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RT-N16 Internet over WiFi/ethernet: help! (Official, RAF, Toast...what next?)

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by LastSilmaril, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. LastSilmaril

    LastSilmaril Networkin' Nut Member

    Hi all,

    So I'm having a lot of trouble connecting to the Internet over WiFi with my RT-N16 and, it seems, every Linux firmware I've used: two builds of DD-WRT, plus TomatoUSB-build 54 (official), TomatoRAF-1.28.9006, and Toast-1.28.7483.

    Variously, I can either - connect to the Internet under the same old speeds, connect to the Internet but at slower speeds, not connect at all for a few minutes, and not connect at all indefinitely. (At all times, DHCP is working fine, and I am actually connected to the router itself.) This crippled DD-WRT, and I am happier with Tomato, but I'm not sure what to do anymore. Rebooting the router sometimes gets the connection back, but not consistently. Ditto 30/30/30 and erasing NVRAM via the web GUI. Wireless settings are at their defaults, and moreover, I'm not even sure this is a wireless issue as this phenomenon eventually happens over GigE - it's rock solid for the first few hours, but then...? Something happens. Latest attempt, it's up and running for 1.5hrs with no drops over Ethernet (but several intermittent drops over WiFi, on several clients, at distances near and far).
    To top it all off, every so often DHCP will not renew, and I need to set up this PITA Actiontec double-bridge again. Sometimes DHCP won't take on the verizon router after resetting it; so far I've had to call Verizon twice to reset my ONT - e.g. I'm starting to lose it.

    The only thread I've found with complaints about this problem specifically is this old one, where I posted my issues but didn't find a reply. I'm not sure if (a) there's some magical setting I'm missing here, (b) this PITA double bridge is the cause of all the problems (which I doubt considering how many others have reported it), (c) this router is defective and I should flash it back to the ASUS firmware (where do I get that again?), ship it back, and consign myself to my Actiontec and its tiny connection table.

    Any takers?
     
  2. LastSilmaril

    LastSilmaril Networkin' Nut Member

    Again, this is not (on the surface) a DHCP issue. DHCP from Verizon is up and running in the web GUI when I'm experiencing these dropouts.
     
  3. LastSilmaril

    LastSilmaril Networkin' Nut Member

    Better version numbers:
    1. dd-wrt.v24-16994_NEWD-2_K2.6_mega
    2. dd-wrt.v24-14929_NEWD-2_K2.6_openvpn
    3. tomato-K26USB-1.28.9054MIPSR2-beta-vpn3.6
    4. tomato-K26USB-1.28.9007MIPSR2_RAF-VPN-NOCAT(RT-N16_8MB_FLASH)
    5. tomato-K26USB-1.28.7483MIPSR2-Toastman-RT-VPN-NOCAT
     
  4. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    Not sure that anyone here can help you. You have this problem with DD-WRT builds and several Tomato builds from different people. It seems like some kind of issue with your ISP and/or the supplied modem. What on earth is actiontech double-bridge ?
     
  5. LastSilmaril

    LastSilmaril Networkin' Nut Member

    :( I was afraid of that. Dang it! But thanks for the quick reply Toastman.

    The 'double bridge' is due to the way Verizon FiOS works in most markets: you've got your ONT box outside ('the modem') and a specialized router (made by Actiontec) that takes up the connection from the ONT via either coax or cat5; if you're a TV subscriber (which I am) you get it via CAT-5. All the Verizon set-top boxes, using MoCA networking, get their dhcp IPs from this supplied router, hence the need for a 'double-bridge' - first bridge sending over the internet connection (LAN 1) to the RT-N16 (WAN port), and second one back (from a LAN port on the RT-N16) to the original Actiontec router's Ethernet WAN port, so that the RT-N16 can give out IPs to the set-top boxes (actiontec acting as dhcp relay). It's annoying to set up, though I guess I must have done it 4-5 times now since Thursday between builds using this handy little guide. As for why I don't wanna go back to Actiontec (besides missing out on all those nice tomatoey features), see here.

    Thing is, why would this cause Internet over WiFi specifically to be so flaky? Seems pretty random, and I'm not the first guy to have this issue. Hmm. At this point I'm leaning towards trying to get a replacement RT-N16 to eliminate all doubt. Thoughts anyone? I wanna get past this and start getting into all the QoS, USB, and DLNA goodies.
     
  6. LastSilmaril

    LastSilmaril Networkin' Nut Member

    Could this be it?
    I'm looking in the logs, and the following is coming up every 8 to 11 seconds. Note that the IP and MAC address in question do not show up under the Device List.

