Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've asked this on other sites before, and nobody can quite seem to figure out what's wrong.

I have a Netgear WGR614 v6 router in my home network, with two computers attached. A desktop (Windows 7 / Linux Mint 7) is connected through a network cable and a laptop (Vista Home Premium) that is connected through the wireless.

Everything seems fine and dandy, but the desktop can never reach any websites. Oh torrenting is fine, it can download at 150 Kb/s. And streaming music works as well. And MSN Messenger works too. It's just that websites time out.

But the laptop doesn't experience this at all! Except, occasionally, it does. :S

It goes something like this:

  • Loading YouTube...
  • "An unexpected error has occurred."
  • "An unexpected error has occurred."
  • Page cannot be reached.
  • Page loads without any CSS (very funky).
  • Page loads, video does not.
  • Video plays normally.

Resetting the router seems to work, but not for very long.

What could be the problem?

Thanks in advance.

share|improve this question
In order to determine whether browser or OS/hw is at fault, it would be good to know which OS/browser(s) don't work and any that do. – kwe Dec 23 '09 at 19:19
do you have access to another router? maybe yours is just broken ._. – Nick Dec 23 '09 at 19:21
Have you tried bypassing the router entirely to help isolate the problem? Connect the desktop directly to your cable/dsl modem? Then connect (wired) the laptop the same way. Any further clues based on that? – shank Dec 23 '09 at 20:10
Those routers are notorious for having their routing table fill up rapidly while torrenting. Does the problem persist if torrenting is stopped and the router reset? (and torrenting remains stopped?) – Tyler Dec 23 '09 at 20:11
Did you ever get this resolved? Would like to know the correct answer and cause for the problem. – James Watt Jul 28 '10 at 0:18

In addition to the excellent suggestions already suggested, also look at your Proxy settings in your web browser. These can be found under the connections tab. Disable the box for proxy servers if it is checked.

Another test you can try to see if this is DNS related. Open up a command prompt and type ping -t That is a server I always use as it has ping back enabled. If you get all successful pings, you are getting a good network and internet connection. If some of the packets do not ping back, your connection is flakey.

If you get 100% successful ping, my first instinct is DNS. You'll want to try using an alternative DNS server. To do this, open your Local Area Connection properties (Start> Control Panel> Network Connections> Right Click the Local Area Connection and press properties. If you have more than one, click the one that does not have a red X over it. Next, highlight TCP/IP and press the properties button.) Manually configure your DNS servers and use for the primary and for the secondary. These are two free opendns servers that I use as backups on all of my networks.

If that does not work, double check your hosts file. Use explorer to navigate to the following folder: C:\windows\System32\drivers\etc There will be a file named "hosts". Drag and drop it into an open notepad and you will see the contents. The only thing that most computers should have in this file is a #commented seciton explaining it as well as a single line that says: localhost If your host file is full of other stuff, consider commenting it out.

If this is not a DNS issue (i.e. you were unable to ping that address or the ping was only coming through partially), consider connecting your computer directly to the modem and bypassing the router. Also try switching ethernet cables.

share|improve this answer
Hmm... all packets lost. Those were able men, those packets... However, the cable could be bad. I'm going to try replacing it. – user22475 Dec 23 '09 at 22:26
I replaced the cable, and got weird results. On the desktop: first a "wave" of packets that go through, followed by a huge "wave" of packets that don't go through. Then a "wave" of packets that go through again! On the laptop: all packets went through. – user22475 Dec 23 '09 at 22:38
What is the results when connected directly with the modem? Same weird packet situation? Or do you still get weird results? – James Watt Dec 24 '09 at 4:06

Check the DNS settings on the desktop, and on the router. If you're using the router as the default gateway and DNS server (forwarder) or letting it auto-configure using DHCP, I would bet there's a 'use this DNS server' set on the desktop, which is not valid. Torrents usually use IP addresses, and so aren't affected by DNS.

It's also possible the router has 2 DNS servers, one of which is flaky.

It would be useful to set 'use this DNS server' on both computers to (or another DNS server of your choice) and see if the trouble persists.

share|improve this answer

Looks like a MTU issue. You can try lowering the network MTU value on the desktop computer. Instructions: link

I suggest you return the value to the default value if it doesn't solve it.

share|improve this answer

Regarding reset: The netgear 614 I had, had to be resetted from time to time if used too heavily. Netgear has different versions of 614 routers, so be careful which firmware you might pick if you update the router to a new firmware.

Regarding desktop: If your computer does not see websites it is missing the correct DNS information. Usually it is OK to put the address of the router as the address of the DNS server.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.