View Full Version : Damn PCs / Modems

04-02-2006, 10:27:54
OK I'm perplexed. I'll give the details below, anyone got any insight, it'll be gratefully received.

Had access to the Net at home for around 2 years now, since the time I moved into my new place and got British Telecom (BT) to connect me to their broadband service. Their supplied package of bits came with their Voyager modem and 2 necessary connectors so both the phone and PC could use the line at the same time.

I have 2 PCs, the HP which is usually on broadband, in the living room downstairs, and the Compaq, usually not on broadband, in the 'study' upstairs. (Well it's a pain to disconnect the modem and take it upstairs.) I tend to leave the downstairs PC on most of the time.

After a while I noticed that the Internet set-up was suffering an intermittent problem. I'd come back to the PC to find it had fallen off the Net. No amount of fiddling with stuff would reconnect it, one had to restart or turn off the PC, and restart it. Usually it would take ages to turn off, and vastly more often than not, it froze at the "saving your settings" stage, and would need the power pulled.

In an effort to isolate the problem I tried swopping the broadband connection to the other PC, and discovered that it occurred identically on both PCs. Lead me to believe it wasn't PC specific, but something to do with the common parts. Modem, or BT seems to cover it. Ended up tolerating it.

About a year ago I bought a Belkin ADSL modem with wireless-G router. I hoped to get both PCs onto the Net at the same time, but the reality is that I've only ever used a single fixed connection to it from the downstairs PC so far.

Some may recall an earlier thread from me here, where I said I'd tried the Belkin modem, but something weird was occurring. I started getting my connection to www.counterglow.com blocked !!!! But www.counterglow.co.uk worked just fine. I did wonder if some of the values I had entered at the modem settings pages were wrong, as I ended up making guesses at one or two trying to find what worked, but I couldn't find anything obvious. In fact I ended up, giving up, and going back to the BT Voyager modem. Tolerated the occasional drop offs.

Well I've just gone back to reconnecting it. Mainly because I've just bought a Belkin wireless print server, so I need the router up and running for it to work.

For some reason I am no longer blocked for www.counterglow.com, despite nothing obviously having been changed. Or at least I haven't been blocked so far ! What I have experienced though, is the PC dropping off the Net again ! Well the modem is no longer the Voyager, so what's left ? The cables ? The connections ? BT ?

Well the thing is that, for those not familiar with the Belkin router, it has an address ( you can try to surf to which is actually supplied by the router itself : if I understand things correctly. So trying to contact that page shouldn't need a BT Internet connection.

Now this is the really weird thing, when the problem occurs, the modem can't even supply that set-up page !

(At least there is one benefit over the BT Voyager modem. At least if I pull the power lead out of the Belkin, and then connect it again, I can get the modem/PC to reconnect, which wasn't possible with the Voyager.)

But the fact remains that I seem to have cleared all parts of suspicion. Different PCs exhibit the same problem (although I've not tried the Belkin with the PC upstairs yet). Different leads, different modems, and even BT seems out of the equation if the modem can't respond with it's own page.

Like I said, perplexed. Does anyone have any useful insights ?

04-02-2006, 19:26:19
Which model is the Belkin? If cycling the power on it gets you running again, you might want to stick with it for the time being.

04-02-2006, 19:30:53
Oi Managment - Gary has found a way past the IP ban! Fix it!

06-02-2006, 00:38:14
F5D7632uk4 - Yeah it's an improvement on the Voyager, but still not right.

May be a one off coincidence but I get back about an hour ago, turn on the PC, and it was a bugger to get the modem to connect to the Net !

06-02-2006, 07:51:42
Ok. I understand the equipment better from what I could find online.

One possibility is that the Voyager's drivers and/or hardware is incompatible with your PCs. Maybe there's a better driver for it somewhere, but total incompatibility between certain components isn't unusual with PC hardware. In my case, it was easier to pay $15 for a new USB controller card instead of buying a new scanner that would work with the old controller card.

As for the Belkin, it could be a firmware issue. My cable modem/router occasionally needs to be rebooted. I suspect that the device's OS runs out of system resources after X amount of traffic.

If connectivity with either option isn't satisfying, another possibility is poor line conditions. That would explain the Voyager not working with either machine. It would also explain drop-outs with the Belkin that are more frequent than the once a month or so it takes for my cable modem/router to drop out.

A big caveat is that I've never had DSL.

06-02-2006, 08:26:05
Thanks for the thoughts. Maybe I should email Belkin, but since I seem to have problems with more than one modem, more than one PC, well I just get the feeling I'd be fobbed off no matter who I contacted. I'll check the Belkin site for software upgrades anyway.

21-06-2006, 17:24:53