Headache

I’ve been trying to figure this out on and off for weeks, but this morning I’m giving up and asking the wider Web.
 
The set-up: cable modem to the internet, which checks out OK — a direct cat-5 connection from its output to the port on a computer makes a fine connection.
 
When I try it with any of our three (don’t ask how we ended up with three) wireless routers, though, no joy. The routers light up and give the apearance that they’re talking to the net. The one that has a USB port functions for remote printing. Connections with the wireless signals themselves work fine. I’ve tried the three routers, two cat-5 cables, and the cable modem in a tremendous variety of configurations, but the one constant is that I can’t connect from a wireless router out through the cable modem (even though I can make a wired connection, even though the modems seem to be functioning). Either the input port on each of the three wireless routers is fried, or something else is impeding the signal, but I can’t figure out what it might be.
 
Help me, Mr. Wizard!

7 comments / Add your comment below

  1. You need to put the router in something called “bridge mode.”

    Do not ask me how to do this. I did it exactly ONCE, when I first set up my router and it has worked perfectly ever since.

    But I think those are the magic words for tech support, should you decide to try that.

  2. By any chance, did you have a DSL connection previously? If so, the router may still be set up for PPPoE authentication, which would prevent it from properly pulling an IP from your Cable Company’s DHCP server….

    Check in the router’s main configuration screen to make sure this isn’t the case (If the USB printer one is an Apple AirPort (Insert Variety Here) – then use the airport utility.

    Hope this helps…

    (Often Read, Never Comment…)

  3. Wipe the routers back to factory default. I know how to do that with the Airport projects: Unplug, press in and hold the little reset button. While still holding reset, plug in and wait for rapid blinking.

    See if that helps…

  4. DCS-Seminarian may be onto something, if you had DSL before. Resetting the routers to their default config might help.

    In any case, you should be able to log into the routers’ config page by typing their IP addresses into your browser. Check your manuals for the IP address. If you don’t have the paper manual, check the manufacturer website for a PDF manual.

    Once you’re into the router’s config page, tell it to renew the DHCP lease.

    Make sure your client computers are configured for DHCP and, er, wireless internet access.

    (When you say “wired connection” vis a vis the computer, do you mean via an ethernet port in the router, or direct to the modem? If you’re connecting through the router to the ‘net, then your DHCP lease is live, but you’re obviously not set up for wireless internet on the client computer or it wouldn’t see the ethernet connection.)

    Verify the security settings (config page, or airport utility), make sure providing the relevant WEP or WPA passwords.

    Appeal to higher authority.

    :^)

    Good luck!

  5. Thanks, everyone — you all and Kevin “Noetic Penguin” Poorman (in an email) have supplied me with a great many helpful approaches. I’ll gird myself to tackle the network demons again soon, and will report the outcome here.

  6. resetting the routers is probably the way to go. I suspect that you may have to tinker with the settings on the routers as they each may try to act as DHCP servers while the cable modem is also acting as a DHCP server. The conflicts may allow connection for a while but then it will go off.

    Try using only one router at a time connected to the cable modem.

  7. Bill, I don’t have all the routers going at once — I’ve tried them sequentially, to make sure that the problem isn’t at the router stage of the operation. Kevin suggested that the modem may need me to clone my MAC address to the wifi router, but my wireless AP is an Airport Extreme, which doesn’t offer that functionality.
     
    Still at the drawing board for now.

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