Dropped internet connection while streaming from Netflix
flapbreaker
Enthusiast - Level 3
I have a weird problem that only happens when streaming video from Netflix. It doesn't matter if it's through my xbox or the pc I get the same result. Essentially, after about 5-15 minutes of playback I lose all internet connectivity on all network pc's and the xbox. The only solution is to reboot the router. Cannot for the life of me figure out what would cause this but does have something to do with Netflix and streaming movies. Any idea's?
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1 Solution
flapbreaker
Enthusiast - Level 3
I thought I'd post a follow up.  It turns out that the router that Verizon is using (actiontec) has a small NAT table. I don't understand it all but some applications can fill this up. It's not all a bandwidth issue though. Anyway, I never really got anyone at verizon to tell me this but after looking through the forums at dslreports.com it became quite clear that this is a known issue. Unfortunately with fios the solution may not be easy depending on how they set up your service. I had coax cable from the ONT (box on outside of house) to the router. Can't just replace the router with a better one since there are none that accept coax. So I ran my own ethernet cable out to the ONT and plugged it into the ethernet port out there. Then it took several phone calls to reach someone who could activate the ethernet port on the ONT (done remotely), basically you want to reach the "fiber solutions center".  Once they made the switch I was able to use my own router and no longer have the issue with netflix or Itunes. Hope this helps someone else.

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mattheww50
Contributor - Level 2
I can only speculate, but I suspect your router runs out of memory. ONce that happens, it no longer has the ability to either send or receive packets. The likely reason

I can only speculate, but I suspect your router runs out of memory. ONce that happens, it no longer has the ability to either send or receive packets.

The likely reason is un acknowledged packets. TCP/IP requires that every packet be acknowleged, but it doesn't require it to happen immediately. At very high transmission rates such as FIOS provides, any  delay in ackowledging a packet or delay in re-transmitting a packet may cause the router memory to fill up with subsequent packets, creating the proverbial Gordian knot. You cannot get rid of packets in memory because they haven't been acknowledged, but you cannot get any more acknowledgements, because there is no memory left in the router to receive them! I suspect this is a situation the router doesn't handle gracefully.

1mb of packet storage doesn't last long at 2.5 million bytes per second!

The only likely recovery is to reboot the router.

is un acknowledged packets. TCP/IP requires that every packet be acknowleged, but it doesn't require it to happen immediately. At very high transmission rates such as FIOS provides, any delay in ackowledging a packet or delay in re-transmitting a packet may cause the router memory to fill up with subsequent packets, creating the proverbial Gordian knot. You cannot get rid of packets in memory because they haven't been acknowledged, but you cannot get any more acknowledgements, because there is no memory left in the router to receive them! I suspect this is a situation the router doesn't handle gracefully. 1mb of packet storage doesn't last long at 2.5 million bytes per second! The only likely recovery is to reboot the router.
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flapbreaker
Enthusiast - Level 3
Matthew, I appreciate your response but I don't believe that is the problem. The router should be able to keep up with streaming video other wise this issue would be wide spread and I cannot find any other complaints on the xbox forums ect. Also, to lose all internet connectivity from streaming video does not make sense. You could be right but then what is the solution. Lots of people have no issues with streaming video.
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philhu
Contributor - Level 2

I think netflix is stressing the router.  I do think it is a memory problem only seen during heavy high speed access

It also can be corrupted packets on really high speed, causing no acks for those packets filling up the router.

I would try lowering the speed of your netflix computer/box to see if the problem stops occurring.

If it does, then you have a stressed line problem that only occurs when the line is close to saturated, which is a common problem with lines that are marginal, and would probably require a trouble ticket.

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TimSykes
Specialist - Level 2

You may also have a issue with fios itself, because you are streaming video you can see it where as if your just going to websites you will not see a network hiccup. I stream netflix all the time with no issues. I highly  doubt it is a issue of the router running out of memory, because your router does not store what you are downloading, it is just routing on the packets of info onto the correct mac address that requested the info from the website., it does not buffer them. 

What you can try to do is power cycle your router  as after a prolong time being on they can cause issue with routing the info to the correct place.  

Message Edited by TimSykes on 11-25-2008 08:04 AM
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flapbreaker
Enthusiast - Level 3
Tim, your probably correct about a line issue. Reseting the router does work however the problem will happen again after 5-10 minutes of streaming. I do notice that the router seems to be very warm, almost hot but not quite. Not sure if this is normal. I guess I should contact Verizon support but I dread having to go through all the stupid basic support questions and solutions until we can actually find the problem.
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TimSykes
Specialist - Level 2
If the router is running hotter then it should be it may be to much power running in the lines. Fios seems to be very finicky when it comes to power, If there is to much or to littler you connection will drop frequently. 
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philhu
Contributor - Level 2

Well, thats what I said.

When you stress your line, it causes packet errors, that you don't see with normal use.

Try lowering your speed on your computer watching netflix.  Not to get a good picture but to cause less line stress and

see if your problem goes away.

