over a month now and it's stable other than it doesn't do WPA3 which isn't a huge deal though.


IP conflicts.... it's possible the timer isn't working correctly to purge old leases from one device to another and shortening the timeout to 5 minutes could fix this.

Also, expanding the DHCP scope to allow more hosts will give your devices new options when connecting. I keep my scope at 10 IPs since I don't have a huge amount of devices and a few of them are static assignments for easy lookup in logs.
 

PrinceXizor

Platinum Member
Oct 4, 2002
2,188
99
91
Roku shouldn't make a difference as it's just like any other device. i just picked up a Dynalink because I wanted something a bit more powerful that doesn't force transcoding on the server as often. So far it's the best $40 I've spent and I've tried a lot of different sticks / boxes over the years. I've had it over a month now and it's stable other than it doesn't do WPA3 which isn't a huge deal though.


IP conflicts.... it's possible the timer isn't working correctly to purge old leases from one device to another and shortening the timeout to 5 minutes could fix this.

Also, expanding the DHCP scope to allow more hosts will give your devices new options when connecting. I keep my scope at 10 IPs since I don't have a huge amount of devices and a few of them are static assignments for easy lookup in logs.
I just set up some reserved IPs for my computer, wife's computer, Roku and Game Console. Have phones/tablets that don't need reservations. We'll see if that helps.

Another random data point....

When Spectrum replaced my line from the pole to the inside they added an unneccessary splitter for some kind of impedance matching (I'm speculating based on my fuzzy memory of the conversation with the cable guy). If that impedance matching only MOSTLY fixed it, could that cause random drop outs?
 

Tech Junky

Golden Member
Jan 27, 2022
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It could if the signal from the pole to the house changed by adding / removing customers on the same cable feed.

Try taking it out of the path and see if things improve. However everything you've mentioned so far wouldn't point to it being an issue since you're talking about your LAN devices behind your router.
 

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