Troubleshooting Page

Troubleshooting steps are listed below and on our FAQ page.

If you suspect a system problem, call 415-388-5400 to see if we have a message yet on the voicemail describing the problem.  If we don't, please wait at least an hour before reporting it to us.  Many times problems fix themselves (our units have automatic rebooters and timers).  Please review the steps listed below (they really do work).  If you have no success, please leave us a voicemail at 415-388-5400.  Please, however, do not call or email Leighton, Scott or Maury directly because there are more than 140 households on the LAN, and we would like to keep our sanity.

Computer Techs

Please try the simple steps below first, but if the problem involves your home wireless network (your wireless router or Airport) or your computer, it is beyond the scope of the LAN. We know of two technicians who are excellent with home networks and dealing with computer-related issues. Both regularly come to Muir Beach to help a list of clients.

Brian Miller - brian [at] elfking [dot] org (please reinsert @ and .  - removed to reduce spam), Mill Valley

John Lyons - 415-516-1640 - JSL [at] baycityoffice [dot] com, San Francisco

In addition, there is the TwoTechs computer shop in Mill Valley, particularly useful if you can take the router or computer to their shop at 554 Miller Ave., although they also make house calls - 415-388-8277 www.twotechsmarin.net

If we initially configured your wireless router, please tell the tech that the device login username/password is admin/123cust.  Please make sure they configure it with WEP or WPA encryption.

 

Troubleshooting

Rebooting Your Receiver:  Before reporting a problem, please take the following steps (in order).  We've found them to be really useful in fixing things within seconds: 

(1) Reboot your receiver (the receiver is the unit located outside, likely on your roof) by unplugging and replugging its AC power adapter (see the FAQ page for the exact details).  Wait 30 seconds for it to reboot before going to the next step;

(2) do the same for your wireless router or Airport; and then

(3) reboot your computer, and wait at least 30 more seconds (for your computer to request and be given an IP address).  See if things now work.

Bypass Wireless Router:  If you have a wireless router or Airport, you might try bypassing it temporarily, and plug the Ethernet cable that normally goes to your router directly into your computer.  Please be sure to label your cables before disconnecting things because if you plug them back in incorrectly, things definitely will not work.  If you can then browse the Internet by bypassing that router or Airport, you'll know the problem lies with it and not your connection or your computer.  You should contact a local computer specialist for help, or get a new router at Best Buy - ususally about $40, and they do typically fail after a year or so.

Browser Settings:  The default setting for your browser (Internet Explorer, Safari or Firefox) work best with the LAN.  One change from the default settings that can cause a problem is at Start>Control Panel>Internet Options>Connections>LAN Settings.  No boxes at that final location should be checked - if so, please uncheck and click OK.

Get a Lamp Timer:  Many people connect a lamp timer to a power strip for their roof-top receiver and router, and have the timer shut the power off for a minute in the middle of the night each night.  You will then not need to do periodic reboots, and you may notice a big improvement in reliability.

Interference from Cordless Phones:  We have noticed that cordless phones often cause reception problems - even more than 100 feet from your cordless phone base station.  Cordless phones use the exact same channels as wireless LANs (as do baby monitors - if that happens to be relevant for you!).  An excellent solution is to get a 5.8 GHz phone from Best Buy or a model labeled DECT, which use a different set of channels, and will end this source of interference for your connection.

Uninstall Peer-to-Peer File-sharing Programs:  These are programs that give other computers access to your computer most typically in order to make free copies of music files.   If you download a song or program from a service like LimeWire, Kazaa, Morpheus, BitTorrent, Bearshare or Napster, you have in the fine print agreed to then allow other computers to copy files from your computer - and whether or not the program is running (they operate in the background).  The problem for us is they can consume huge amounts of LAN bandwidth.  Since we have a very fast connection, literally hundreds of computers will be connecting to your computer to copy those files. 

We need your help to keep these programs from being used.  Please uninstall any such programs you find on your (or your teenager's) computers.  Please check your list of installed programs (in Windows: Start, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, scroll down and uninstall any program like that which you find).

Connect Only to Your Wireless Router or Airport:  You should set your laptop's wireless card to receive only the wireless signal broadcast by your own wireless router you may have purchased and installed in your house (and definitely not any signal identified as "muir beach lan south, or west, or north, or east, or central, or upper tank, or lower tank, or shed, or bbq, or hwy1, or cove ").  For best performance, your computers should connect by Ethernet cable to a (purchased) router or to the Ethernet cable that leads from your rooftop receiver and that was made available to you at the time your receiver was installed.  If you do not have a wireless router (which you would have purchased directly from Best Buy or elsewhere) then it is best to simply turn off the built-in wireless card (called an Airport on the Mac) that may be standard equipment on your laptop. 

In conclusion:  Muir Beach LAN's sole task is to provide Internet service to your home - and any issues related to personal wireless networks, computer configurations, Ethernet cables, and email settings need to be handled by local specialists.  Please check the phone book for local computer techs.   Thanks for your help and understanding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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