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Spanning Tree Protocol


Spanning Tree Protocol


I recently replaced an old Dabsvalue (read: Amigo) router after a failed firmware flash left it completely broken. As I was in a bit of a hurry, I ended up with a Netgear 834 non-wireless, which seems ok...although it doesn't seem to hold up under load as well as the el-cheapo dabs one.

One thing it does do however is flash the network activity lights every couple of seconds. I was a bit bemused about this, and downloaded a copy of Ethereal to check it out. It turns out that the router is sending a Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) packet every 2 seconds.

Any ideas why? I did a quick google and came across "router to router communications" but my brain started to shut down before I figured out what significance this had to me. Do I need this? I've got an old Lucent wireless bridge serving as an AP, but that doesn't respond, so it's not getting involved as far as I can tell. Is there any way to stop it? Not that it's wrecking my network or anything, but the flashing lights are an irritation...!



Spanning Tree Protocol

the netgear DG834 does not send out STP packets its not capable of doing so. Your software might be reporting it wrong, but it does sent out ACK or line sync replies to your ISP and this is normal and will cause the lights to flash. There is no way to stop the lights flashing unless you turn the router round so you dont see them Cheesy
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Spanning Tree Protocol

the netgear DG834 does not send out STP packets its not capable of doing so.

Actually it is and was added to firmware version 1.05.00. STP only occurs on the local network, it never get's to the WAN side.


Had exactly the same situation. Initially my DG834 (i have a v2 model - smaller and white, but the issue applies to the v1 model - silver, as well) was running 1.04.00 firmware but as soon as I upgraded to 1.05.00 I saw the STP traffic every 2 seconds on all 4 of my network connections. It was very annoying and no amount of googling could find a way to stop it happening.

However there is a solution and involves upgrading the firmware to a recent Beta version 2.10.09 in which the STP has been disabled again.

So it's up to you if you want to take a chance with the Beta firmware - mine has been running fine since I installed it a few weeks ago. . If so details in DG834G NEW Firmware, but read my warning further down the thread as you may need the recovery utility like I did when the inbuilt upgrade method failed and the router had to be 'recovered'. Don't worry if you have no network connection when recovering, the utility will still find the router and communicate with it.