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The mystery of my internet drop outs

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The mystery of my internet drop outs

Postby Marbury » Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:08 pm

Well, this is a real headache as my broadband randomly drops out constantly on my windows 10 pc from the ethernet cable (being fed through tp link extender sockets
which are reasonably new in the last few months) which didn't happen until last week. The wi fi is fine when picked up from ipads and Netflix etc runs from the router fine. I have swapped the Ethernet cables, ran tests on my pc with the error "ethernet doesn't have a valid ip configuration" as well as "the default gateway is not available" The tp inks are showing 3 lights all the time, including dropouts which indicates a live internet signal. Eventually the pc picks up the internet signal after some time but the only quick way to get the drop out back is to unplug the tp link and plug in again. This would indicate a pc or extender issue BUT I used an other machine with Win 7 and hooked it direct to the router with the same drop outs (which eliminates the tp links and my upstairs machine as being the fault). To make things more complex (My BB provider who seem to be scratching their head as much as me) my master socket was very old and audibly crackly when using the phone, with some corrosion which was replaced by an engineer yesterday (they ran a test on the line which flagged a fault) but this new socket has not solved anything. I have reset the router, plugged the cable into different ethernet sockets and still the dropouts continue.

As my BB provider seem as miffed as myself, I was wondering if anyone here may be able to suggest what could be wrong ?
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Re: The mystery of my internet drop outs

Postby James Perrett » Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:13 pm

It is difficult to diagnose at a distance but it sounds like your PC isn't always picking up an IP address. Am I right in thinking that you are using a direct wired link to the router? Are you using DHCP on everything or do some things have a static IP address? Do you have only one DHCP server? What are these extenders that you mention?
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Re: The mystery of my internet drop outs

Postby CS70 » Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:53 pm

Yeah, tough to look at these things without sitting there.

There can be a lot of reasons, from hardware (physical) to driver to software.

1) Extenders are usually a nightmare, with poor firmware, unreliable connection capabilities and very hard to monitor and debug (you often have to use a laptop connected directly via ethernet or swap Wifi to access the built-in configuration server, whose web server component (for the web interface) usually craps out often as it's some old version of Catalina which leaks memory and there's not enough memory on board to run it properly. Even testing the bloody things is hard because they may well use different paths internally for wired and wireless work.

Intermittent connection to the extender (most often due to this one crapping out rather than the signal strength itself) are a common reason. Check also the channel on which the extender works, if it's very congested you will have lots of collisions, packet losses and the endpoint device will think the net has gone down as it won't stick to the (fast) timeouts expected on a wired connection.

Mesh systems appear to be a little better in that respect.

2) Assuming the extender works, usually this is a network driver issue, or a device conflict. Or a malfunction in the card, of course, but it's unlikely. Network cards can also have badly written drivers. On one of the PCs I have I use a cheap 5G USB dongle whose drivers, under certain circumstances, lose the connection and do not recover it - the quickest fix is to unplug and plug again. It happens very rarely so it's fine, but I dont expect that driver to be fixed anytime soon.

3) You may have software that has installed virtual devices that conflict with it. I installed a tool to do AirPlay on the PC the other day and it works, but when stopped it starting causing some network glitches so I now just enable the device when required.

The Window log (event viewer) may give you some hints of what's going on.
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Re: The mystery of my internet drop outs

Postby Marbury » Wed Feb 17, 2021 1:01 pm

Ok, I think I have managed to pinpoint the problem. It's the new Tp links. I just plugged the other machine into the router direct downstairs and it worked a treat, eliminating my router as the problem. I took the same machine upstairs and into the TP link and it dropped the same as on the other machine.

This now makes me very annoyed as I only just replaced a failed set of TP links that lasted about 4 years, so why have they failed ? All lights are showing.
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Re: The mystery of my internet drop outs

Postby CS70 » Wed Feb 17, 2021 1:03 pm

Ahah guess which brand is my dongle? :D

TP Link..
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Re: The mystery of my internet drop outs

Postby James Perrett » Wed Feb 17, 2021 1:08 pm

Marbury wrote:Ok, I think I have managed to pinpoint the problem. It's the new Tp links. I just plugged the other machine into the router direct downstairs and it worked a treat, eliminating my router as the problem. I took the same machine upstairs and into the TP link and it dropped the same as on the other machine.

