Odd and inconsistent internet access

April 5, 2011 at 11:42:00
Specs: Windows 7
Hello computing.net buddies, it's been a while :-) The site has changed, but I see a lot of the old regulars are still around.

I have a problem I've been struggling with for weeks now. When I'm browsing the internet, some sites work fine, other sites give a "server not found" message, even though I know the site is up and I'm connected to the Internet. For example, I might be browsing one site or watching a netflix movie with no problem, but google.com won't load. Or google.com might load but clicking on any of the results gives me a "server not found" message. The 5 or 6 sites I always have open usually work, but any others usually give me trouble.

Here's a list of other details and things I've tried.
1. This started very suddenly, about 3 weeks ago.
2. I have a cable modem, connected to a router, which is connected to two switches throughout the house. In total there are 7 computers and a printer connected to the network. Only one of the computers is wireless, everything else is wired.
3. The problem *doesn't* exist if I connect my computer directly to the modem, bypassing the routers and switches. So the ISP techs can't help me.
4. I've replaced the router with a brand new one of a different brand, I get the same behavior
5. I've shut all network devices and computers off and brought them up one at a time, that didn't fix it.
6. The problem is fairly consistent in its inconsistency - I usually don't go more than 15 minutes before some site refuses to load.
7. The problem happens on all computers on the network
8. Once I get a site working, it tends to keep working as long as I keep it open in the browser.
9. Switching my router to use OpenDNS servers instead of the ISP ones didn't help the issue.
10. One time one of the computers gave me an IP address conflict message. But I've gone through each computer and printer and verified that they all have unique ipaddresses in ipconfig.
11. The problem also occasionally (but rarely) happens with non-web requests, like remoting into aserver over the internet or connecting to an smtp server.
12. Most of the computers are using Windows 7 (mix of home and pro), and one is using Vista Ultimate.

Thanks in advance!

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April 13, 2011 at 15:03:32
Well, against all odds, a new firmware update came out for my new router the same day I posted this message, and installing it fixed the problem. Still pretty strange since I had the exact same problem on my old router, which was a different brand, and replacing the whole thing didn't fix it. Oh well, the Internet has been working without a hitch since the second I upgraded, so I have to assume that fixed it somehow.

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