Replacing a network router.
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    Replacing a network router.

    My current router is close to 10 years old. It has been trouble free until recently. Recently we have had very slow internet. At times it would slow to a crawl. Last night we lost all access to to internet. I restarted the wireless access points & cable modem, but forgot about the router. This morning I restarted the router & now have internet access again.

    I believe it is time to get a new router. I am guessing that between our house, shop & barn, we have over 30 devices that connect to the internet & local network.

    The question is how to do this. Do I need to power down all of the devices before hooking up the new router & then power them back on so they get a new IP address from the new router.
    Or will the devices get a new IP address without powering them down?
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    Once the new router is installed and the old one is powered off you will want to power down / reboot each device so it can re-acquire an address. Even though the actual address range probably won't change chances are some devices may get issued a different address. Rebooting each device will also verify proper operation with the new router.
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    My way is probably old school but about the same as jgayman says. I shut everyrhing down and restart everything from the top down. For me that is my cable modem first, then router, then periferals. Just start at the head of the stream and work down stream.

    A new router will come with instructions on how to get it hooked up and started. Really quite simple anymore.
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    Always bring them up in the order of the flow of the signal starting with the modem.

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    Thank you all for the information.
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    I'll play devil's advocate and go contrary to everyone else. As long as the devices use the standard DHCP protocol, they will have a timeout on the lease of the ip address, and you could conceivably get by without restarting them all. That is assuming, if they are wireless, that you use the same network name and password when setting up the new router and they can automatically reconnect to the wireless network to get the ip address. The problem with this approach is you may be waiting a while before they show up on the network.

    Of course, it makes good sense to reboot everything after installing the new router just as everyone is saying. But should you forget to reboot something, DHCP should timeout and request a new ip address after the lease period ends, and it should eventually show up on the network.
    Last edited by Oscar Leroy; 07-19-2017 at 07:30 PM.

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    I would also offer that you're slow performance may be a result of interference from nearby wireless access points. If you can see your neighbors network from your computer, they may be overpowering your signal. Picking a different channel for your network may help.

    Good luck!
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    Hiya,

    If your clients, (notebooks, tablets, phones etc) are all setup to use DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) there would be no need to reboot them. The DHCP protocol includes a address renewal method to automatically seek out a DHCP server and request a new lease when either the clients lease expires or an IP address conflict is detected. Just setup the IP address of the router the same as the old one (Default gateway) and make sure DHCP is enabled and the size of the DHCP scope (the pool of IP addresses to give out) is large enough to support the client devices you have plus a few more for guests.

    On a side note, you may want to use a different DNS server than your ISP lists as most ISP DNS infrastructures are not the greatest and switching to a higher tier can improve your name resolution times which does speed up surfing. I use Google 8.8.8.8 as the primary and Open DNS or Dyn as secondary.

    Free & Public DNS Servers (Valid July 2017)

    Level3 209.244.0.3 209.244.0.4
    Verisign 64.6.64.6 64.6.65.6
    Google 8.8.8.8 8.8.4.4
    OpenDNS 208.67.222.222 208.67.220.220
    Norton ConnectSafe 199.85.126.10 199.85.127.10
    Dyn 216.146.35.35 216.146.36.36
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    I'll go into some details and take you a step further...

    Odds are, all of your wireless devices are connected via one SSID (network name) and are obtaining all of their networking information by DHCP. And, the router you put in in place if the existing router will likely use the same internal networking information as the old one (most seem to use 192.168.1.x as the network because they are pre-configured with 192.168.1.1 as the address on the router itself.

    Swapping out the router can absolutely be done with pretty minimal effort and downtime. HOWEVER, there are some reasons to look at actively making some changes.

    - First off, you should log in to the exist router and verify everything on the "WAN" or "Internet" settings page/tab. Make sure that you're able to get all of the external address information quickly and easily by basically just plugging in the router and that you don't need a username, hostname, password, etc. to connect to your service provider. While you're in the router interface, you can change the DHCP lease time to something like 30 minutes. DHCP protocol specification requires devices to attempt to renegotiate and extend their lease when half of the lease time has expired. This means that devices will attempt to renew their lease at 15 minutes. If you make the addressing change suggested below, this will ensure your hard-wired devices come back on line in a reasonably short amount of time. While you're checking / adjusting DHCP items, check to see A) how many devices currently have addresses handed out by your router and B) whether or not any of them have a "reservation" (a guarantee to get a specific address every time). Anything with a reservation you will want to make a note of - record the hardware / MAC address along with the specific IP Address that is reserved for it for reference.

