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Direct Wired vs Wireless Access Router

 
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BJ&Magic
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 3:48 pm    Post subject: Direct Wired vs Wireless Access Router Reply with quote

Hello folks...

My wireless access point router recently went out. Called the IP tech folks and they said to just connect the DSL direct to Computer. I've done this. IP Address and masks changed, and seem to constantly change, and/or my computer regularly shows a message from my "connection icon" that I am not connected. It does that for about 3-5 seconds and then goes back to normal.

I have Norton Internet Security 2007, Webroot Spy Sweeper, and run Ad-Aware about 6 times a day, any time my computer seems to drag. I also disable the connection when I am offline/browser closed, so that the connection is usually only active when I'm actually online. (Call me paranoid Pray )

Is this safe to continue this way? I've read some things about Wireless being less secure, but I really don't know and to say my IP tech people are less than "expert" is to be very kind.

One other little interesting thing...my monitor blanks/blacks out every so often, much like a slow shutter on a camera. That too is about a 3-5 second thing...maybe even less, but it sure gives me the feeling there is a SPY or keylogger watching me.

I'll wait for an answer here before posting an HJT log on that forum. Could someone please PM me, if they post an answer, because the "auto PM" thingy doesn't appear to work.

Thanks a lot!
BJ&Magic
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BJ&Magic
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Direct Wired vs Wireless Access Router Reply with quote

Does this post need to be in another forum to get a reply? Confused

Thanks,
BJ&Magic
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suzi
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I moved the topic, although it doesn't exactly fit in this forum, it will get more attention here. If you're not getting the reply notification emails, you should add the forum email address to your safe list or your contact list. They might be getting caught by a spam filter.

To answer your question -- is wirelss less secure than wired -- the answer is yes. Wireless has risks that do not apply to wired connectivity.

I take it you have a DSL modem. Your ISP may have some very basic security in the modem such as blocking certain ports to keep out port scans by internet worms, but a router has more security built in. There are routers that you can use to share your internet connection with wired cables, typically CAT5 or CAT6. There are routers that have both wireless and wired access, and there are wireless access points that have no router functionality.

There are other variations, but that's what I'm familiar with.

A wired connection is more secure than wireless. If you are using a wireless connection for internet access, unless you have it secured, your neighbor can also use your wireless connection, if it's strong enough.

If you have 2 or more computers on a wireless connection with file and printer sharing enabled, that opens up another layer of risk. If your wireless network is not secured your neighbor or a hacker might also be able to browse the files on your computer.

There are 3 levels of wireless security, or encryption. There is WEP, which is better than nothing and will probalby keep your neighbor out unless he is a hacker and determinted to use your connection. WEP encryption can be cracked in 2 or 3 minutes if someone is determined.

WPA and WPA2 are much more secure, WPA2 being the most secure.

The problems you are describing sound like they could be related to a problem in your line, which would be up to your ISP to determing. I'd call and have them check to see if your connection is being dropped periodically. You could also have a hardware problem somewhere.

But I would not rule out malware either. It never hurts to post a HijackThis log if you are in doubt.

If you are running several anti-spyware programs or anti-virus programs in real time, that can also slow down your computer. Norton Internet Security is known for slowing down machines, and the new version of SpySweeper is said to have a similar problem.

For information on wireless security, I'd suggest reading the info here:

http://www.dslreports.com/faq/8698

Hope that helps.
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BJ&Magic
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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Location: California

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Suzi! That does help.

I'll post my HJT log in that forum. Screen just did it's black out thing again, while I was typing this. It's like someone turning the lights out for just a couple of seconds. Mad

Thanks again. I'll post the link to the log, back here when it is up.

BJ&Magic
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BJ&Magic
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BJ&Magic wrote:
Thank you Suzi! That does help.

I'll post my HJT log in that forum. Screen just did it's black out thing again, while I was typing this. It's like someone turning the lights out for just a couple of seconds. Mad

Thanks again. I'll post the link to the log, back here when it is up.

BJ&Magic


Well I can't edit this post...but here is the link to the HJT Log.

Thanks again!
BJ&Magic
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BJ&Magic
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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Location: California

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BJ&Magic wrote:
BJ&Magic wrote:
Thank you Suzi! That does help.

I'll post my HJT log in that forum. Screen just did it's black out thing again, while I was typing this. It's like someone turning the lights out for just a couple of seconds. Mad

Thanks again. I'll post the link to the log, back here when it is up.

BJ&Magic


Well I can't edit this post...but here is the link to the HJT Log.
http://www.spywarewarrior.com/viewtopic.php?p=153266#153266


Thanks again!
BJ&Magic

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Osage
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To B&J Magic,

While you are very vague about what might be loosely called network architecture, I assume you had a dsl modem connected to a wireless router--and the wireless router connected to your computer wirelessly because you had a wireless network interface card (NIC) on your computer. And I somewhat assume things were running right until that day X when the wireless router suffered a fatal hardware death.
( But has that been established definitively?---it may have just reset itself in some weird way. )

And instead of taking the fairly cheap option of just buying a new wireless router, I assume you directly connected the dsl modem to another NIC on your computer with some means like a cat 5e cable.
And this new way of connecting to the internet works, but now you have little stability with an internet connection that comes and goes.

And now wonder if some piece of malware is responsible for your current grief. And with Suzi giving you some excellent advice on considerations directly related to that. And by all means pursue that---and hopefully eliminate malware as a cause.

But after this long and perhaps over wordy buildup, I will point out
that you may eliminate malware as a suspect---and still have the same problems as before. So to anticipate that possibility, you may be soon in that situation---and realize you are in troubleshooting land---which is never a pleasant place to be. And only the systematic and patient ever make it out alive without bouts of total frustration and all too numerous repetitions of beating their heads against walls.---or worse yet---wasting endless money replacing hardware that was good in the first place.

