I’ve been having issue with the router on and off. It’s a decent router: Netgear WNDR3400. It used to work fine with Charter earlier. Since we recently moved and started using Time Warner cable service, we have had a strange issue.
The computer would connect to Internet fine, if I connected it directly to Modem. The moment I connect it through the router, it couldn’t connect to the Internet. It could connect to the local area network, but not beyond that. Few times, I was able to reset the router after everything is connected but even that failed many times.
When I called Time Warner, the technician said, he could see my modem fine, but there was a hiccup while connecting through router. He was very helpful, but didn’t give me a permanent solution. After patiently getting me connect/disconnect modem and router several times, he was able to get me connected. Only to be kicked out a few weeks later… I was on the verge of buying a new router, then decided to give it one last go. This time I set out to find a more permanent solution with the help from trusty Google.
To troubleshoot and change any settings for a Netgear router, you can use routerlogin.net in the browser. This normally opens up the settings page for the router. Unfortunately, when I had the issue, I was not able to connect to it in the browser. But, I was able to ping to it, proving there was a local connection. Then it occurred to me, may be the it wasn’t able to resolve the named address for some reason. I tried 192.168.1.1 (the default gateway) in browser and it worked!!
After researching a bit, I found the solution. It’s the MAC address used by the router. Since the ISP was able to see my machine, but not the router, decided to change the settings for the router to use Computer’s MAC address instead of it’s own. I logged into Routerlogin.net (or the ip address) in browser and changed the router settings. In Basic settings I found the option called “Router MAC address”. This had 3 choices:
- Use Default Address
- Use Computer MAC Address
- Use This MAC Address (hard coded)
By default, it was set to “Use Default Address”. I changed this to “Use Computer MAC Address”. Voila!! It worked!!! Seems they tied it to my computer’s mac address for some reason!! May be, the technician that installed it, set it up that way.
Then I read on this page that this may not be a good thing, security wise. The router actually acts as a shield blocking any intruders come into our PCs directly. I will research some more on this and post back. But, to reduce the risk, always change the default password for your router. This link is for linksys routers, but I think it applies to any router in general.