It took a decade to resolve my internet issues

So for over a decade I had been having intermittent issues with my Lan with devices going off-line and the internet freezing and so on. Reseting all my routers (I have four) usually fixes it.

Then yesterday I finally discovered that I had assigned the same static IPs in sequential order to my Airport routers (3 of them) as my TP-Link NC250 cameras (5 of them with 3 of them with the same IP); and up sequentially.

One of the reason that I didn’t realized it sooner was that the cameras were turned off and with the lockdown of covid times I hardly go out and the clashing of IPs would only show up days afterward only when I turn on the cameras when leaving home.

I was replacing all my iHome Smart plugs with some smaller generic ones from Amazon and was testing the smart plugs by turning on and off the cameras. The iHome smart plugs had this nasty habit of falling off the network :stuck_out_tongue: and they had to be unplugged and replug in order to re-acquire a new IP so I thought replacing them with smaller (size of a looney) and cheaper ($8 per) and more ubiquitous (4 for $30) smart plugs. The new smart plugs only works with Alexa and not Apple Homekit.

I was going to replace the TP-Link cameras in a couple of days when the new Wyze cameras arrive so once that was done I wouldn’t have noticed this decade old problem at all.

But… as I was playing around with turning on and off the TP-Link cameras with my new smart plugs my house started to go wonky with Alexa glowing red with no internet connection, my test Wyze camera would not connect at the far corners of my home making me order another used Apple Airport Extreme from eBay that would bring my home to 5 routers (don’t ask and if you do, you will get a page full of writing on why I am still staying with this relic).

The wonkiness would last for days even though I stopped playing with turning on and off my TP-Link cameras. Music playing on my beside Echo Dot pair would stop playing as the internet is lost.

I woke up at 5am one day and realized the problem. I remember looking at the Apple Airport Routers and checking to make sure they were working correctly and I remember VNC’ing to my Zotac PC to check on whether or not my Cameras were recording with iSPY and checking the IPs and when I woke up at 5am I saw the IPs of both my router and cameras superimposed on each other, so I had to get up to check and sure enough that was the problem I had been having for over a decade; I swear that I had fixed this once upon a time (back in 1915?).

Since I was already replacing my TP-Link cameras with Wyze all I needed to do was just rip down the cameras. Problem solved.

I also decided to change my fixed router address back to DHCP, although I’ll need to check whether or not all my Cloud devices are still on fixed IPs or DHCP. There are simply too many devices including 16 new smart plugs, 5 new wyze cameras, 4 new Echo dots and 1 Echo Show 5 and that pile of My Clouds sitting in the corner. This doesn’t include my Dyson Air Purifier which now is connected to my Wifi so I can turn on and off my Dyson Air purifier from my Car if I wanted to. It is just unbelievable on the number of devices needing an IP; ps4, nintendo switch, Wii U, Sony TV, Sony receiver, Harmony remote, Apple TV and so on…

Thus I needed all my devices to be free range devices where they can roam and acquire an IP on their own and release they are done or taken off the network. I don’t even recall the IPs that I assigned to the My Clouds.

I need to check that pile of My Clouds (3 x ex2 ultras and 2 my cloud personals) as they too took down my home internet when their IPs clashed.

I wasn’t going to write up this whole escapade but I thought I should share for those users who are still blaming WD for all their network problems. While it is most likely WD’s fault, it is best to make sure because you could be getting rid of a perfectly good My Cloud…

Oh if you had skipped down from the top to the bottom because it was TLDR,

the summary is:

  • watch out for clashing IPs that you assigned yourself and
  • Your problems could be older than you think.

Thanks for reading.