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ClearFir

join:2012-04-09
Branford, CT

[help] Airport Extreme drops PPPoE connection

I've had basic DSL from SNET/AT&T since 2003 and an Apple Airport Extreme since 2008. They offer faster speeds now, but this was working fine until late January the Airport Extreme started dropping the connection and reporting "the PPPoE server cannot be found". It occurs with moderate to heavy stream of data, and in particular running a YouTube video will make the connection break 100% of the time.

- Removing the Airport and connecting my Mac directly to the DSL modem results in a connection that doesn't drop.
- Thinking that meant the Airport was bad, I replaced it with a new one which did the same thing and Apple replaced it with yet another new one which still did the same thing.
- AT&T support says the line is good and speed is fine. An AT&T repair tech put a whole house filter in and wired DSL to one jack. Doesn't solve the problem.
- AT&T support says it could be that the old Speedstream 5100 could be going bad, so I buy a new Motorola 2210, and still the problem is unchanged.

I need better tools now to figure out what's gone wrong. It appears nether the Airport router nor the DSL modem are faulty, yet it doesn't work. If I can't solve this, my only real choice may be to switch to Comcast.

So far I've learned the connection is interleaved, and most of the times a speed test is run, it comes up with about 1.25 down/0.35 up which is about what I'm supposed to be getting. I have had a couple speed tests come out much less and one speed test did break the PPPoE connection.

Any suggestions where to start debugging this and what tools to use?



meskinct
Mad Scientist at Work
Premium
join:2002-01-07
Southbury, CT

Do you have an MTU setting in that router at all? Make sure it is set to 1492 and not 1500.
--
Rich. My Website


ClearFir

join:2012-04-09
Branford, CT

I noticed the MTU setting in the Motorola modem when it was hosting the PPPoE connection and didn't mess with it there. I don't believe the user has the ability to monkey with that setting with the Airport Extreme when it hosts the connection. (In that condition, the Motorola modem is bridged.)

As an aside, I didn't succeed in jerry-rigging the Motorola to host the PPPoE connection and bridge the Airport to it. Unless I'm mistaken, while you connect to the Motorola in this state via DHCP, it only seems to serve up one client address, so you can't share the connection. Trying to get the Airport to turn around and share that connection by being the DHCP server only results in a Double NAT warning which I never found a working solution to.



meskinct
Mad Scientist at Work
Premium
join:2002-01-07
Southbury, CT
Reviews:
·Charter
·Comcast

1 edit

Sounds odd. Forgive me I'm a little rusty as I haven't had DSL for a few years.

My recommendation though would be to take the router out of the loop for now and get everything set with the modem doing the PPPoE.

Then add the router back in set to DHCP but be sure the router has a different IP range - So if the modem is 192.168.1.1 then set the router to 192.168.2.1

You can turn off NAT on the modem. Only one device should do the NAT.
--
Rich. My Website