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NETWORK problems....HELP!!! I'm a NEWBIE..please help..

By rjm374 ยท 10 replies
Oct 18, 2006
  1. well, my name is Ronnie and I know nothing about computers. Can anyone help me?

    Our household just got comcast cable internet.
    The cable modem works fine
    The router however has to go,(that's what the service guy said) it's a netgear wireless router w/ 4 ports. The wireless signal is horrible and the computers in the house always lose the connection after 5-10 minutes, then you have to restart your computer to get back the signal. it has been reset several times and you still get the same problem. I tried connecting one of the computers in the household directly to the router and nothing happened. only the wirless works with the desktop which is kind of weird.

    well, i'm going to purchase a Linksys Wireless-G Cable Gateway (WCG200) on amazon for $118 and also going to purchase (2) 50ft cords to plug in directly to two desktops in the household. I also have two laptops that have wireless capabilites. By doing this will it fix my internet connection problems?

    also, does the 802.11b/802.11g have any obstacles in terms of me getting online with the computers in the household?

  2. smore9648

    smore9648 TS Rookie Posts: 697

    As long the router is the problemm, then yes, this will solve your issue.

    Connect modem directly to one of the systems and see if you have any issues. If you do not have any issues then its your router.

    The 802.11b/802.11g will not be an issue.
  3. rjm374

    rjm374 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i tried to connect directly the router and two laptops (wired) and they worked. however, when I tried to connect with the three desktops (wired) they didn't work.

    is it the cable itself?

    what the heck is the difference between a cat 5, cat e, cat 6, patch cable, rj45...does it matter which one i use to connect the router to the desktops through wires?
  4. rjm374

    rjm374 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    oh, yeah....THANKS FOR THE QUICK REPLY!!!
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    This may or may not fix your issue. It sounds like it is your router and replacing it will definitely get rid of your current issues that with particular router, but you'll soon discover that many wireless routers have numerous issues with reliability and dropped connection. Even with a new router you might experience the same behavior, so choose wisely.

    Spending $120 on a 'gateway' router is a waste of cash too. You could spend $120 on a really nice router, since you already have a modem. Your modem works fine, as you mentioned so there's no reason to spend extra $$$ to replace it with an router/modem combo.

    Also, you may think Linksys is bulletproof. That's hardly the case. I can definitely attest that Linksys has made more than their fair share of terrible routers, and the tradition continues on. It's the same for all brands though, but don't get the idea that Linksys is going to save you. ;) Infact, there's a lot of members on this forum that swear by Netgear... interestingly enough.

    Oh, this is important too. There are things you can try to fix your issues without buying new, expensive equipment. A firmware upgrade for your router is a good start. Also, what do you use your internet for? P2P file sharing programs like Bittorrent bring many routers to their knees because your average $60 router with a $30 mail in rebate doesn't have the memory or well-written firmware it needs to handle the amount of network traffic such programs generate. You Netgear could be one of them.

    Does your Internet care if you're wireless or not? No. Wireless replaces cables and that's pretty much it; Aside from being wireless, a wireless router will be identical to its wired brother. But imagine instead of knowing how to insert a network cable, you need to understand how to connect to a wireless network. Wireless also adds a layer of potential security options that don't really pertain to wired connections (WEP, WPA etc...). Also, despite the simliarities to wired networks, wireless is not as reliable of a medium as cables, so there's always the potential for interference etc...
  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    CAT 5, 5e and 6 are different cabling standards. The cables can be mixed together or replaced interchangably because all of these standards of network cables work and fit just the same. The differences only affect the potential performance, in which case CAT 5e will meet virtually everyone's needs and even CAT 5 will satisfy most people.

    Patch cables are usually just short cables that connect stuff together.

    RJ-45 is the cable end (aka. connector or plug) that's commonly put at the ends of a network cable. In other words, CAT-5 is the cable standard, RJ-45 is the plug at the end.

    You can use any CAT-5, 5e or 6 cables as long as they have RJ-45 ends, which all network cables will.
  7. rjm374

    rjm374 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    so what is the most reliable brand for a wireless router with at least four ports for wired connections?

    also, a cable modem...because we're renting it from comcast for $16 dollars a month...so we're going to buy our own.

    price range for both is $120-$150

    YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!!! thanks!!!
  8. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    There isn't a particular brand. Even the most notable of brands make crap and the most notriously bad brands have some good products. You should do some investigation and read reviews for routers that will suit your needs. For example, if you need range, take a look at Mimo routers (Mimo is a technology, not a brand). Maybe you download and share a lot of stuff via P2P programs, in which case you'll want a robust router that can handle continuous network traffic reliably. If you play games, you might want one that designed for low-pings and well implemented QoS features. Maybe you use VoIP or need to setup a VPN.. there are routers out there for this kind of stuff too.... So what you spend your money on really depends on your needs. Once you figure out what you need, then try to find the most reliable model of whatever meets those needs. Find something with good customer reviews and pro reviews etc...

    I don't believe this... I think you should ask your cable co. again. I've been with a number of cable companies, including Charter, Comcast, Time Warner and Adelphia and I've gotten cable Internet service with each. In every case, the cable modem fee was about $3-5/mo...

    Even that could add up though, so buying your own cable modem is not a bad idea. However, I would seperate the two though, because getting them together severely limits your router options. It will be much easier to find an inexpensive, problem-free modem and a good wireless router than a good combo :)

    A good, inexpensive modem is this $30 D-link (After $20 rebate). http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16825112104
  9. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,975   +9

    I have Comcast; I hate Comcast. I can't wait until Verizon FIOS is hooked up in my town for all my services (FIOS Tv as well)! I will then get a 15MBPS internet service (I have 3 right now on DSL). They also have a huge on demand service, which will be put to good use :haha:
  10. rjm374

    rjm374 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    comcast is soooo gay...overpriced and sometimes there's periods when it lags so bad it's better to use dial up...there is NO OTHER SERVICE available in this area..only comcast and or course AOL, which I'm sadly using right now...well, thanks again!!
  11. DMaxx

    DMaxx TS Rookie

    Hey Ronnie,

    Looks like u have old router what u have to do is go to netgear web site and download firmware for that router or best call netgare and they will help u out. I hade the same problem with my linksys router and after I installed that I can be online for days.
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