    Sep 19 04:25:32 unknown daemon.info dnsmasq-dhcp[1233]: DHCPDISCOVER(br0) *MAC ADDRESS HERE*

    Sep 19 04:25:32 unknown daemon.info dnsmasq-dhcp[1233]: DHCPOFFER(br0) 192.168.1.6 *MAC ADDRESS HERE*
     
  7. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    Does that mean that you are being offered 192.168.1.6 - but refuse to accept it? What happens afterwards?
     
  8. LastSilmaril

    LastSilmaril Networkin' Nut Member

    Nothing. It just keeps going on endlessly. I'm not sure what to make of it, and I have no idea what device this is. Will look into it in the morning.
     
  9. LastSilmaril

    LastSilmaril Networkin' Nut Member

    So essentially I just described this phenomenon:
    http://www.linksysinfo.org/index.php?threads/dnsmasq-dhcp-flooding-my-syslog.34342/
    It was the bridge back to the Actiontec trying to get an address via DHCP but failing. I gave it a static IP and it shut up, however it's too soon to say if this actually fixed anything (outside of flooding the log with pointless nonsense).
    I'm looking at connection uptimes and WAN IP and found that they've changed while I slept. (Uptime is only 2.5 hrs right now. WAN IP renews every two hours.)
     
  10. LastSilmaril

    LastSilmaril Networkin' Nut Member

    And then there's this, a precipitous drop in bandwidth...is this done by my ISP?
    [​IMG]
    -e
     
  11. LastSilmaril

    LastSilmaril Networkin' Nut Member

    Hmm, moreover, while WiFi problems are on all clients, they are particularly bad on one (with and Intel 6205 card). Grr...
     
  12. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    re bandwidth, no way to say for sure but there's no reason why Tomato would suddenly cut back on it.

    Intel wifi sure has a terrible reputation. At my university many people with Intel wireless in their laptops have to use USB adapters to access the uni web. I found most of the trouble was caused by the power saving crap that you will usually find in advanced menu for the wireless adapter. Turning it off often fixed the problems people had with dropped connections and poor transfer rates. While mentioning this, beware also of the "Interference Mitigation" setting in Tomato - Advanced/Wireless - it's worth trying it on or off (I always keep it off) because that also has a big effect on reliability. Also, there's a power saving mode at the bottom of the page under WMM that I always disable too. If you are not using mode N I also turn WMM off.
     
  13. LastSilmaril

    LastSilmaril Networkin' Nut Member


    Bah. I think I'm gonna give up. (The problem is not limited to Intel, and fiddling with wireless, which were already at your recommended settings by default since I was using your firmware, is useless. It's either return it...or try to repurpose this thing as a wireless-N repeater. ($65 after rebate might not be a bad deal for such a thing.)
    Is this even doable with tomato? I think I did this once with a fonera running dd-wrt but that was years ago and I would much rather have it run tomato
     
  14. LastSilmaril

    LastSilmaril Networkin' Nut Member

    Hmm...I got that to work easy enough with dd-wrt 14929, and the range is quite nice - entire house is now connectable to the internet; HD video will not stream to basement though. This suggests that the router itself isn't defective? Only way to be sure is (a) try to replicate the issue with another RT-N16 (b) try to replicate this issue with another router altogether. Unless I'm wrong. ugh *headdesk*
     
  15. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    I wouldn't think the router itself is defective. As for why you're having this trouble, I don't really know. I can take any RT-N16, flash it with any version of Tomato firmware, and access it from rooms behind several reinforced concrete walls up to 50 meters away. I can access it in the street outside for a few hundred meters. So I would have to say, from my point of view, I have never found anything seriously wrong with any of the firmwares either. It's a puzzle, isn't it? But you seem to be suffering from several different issues that need to be separated. At the end of the day, the real difference between us is the method your ISP is using to connect you. I just googled for Verizon issues and found a great many complaints similar to yours in minutes. Looked like the majority of the problems were to do with the "ONT" box.
     
  16. LastSilmaril

    LastSilmaril Networkin' Nut Member

    And it's weird isn't it? Because WAN IP is still there, and you'd think none of this would impact access to the Web UI. I didn't think that could happen unless there's an IP conflict somewheres...? But my knowledge of networking is, uh, obviously pretty feeble.
    Bah, this is infuriating. If I can find another router lying around, I guess I'll try it with that, just to confirm my suspicions...eventually. For now I'll take a stable if lame connection, thank you very much
    Anyway, thanks for taking the time to respond toastman.
     

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