    - Second, you need to plan to power off your cable modem in order for this to all work. Almost all cable internet service providers will support exactly one directly-connected device, and that is essentially part of the DOCSIS spec for cable modems. The very first device that communicates with a cable modem after that modem starts up is the one that the modem will talk to. Every device has a unique hardware address that's associated to the specific chip that runs the networking. This is known as the MAC (Media Access Control) address. The modem will "remember" the MAC address of the very first device it talks to and that's the only device it will talk to going forward until either A) the address is deleted from it's running memory manually or B) the modem is restarted and given a chance to learn a new device address. Be aware that some modems have a battery backup in them (typically those that have at least the option for telephone connectivity) and you will need to pull the battery as well as unplug the power to get it to start up from "off").

    - When deciding how to handle your new router, you should start with assessing what KINDS of devices are connecting, and what they're capable of. For example, iOS devices (newer ones) are able to leverage the 5GHz frequency for connectivity. While shorter in effective distance / range, the communication speed is faster. Be sure to assess your environment and opt for a router that's well-positioned to provide high quality service for your devices. Your current router has lasted you ten years, so plan on your new one being able to last at least five and keep that in mind when you see higher prices. My Linksys WRT-54G cost me about $50 and ran for about ten years. My new ASUS AC3100 cost me close to $300. It's been worth every penny for the absolutely trouble-free, high performance use I've already gotten out of it over the last couple of years.

    - While you CAN use the same SSID on the new router as you used on the old one, I strongly suggest you to change it. Why? Because your devices will query a network when making the initial connection to understand details about how the network functions (not just getting an address and such). Channels, AP hardware addresses, etc.) are all queried and stored as part of the network configuration. If you swap out the hardware, the devices don't always know that the network is actually different and may continue to operate sub-optimally. By changing the SSID name, you are forced to re-configure the network on all of your wireless devices, but you will also be ensured that the networks will be connected to properly by all of your devices.

    - An additional benefit of changing the SSID is ensuring that any roque devices that might still be connecting and sapping your services will be "kicked off" and no longer able to use your network without your knowledge / permission. When setting up your new SSID('s), be sure to use WPA2 (Personal) for security as it's the least insecure of the various ways to secure your network.

    - Consider changing the IP Address on the router form the default. There are two reasons for my suggesting this: 1) It's just generally a good idea because it makes your network just a little different than 99% of the rest of the planet and 2) it will create a different DHCP address range and force all of your WIRED devices to renew their addresses as well. Again, you may have some additional work to do here if you have hard-wired devices that you had previously configured addressing information on, but it's always good to understand exactly what's on your network anyway. And, understand that what I mean here is to change the -third- octet of the address (at a minimum). Usually, the address is set to 192.168.1.1. Change it to 192.168.x.1 (replace x with any number between 2 and 255. 32,64,128,160,192, and 224 are some suggestions - I won't get into the details here). Alternatively, you could also change it to 10.x.y.1 (x and y between 0 and 255, inclusive) or 172.x.y.1 (x between 16 and 31, inclusive and y between 0 and 255, inclusive) as these are other address "spaces" that are reserved for private (home) use. In all cases, using the 255.255.255.0 subnet mask should be fine and could allow for roughly 250 devices to be connected to your network.

    What I have outlined above is absolutely more work, and more time consuming than what most posts here are suggesting. In the end, the extra work is worth it and you won't have to touch it again for a long time. This is how I handled my changes and have dozens and dozens of devices on my network that switched over and are working perfectly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by meburdick View Post
    I'll go into some details and take you a step further...

    Odds are, all of your wireless devices are connected via one SSID (network name) and are obtaining all of their networking information by DHCP. And, the router you put in in place if the existing router will likely use the same internal networking information as the old one (most seem to use 192.168.1.x as the network because they are pre-configured with 192.168.1.1 as the address on the router itself.

    Swapping out the router can absolutely be done with pretty minimal effort and downtime. HOWEVER, there are some reasons to look at actively making some changes.

