Why can’t I access the Internet from certain parts of my network?

Francis G September 14, 2012
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The Network Setup:

In building 1: I have a Comcast cable modem that plugs in to a Netgear 24 port switch (model: FS524). From there I have like 5 desktops, a Office Printer, A Linksys Wireless N Router (model: E1200). Then from the 24 port switch I have cat 5e line going to building 2 to a patch panel and then it plugs in to a 5 port netgear switch (model: GS105).

Problem:

I think the problem I am having is the 100 foot cable that runs to building 2 seems to not have enough power or signal strength. If I take my laptop in building 2 and connect directly to patch panel without the switch I’m able to get on the web. However, when I plug in the 5 port switch and connect the laptop to that it wont get me on the web.

Symptoms:

  • – The one day I was working on the system the network was going out a few times throughout the day. Which I make me wonder if the switch is losing power maybe trying to handle all the traffic on it and trying to handle the 100 ft Cat cable.
  • – The 5 port switch is brand new and works
  • – The last two days the 24 port switch has been working okay
  • – I have not been able to hook up the access point yet!!

What I Tested:

  • – I tested the cable by creating another 100 ft. 5e cable to see if something was wrong with the cable and that’s not the case because it was doing the same thing as the cable in the ground.
  • – I bypassed the 24 port Switch in building 1 by plugging the external 100 ft. cable to the Comcast modem and then plugged it in to the 5 port switch in building 2 then to my laptop and I was able to get on. However when I try to plug the Linksys Wireless router to the switch and then from linksys to my laptop it doesn’t pull an IP address.
  • – I tested the 5 port switch with my laptop in building 1 connected directly to the 24 port switch with a 7ft cable and it worked fine.
  • – I called Netgear and they say its a legacy problem that the cable is to long. But I find it hard to believe because the cables only maybe 100 feet. I thought a cat 5e cable can go as far as about 300 feet.
  • – I tested the Linksys N Router and that works fine. It is also brand new.

Maybe the cable is to long and because of the 24 port switch having so much activity it can’t push enough signal to the other building. If so what would you recommend me do to get this to work?

What are your thoughts? Has anyone had something like this and what did you do to fix it?

  1. Jonathan
    September 20, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Try a Crossover cable. This is exactly what would happen if you were connecting two switches using a straight thru cable. Second switch would get no connectivity but a laptop. I would try it just to be sure.

  2. illegal3alien
    September 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    ha14 might be on the right track, but switches don't assign ip addresses. More than likely your cable modem does since you are able to plug a switch into it and connect to the internet (it has to have an ip assigned to it). You should either disable DHCP on your router or change the order to:
    Modem > Router > Switch (24) > Switch (5)

    Also, after changing anything unplug all of the equipment and plug it back in (including computers) to make sure it all gets new IP addresses and any routing information is cleared.

  3. Rob Hindle
    September 14, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    A quick thought without checking out your kit... there can be a "too many hops" issue in some circumstances if I recall correctly. May be a red-herring...

  4. ha14
    September 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    perhaps your switch is trying to give your laptop an ip address when your router is already doing that.

    or cable + switch combo problem

    perhaps to use auto sensing switch and no config need and your router still controls ip addresses

  5. Bruce Epper
    September 14, 2012 at 5:44 am

    If the associated Link light is on (connecting switch to switch), it is not a cable problem. After all, you are well under the 100m length limit.How is your connectivity within your own network between the 2 buildings (ignore internet access at this point). If you cannot reliably connect to machines on your network, then it is a problem with your switch configuration (VLANs?). If the issue is solely with internet access, you need to be looking more at how your 24-port switch and cable modem are interacting. Maybe slap Wireshark in to see what is going on with the traffic if you can configure a management port?