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How Often Do Routers Go Kaput?
Old 08-01-2012, 07:27 PM   #1
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How Often Do Routers Go Kaput?

How often do routers go kaput? As I think my router may be biting the dust.

Been getting a message saying something like "Cable unplugged" on my PC in the living room. At the moment I'm trying to figure out is it a cable issue, or a router or something else?

Unfortunately, the cables go through all wall from my router to living room so it's kind of a pain to test the cables.

My guess is the problem is router related as I got to cables connected from the router (one to this PC and the other to my DVR). Both instances I've got a dropped connection message. So, I'd think it unlikely that both cables happen to be bad at the same time.

My first test right now is dsl modem only, to rule out a modem issue.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:47 PM   #2
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I am on my 4th router now. The first 2 were replaced due to obsolescence after about 2 or 3 years. The 3rd one croaked after about 4 or 5 years. It did not go incommunicado, but rather complained that it could not get to the internet. Direct plugin to the cable modem worked, hence isolated the problem to the router.

Earlier, many problems were solved by disconnecting, then reinserting all the RJ-45 connectors. These connectors, though they are thinly gold-plated, develop intermittent connections with time. A reinsert would clear that up.

By the way, my cable modem lasted for 10+ years, and just croaked recently.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:54 PM   #3
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I also had a switch connected to the router.

Removed the switch, plugged the router back in.

Since I've been investigating..haven't had the message come up once.

Maybe the problem was in the switch? Connection even seems faster. Or maybe that's just in my mind...

Gonna leave it alone for a while and see if the message comes back.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:20 AM   #4
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I have had both routers and modems go bad -- or so it seemed. Could have been something on the user side that cleared up when I installed new devices.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:13 AM   #5
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My Cat 5 cables (4 connections) seem to be affected by heat and any jostling and contacts become intermittent. I just turn off modem and router, re-plug all leads into different sockets... restart, and am good to go for 3 or four months.

FWIW... several points on routers and modems, etc.

I find routers and wireless routers in thrift shops for $3-$5....
Modems, too, but older modems aren't compatible w/ comcast. side note here, on Comcast... They have a page that specifies older, and non compatible modems, and tell you that you must rent of buy a new modem. Not always true. I have an older Motorola wireless modem 6 years old on the non- compliant list. Two years ago, was told I couldn't use it. I insisted, and it's still going great.... Maybe something I don't understand, but speed is fine, and I have no problems.

Am cheap, so buy lots of computer "stuff" at thrift shops. Newer printers $2, Led monitors, $7, webcams $2, Wireless mouses & keyboards $4 .
200 gig HD for $5... Some offer ink cartridges @ $1 still in pkgs. Also... non computer... chargers for phones, and assorted electronics... $.25 to $1. Depends on the shop, but more and more, are selling for less and less. (monster HDMI cables for $2) . Worth a look.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:36 AM   #6
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My Cat 5 cables (4 connections) seem to be affected by heat and any jostling and contacts become intermittent. I just turn off modem and router, re-plug all leads into different sockets... restart, and am good to go for 3 or four months.
That could be a loose connection behind the wall or a bad crimp in the cable itself.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:36 AM   #7
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My router is about 5 years old and still works fine. I thought it was dead about a year ago when it indeed stopped working, I tried all sorts of things, but I simply moved the ethernet cable from port 1 to port 2 (of 4) and it worked fine again. I'm sure I was just lucky, but FWIW. I keep wondering how long mine will last, but don't know yet. It only cost me about $100 (Linksys-Cisco) so I've certainly gotten my money's worth...
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:45 AM   #8
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if you are getting the "cable unplugged" message on the PC then most likely it is the cable segment from from the PC to whatever the other end is plugged into. This message only looks at the termination points, that is each end of the cable. When you get that message look at the connectivity/activity lights at each end of the cable segment, they should be lit with a good connection.

For two devices both showing symptoms and both plugged into a switch, then the switch is most likely the problem. Next time it happens reboot the switch, they should instantly reconnect.

I've had everything fail, cable modems, routers, switches, cables, NICs etc, at one time or another. Overheating, static shock are common. The brand can have some impact but not so much lately as this stuff has become commodity items.

Also if you have GB NICs, they are very sensitive to cabling issues
and will drop to a lower speed or show no connection at all with cables not correctly wired.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:46 AM   #9
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We seem to be replacing the wireless router every 2-3 years. We are convinced that they have built-in obselescence...
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:04 AM   #10
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I find routers and wireless routers in thrift shops for $3-$5....
...Also... non computer... chargers for phones, and assorted electronics... $.25 to $1. Depends on the shop, but more and more, are selling for less and less. (monster HDMI cables for $2) . Worth a look.
I don't frequent thrift shops but I don't recall seeing computer stuff in any I have been in -- mainly cloths, housewares, and furniture. Do you typically see tech stuff in run of the mill thrifts or are you going to more specialized places?
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:39 AM   #11
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I removed the switch (don't need it anymore anyhow) and the problems seems to have cleared up. Not only no more unplugged message, but browsing seems a lot faster. (I wonder if the switch was somehow switching me on/off the internet too often).

Good thing as I was ready to go and pick up another router.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:55 AM   #12
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I removed the switch (don't need it anymore anyhow) and the problems seems to have cleared up. Not only no more unplugged message, but browsing seems a lot faster. (I wonder if the switch was somehow switching me on/off the internet too often).

Good thing as I was ready to go and pick up another router.
Nothing beats swapping out boxes to see what's working and what isn't. You could plug it back in and so some speed testing.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:10 AM   #13
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I removed the switch (don't need it anymore anyhow) and the problems seems to have cleared up. Not only no more unplugged message, but browsing seems a lot faster. (I wonder if the switch was somehow switching me on/off the internet too often).

Good thing as I was ready to go and pick up another router.
That would confirm your switch is failing or degraded. The switch should not be switching on/off, it just allows devices on your LAN to communicate with each other.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:48 AM   #14
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I went ahead and did a speed test. Not the fastest, but I only have the basic service. Adequate for my needs.

In case you are interested..Here's what I used (2 different places to compare results):

1) AT&T High Speed Internet Speed Test

2) INTERNET SPEED TEST, Check your dsl speed, internet and voip connection test
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:50 AM   #15
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I went ahead and did a speed test. Not the fastest, but I only have the basic service. Adequate for my needs.

In case you are interested..Here's what I used (2 different places to compare results):

1) AT&T High Speed Internet Speed Test

2) INTERNET SPEED TEST, Check your dsl speed, internet and voip connection test
With and without the switch?
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:56 PM   #16
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Now that you've cleaned the contacts by remove/replace, if you plug the switch in odds are it'll work again. "reseating boards' was the easiest repair of our 60's/70's mainframes. Today's stuff still suffers from basic exposure to air.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:48 PM   #17
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With and without the switch?
Without.
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:28 PM   #18
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A couple of possibilities for original problem:
- switch is failing or ps failing
- cable between switch and router bad
- cable wrong type
- cable in wrong port
- push button on switch is set wrong
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:41 AM   #19
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About 18 months ago I had a different problem-- a bad power transformer for our router. Bought a new transformer from Radio Shack, problem solved.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:44 AM   #20
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Now that you've cleaned the contacts by remove/replace, if you plug the switch in odds are it'll work again. "reseating boards' was the easiest repair of our 60's/70's mainframes. Today's stuff still suffers from basic exposure to air.
Erasers were handy for cleaning edge contacts of boards.
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