Subscriber Cathy Fitzgerald wrote to ask for suggestions on her Verizon DSL connection:
Hi Terry, I am on Verizon DSL. I have had problems for over a year now, both connecting to the internet, and retrieving email.
I have spent countless hours with them trying to resolve the issues. They sent a technician to the house who assured me the lines were ‘fine’. Obviously they are not fine, as I still can not open my email.
I also have to be directly connected to the modem. Trying to connect through the router has failed every time, however it seems the router is fine.
It was purchased this summer. Diagnostic tests indicate it is working properly. Any suggestions for me?
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
I wrote back to Cathy to tell her that, sometimes, Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) validate the connection against the MAC address (media access control address) of the computer’s network card. That would explain why she can connect when directly connecting her computer to the modem but not when she uses the router.
My cable company validated the connection against the network card MAC address in their early days (1996-ish).
Most routers have a function built into them to spoof (pretend to be) the computer’s MAC address to the ISP. Linksys calls it "MAC Address Clone" and the Linksys routers have a setting in their Administration interface where you do the cloning with a mouse-click. Alternatively, you an enter the MAC address manually.
Check and see if your router will do this.
Not sure what your MAC address is?
Start > Run > command
which will open a "DOS" command window.
In the command window, type the following and press Enter:
Windows calls the MAC address the "Physical address" and separates the numbers with dashes. Some routers won’t allow dashes in the input, and require the numbers and letters only.
I told her that I hoped this would solve her problem and to let me know if it does.
Cathy wrote back with another question:
Thanks for the information.
One more question…if I’m still experiencing connection issues, and I’ve removed the router from the equation, I’ve connected directly to the Verizon modem, and am still having problems, any idea what could be causing that? My computer security software is VIPRE. Could it possibly be contributing to the problem? Lots of times I can get to the internet, but when I try to click on something, then hit the enter button, I get nothing but a white screen, as if it’s attempting to load, but can’t finish.
Thanks again for your help!
PS – I can access the Verizon account remotely, just not from home.
That told me that there was more to Cathy’s problem, but not enough to tell me what was happening. I seriously doubt that VIPRE would be part of the problem she describe. But, I’m not sure what might be.
She still had not mentioned what operating system she’s using, what web browser, what email program, what firewall.
I asked her if she was running any other anti-virus or ant-ispyware program at the same time? If so, uninstall it. If you have two firewalls they’ll fight each other. If you have two anti-virus programs or two anti-spyware programs running, they’ll also fight each other.
Are you up-to-date on your Windows Updates and web browser versions?
The problem is that there are too many ways that the problems come up — including the possibility of modem problems. Try to get a knowledgeable friend to come take a look. Or, if you have a local computer users group, see if they have any "fix it" days. You probably need to be a member.
Her final comment about accessing the account remotely didn’t make sense. So, I asked if this a notebook that she’s able to take elsewhere and connect to someone else’s Verizon modem?