Ethernet Problem

Not sure whether this ought to be here or in Streaming Audio.

Our home internet setup has been playing up. Currently we have a BT Home Hub 7 with 2 of the BT Wifi Disk Extenders. House wired with Cat 6.
Fibreoptic locally but the final bit is copper wire into our house.

We have 4 LAN sockets in the living room, 2 in my study, and 2 in one of the spare bedrooms.

Also an 8 port Netgear Switch in the living room, and a 5 port one in my Study.

Well. A few days ago we had no internet access either by wifi or ethernet, although all devices still showed BT Home Hub as still present.

I did the usual things : rebooted the Home Hub, checked that no leads had fallen out and so forth. No joy.

Contacted BT Help Desk. They sent me a MiniHub free as part of my contract, even though I told them that we have VERY poor mobile phone reception. They arranged for an engineer to come, which he did yesterday.

The engineer was thorough - checked the main input into the house and the Home Hub. Couldn’t find any fault with them. He did note that not all the ports on the Netgear Switch were showing operating lights, and that the Switch was probably faulty. Moved a few of the inputs, and my Ethernet connection to the iMac started working again, as did the Wifi.

Went off to our local PC World and got a new 8 Port Switch (TP-Link - which was the only sort they had in stock). Replaced the Netgear with the new switch, and all working fine, with all appropriate lights on the new switch.

This morning - no internet via ethernet, but Wifi working upstairs and downstairs. Now 4 ports on the brand new switch not showing lights.

So … I went into the loft, got out my box of spare cables, changed the ethernet cables to the apparently non-working ports, but no joy.

Reconnected the old Netgear Switch, and my ethernet and upstairs wifi were working, although 3 ports on the switch still had no lights (not sure I plugged all the cables back into the exact same sockets).

Also, SWMBO complaining that her Sonos Beam Sound Bar was not working and no TV sound. I fixed that by changing the Harmony Remote Settings to use the TV’s speakers (temporary, but at least she could watch her programs while I was ‘messing about’ behind the TV!)

Bit of quandary about what to do next. All I can think is that perhaps multiple LAN cables have failed or that I need to get our original installer to come and actually check how well our wired network is working. Also I need to reset and reinstall her Sound Bar

Any suggestions, or am I thinking along the correct lines?

I think you need to be more methodical in your testing. Not sure I yet fully understand your wiring setup, but lets see. Firstly can you use the ports of your BT Hub to connect upstairs to your iMac. Once you have something working, then use that known working connection to test all your leads. Then take your 4-port hub upstairs and plug one end into your Mac, and the other into the wall socket, and check each connection. If those are all OK, you are then just left with checking each wall connection methodically. I hope that helps

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You can get an Ethernet socket tester from screwfix for £12 or so. You’ll need a pp3 battery to go with it. Test a couple of leads then use those for further testing. The tester is in 2 parts, so you can either test a single lead, or test good lead > wall socket > internal wiring > wall socket > good lead. If that checks out ok then you know your networking should be ok too. It’s possible there is a poor connection somewhere.
That being said, whoever installed your network wiring would have tested it when it was installed.

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It does suggest suspect wiring potentially… especially if switch link layer lights are extinguished…
I would try and isolate that… you can use an Ethernet connection tester as suggested above… you might find plugs and sockets are making suspect connections through poor quality and wear and tear.
If you had a commercial grade switch like a 2960 you can log on and see exactly what is happening or happened… but with consumer grade stuff it is trial and error.
Also do check you have no loops or anything like that… that is multiple cables connecting two or more switches together.
You can look into the system log on the BT Home Hub, but I doubt from your description you will see anything useful as from your description it’s happening away from that.

I would reduce the number of variables by taking some hardware out of the equation. Remove all devices except one to see if there is an ip conflict with a static IP address set. A simple Ethernet tester makes sense and a few spare patch cables. Being systematic is the key.

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Yep, from your description ther looked to be a degree of intermittent behaviour… if so this can require different approaches and egret cable checker won’t necessarily reveal.
But yes be systematic, and with consumer equipment focus on substation and test for each Ethernet segment.

Well, it’s been a busy day today while I’ve been “grandad’s taxi”. Hence no time to actually do anything.
However, I did some preliminary investigation last night, and it would appear that 2 of the ports on the BT HomeHub are not working, in spite of what the BT engineer said.

I now have an ethernet tester and my son-in-law has given me a 16 port switch. I will do the necessary things tomorrow - probably before “the boss” surfaces in the morning. (much easier when she is not giving ‘helpful’ comments)

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Final update (I hope!)

The Ethernet Tester was faulty and has been returned for a refund. New one should arrive today.

Son-in-laws gifted LinkSys 16 port working well.

I reconnected everything, checking the cables by using a known good port and and one of the BT wifi extension discs - threw away a couple of cables and used new ones.

Had the usual faff of connecting all her ‘bits’ together. I wish aerial connectors were locking - it’s amazing how often the damn things fall out.

Had great problems getting the volume to work overnight on her TV. The damn set wasn’t responding to the remote control (own or Harmony), so couldn’t mute it. I had to do that because she insisted on having the living back, and I hadn’t fixed her Sonos yet. Got that partially sorted and went to bed.

This morning (before she ‘surfaced’) I did a Factory Reset on her Sonos Beam, and got it reconnected. Spent half an hour redoing her Harmony remote settings, and now everything seems to be working.

(crosses fingers)

… Now, if only I could persuade her to give up her Sony DVD/HDD/Recorder (she’d still be able to record 4 programs at the same time!), then I could connect up her Sonos via HDMI ARC instead of optical …

Thanks to all for the advice. :hugs:

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Any storms nearby recently?

I discovered after days of testing that one of the ports on my router is dead and slightly burnt.

Odd, which TP-Link switch did you get?

I have a couple of basic switches (Netgear and TP-Link and rarely any issues).

I nearly ordered a few newer TP-Link ones today with IGMP snooping which I don’t think my older ones have - in the end I paused as I need to read up a bit more.

Can’t remember and it’s now in my “bits box” in the loft. It’s a fairly basic 8 port one from Currys/PC World. My main problem turned out to be a couple of failed ports on the router. So now I’m using a 16 port LinkSys one donated to me by my younger son-in-law. Everything is up and running so I’m leaving well alone.

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Yep, if it works best left alone!

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