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Network drop outs

hubris
Dabbler
Posts: 11
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎11-07-2018

Network drop outs

Hi,

I have an interesting problem I've been unable to sort out for a few years now.

I was previously on BT, and now on PN, both using the supplied routers, which seem to be pretty much the same.  Been through the BT HH3, 4, 5, and now have the PN router, which as far as I can tell, is a HH5 in a white shell.

 

So, my issue is, all ASUS branded motherboards/laptops using a Wired Ethernet connection periodically are not allowed to talk to the router for somewhere between 30 seconds to 5 minutes.  Can happen 4 times a week, or maybe 4 times a day.  No rhyme nor reason for it.  These are using a variety of NIC (Intel/Realtek/Marvell), as they have been purchased over time.  I've updated the drivers on them, and tend to keep them current.  I've downgraded drivers on them before to try and find something stable.  I've used official drivers from ASUS, I've used manufacturer sourced drivers, I've used WIndows drivers.

 

 

I did blame intermediary devices before, but have since worked out that when it occurs, the affected computer can still access other internal devices on the network that it has previously known about (new devices have no local DNS cache entry, and the gateway seems to stuff any chance of it working). 

 

When not working the affected a) cannot ping the router (192.168.1.254), and b) no external access.  If I run a command window in the background, permanently pinging the router, it appears to keep it active for longer periods.

All wired devices are connected to a single port on the HH.

I don't recall having this issue when using a Virgin router (although that was a few years back now), and it only happens with the Wired not Wireless, and it only happens with the ASUS mainboard machines.  I have Dell laptop and Intel motherboard machines running on the same network, and they are active and fully connected at the time when the ASUS machines are affected (and they are not all affected at once - just randomly, but they all do it).

 

I "could" get another router in place to validate whether it is the HH, but, that'd be a £200 test (for the router I'd like to replace it with anyway, and it needs to support the TV service), but it would also be nice if the supplied routers just worked like they were supposed to. 

 

Any other potential ideas about what else could be tried to determine why this happens.  I've had it for about 4 years now on BT, and was hoping it would go away with PN, but it's occurred several times in the last few days that I've been in front of the computer and in a position to test at the time to validate what is still working at the time and what is not.?

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 REPLIES 10
Mav
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 21,548
Thanks: 4,411
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Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Network drop outs

Moderator's note:

Moved from My Router to Tech Help as it isn't a specific Plusnet issue.

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Network drop outs

@hubris - Try turning off IPv6 support on the LAN configuration of the effected devices.

mikelahey
Pro
Posts: 236
Thanks: 88
Fixes: 12
Registered: ‎24-11-2015

Re: Network drop outs

Are you using powerline ethernet adaptors? I've seen this kind of issue with tp link powerline kit before.
hubris
Dabbler
Posts: 11
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎11-07-2018

Re: Network drop outs

So,

Yes, I have already disabled ipv6, and all other unnecessary services on the NIC, TCP stack.  As things didn't change, I've put some services back on as I use them.

Yes, I do use powerline adapters (I wish I didn't, but a necessary evil currently).  And yes they are TP Link.  I've had the same problem with some D-Links and Devolo's I had prior to getting the TP Links).

I also raised an incident with TP Link support a couple of years back, which dragged on for several months regarding the issue and trying multiple things, until they stopped responding to me - been meaning to get back to them with a whinge but they shut down their previous ticket system so it'll be starting all over.  Anyway, as I've moved around a few items in the house, and now operate multiple computers at the same time it has been where I've noticed that it can't really be the adapters (I have saved a post from their forums which indicates building my own special version of the firmware might fix a similar issue, although not 100% confirmed, as they don't appear to be in a hurry to roll out an update for my v1 devices now they have v2 devices).

 

I have 6 PL adapters total (3 x PA8030Kits), but I can focus on just three of them, which I have an ASUS laptop plugged into one, a DELL laptop, Intel NUC, and WD NAS in another, and the router on a third.  2 of the units are right next to each other in 2 different gang plugs on the wall.  The router unit is about 4 metres away (although the wiring ring might be more like 30m).

The other 3 devices have an ASUS machine (laptop) plugged into one, a TV/Youview box in another, and the last has an Xbox/TV/AppleTV on it.

There are a slew of other devices on the wireless, including two other computers with ASUS motherboards, although the wireless does not drop out on those.

 

When it drops out, the ASUS laptop (it's happened with all of the ASUS machines when wired) can no longer get to the router, it can still ping all active devices on all the other PL adapters, including the DELL laptop, Intel NUC, and WD unit.  It cannot ping the router.  The DELL laptop and Intel NUC (which is running 3 VM's), all have full network access, out to the internet, and can ping the router.  So, that leads me to believe, that the PL adapters are working, but either being VERY selective about which ones can talk to each other (although their utility shows full connectivity), or it is the router itself, as the HH's from BT and PlusNet are effectively the same device.

My current plan is to move the NAS to be on the same PL Adapter as the router, and when I next drop off the radar, see if I can get to that, which will tell me it is definitely not the adapter losing connectivity.

 

I know I might be clutching at straws thinking it is the HH router not liking ASUS mainboards for some reason, but after everything else that I've tested and tried over the last few years, it seems to be the most common factor I can come up with on the affected machines.

