Configuration issue or useless router?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by macstatic, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. macstatic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    I bought a (cabled, not wireless) router (Surecom EP-4904AX) a while back in order to share an Internet connection from a cable modem with two Macs and a network printer but have been experiencing slow connections and even not being able to access some sites (often but not always related to online payment or login type sites).

    If I bypass the router and instead connect one of my Macs directly to the cable modem I have no problem accessing those sites and surfing the net in general is also much faster, so there must be something wrong with the configuration (I've tried lots of settings and also reverted back to its defaults -nothing's really helped), or the router I've bought is a useless piece of junk which needs replacing.

    For the former, which changes in the router configuration should I try out?
    If nothing helps and the router is just not working like it should, which new router should I put my money on which will work better for my setup? The Linksys BEFSR-41 (cable/DSL router with 4 port switch) or Linksys BEFSR-81 (cable/DSL router with 8 port switch) seem like good deals and a reliable, well-known brand. But if it's a configuration issue I might just be wasting my money and not getting things solved anyway.
    Suggestions to a network novice?
  2. mlts22 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    Before tossing the router, can you check if it needs a firmware upgrade? This might save you some decent cash.

    If it doesn't, the Linksys models should do the trick. I have been a fan of the WRT54G series because you can flash them with custom firmware (Tomato) for more granular control.
  3. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    My router has the latest firmware available for it.
    Someone suggested I enter a couple of "open DNS" addresses in my Mac's Network system preference panel, but that made no difference. Like I said, by connecting the computer directly to the cable modem all my problems disappeared.
  4. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    I second the WRT54G series, but more specifically, get the WRT54GL model. I've had one that has run for several years without issue.
  5. CaliJ177 macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2010
    Ill put a 3rd in for the WRT54G. Great little boxes, stable and rock solid.
  6. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    But those are wireless routers, right?
    My setup is a cabled network.
  7. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    Yes, they have wireless, but the WRT54GL also has a 4-port 10/100 switch.
  8. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    Any settings I can try out before tossing my router out the window and buying a different one?
  9. timbloom macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2002
    I would first check that you don't have any weird rules or settings in the firewall setup on the router, if there is one. Also have you tried to do a factory reset on the switch?

    "Login type sites" usually communicate on a different network port than normal web traffic, so restrictions to port 443 may be what to look for. Normal web traffic is port 80.
  10. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    No, doesn't look like any ports are closed.
    However, I came across an online open port check tool and I'm having problems with just about all ports (including port 80).
    It tells me that it could not see my services on those ports, the reason being connection timeout. Looks to me like I have a more general problem which is causing a delay in accessing sites.
  11. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    That is checking connections to you from the Internet. These should timeout and will not impact web browsing from you to the Internet.
  12. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    MTU setting's the problem?

    Looks like I'm finally seeing some progress!
    I played around with the router settings (not really knowing what I was doing), and change the MTU value from the default 1500 to 1000. All of a sudden I was able to get one of my login sites to work.
    Here's a screenshot:

    Like I said I really don't know what I'm doing, so should I keep the new value, change it to something else, or do I need to change other settings as well if I don't want to risk getting other network related problems?
  13. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    1500 is the default for Ethernet, but it could be that your link uses a lower one. Ideally, both sides should be configured the same, otherwise it can slow down your connection.

    For PPPoE links, it should be set to 1492, so I'd try that one. Honestly, with only one system accessing the Internet, it shouldn't have any impact.

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