My network architecture looks like this:
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Windows 7 box -> Unmanaged ethernet switch -> Powerline network adaptor -> Power cables -> Powerline network adaptor -> cable modem/router supplied by ISP
Wireless access point
I know that powerline ethernet is not an ideal solution, but I'm renting so I can't run cable, and WiFi doesn't reach from the modem/router to my room, so powerline is what I'm stuck with. The symptoms are as follows:
- Once every few hours the wired network connection to my windows 7 box drops out. It's not just the internet connection, as I can't reach my router's IP address when this happens. At the same time the wireless access point also drops its connection.
- The connection comes back after about 5 minutes. Resetting my PC's network adaptor appears to be ineffective.
- I can bring the network back instantly by power-cycling the network switch (not the router).
- This started happening when the network switch was put into the system (a lot of other changes happened at the same time, so that doesn't pinpoint it exactly)
- This happens with two different brands of switch, so it's not just a bad switch.
- If I get rid of the switch and just connect the powerline adaptor directly to my windows 7 box the problem goes away.
At the moment I'm thinking this could be one of two things, but I might be wrong. I suspect either A) the modem/router supplied by the ISP has gone bad, in which case I need to ask for a replacement from them (this is apparently quite a hassle, so I'm keen to avoid doing that merely as another troubleshooting step if I can avoid it*); or B) the router for some reason can't handle the network switch, because it's a crappy router, in which case I need to buy a decent router and run the ISP's modem/router in modem-only mode. I'm stuck with using the ISP supplied box as at least a modem, that's not possible to avoid without changing ISP.
What do you reckon is the most likely issue, A, B, or something else? Should I be getting a replacement modem/router, or a decent router to replace the crappy ISP-supplied one? Thanks!
*I have heard they are quite reluctant to support more complex networks, so the fact that without a network switch everything works fine means they might try to get me to pay for a replacement, rather than providing one under warranty.