So, my readers know that I'm not the best hardware guy. The same can be said for my networking skills. I have (what is to me) a complex network setup here at my home. It begins with a cable modem upstairs. This is connected to a simple hub. One of the ports goes to a powerline ethernet bridge. Downstairs, I have another powerline ethernet bridge that is connected to a wireless hub. Why the bridge? Wireless simply doesn't work well when it's directly connected to the cable modem upstairs.

In general, this works just fine. My wireless is capped by the powerline networking, which has a top speed much lower than my wireless, but the point is I have great coverage where I need it - in the living room and the back yard.

This worked great for many months. In the past few weeks though, something odd has happened. All of a sudden my laptop, or my wife's, can't use the Internet anymore. The connection to the wireless hub is perfect. When my laptop is down, I can still ping her laptop. In fact, this morning, when my laptop stopped connecting, hers was working just fine. I thought maybe I had accidentally used the same IP (I'm not using DHCP on either of my hubs), but that wasn't the case.

As far as I can see - the issue is totally random. I'll get knocked off for anywhere from 10-30 minutes, and than all of a sudden it works again.

Any ideas? I can say that I've done one thing "wrong" according to the docs for my wireless router. When it talked about connecting it to another hub, it said two things. First - change gateway mode to router mode. I did that. Secondly, it said connect the ethernet cable to the Internet port. I did NOT do this. Instead, I hooked it up to one of the ports. However, as I said above, things worked fine for many, many months. When I "fix" it by changing the ethernet port, it doesn't help. Although maybe I didn't give it enough of a chance.

Anyway, does this sound familiar to anyone?