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Re: flakey internet access through network

On Tue, 24 Mar 2009 09:11:53 -0700, postid posted:

> I'm working on our school's computer system and discovering that the
> internet access is really a pain. I can log on to the wireless  network
> and get a strong signal, but internet access comes and goes. I just
> discovered that if I try to do a search, click on something online, or
> start writing a webmail email, it will just try and try and then finally
> give up trying to access the internet. If I start a process, however,
> then in a console enter
> # dhclient eth2
> Bingo! the internet responds.
> Otherwise I just have to wait until it comes back, which could be five
> minutes or 20 minutes or whatever.
> What's happening here? Is it forgetting that I'm logged in?
> The commands I use for the initial connection are:
> # iwconfig eth2 essid "NAMEHERE"
> # iwconfig eth2 mode Managed key open # iwconfig eth2 key KEYHERE #
> iwconfig eth2 dhclient eth2
> I was doing a netinstall here (with a wired connection on this network)
> a few nights ago and it was taking forever because I'd lose the internet
> and have to wait for it to come back again and continue the download.
> Sometimes I'd still have internet access on one of the desktops and on
> my laptop, sometimes just the laptop, sometimes just the desktop,
> sometimes just the wired computer involved in a netinstall.
> What's going on here? How do I solve this problem, at least for my
> laptop and the machine on which I'm installing lenny? My laptop is
> running Debian Sarge (it'll get lenny when I finish here), I'm trying to
> install lenny on one of the desktops, and everything else is windows.
> postid

This sounds a lot like something that you probably should take up with the
school's IT department and maybe check the terms of service. What you
describe doesn't like any of your machines are "forgetting" your IP
address. But you could check that with the command ipconfig eth2 (since
you mentioned eth2 as the interface involved) before issuing the dhclient
command. Or do you have a router connect to the feed in your room, then
check the router for possible problems. Any wireless can come and go for a
variety of reasons. Maybe other machines on the school network are using
up the bandwidth available or maybe the school has a bandwidth limit per
unit of time for systems on the network. Or, even the school's feed from
cyberspace could come and go from time to time, is this issue always
reproducible?. The topology of the school's network isn't clear from your
description. I'm just guessing but I don't think anything about Debian is
causing what you describe, so it would be OT here. Your IT department can
work with you to pin down the source of your problem.

Remember Sarge is no longer getting security updates so be careful when
using it.

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