Technical Mystery

posted in: Personal, Tech | 0

When we moved into our new place at the end of October, and it turns out that the only available cable TV/internet bundle available to us is through Charter. It would not have been my first choice, given experiences I’ve heard from others, but it is what it is. I had U-Verse in my apartment, I want U-verse to get their stuff together and extend out to the new place, which is only 10 minutes away, but I digress.

Once we had the installation done, it was my turn to take their modem-to-PC connection and add our networking stuff to it. Yes, they make you clone the MAC address, which was easy enough. In Columbus, we had a similar setup, the cable modem connected directly to a Hawking router, and then I also had a Linksys WRT54G router that was set to work as an access point. This gave us the luxury and freedom of wireless, but also the ability to have a hard wire connection to the internet that was not touching the wireless part of the network.

I set things up here the same way, but after a couple of weeks of having to power cycle the Hawking every 4 hours, I decided to try and troubleshoot the problem by removing the Hawking router. With the WRT54G acting as the router, connected to the cable modem directly and with the desktop machines plugged into it, the problem went away. So it works.

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On the other hand, the curious side of me can’t help but wonder what happened? Did the Hawking somehow get damaged in the move? It’s been a steady, stable router for almost 10 years. It’s not impossible that it has gone bad on me, but it seems odd that it would suddenly have problems after a move, it seems even odder that it would work fine for 4 hours, and then lose it’s WAN IP address.

Or, is Charter doing something with DHCP that the older router was having trouble with? Given Charter’s reputation for attempting to “solve” any connectivity issues through a network by selling you their wireless router, it’s certainly possible that something odd is happening there. Though it does appear to be working with the WRT54G, so if they are doing something, is it only affecting older routers, or are they simply using a newer DHCP technology and innocently causing problems with older routers?

Truth is, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll never know, but like most technical things, so long as it works, I probably shouldn’t care, right? 😉

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