RT-AC5300 - Clients can't access web interface unless I disconnect WAN cable and reboot router.

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pcb

Occasional Visitor
I had a secret fear that my fix from yesterday was only a temporary reprieve from the real problem, and today that fear was confirmed.

PROBLEM STATEMENT
After my network has been up for some amount of time (between minutes and hours), clients lose the ability to load the RT-AC5300's web interface. It doesn't matter whether the client is wireless or wired, or connected over a media bridge or directly connected to the router. At some point, ALL clients on the network lose the ability to access the router's web UI. I THINK this is more than simply a matter of HTTP access to the web UI though... for example, when the problem happens I THINK I remember pings to the router address failing- have confirmed that pings work when things are working- but I need to retest this the next time the problem occurs.)

NETWORK TOPOLOGY
I have an RT-AC5300 set up as my wifi router, and two RT-AC86U devices serving as Media Bridges (there are Ethernet devices on all three floors of my home). I live in a condominium with HOA-provided fiber internet access. No cable modems; I just connect the router's WAN port to an RJ-45 jack in the wall. I am NOT using AiMesh. AC5300 firmware version is: 3.0.0.4.384_81981-g19f55de

OBSERVATIONS SO FAR
  • All clients can access the internet and performance is good when problem occurs. The only issue appears to be the inability to access the router via TCP/IP.
  • WORKAROUND: If I disconnect the WAN connection and reboot the router, I can connect a client to the router and load the web interface. At that time I can change the router's base IP address (see my "fix" from yesterday, linked earlier), and then after clients re-connect I can use the web interface for a while- even after re-connecting the WAN cable- but eventually that stops working and I have to repeat the process again.
  • The "ASUS Router" iOS app also fails to connect to the router when other clients are having the same problem.
  • Rebooting the router alone does NOT fix the problem, even temporarily. The only thing that seems to work is physically disconnecting the WAN cable AND THEN rebooting, after which point I can access the web UI and change the device's IP address.
  • I suspected an ARP issue, since the behavior is similar to when there are ARP cache corruptions (when you open a browser and enter the router's IP address, the browser just "spins" for a long time as if trying to resolve the proper destination). However, on Windows clients, the arp tool shows zero collisions/dupes on any of the IPs I've used for the router's address (192.168.1.1, 192.168.10.1).
  • The only node on the network where this appears to be a problem is the router. For example, I can access the web interfaces of both of my AC86Us, at least from clients physically connected to them. (Wireless clients can't load the WebUI on the media bridges, only Ethernet clients plugged into the bridge devices can.)
  • I only just now learned of the "service restart_httpd" command, and I have SSH turned on, so the next time this happens I will see if A) I can SSH in at all- if not, would point to some kind of topology issue or other routing problem and B) if restarting the HTTP daemon does anything. Would be surprised, considering rebooting doesn't even work on its own, but I will try it.
  • Also... if I remember right, ping to the router from clients didn't work either- which again indicates a routing problem. But things are working now (and so are pings), so I need to re-test to confirm this is the case.
 

laracroftonline

Regular Contributor
What is your firmware version?
Have you installed additional scripts?
Did you try to perform various resets?
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I had a secret fear that my fix from yesterday was only a temporary reprieve from the real problem, and today that fear was confirmed.

PROBLEM STATEMENT
After my network has been up for some amount of time (between minutes and hours), clients lose the ability to load the RT-AC5300's web interface. It doesn't matter whether the client is wireless or wired, or connected over a media bridge or directly connected to the router. At some point, ALL clients on the network lose the ability to access the router's web UI. I THINK this is more than simply a matter of HTTP access to the web UI though... for example, when the problem happens I THINK I remember pings to the router address failing- have confirmed that pings work when things are working- but I need to retest this the next time the problem occurs.)

NETWORK TOPOLOGY
I have an RT-AC5300 set up as my wifi router, and two RT-AC86U devices serving as Media Bridges (there are Ethernet devices on all three floors of my home). I live in a condominium with HOA-provided fiber internet access. No cable modems; I just connect the router's WAN port to an RJ-45 jack in the wall. I am NOT using AiMesh. AC5300 firmware version is: 3.0.0.4.384_81981-g19f55de

