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Started by raymac46, December 08, 2021, 01:20:32 PM

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Since I retired and moved to my small town, I have helped a lot of my neighbors out with IT advice. When I started doing this it was largely helping migrate files to a new laptop, get rid of malware and scareware, install drivers, maybe add some RAM. But I'd say lately almost every problem I get has to do with local networks. Folks change ISPs, get a new gateway and suddenly they lose access to a printer or streaming box.
Most of this occurs because the gateway now has a new default IP, or the homeowner has another router which he/she hooks up to the gateway. The owner logs his PC into the new network. The printer or other peripherals stay on the old network so nothing works.
With COVID 19 and my recent vision problems, I cannot make house calls so I spend a bit of time on the phone or emails trying to sort things out. That works if my "client" has a bit of tech savvy but some people are totally clueless when it comes to networking. Normally I would set up the printer as a static IP on the LAN but I really want to do that in person. For now, I get them going with DHCP and hope for the best.
I don't think the local ISPs are helping their customers much when they do install a new gateway. Maybe if they have to add some mesh nodes they do it right, but I haven't seen many of those so far.
It's scary with all the IoT devices that are supposed to be coming along. I may be wrong but I think that networking is still too complicated for the average home LAN user.


Quote from: raymac46 on December 08, 2021, 01:20:32 PM
I may be wrong but I think that networking is still too complicated for the average home LAN user.

I agree with you -- you are definitely not wrong. 

Take a walk through the "Security Garden" -- Where Everything is Coming up Roses!

Remember - A day without laughter is a day wasted.
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart.


My latest customer - a guy I have coffee with occasionally - is a retired math teacher and about as good as the average user gets. It took a week to figure everything out via email. Basically, we had to get rid of an old router that was giving him a nested network and then make sure that every device in his house was logged in to the new gateway. He was at least able to get IP addresses for me to review. I really think the ISP should do more than just drop off a gateway and some set-top boxes.


QuoteI may be wrong but I think that networking is still too complicated for the average home LAN user.
I have found most are okay with new networks, or when adding a new device to their network. The problems surface when the user makes changes - like, as you noted, getting a new gateway device or modem. Then it becomes all about "changing" settings in those devices. And it seems many networks, like humans, don't like change.

So my approach is typically to have the client "reset" the device back to the factory default settings - which is often to where the printing device, for example, knows nothing and thinks it is being connected to your network for the very first time - again. Most devices will go out and search for wifi networks, or automatically ask for an IP if connected via Ethernet. And most of my clients are familiar with that procedure.

QuoteI really think the ISP should do more than just drop off a gateway and some set-top boxes.
Oh? How much do you want that under-paid, under-trained stranger in your house knowing about your network? 


BTW, instead of setting up a static IP address for the networked printers (and NAS devices), it is often much easier to assign a DHCP "reserved" IP address.

With a static IP address, the connected device always ask for the same, specific IP address. With "reserved", the DHCP router automatically assigns the same, specific address to the same connected device when it sees that device come on-line. 

Static IP addresses are set up for each NIC by configuring network access on each device. This means, if you have 10 different devices, you have to configure each of those 10 devices separately from the configuration menus on each of those devices. And chances are, each of those 10 menus will be different. That's confusing even if you are an experienced expert.

With DHCP reserved IP addresses, all configurations for those assigned addresses are done within the router's admin menu - that is just one menu the user needs to access and learn. Not 10. Much easier!

So, using my network for example, I don't care what IP addresses my 5 personal computers get. Nor do I care what IP addresses are assigned when my kids, grandkids, and guests come by and want Internet access. But I do care that my printer, backup server, and NAS storage device always have the same address.

So I have "reserved" 3 addresses for those 3 devices in my router's admin menu. And to make it even easier for me, I have given them high numbers. Like most routers, my network starts with the router with All connected computers, cell phones, tablets, Roku, smart TVs, etc. are assigned their IP addresses via normal DHCP assignments somewhere between and If you will never have that many devices connected, you can easily set that range to, for example.

If I have a major, extended power outage (and I live in Tornado Alley so not an uncommon occurrence), it is possible, likely even, those devices will get different IP addresses, depending on the order in which they power up and reconnect, once power is restored. No big deal. They (nor I) care.

But when my printer finally comes back on line and announces its presence on my network, my router will recognize its MAC address and automatically assign it because I have reserved for my printer. In this way, all my connected computers will still (and always) know how to print to my networked printer because it will always have the same IP address.

Yes, it is a bit of a pain to set up initially, but I only have to set it up once. And because all configurations are done within the router's admin menu, I don't have to learn a new menu UI for each device. Much much easier than using static IP assignments.

Bill (AFE7Ret)
Freedom is NOT Free!
2007 - 2018


QuoteHow much do you want that under-paid, under-trained stranger in your house knowing about your network?
I understand your concern about network security (userID and password,) but could the installer not at least point out that you should get rid of an old router and make sure that you understand that devices must be reconfigured to join the new network? Maybe there should be a checklist of what to look out for when you change the gateway. My daughter and SIL got a new gateway from the same ISP and the default changed from to affecting a whole bunch of peripherals.
I never get to know network passwords for anyone I help. I do what's needed and get them to put in the password.


Quoteit is often much easier to assign a DHCP "reserved" IP address
Indeed it is and that is quite an elegant way. Thanks for pointing it out.


Quoteand the default changed from to
That typically happens when a new router sees was already set in the modem for the previous router. A total reset before (or after) installing the new one usually fixes that. That said, works fine too.
Bill (AFE7Ret)
Freedom is NOT Free!
2007 - 2018


Just to be clear my daughter and SIL switched to Rogers Ignite, which gives TV, home phone, and Internet all on one platform. They swapped out their old hardware for a single XB6 gateway device that hooks up to their old phone lines, provides WiFi for both TV and Internet. This gateway has a default IPv4 of and as you say, it works fine.