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flapbreaker
Enthusiast - Level 3
Well, I was upgraded to the 10Mbps fios from the 5Mbps speed and now the movie stops even sooner. I get maybe 1-2 minutes in. I broke down and called verizon. They had no clue. I planted the idea of a bad/over heating modem and they are going to drop ship me one on Dec 1st. I figure this will be the easiest way to rule out a router issue. I'll let you all know how it goes.
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yenracd
Enthusiast - Level 3
Did you check that all your drivers and firmware are up to date?  I recently had trouble with my laptop constantly dropping the internet connection and it turned out Windows update had an update for me that was optional and wasn't automatically installed.  Once I installed this, I was fine but before I was constantly resetting my router thinking that the problem.  Also, when you reset your router, try actually unplugging it for a minute or two.  Not sure if this will help, but it's just a thought.
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mattheww50
Contributor - Level 2

I still think it is the router running out of memory. Contrary to what others have said, the router does have to store packets. It is just like any other node on a TCP/IP network. It has to hold onto the packet until the next node up the line has ack'ed sucessful receipt. TCP/IP does require that every sent packet be acknowledge, but to deal effectively with high speed transmission, and long propogation time, it can send the next packet, in fact it can keep on sending packets until the packet is ack'd. The packets do have to be ack'd in order, but It can take a long time. The obvious problem is at very high transmission rates, delays in ack of even due to just propagation delay can chew up a lot of memory in the router. The faster you make the connection, the faster the router will run out of memory, so making the connection faster will  make matters worse.

If this is in fact the case, the fix is a firmware upgrade to the router to rework buffer management, and neither will replacing the router if it has the same firmware and memory capacity.

One interesting experiment to try would be to have your ONT provisioned to be able to use the CAT 5 ethernet interface, and connect the PC directly to the ONT.

While it is configured that way, some other things may not work, but if the netflix streaming video works without the router, there is your answer. The PC has far more memory available for packets than the router. so is far more tolerant of long delayed acks.

philhu
Contributor - Level 2

What matthew2 says is right, I think, and is consistant with you raising your speeds and it happenning sooner.

The volume of packets stored before forward increased by double, causing the condition to happen sooner.

But, to rule out my idea, have them run a stress test on your line.....Easy and will rule out line corruption issues.

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Jaash
Newbie

flapbreaker,

I am having the same problems with my Netflix streaming.  I also have a new router in hand and hope that will fix the issue.

Unfortunately for me my connection drop is not based solely on Netflix streaming.  It happens quite frequently with no particular root cause that I can identify.

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flapbreaker
Enthusiast - Level 3
Well, I received my new router but still have the same issues. Can't reach outside internet but intranet part still works. I really don't know what the issue is now. Again, this happens on my xbox too so I know it's not a Windows problem.
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skinnypuppy56
Newbie

I'm having same issue, waited my 30 minutes with Netflix support and that said "no idea" and that they are working on buffering issue. Has anyone got past this yet? Very frustrating and wonder what is up w/router to just drop like that?

JM

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flapbreaker
Enthusiast - Level 3
Spent more time on tech support today and the only solution offered was to check and make sure my cables are connected tightly. What a joke. My next step is to see about running a new coax from the Verizon box directly to the router since all they did when they installed my service is patch into the old cable box. Maybe it's a wire issue?
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flapbreaker
Enthusiast - Level 3
I thought I'd post a follow up.  It turns out that the router that Verizon is using (actiontec) has a small NAT table. I don't understand it all but some applications can fill this up. It's not all a bandwidth issue though. Anyway, I never really got anyone at verizon to tell me this but after looking through the forums at dslreports.com it became quite clear that this is a known issue. Unfortunately with fios the solution may not be easy depending on how they set up your service. I had coax cable from the ONT (box on outside of house) to the router. Can't just replace the router with a better one since there are none that accept coax. So I ran my own ethernet cable out to the ONT and plugged it into the ethernet port out there. Then it took several phone calls to reach someone who could activate the ethernet port on the ONT (done remotely), basically you want to reach the "fiber solutions center".  Once they made the switch I was able to use my own router and no longer have the issue with netflix or Itunes. Hope this helps someone else.
skinnypuppy56
Newbie

how did you access the ONT outside? all locked up? but after doing so you ran cat 5 cable for that to the inside to a wireless router and use that for internet and leave the actiontec in place for the TV side? did you disable anything in actiontec?

In terms of getting this done with Verizon Tech Support, we need more detail, they are stingy with helping anymore. what number did you call and what was the wording you used? i'm guessing they will say not suppoted so get lost.

JM

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flapbreaker
Enthusiast - Level 3
You have access to part of the ONT. There's just a single screw to undo and then you can see the ethernet port. I am not sure how this would work if you have the fios TV service. I'm not sure if both ports can be active at the same time or not.  The number I called was 1-888-553-1555. It is difficult to get to the "fiber solution center" because there are no options. I usually chose options that said I wanted to make changes to my service.  I simply told them that I wanted to switch my internet connection over from coax to ethernet at the ONT and that the ethernet cable was already in place (I ran that myself). I initially still used the actiontec before switching over to my own router. It went pretty smooth but was having issues with completely getting a connection. Ironically it turned out that the ethernet port on the actiontec was faulty and I had to use my own router anyways.  You can avoid calling verizon to make the switch by posting in the following forum http://www.dslreports.com/forum/vzdirect  this particular forum is monitored by verizon tech people, the actual ones that can do the switch. No one but you will have access to the post you make.  Also, you might try posting in the general verizon fios area http://www.dslreports.com/forum/vzfiber regarding how to accomplish this when you have their TV service. You will see some posts about turning the actiontec into a bridge so you can use another router. This is not as easy though.  Hope this helps.  Kind of weird that there's no verizon techs helping on the verizon website huh?
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flapbreaker
Enthusiast - Level 3
P.S.   They have no problem providing support even using my own router however I was told that they could not offer support if you were using the actiontec as a bridge to another router simply because there's just too much to trouble shoot.
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skinnypuppy56
Newbie
it sucks you can't read the posts just to see solutions if any on these links but a nice way to get answered possibly by Verizon directly.
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