While I was at my girlfriend Jill’s house today, I wanted to hook up my business phone because I needed to make a few phone calls. In doing so, I ran into a few dilemmas that made what might be a seemingly simple task a frustrating, blood boiling hurdle.
Dilemma number 1: I wanted to hook the phone up in the bedroom, but I didn’t have a long enough Ethernet cable to reach from the bedroom to the living room (where the router is located). I did, however, have a few long Ethernet cables and decided the best way to get around this problem was to replace the Ethernet cable running from the modem to the router with a longer one, enabling me to put the router in the hallway, half way to the bedroom. Then I could run the other Ethernet cable from the router into the bedroom and plug it into the phone. Dilemma number 1 solved!
Dilemma number 2: With the phone hooked up, I called my cell phone to test it out since it had been a while since I had the phone hooked up. When I picked up the receiver, I heard the dial tone. When I dialed the number, I heard the beeps after pressing each number. When making the call, though, I couldn’t hear it ringing and when I picked up on my cell phone, I could hear talking from the business phone to the cell phone, but I couldn’t hear talking from the cell phone to the business phone. I contacted one of our handy sysadmins and he asked right away if I was using a Linksys router. I told him that I was and he said in order to make it work properly, I would need to configure DMZ on the router to point to the internal IP address of the business phone. This leads me to dilemma number 3.
Dilemma number 3: Since the Linksys router belonged to Jill, and her dad set it up for her, I didn’t have the proper login info to configure DMZ on the router. We dug through a storage bin full of instruction booklets and papers to see if we could find the proper login info written down somewhere. No success. So, Jill texted her father to see if he remembered the login info for the router. Of course it wasn’t that simple. As a last ditch effort, I tried to hook up my 48 port network switch in the hallway along with the router, but plug the business phone into the network switch instead of the router to try to bypass the DMZ issue. No success. For some reason, the switch wasn’t giving out the proper IP addresses for the devices on the network when hooked up in this manner. I decided my only choice here was to factory reset the Linksys router and reconfigure it so that I had the login info and I could also configure DMZ.
Dilemma number 4: I reset the router to the factory settings. I was then able to login to the router configuration page with the default login info and configure it. I made a few changes to set the router back up how it was before. When I was finished, however, none of the devices on the network were getting an IP address. I pulled the plug on the router and the modem, waited 10-30 seconds, and plugged them back in. Same problem. I factory reset the router again and tried configuring it again, making some settings different from how they were. Still a no-go on connecting to the internet. At this point I was ready to throw it against the wall. I noticed at this point that when I unplug the modem, the lights remain on. Upon inspection of the modem, there was a cover that concealed a battery. I pulled the plug on the modem and removed the battery so the modem would do a cycle reboot. It came back up but the internet was STILL not working. GRRRR.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from South Park and any ISP tech support I’ve ever called in my entire life, when all else fails, reboot the Linksys *again*. I didn’t have high hopes, but I decided to pull the plugs on the Linksys and the modem again, this time also removing the battery in the modem again. I waited the appropriate time and then restored power to the modem and the router. I walked back into the bedroom and checked the connection icon on Jill’s computer. It was connected. This didn’t mean too much as you can connect to the LAN network without actually having access to the internet. I opened her browser and tried loading Google. It loaded. GREAT SUCCESS!! Low and behold, the Linksys reboot trick prevails once again! Now that the wireless internet was working, and I had configured DMZ in a previous step for the business phone, all that was left was to reboot the phone again and cross my fingers while it was booting up to see if it worked. It did!
My blood pressure immediately returned to normal and I was able to carry on with my merry day with one less thing to worry about. To sum it all up, get yourself a decent Buffalo, or Netgear or even straight Cisco router and you should be able to avoid most, if not all, of these issues from the beginning.Posted in: General