Netgear WGT624 malfunctioning in many-computer environment?

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I've had enough of this crappy connectivity I'm experiencing right now.
 Our network topology is thus: Comcast ISP's cable modem connected to a
Netgear WGT624 108Mbps Wireless Firewall Router, which is also
connected to two D-Link DSS-5+ 10/100 Fast Ethernet Switches.  Each
switch and the router have two computers jacked into them, for a total
of 6 connected computers.

I'm living in the basement and I strung a CAT-5 cable through the walls
to my room.  The length of the cable is probably something like
75-100ft.  I have one of the two switches I mentioned attached to the
end of this cable, to which are attached my two computers.  Now herein
lies the problem - my connection down here just outright sucks on
occasion.  Slow loading times, ping timeouts, disconnection, you name
it.  The lights on the switch usually stay solid green and blink very
briefly to indicate activity.  When I'm affected by one of these
mess-ups, it will start slowly blinking on and off with a period of
about two seconds.  That's when my speed slows to a crawl and simply
surfing the web becomes nigh impossible.  Even loading up the router's
web configuration page suffers the same problems.

It's hard to pinpoint exactly what the problem is.  The computers
directly connected to the router don't seem to experience the same
problems I'm having.  One of my housemates can be playing an FPS with
double-digit ping and I'm waiting a minute down here trying to get a
website to load only for it to eventually timeout.

Another symptom: if I go to the router and disconnect everything except
the one cable leading to my switch, my internet connection is almost
normal.  I can get downloads of 600 KB/s easily.  And I don't think the
problem is with other computers in this house hogging all of the
bandwidth, as the web will be responsive and working for them while I'm
suffering these terrible losses of responsiveness and connectivity.

I can think of two things to do:
1)  Replace the cable I ran through the walls with another one.  There
are other cables in the house almost as long running to the two
computers upstairs but no one ever seems to have a problem with them.
Could the cable simply just suck?  This doesn't seem likely though ...
I did visually inspect the cable as I installed it and it didn't have
any obvious damage.  Plus, wouldn't cable damage be of the "either it
works or it doesn't" variety?
2)  Replace the router.  I'm thinking the router may simply just cease
functioning well when dealing with this number of computers and
switches.  That I experience many-second delays just trying to login to
the router to look at settings should say something.  So I'm looking
for recommendations for a GOOD router.  Not an under-powered crappy
router.  It should have something like 8 ports on it so we can get rid
of one of the switches in the house.  The new router doesn't have to
have wireless, as nobody uses it.  But it does have to be robust and
not suffer from these stupid issues of continually messing up my

Thanks in advance for the help!  If you have any questions or further
diagnostics you think I should do, just ask.

Re: Netgear WGT624 malfunctioning in many-computer environment?

The cable is always a distinct possibility as you say, however, I would
suggest a more systematic approach. From what I understand by your original
post, it seems that (1) The computer or computers you are using down in the
basement seem to be the only ones having the problems, (2) the computer(s)
you are using in the basement are connected through a switch which is
connected by a 75-100 ft. cable to your router upstairs, (3) computers
connected directly to the router do not seem to be having problems, (4)
computers connected to the other switch used by your housemates may or may
not be having problems, and (5) your problem might be intermittant in
nature, but does not seem to occur when the other computers and/or the other
switch is plugged into the router.

The first thing I would suggest, if you have not done so already is to
switch ports on the router. Specifically you would want to plug your cable
(the one leading to your switch in the basement) into the port on the router
that had been previously occupied by one of the computers directly connected
to the router. Working with a known "good" port on the router is a must. The
second thing I would do is to bypass your switch in the basement. You've got
too many possible failure points as things are. Troubleshooting requires
that you narrow these down. Plug the cable (leading from the router
upstairs) directly into one of your computers downstairs.

Third, switch out the cable, but don't "just" switch out the cable. You need
to also consider the route the cable is taking. Is it running parallel to
any power lines or other possible sources of interferance? If you are not
sure, run the cable along a route that you know would not cause interferance
(e.g. halways, down staircases, etc.). Again keep in mind that you are
troubleshooting, and while doing so cables don't always need to be tucked
out of the way.

Finally remember that while it's tempting to blame a certain piece of
equipment (like a cheapie router), you are using many pieces of equipment.
You really need to isolate the problem starting with the simplest and least
expensive procedures first, then narrowing the problem down to a common
failure point.

Re: Netgear WGT624 malfunctioning in many-computer environment?

Quoted text here. Click to load it

If you have two *autonegotiating* 10/100 boxes connected together,
here's something to try (it's how I solved a similar problem):

Disconnect the cable between them and insert a hub that's known to be 10
MB *only*. That will *force* the boxes to run at 10 MB. It got me from
10%-30% packet loss on ping tests, to zero loss, in a situation where
replacing the cable was out of the question. Significant packet loss
totally overwhelms any possible advantage that 100 MB/sec. could
possibly provide.

It seems that 10/100 boxes will negotiate a 100 MB connection that they
then can't communicate over -- the "agreement" to communicate at 100
MB/sec. is negotiated at the *10 MB/sec.* rate. Stupid Ethernet
standard, IMNSHO.


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