Originally Posted by bonjovi
After using three different routers from two different brands, I was finally able to get a 4th router to try from a third brand (Cisco).
Eureka! I got it to work on the the Cisco and then I started comparing the Cisco (older router) to the newer (2) Dlinks and Linksys. It was a DNS issue with the router.
I was not aware of the new feature called "Advanced DNS" that is available on all of the new Dlink Gigabit routers... well maybe not all but at least the two I had. Furthermore, if you do a quick setup it is automatically enabled and a novice like me won't even notice it's there. I'm not much of a network guy but I saw that the DNS that was on the router status page were bogus when compared to my actual DNS from my ISP. I think its a security feature. Even when I set it up on the Onkyo manually, I would input the DNS server that I saw on the router. And when I allowed it to use DHCP it would just hang up for some reason. Why? I don't know, a computer network guy can probably shed light on that.
Anyway, if you are having trouble with the NET feature, this might work for you.
I went into some advanced settings on my Dlink router. Disabled "Advanced DNS" and its a Christmas miracle! I rebooted everything. It seems to work with Pandora, DLNA, the Ipad App, etc. I don't know what the feature is called on the Linksys but I am suspecting that they have the same thing perhaps under a different name. I'm not 100% sure as I don't have that router handy anymore.
Well glad that things worked out. I researched a couple minutes on the dlink "Advanced DNS". Honestly I'm not 100% sure why that would cause the issue (and probably can't be unless I got a packet dump of the network to analyze), but here are the basics:
Every computer on a TCP/IP network (which is basically every networked computer) has an IP address. However, since IP addresses are difficult to remember, we assign them friendly hostnames. For instance 126.96.36.199 is better known as www.avsforum.com
. When we want to visit that address we type "www.avsforum.com
" in our browser - but the computer needs to know the actual IP address of the server in order to connect us.
The process that is used in most practical implementation to find this is DNS - Domain Name System/Domain Name Server. In essence (dumbed down for explanation here) DNS provides a giant yellow pages that allows us to ask for the number based on the name. The service itself is actually distributed, but most home users have their routers configured to provide a DNS server at their ISP as their first query. While anyone can host a DNS server, all ISPs maintain their own for customers and because of network latency (among other things) it is often best to configure your router with your ISP's DNS address.
In many cases, you don't need to configure anything, because your router (if it is a different box than your ISP gave you) will automatically detect the right information (through the DHCP/Automatic addressing process). Additionally, most routers will then do one of two things for all the clients on the home network:
1) Give the same IP address they got for their DNS to the clients: So, for instance if my router got 34.121.299.110 for its DNS server it would hand that off to clients as well.
2) Give clients its own IP address for their DNS: So, for instance if the router's IP is 192.168.1.1 that will be what it tells clients to use for DNS.
In the former, this means a client will go and contact their ISP DNS directly for name resolution. In the latter it means that a client will talk to their own router and that router will then query/proxy the ISP for them and introduce a level of caching. I suppose you can debate pros/cons of each - but I would prefer option #1.
DNS is incredibly important to the way the internet operates. If we can't connect to a DNS server and we don't know the exact IP of a server we are trying to connect to - we will never be able to connect to it. Some devices may be hardcoded to look for a particular name (like www.widgets.com
) instead of the IP so you might not even have a choice to use the IP directly.
Because of the way DNS works, there are ways to fool around with it to get some additional benefits. Let's say that your ISP doesn't want you visiting the site illegalsoftwaredownloads.com. They can remove that entry from their DNS server, or add a fake entry that actually directs you elsewhere. Or, lets say that they discover that a bunch of websites are malicious to you - they might remove/change all those entries in their servers as well.
ISPs don't usually do this (at least in USA) - it may be considered a violation of "free speech" or some other law. But, there are companies out there that offer DNS servers for use that DO block these harmful sites. Arguably the most well known is OpenDns.org. Now that I have explained this you can go look at http://www.opendns.com/technology/
to help solidify what they do.
The "Advanced DNS" found in your D-Link router apparently tells the router to use the OpenDNS servers for your network. To be honest - I like OpenDNS - as long as you understand how it works. Sometimes sites may be classified certain ways and OpenDNS may prevent you from getting to them. But, like all security related things, it is always a compromise between ease of use and security.
All that being said - I don't really know why using the OpenDNS server instead of your ISP's servers should have caused the issues you describe.
One possibility (though I find this unlikely) is that at some point during the Onkyo network initialization it is hardcoded to attempt contact with a site (e.g. connectme.onkyo.com). If for some reason this was blocked by OpenDNS, a webpage would be returned, but not what the Onkyo expects. Perhaps if the engineers were silly enough to have enabled something like this in the first place, they were also silly enough not to ensure that some garbage data returned didn't interfere with the initialization process.
A better possibility may be that the AdvancedDNS feature does some other unadvertised function on the network. In any event, I find it hard to believe that whatever it is doing to mess with DNS would lock up the Onkyo in the way that you describe. Although AdvancedDNS may have issues - those issues shouldn't interfere. I would say that the Onkyo is more to blame since any garbage or lack of information provided over the network shouldn't cause a lock up.
Another example of this may be that AdvancedDNS also changes how local names on your network are resolved and the lock-ups were the result of trying to find local network names by querying the OpenDNS servers. If something like this was happening I would expect some delays perhaps and then timeouts, but not full system lockups.
If I have the time I may try to do a packet capture of the Onkyo network init process and see if I can detect anything strange. Again, since I don't know the exact steps you were performing, I won't be able to truly replicate your experience (e.g. were you trying to access a network resource, or did you already configure any resources like a home server, etc). It's always best to use IP addresses when configuring connectivity to eliminate DNS as a possible issue. Of course, when it comes to an appliance we don't always know what it is doing under the hood.