This now makes me very annoyed as I only just replaced a failed set of TP links that lasted about 4 years, so why have they failed ? All lights are showing.

I'll bet that it is a configuration issue. If you need any help then please post the make and model number of everything on your network and as much as you know about the settings. We need to know all the details if we are to have any hope of helping.
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Re: The mystery of my internet drop outs

Postby Marbury » Wed Feb 17, 2021 1:12 pm

Thanks, I appreciate that. The model of the links are

TP-Link TL-PA717 KIT 1-Port Gigabit Powerline Starter Kit, Data Transfer Speed Up to 1000 Mbps, Ideal for HD/3D/4K Video Streaming and Online Gaming(for Wired Only), No Configuration Required

As for settings, you will need to give me more help please as the plugs are plug and go, no settings required, unless you are referring to my internet pc settings ?
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Re: The mystery of my internet drop outs

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Feb 17, 2021 1:29 pm

I've not had much success with TP Links via the mains. My first set died after a couple of years. That turned out to be failed electrolytic capacitors (apparently a common and known problem) which I replaced, but the units only ever gave a lacklustre and unreliable performance. In the end, I did away with them, and wired in a new Ubiquiti wifi unit upstairs at the other end of the house, and that has provided a much more stable and reliable connection.
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Re: The mystery of my internet drop outs

Postby Marbury » Wed Feb 17, 2021 1:34 pm

They can go back to Amazon and I will get a different brand
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Re: The mystery of my internet drop outs

Postby James Perrett » Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:17 pm

It may also be worth pointing out that your wiring will have a big effect on how well they work. They use fairly high frequency signals which may be attenuated by your wiring - especially if they are on different circuits and there is a long distance between the power line adaptor and your fusebox.
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Re: The mystery of my internet drop outs

Postby Marbury » Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:51 pm

Perhaps so but the last one ran for years with no problem. I suppose the next option is get a wifi card for my pc and go that route (pun intended) To confuse things even more, my BB provider has got back to me to say there was a fault at the exchange that has been put right now. Only time will tell but so far so good although I am not sure the links would be the only things affected by a fault. But what do I know about the mysteries of t'internet

Oh dear, after a long period of connection it has again dropped out. I give up.
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Re: The mystery of my internet drop outs

Postby blinddrew » Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:08 pm

I use D-Link extenders in my studio and they're generally pretty reliable. Maybe once every 4 months something will throw a fit but being as this is normally solved by rebooting the router I don't think I can blame the extenders.
I'm currently using both of them so can't give you a model number right now, but will do so later on.
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Re: The mystery of my internet drop outs

Postby CS70 » Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:18 pm

Marbury wrote:They can go back to Amazon and I will get a different brand

The only brand from which I get network gear, since several years now, is ASUS.

D-Link, TP-link, Netgear - they may be doing some good products but I haven't found any. :)

ASUS costs a little more, but the engineering, power, reliability and support (in terms of updates) is worth every penny.

The TP Link dongle is an oddity as I got it free and half-works. But the moment it doesn't...
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Re: The mystery of my internet drop outs

Postby James Perrett » Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:22 pm

Marbury wrote:Perhaps so but the last one ran for years with no problem. I suppose the next option is get a wifi card for my pc and go that route (pun intended)

If you've had some that worked successfully in the past then it looks like these particular TP-Link ones are no good. Personally I'd stick to cabled ethernet rather than Wifi as Wifi can increase the lowest latency settings that you can use without clicks and pops. If you want to play virtual instruments on your computer in real time this could be a problem.
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Re: The mystery of my internet drop outs

Postby Marbury » Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:53 pm

Shucks, it's back to dropping out after a few hours of smooth running. Losing the will to live.
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