So if it is not malware.

1. You may be best off nuking your whole network setup--and rebuild all drivers from the ground up. Costs time but no money.

2. Your problem sounds similar to a network problem I had--which was traced to an intermittent NIC---which kept disconnecting and then reconnecting my network connection---a temporary fix was setting up a static client address---but a final solution was just replacing a $15.00 NIC. But even then, I never had monitor disconnect problems that may implie you have some weird software conflicts somewhere.---with some driver somehow assuming you still have a wireless connection---going into a long search for something it can't find---and then aborting. In short you may need some expert network help because you setup is now wrong.
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suzi
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Osage -- it's a lot more likely the problems you describe are not relelated to malware -- I've never seen malware cause the symptoms you describe. Something is wrong in your network set up and it may take a hands-on inspection by a network expert to figure out and fix the problem.

You can try reading and posting at the DSLReports networking forum, but sometimess it's impossible to diagnose the problem without a hands on inspection.

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/wlan

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/sharing
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BJ&Magic
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Location: California

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh my goodness Osage...what a rollercoaster ride that was post was Wink One minute my problem seems simple-- next hopeless-- next simple but time-consuming...which in my case is hopeless. Boo hoo! Felt like an "E" ticket ride Laughing

I probably didn't state things well, even though it seems you got it right. Just in case...

1. I think the router burned out. It smelled very hot (like melting plastic) and I unplugged it and then it didn't work at all, when I plugged it back in.

2. I called the people who installed it and provide the lines & equipment, etc., (Cox Communications) and after much troubleshooting, they instructed me to unplug from the router connection (from Modem to Router) and connect directly to the Network card outlet, which is programmed to their specific addresses. I think I'm stating that right.

Anyway, I just had a thought...would it help if I emailed/PM'd my Internet Security "connection log"? It will show exactly what it does and even shows the files in play when it's doing it.

It isn't very long because I just ran "Window Washer", but don't know if posting it on public board gives too much info re: access. (I know just enough to get me in trouble and keep me confused Rolling Eyes Mad )

I've been contemplating just taking everything off of one computer and using that ONLY for internet use. Might save a lot of headaches, since getting an "expert" to troubleshoot it in-person is hard enough, but finding the time to do it is even worse.

I'll PM the "connection log" from Norton. I'm still not getting notification emails from this site, even though I've programmed by Spam folder and check it regularly...actually my Spam folder notifies me of new spam mail every time I open my mail.

Thanks Osage and Suzi for bearing with me on this...if only to determine what I should spend the time on, since there is so little of it to go around.

You guys are great! Do you give online courses for wannabe's like me? (Seriously...that I would find the time for!)

Thanks again,
BJ&Magic
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Osage
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To BJ&Magic,

(1) I did receive your PM'ed log and its fairly clear what is happening. Your smc1244tx v2 network Internet card assigns your computer an ip of the type 172.xxx.xx.xxx or 72.xxx.xx.xxx, protects it for a short time, and then seems to fail to hang onto the address. It then assigns your computer another Ip address, fails to hang onto that one for very long, and seems to endlessly repeat the process. Especially if your have an on the motherboard video chip, these resets could divert 100% of the cpu and possible explain your video blanking out during those times when it is resetting and searching.

These resets could be due to a defective NIC, bad or corrupted drivers, or some conflict with other parts of your network setup. You may be able to solve it by setting up a static ip address. Or your dsl modem could be intermittent. But if you are capable of opening up a computer and replacing a PCI card---I would just buy a $15.00 NIC at some place like walmart--and install the drivers that come with the card and see if your problems go away.

(2) If your wireless router got hot enough for you to smell burnt plastic, you can safely assume its toast. And since what you had was working before, and a decent wireless N router is not that expensive, trying to go back to the network you had might be the least time consuming route even if you have to buy the router.---if the $15.00 Nic did not work.

(3) I think you are getting ye ole run around from cox---its their job to get you back up and running---and its your job to tell them that their advice---flat out did not work. And they should be capable of helping you get at the source of the problem---and they may have to get off their dead butts and come to your home. But should be able to help you over the phone if you are polite and patient---but for now they are just trying to save their employer money.

(4) I am not very familiar with your type of network architecture.
But most of what I know comes from http://forums.practicallynetworked.com/ which contains a wealth of information and tutorials on setting up networks from scratch. And there are tons of helpful and far more knowledge than I people there who would be far better than I ever could be in helping you. I note Suzi gave you another networking link I am not familiar with so you might try both. But try to learn the various commands and switches in things like ip config and flush dns. Plus how to ping various parts of the network and test your connection.

(5) Since you have little time---you may have to gamble some money---but I would really think about going back to the wireless router set up you had if it worked well.

And keep us posted and we may all learn something.
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Osage
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and I forgot---if you replace the nic and drivers---you may have to get cox communications to explain how to set it up so your dsl modem connect to their site. And may be best calling Cox first before doing much of anything.
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BJ&Magic
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Osage wrote:
and I forgot---if you replace the nic and drivers---you may have to get cox communications to explain how to set it up so your dsl modem connect to their site. And may be best calling Cox first before doing much of anything.


Osage,

Thank you so much for your analysis of this issue. I think, for the immediate I will just disconnect this computer from net and put old, computer with not much on it, on hardwire set up. Then, do as you suggest and get the old setup (with new hardware) reinstalled correctly.

You really helped me to understand what was going on and to see which option would be safer. (Also helped me to not feel so dumb...good job! Wink )

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I've no doubt this WILL help others.

Best regards,
BJ&Magic
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