DMZ Issue with Westell 9100 - Losing Name Servers

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎08-06-2011

DMZ Issue with Westell 9100 - Losing Name Servers

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My setup

FIOS internet via a Westell A90-9100EM15-10 router

Home network, both wired and WiFi devices.  Standard stuff except for the following

- VoIP device (Linksys RT31P2, router with 2 phone ports)

 

I am having intermittent VoIP issues (phone stops working) and the recommended fix from the VoIP provider is to put the VoIP router in the DMZ.  However, this creates a different issue.

 

Problem

With the VoIP router in the DMZ I will intermittently lose the ability to pull up web pages.  To be clear, when this issue occurs I can successfully ping any IP address, but I cannot ping a server name (ex: ping x.y.z.t succeeds, but ping www.google.com fails"). When a requested web page fails, the message is "unable to reach server "www.xxxxx.com".

 

If I reboot the FIOS router, the problem is resolved.

If I log in to the FIOS router, turn off DMZ (uncheck the box) and hit OK, the problem is resolved.

If I stay logged in to the FIOS router and turn DMZ back on (re-check the box) and hit OK the problem does not immediately return.

 

Sometimes I can run for a week (or longer) without this problem coming back, sometimes it's only a few hours..

 

Also.... When the problem starts it typically starts gradually.  If I'm on a web site, I can continue to browse pages on that web site.  If I open anopther tab (IE and FF same behavior) and try to pull up a different web site, some web sites will pull up ok, and some will fail.  There is not any consistency to which will fail.  Then, a few minutes later, everything will fail, including the web site I was just browsing (did not close any windows). It's as if the failure is spreading slowly.

 

Any idea what's happening and what I can do to fix it permanently?

I have tried 3 different FIOS routers, since FIOS support can't find any connection problems they just send me a replacement to shut me up... But it seems clear to me that something is not right with either my physical setup or the router configuration/firmware/??

 

Thanks.

 

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎08-06-2011

Re: DMZ Issue with Westell 9100 - Losing Name Servers

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Bueller?

Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 7,547
Registered: ‎12-15-2010

Re: DMZ Issue with Westell 9100 - Losing Name Servers

Message 3 of 8
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Sounds like it's a firmware issue with the router. If you assign a PC in your home DNS servers manually and you notice others not being able to resolve, that would point to the firmware for sure. The router does operate as a DNS Relay, which means it's a middle man between whatever server and your PCs for requests.

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎08-06-2011

Re: DMZ Issue with Westell 9100 - Losing Name Servers

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Thanks, but it's not a DNS issue, it's a DMZ problem...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DMZ_%28computing%29

 

Different stuff.

 

EDIT: Ok.. I see what you mean (I think)..

I agree that it's likely firmware... but.. What's the fix?

I need to call Verizon and get them to send me a different brand/model of router and see if the problem follows on the new router.  So far, all I've tried are the same Westell model number...

 

Any other suggestions would be welcome. 

 

Thanks.

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎11-17-2009

Re: DMZ Issue with Westell 9100 - Losing Name Servers

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I have the same problem - mine is DNS related.  Happens daily!  Never had the problem until my Actiontec died after a long life and was replaced by a Westell.... I've had 3 now, all have the same problem.  No matter how hard I try, I can't get Verizon to send me an Actiontec.

 

I'm told I have the latest firmware.

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎08-06-2011

Re: DMZ Issue with Westell 9100 - Losing Name Servers

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Thanks for the feedback...

One of the techs at Verizon suggested I try an Actiontec router.

Actually, she had requested one be sent to me, but they sent a Westell instead.

Next tech I spoke to said I could request an "upgrade" to an actiontec...

Sounded like "more money" to me so I didn't press it.

 

Workaround has been to uncheck the box, hit ok and then recheck the box..

Annoying, but, not as bad as rebooting the router.

Mine is failing about once a week now... When it gets to every day or two it gets annoying.

 

I'll try again to see if I can get an Actiontec.. sounds like they don't have the same issue.

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎08-06-2011

Re: DMZ Issue with Westell 9100 - Losing Name Servers

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After 3 calls to tech support, seems there's no way for me to get an ActionTec router.

Today was the last straw.

 

Talked with tech support (FSC).. they said I needed to talk with Sales about an "upgrade" to ActionTec.  Sales said they have no way to request a specific brand of router.  Sales management said I should request a service call and ask the tech to bring the requested router so off to FSC I go again...

 

This time FSC says "the two routers have the same firmware" (lie.!), so the performance wil be the same.. sorry we can't help you unless you upgrade to a business account.  We think a static IP will fix your problem.

 

I can get 30Meg service from Cable now....

Might need to make the switch.... just because Verizon support is so ______ (insert impolite words here).

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Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 7,547
Registered: ‎12-15-2010

Re: DMZ Issue with Westell 9100 - Losing Name Servers

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You can get ActionTecs for a few dollars online from people who have them and were left with them. If you really want to get to it, you can put your own router in line between the ONT and FiOS Router as well, should you have TV service and there is plenty of information online on how to get that done.

 

A lot of people have had a dislike for the FiOS routers for a while due to some silly bugs that seem to prop up with every firmware release. The same goes for a lot of other routers, but often the bugs they have take a particular combination of devices that leads to a crash. It's too bad the solutions to many of those problems involve replacing perfectly good hardware due to how long it tends to take to solve some rather annoying problems with a piece of software.

 

But ultimately, short of that, if you do not wish to use the DMZ, I would suggest using Port Forwarding for a VoIP modem. It is really all you need to do and it should solve the problem with the VoIP phone failing over time, since it does basically the same thing as the DMZ but in a more security-oriented position.

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