LinkSys wireless dropping idle connection

By ChaosKirin
Apr 9, 2007
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  1. Hello!

    I'm running Windows XP, and I just acquired a LinkSys wireless router. (WRT54GS)

    It works fine, but I have a connection that I need to monitor that I don't necessarily have to send information TO. Unfortunately, when I don't enter in any commands for a time (Right around 20 minutes on the nose) the connection drops because of idleness. This doesn't affect any non-idle connections on the same server. The thing is, I'm able to re-connect right away, without re-configuring the router or the modem or unplugging anything. It just doesn't seem to like me sitting idle, and I need to.

    So far, all my searches have turned up scenarios where the router completely drops the connection. This hasn't happened to me at all. Plus, I have used another wireless network with the same Linksys router model (Not the same physical router, but the same brand, same design, etc) which DID NOT drop idle connections. Hopefully, my confusion is understandable.

    I know wireless connections are going to drop from time to time, but being that this is so frequent and predictable, I'm hoping there's a simple solution that I'm overlooking, that'll help me at least stay connected with SOME regularity while I'm away from the computer. Any help is greatly appreciated; thanks in advance.

    Edited to add: I already tried updating the firmware. No luck.
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    Yes, idle connections get flushed periodically. You just have to send or receive some keepalive data to keep the connection alive. This is a necessary operation - otherwise the router's connection tables would fill up with dead connections sooner or later and you would get a nice router crash/reboot.

    What kind of a program/protocol are we talking about here exactly? SSH servers/clients have keepalive features and some FTP clients can do "keepalive" too by periodically sending bogus commands.
  3. ChaosKirin

    ChaosKirin Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Yeah, I figured it'd be something like that. I'm sending a blank command to the server now every 600 seconds, and I'm still getting punted after fifteen.

    For reference, I'm using SimpleMU*. The code base is TinyMUX (I believe. I'll have to double-check with the site admin later.) I'm an admin on a Telnet-based connection. Normally, I'm pretty good with some code, but I'm new to wireless, and I have no idea what I'm doing. Should sending this blank command (It's @emit, which also doesn't spam my screen with the default error command) work, or is there something else going on here?

    I've been looking for some sort of Keepalive I could execute, and I found something that made a vague reference to editing the registry, but I'm hesitant about doing that if I don't have to.

    And I suppose that different wireless connections will function differently, but I wasn't sending any keepalive packets on my last wireless connection, and I wasn't getting booted. Is this just because this is a newer router? Is it a variation in the internet services? Both are Comcast.
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    It is the router's fault usually. I've had the issue with Linksys and SMC routers.
    Any data that reaches the server should be OK - the TCP stack should make sure that the packet gets to the server and an acknowledgment comes back.
    10 minutes may be too much.. Try every 30 seconds for the keepalive.

    Of course, the issue may be somewhere else too.. Maybe the server was reconfigured to kick idle people (and/or ignore @emit commands)? Do you have any firewall or VPN or packet sniffing programs installed that could interfere with network traffic?
  5. ChaosKirin

    ChaosKirin Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I had the firewall turned off for awhile. (In fact, it's still off, oops.) Beyond that, I don't have anything installed that'd interfere, I don't think.

    I'll try a different command when I hook everything up again later. Thanks for your help so far puzzling through this. I'll have an update tonight... Hopefully the shorter keepalive will work.

    Is there anything I can do to the router that would constantly send a keepalive? I know this isn't a huge issue, but I'm worried about having the keepalive interfering with the idle timer, making it look like I'm there when I'm not. There're ways around that, though. I'm just curious.
  6. ChaosKirin

    ChaosKirin Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Well, it looks like setting the timer to 30 seconds did the trick. I do wish there was another way, but this will do for now, I think. Thanks!
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