Azureas and the Router From Hell?

I was going to write an article triggered by Steven discussing feeling a little left out (20070109.2030 entry), and even had it half done, but I’ve gotten sidetracked thanks to being utterly fed up with my connection issues. I’ve been having problems for around a month now, and they’re getting worse.

Here’s the short recap: I use a wireless-enabled Linksys router attached to a Speedstreem DSL modem. My main system (Rogue) is wired, but my 2nd system (Stratos4), the family system (Soupbone) and my laptop (Zod) all use the G-band wireless. For some reason, I’ve had increasing problems with my net connection seeming to drop out, and generally slow craptastic download speeds while using this router. When I switch back to an older all-wired model, these problems USUALLY disappear. At the least, they’re not as severe.

Bittorrent seems to be related to the problem, but exactly how, I don’t know. IIRC, the whole issue started when I noticed my downloads were often being rejected with a message that port 6881 was blacklisted by thus-and-so tracker. Firefox seems to default to that port, so I stopped using it for DL’s and shifted everything to Azureas (2.4.0, later 2.5.0), customizing it to a high port #. Shortly afterwards, the random connection losses started. “UPnP: Lost connection to service ‘WANIPConnection’ on UPnP. I get this message 3-5 times in quick succession, and all downloads and uploads stop. In the course of an overnight run, this will happen at least 100 times. (I came home from work one day and had 500 such messages waiting) Some of the messages are different:

“UPnP: Mapping ‘Distributed DB (UDP/port#)’ has been reserved by′ – Please select” (truncated)
“UPnP: Maping UDP Tracker Client Port (UDP/port#) has been reserved by′”

The port numbers are the ones I selected for Azureas and have the router forwarding to my system. However, I’m sure that *sometimes* the forwarding is wrong, because my system might be given a different IP by the DHCP service. It seems to make no difference though — I still get the messages, and the downloads work…after a fashion. Uploads are totally unaffected, as far as I can tell, until the network loses connection to the internet. Moreover, when I lose it, so does everyone else on my network, and the systems can’t even seem to talk to each other. The lights on the router go crazy. Net storm?

So I searched for a ping plotter, coming up with VisualRoute’s 15 day free trial, and here are the results of three pings I started, at five-second intervals. The first is from Rogue to the router:

The occasional odd burp, but nothing spectacular. So here’s the results of pinging Soupbone on my home network:

Seeing some problems here, aren’t we? Well, next are the results of pinging, picked at random. Yes, I realized while typing this post that I should have pinged my ISP’s server to reduce variables. I’ll do that and post it later. In the meantime, here are the results:

The “flat” area at the very left is before I started Azureas. The moment I put it into play, everything went haywire. The kicker is: I’m not downloading anything! I have sixteen files seeded, but nothing downloading–if I did, these results would be much worse. Still, as can be seen from the 2nd chart, the losses of connection within the local network aren’t as constant and severe as the loss to the internet. But if you look at the closeup of each picture, something odd becomes apparent. I’ll line them up and overlap them to make it clearer.

When you line them up by time, they don’t match perfectly. Roughly yes, but I might lose connection to Soupbone when I don’t lose it to the net, which is the opposite of what I’d expect. I’m going to keep playing with this and post an update or two if I can.

Update: Here’s the chart with my ISP connection:

Update 2: At 21.50, I began a download. No significant difference.

Observed behavior of Azureas was in line with the last several days. Notice that at this time, the uploads are continuing. They tend to be more resilient than the downloads, but can get cut off too.

Update 3: Port forwarding turned off at 22:13. However, at this time I also checked Azureas and note that the custom port selected for Azureas is not the same as the one the warning messages are coming in for. Until last night, they were, but I changed the port in the program (and forgot tonight) — without changing it on the router. Yet I’m still getting messages from Azureas about the old port. Waiting to see if I get any more warnings now that forwarding is turned off in the router.

Update 4: Yes I do. Also, I haven’t mentioned a couple of other things before: ZoneAlarm is in use — Azureas has server privileges in the Trusted and Internet zones. About six months ago, I had issues with someone trying to piggyback my wireless that didn’t stop until I changed the network name, turned off broadcast name, and only permitted certain MAC’s on the net. That proved problematic, so recently I went to a WPA key.

Update 5:
At 22:25, switch to the old wired router. The big block of red bars is while I changed cables and a few seconds thereafter to re-link with the modem. Azureas’ performance improves tremendously (10-20x), then drops back to a factor of only 3 to 5x better. Now isn’t this interesting?

You see, I used to keep the tremendous improvement–that valley– but now the wired router is starting to act “sick.”

Update 6: Final update and experiment tonight. At 22:40, Azureas is shut down.

Offhand, I’d say I don’t have anything to lose in trying to flash the firmware as Andrew suggests.

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6 Responses to Azureas and the Router From Hell?

  1. I don’t know anything about “VisualRoute” but I do recommend “PingPlotter“. Not only does it plot the total time, it also plots all the intermediate steps.

  2. Ubu Roi says:

    Ah cool, thanks! This one can do something similar, it just can’t plot the intermediate steps continuously in real time. By that I mean it can do a visual traceroute, but it won’t keep updating it. I can pick out any server along the way and ping it though.

    Oh, and good warning, re: no spoilers for Shana. ARGH!!! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! I might just have to write a full review to get it out of my system, and 2/3 of it will end up in blackout!

  3. Andrew F. says:

    Have you tried updating your router’s firmware? I had issues with my DSL modem/router dropping its internet connection and restarting when BitTorrent was running; uTorrent’s FAQ suggested that the issue might be buggy firmware. BitTorrent establishes connections to a large number of peers in a short time period when it starts up, something not anticipated by many router designers.

  4. Ubu Roi says:

    Hm… No, I haven’t, but that would be strange… the older router (by a good 2 years) is the one that usually works better. Of course, it’s a simple 4 port system, whereas the newer one is 4 wired and 10 wireless ports. I’m trying another experiment right now.

  5. Pingback: Mahou Meido Meganekko » Blog Archive » Return of the Router From Hell

  6. Pingback: Mahou Meido Meganekko » Blog Archive » Retirement of the Router From Hell

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