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Hello,

I have a little problem on my hands. I frequently host small LAN parties at my house where about 6-7 friends will get together and just sort of hang out and play games together. We don't exactly do anything hardcore, and our internet usage is nothing more than you'd expect from 6 people on a network.

Here is the problem: I have a four-port Linksys BEFSRV4 router, and some Linksys 5-port 10/100 workgroup switch that we use to connect everyone. Usually, we have one or two people with long enough cables plugged directly up to the router, and then everyone else is connected to the switch. Well, its not very uncommon for our internet to blank out and die on us when the switch is full up. By now, I have figured out that when everyone is connected, the internet will randomly short out and the problem can usually be found in the router settings.

While the internet is down, my router will do all sorts of things. First, when I login to the router, the blanks usually contain larger than usual numbers or strange ASCII symbols. Sometimes the Keep Alive time will be something like 3586, when the max value possible is 180. Once I change the settings back to normal, the router gets confused on what type of internet it's using and changes to "Obtain IP Address automatically." Once I put it back on PPPoe and save the settings, the internet comes back and everything is fine again.

At a regular LAN, this happens between 4 to 20 times. It can be really annoying at times. I'm wondering, what can I do to fix this problem? Is the problem in the switch, or is my router dying? The firmware is updated on my router, and the switch is plug-and-play as far as I know.

Any help would be great, as this greatly annoys me at LAN parties. Thanks.
 

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I'd start by resetting the router to factory defaults, downloading the latest firmware and updating it, and see if that helps. If no, then it's probably time for a new router. I have a dozen computers at times connected to my system, and some days there is a lot of activity on my connection. The router never misses a beat, and I'd be surprised if it ever did.
 

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I hate to start a new thread for this issue that I'm about to ask ... So I'll add to this one if that's OK...

I have an account where I can not connect more than 4 PCs via an 8-port switch. No matter what switch I use (different brands, different amount of ports, etc.)

This switch is connected to a single port on a Linksys router (54 Mbps). Then to a DSL modem, and out to the ISP. There is no "server" involved with this simple network. If I put a fifth computer on the switch, it stops all communications to the internet and all other network traffic to this computer lab room.

All DHCP assignments from the router quits during this time (I think even to the rest of the building beyond this room). Not everybody in the building, is affected when going out to the internet though. Seem to affect onmly this Lab Room. Once I unplug ANY of the PCs in this room, all traffic starts up again for this room. Doesn't matter what PC eithernet cable I unplug within the room.

I'm using all new DELL PCs (Win XP for now). There are 10 PCs to connect in all.
What's weird is that I'm replacing older DELL WIN 2000 PCs an it used be able to connect all the old PCs in the same room at the same time before the new ones had replaced them.
Why would the older ones work OK in this scenario?

What else is weird... The rest of the building's Pc users all are on different ports on the same router (perhaps indeed some of them do share a port with one another), but different then my port. Wasn't that nice of them to give me only one port on the router? <Sarc>

Anyway, I'm going through an 8 port switch as it once did before(same switch in fact). The plan is to daisy chain yet another 8-port switch just like the IT guys did before. I've tried two other switches (one being a totally different brand), and still the same results.

Is it my 8 port Linksys router that is at fault? Is there some sort of limitation it inherently has?
I have a similar one at home and I also have a switch in the mix (on one port just like here), and I don't have a problem there. Of course perhaps I don't ever use more than 4 PCs on that switch/single combo.

Lastly, I have found (the people have since told me actually), that they had a Linux box in the room that was to separate the networked PC from the other areas within the building. Could that be the key here? Was it some sort of host proxy type thing?
 
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