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Some devices can't connect to the internet

This question was posted to another forum, and it took me FOREVER to find a solution to it. I am sharing this to help the thousands of others who will face this issue. In my case it was a Sony Bravia TV that couldn't connect to the internet even though it was connected to the WiFi, but it could apply to any device:

Hello everyone,

I'm fairly good with comptuers / networking but this issue has me baffled. Help would be greatly appreciated.

I have a linksys router (WRK54G) and have 2 desktops and 2 laptops connected to it wirelessly at the moment. I bought 3 smart phones (AT&T Tilts) and a new laptop recently. I don't use encryption but I do have MAC address filtering enabled.

The issue is that 1 of the smart phones can connect to the network and the internet, but the other 2 phones and the laptop can connect to the network but not the internet.

I did add their MAC addresses to the "allow" list ofcourse, which is why they're able to connect to the network. DHCP is enabled, and these devices get an IP address. I can see them as connected when i log in to my router as well through one of my other computers (I see the MAC address and the IP assigned to those devices) so I know they're properly connected to the network. However, when i try to pull up a website (using either its ip or its domain name), the devices try to open up the page but eventually give me a "The page cannot be displayed or downloaded because the connection was lost" on the pocket PCs, and a generic "page cannot be found" on the laptop. I don't see these requests in the outgoing log table of the router either... I'm supposed to see them as when i use one of my desktops, I can see which site was accessed by which IP.

So basically, the requests from 2 smart phones and 1 laptop aren't even getting to the router apparently. What could be wrong? These devices can access the internet on other routers elsewhere at my workplace or at wi-fi spots.. just not at home, which is a major inconvenience. Why would the router be stopping some devices from connecting to the internet and allowing others? I know it's not a setting in the devices as it can access the internet through other wi-fi spots elsewhere..

Help will be truly appreciated.

This is a more common issue than many would think with so many mobile devices.
The issue stems from the fact that the network interface on portable devices will go to low power mode to save battery life when not active. When it does this, another device could come onto the network and start using the same IP address. When the original device 'wakes up' and tries to use the IP address, it causes a conflict.
With this kind of dynamic addressing, when there is a conflict one of the devices is rejected.
This was a big issue with earlier Apple mobile devices, but can happen with many mobile thing. The wifi spec was just not written well enough to allow multiple devices to enter and leave constantly while avoiding address conflicts.
One was to try to solve it would be to assign static addresses to as many as your devices as you can. If the devices have a static (not automatically re-assigned) address and that address is OUTSIDE the 'pool' of automatic address, the conflicts will stop happening. If you give it a static IP that is within the pool of DHCP addresses the router can hand out, you aren't really solving any thing since the router can still assign another device the same IP which will conflict.
Note: SOME routers will let you 'reserve' certain IP addresses for specific devices. This would also work, since after that the router will only give that address to the device it is reserved for.
Look into the documentation for your devices about how to set static addressing... then look into your router to find out the 'pool' of automatic (DHCP) addresses it will give out. Set your static addresses as ones different than the range from the DHCP pool.
Note 2: Some routers come with REALLY small pools of DHCP addresses configured. My netgear only had the DHCP pool set up as 15 addresses! By my last count, my house has over 20 wifi devices in it now. So of course, things were fighting for addresses constantly. I expanded the DHCP pool to 100 addresses and it made a pretty huge difference.

HOW DID I DO IT on my router. I have a FRITZBOX router, and unfortunately you have to do things in a certain order or it won't work, because you cannot just delete a device that is going through your router if it is active.
1- Try to work out which devices are attaching to your router and the names of them. For the Fritz, you:

  1. Click "Home Network" in the FRITZ!Box user interface.
  2. Click "Home Network Overview" in the "Home Network" menu.
  3. Click on the "Network Connections" tab.
You might be able to see on this screen dual listings for the same active connected device. You want to remove these and re-establish them.

Switch off the offending device completely. Switch off the router or whilst in the Fritzbox user interface go to System>backup>restart. You have to restart the router so you have the option to delete the offending device, without restarting the device, you will not have the option of a delete key. Once the router is back up, go back to the network connections tab as outlined above, and you will see the offending device in the Idle connections section. Delete it/them. Restart your device. Enter in your modem details (SSID) and the password for the modem/router, and the device will reconnect. You should now be able to see it in the active connections area. Click on the writing pen and click on the box where it says 'always assign this network device the same IPv4 address'. This will stop any other device from accessing the same IP address in the future and stop the conflicts. Try this for all your home devices that connect to your modem/router and never have the issue again!

Hope this helped!

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