I'm not clueless when it comes to networks.  It's part of my day job.  Just this particular issue, which is minor, is just one of those thorns that annoys me when I'm home - work away a fair bit, so it annoys me much less then :).  I suspect I'm going to replace the HH router at some point soon, because, well, it was crappy from BT, and it is crappy from PN too (I'd prefer more control over the device), just that being away a fair bit, it is crappy from afar, so again, it annoys me much less.

 

 

 

VileReynard
Hero
Posts: 12,613
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Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: Network drop outs

It might be the laptop - do you reboot it before trying those pings?

At least it would clear any cached network info you might have.

"In The Beginning Was The Word, And The Word Was Aardvark."

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Network drop outs

 @hubris - You say that when the drop out happens the device in question cannot ping the router but can ping other devices. As you’ve made no mention of having a separate switch or hub I find this quite odd. When you installed the adapters how did you pair them?

Also, have you tried running the utility software for these devices?

https://www.tp-link.com/ph/download/TL-PA8030.html

 

mikelahey
Pro
Posts: 236
Thanks: 88
Fixes: 12
Registered: ‎24-11-2015

Re: Network drop outs

My money is still on the powerline adapters.

We can rule the router out as you've tried multiple routers and had the issue.

 

I've also had similar problems in my house with powerline adapters, so I'm speaking from personal experience.

 

I used to have a setup with my router downstairs in the hall next to the master socket and an ethernet cable connecting it to the powerline adaptor. I had a desktop PC and a Raspberry Pi 3 acting as a print server upstairs connected to their own powerline adapters.

Both saw random dropouts like the ones you are describing and also variable throughput. Delving into it closer, I found that my house is wired so that upstairs and downstairs are on separate ring mains which I suspect is the cause of the issue, as powerlines are all supposed to work on the same ring main.

One workaround I found was to continually ping the router from the desktop which seemed to stabilise the connection.

ping -t 192.168.1.1 in Windows Command prompt, will continually ping a device until you close the command prompt.

 

I had a Linksys WiFi adapter spare, so I put it in the desktop PC and got a faster stable connection over WiFi.

 

 

 

hubris
Dabbler
Posts: 11
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎11-07-2018

Re: Network drop outs

Thank you all for the input.

 

 

@VileReynard I have 3 desktops and 1 Laptop with the issue.  I have 1 VM host server with 3 VM's, and 1 Dell Laptop without the issue.  The NAS, not sure, it is responsive.  TVs/Xbox/AppleTV/YouView all don't show signs either.  Rebooting can, and mostly does correct it.  Waiting a few minutes does too (this is also the time I get to test connectivity to other devices).

@Anonymous Correct no other hub/switch.  The powerline devices all have 3 ports, and effectively run as individual switches.  They are all paired in one big mesh.  I sat down at two gang sockets next to each other, and paired the first two, then leaving one in the socket, swapped out one, pairing the others one by one to the active device.  When complete I test that I can use the combinations to connect between devices on each one.  Yes, I've also use the utility software.  A couple of versions, and a special one from TP link support.

 

 

It is possible, and maybe I am jumping to the wrong conclusion; just after having put up with this for a while now, it seemed most plausible.

Yes, I had discovered the continuous ping to keep it stable a early on.  I did focus on the TP link adapters as a culprit for quite a while, now I'm just not so sure with what I see.

I'm also all on the downstairs here with the units, which is all on a single ring.

I'd like to hardwire the house, but the wife acceptance factor on the intervening construction mess is much lower than the occasional drop out that doesn't affect the iPad.

 I'll continue on with my NAS test to tick that off, and look into doing the custom firmware on the tplinks, and see if that helps. 

@mikelahey is probably correct it is the powerline adapters as it is more likely than my new clutching at straws theory.  If I could convince the wife to let me trail a utp around the floor for a week, I could probably prove that.

It's so much easier to do these things at the workplace, they understand you are fixing things.

 

 

 

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Network drop outs

@hubris - If I’m not mistaken you have 6 of these adapters A,B,C,…,F and when installing them you have paired A > B, A > C, A > D, A > E and A > F. You have then made further pairing i.e. B > B, B > E, etc. is this correct?

I just bought 4 sets of the TL-PA9020P (A, B, C, D) to upgrade my older adapters and my configuration has always been:

Switch > A, A > B, A > C and A > D

So as I have a switch I do not need any additional pairing, so should the device attached to C need anything from B then the switch takes care of that, and I’ve never had any issues with these devices despite having ASUS hardware on the LAN.

However, I do suspect that it may well be the power saving on the adapters that is giving you grief here, as a ping eliminates the issue. I’ve never used the software but does it allow you to disable power saving on them?

If not then check your LAN adapter settings and ensure that it’s turned off their too.

P.S. You may want to invest in one of these.

 

VileReynard
Hero
Posts: 12,613
Thanks: 630
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Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: Network drop outs

I once had a desktop which connected via a dodgy (and slow) wifi connection. Running a recurrent ping command helped (a bit). The real problem was that lots of errors caused lots of packet retransmissions. A ethernet cable cured the problem.

The real problem could be that routers periodically issue ARP broadcasts, expecting replies from connected devices. Failure indicates that the device is not networked.

Do you have a lot of devices connected simultaneously on the network - such as laptops, phones, desktops and TV's etc? Where a lot = more than 10?

An ethernet switch will only help if the fault is not due to a DHCP problem.

"In The Beginning Was The Word, And The Word Was Aardvark."