    - First off, you should log in to the exist router and verify everything on the "WAN" or "Internet" settings page/tab. Make sure that you're able to get all of the external address information quickly and easily by basically just plugging in the router and that you don't need a username, hostname, password, etc. to connect to your service provider. While you're in the router interface, you can change the DHCP lease time to something like 30 minutes. DHCP protocol specification requires devices to attempt to renegotiate and extend their lease when half of the lease time has expired. This means that devices will attempt to renew their lease at 15 minutes. If you make the addressing change suggested below, this will ensure your hard-wired devices come back on line in a reasonably short amount of time. While you're checking / adjusting DHCP items, check to see A) how many devices currently have addresses handed out by your router and B) whether or not any of them have a "reservation" (a guarantee to get a specific address every time). Anything with a reservation you will want to make a note of - record the hardware / MAC address along with the specific IP Address that is reserved for it for reference.

    - Second, you need to plan to power off your cable modem in order for this to all work. Almost all cable internet service providers will support exactly one directly-connected device, and that is essentially part of the DOCSIS spec for cable modems. The very first device that communicates with a cable modem after that modem starts up is the one that the modem will talk to. Every device has a unique hardware address that's associated to the specific chip that runs the networking. This is known as the MAC (Media Access Control) address. The modem will "remember" the MAC address of the very first device it talks to and that's the only device it will talk to going forward until either A) the address is deleted from it's running memory manually or B) the modem is restarted and given a chance to learn a new device address. Be aware that some modems have a battery backup in them (typically those that have at least the option for telephone connectivity) and you will need to pull the battery as well as unplug the power to get it to start up from "off").

    - When deciding how to handle your new router, you should start with assessing what KINDS of devices are connecting, and what they're capable of. For example, iOS devices (newer ones) are able to leverage the 5GHz frequency for connectivity. While shorter in effective distance / range, the communication speed is faster. Be sure to assess your environment and opt for a router that's well-positioned to provide high quality service for your devices. Your current router has lasted you ten years, so plan on your new one being able to last at least five and keep that in mind when you see higher prices. My Linksys WRT-54G cost me about $50 and ran for about ten years. My new ASUS AC3100 cost me close to $300. It's been worth every penny for the absolutely trouble-free, high performance use I've already gotten out of it over the last couple of years.

    - While you CAN use the same SSID on the new router as you used on the old one, I strongly suggest you to change it. Why? Because your devices will query a network when making the initial connection to understand details about how the network functions (not just getting an address and such). Channels, AP hardware addresses, etc.) are all queried and stored as part of the network configuration. If you swap out the hardware, the devices don't always know that the network is actually different and may continue to operate sub-optimally. By changing the SSID name, you are forced to re-configure the network on all of your wireless devices, but you will also be ensured that the networks will be connected to properly by all of your devices.

    - An additional benefit of changing the SSID is ensuring that any roque devices that might still be connecting and sapping your services will be "kicked off" and no longer able to use your network without your knowledge / permission. When setting up your new SSID('s), be sure to use WPA2 (Personal) for security as it's the least insecure of the various ways to secure your network.

    - Consider changing the IP Address on the router form the default. There are two reasons for my suggesting this: 1) It's just generally a good idea because it makes your network just a little different than 99% of the rest of the planet and 2) it will create a different DHCP address range and force all of your WIRED devices to renew their addresses as well. Again, you may have some additional work to do here if you have hard-wired devices that you had previously configured addressing information on, but it's always good to understand exactly what's on your network anyway. And, understand that what I mean here is to change the -third- octet of the address (at a minimum). Usually, the address is set to 192.168.1.1. Change it to 192.168.x.1 (replace x with any number between 2 and 255. 32,64,128,160,192, and 224 are some suggestions - I won't get into the details here). Alternatively, you could also change it to 10.x.y.1 (x and y between 0 and 255, inclusive) or 172.x.y.1 (x between 16 and 31, inclusive and y between 0 and 255, inclusive) as these are other address "spaces" that are reserved for private (home) use. In all cases, using the 255.255.255.0 subnet mask should be fine and could allow for roughly 250 devices to be connected to your network.

    What I have outlined above is absolutely more work, and more time consuming than what most posts here are suggesting. In the end, the extra work is worth it and you won't have to touch it again for a long time. This is how I handled my changes and have dozens and dozens of devices on my network that switched over and are working perfectly.
    If this were a job I was contracted to clean-up I would subnet him down to a /14 and shrink the 5ghz and 2ghz down to 20mhz instead of auto 20/40/80. Good detail in your post including changing the RFC1918 addressing.

    Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
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