OBSERVATIONS SO FAR
  • All clients can access the internet and performance is good when problem occurs. The only issue appears to be the inability to access the router via TCP/IP.
  • WORKAROUND: If I disconnect the WAN connection and reboot the router, I can connect a client to the router and load the web interface. At that time I can change the router's base IP address (see my "fix" from yesterday, linked earlier), and then after clients re-connect I can use the web interface for a while- even after re-connecting the WAN cable- but eventually that stops working and I have to repeat the process again.
  • The "ASUS Router" iOS app also fails to connect to the router when other clients are having the same problem.
  • Rebooting the router alone does NOT fix the problem, even temporarily. The only thing that seems to work is physically disconnecting the WAN cable AND THEN rebooting, after which point I can access the web UI and change the device's IP address.
  • I suspected an ARP issue, since the behavior is similar to when there are ARP cache corruptions (when you open a browser and enter the router's IP address, the browser just "spins" for a long time as if trying to resolve the proper destination). However, on Windows clients, the arp tool shows zero collisions/dupes on any of the IPs I've used for the router's address (192.168.1.1, 192.168.10.1).
  • The only node on the network where this appears to be a problem is the router. For example, I can access the web interfaces of both of my AC86Us, at least from clients physically connected to them. (Wireless clients can't load the WebUI on the media bridges, only Ethernet clients plugged into the bridge devices can.)
  • I only just now learned of the "service restart_httpd" command, and I have SSH turned on, so the next time this happens I will see if A) I can SSH in at all- if not, would point to some kind of topology issue or other routing problem and B) if restarting the HTTP daemon does anything. Would be surprised, considering rebooting doesn't even work on its own, but I will try it.
  • Also... if I remember right, ping to the router from clients didn't work either- which again indicates a routing problem. But things are working now (and so are pings), so I need to re-test to confirm this is the case.
Does your router WAN get a public IP from that wall jack?

OE
 

pcb

Occasional Visitor
What is your firmware version?
Have you installed additional scripts?
Did you try to perform various resets?
Hi,
  • My RT-AC5300 Firmware version is: 3.0.0.4.384_81981
  • I haven't installed any scripts (and don't know how)
  • I have rebooted the router many times, and several days ago, when giving up on AiMesh, did a "hard reset" using the hold-WPS-button-until-Power-LED-flashes method.

Does your router WAN get a public IP from that wall jack?
The IP address that appears in Network Map > WAN IP is the same address that appears when I do the "what's my IP" thing in Google, or go to whatsmyipaddress so I assume yes.
 

laracroftonline

Regular Contributor
Hi,
  • My RT-AC5300 Firmware version is: 3.0.0.4.384_81981
  • I haven't installed any scripts (and don't know how)
  • I have rebooted the router many times, and several days ago, when giving up on AiMesh, did a "hard reset" using the hold-WPS-button-until-Power-LED-flashes method.


The IP address that appears in Network Map > WAN IP is the same address that appears when I do the "what's my IP" thing in Google, or go to whatsmyipaddress so I assume yes.
if i were you i would try using merlin firmware usually his firmware has less bugs and more improvements and additional fixes.
 

pcb

Occasional Visitor
After occurring three times over two days, the problem has not resurfaced. The only thing I did different the last time I fixed it was to power off the two media bridges at the same time I powered off the AC5300, forcing all clients- wired or wireless- to reconnect. No idea how the media bridges could have affected a wired client's ability to access services on the router (if that's what was happening), but it's working now and I am not gonna mess with it anymore.

If I just jinxed myself by posting this and it breaks again I'll consider trying the Merlin FW.

Thanks.

P.S. I really wish AiMesh were more reliable. I would even settle for its much-poorer performance for the features and ease-of-use it provided if it would have just kept working properly on my mesh nodes.
 

pcb

Occasional Visitor
Almost two months later the problem has returned. (Unable to access web interface from browsers, and the ASUS Router app can't connect either- even though all clients can access the internet.)

In that two months I should note I've had to reboot the AC5300 plus my two AC86Us (media bridges) several times to resolve basic connectivity problems. I am really disgusted by ASUS at this point. Several years ago my original AC5300 (currently at my ex's house) was rock-solid, and I had a RT-N66U as a media bridge which again ALWAYS JUST WORKED.

Is there any non-ASUS solution for someone with ethernet devices on 3 levels of a large living space? Because this is just too much.

(I will try flashing to Merlin this weekend; can't now since I have to actually get work done, and every single router reboot causes me lost time and effort.)
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Almost two months later the problem has returned. (Unable to access web interface from browsers, and the ASUS Router app can't connect either- even though all clients can access the internet.)

In that two months I should note I've had to reboot the AC5300 plus my two AC86Us (media bridges) several times to resolve basic connectivity problems. I am really disgusted by ASUS at this point. Several years ago my original AC5300 (currently at my ex's house) was rock-solid, and I had a RT-N66U as a media bridge which again ALWAYS JUST WORKED.

Is there any non-ASUS solution for someone with ethernet devices on 3 levels of a large living space? Because this is just too much.

(I will try flashing to Merlin this weekend; can't now since I have to actually get work done, and every single router reboot causes me lost time and effort.)
Going for two months without the issue might suggest an intermittent/marginal hardware problem. Before my AC86U died, it had trouble resolving URLs. Do you have the same trouble trying to reach router.asus.com?

Presumably when you set the AC5300 LAN IP to 192.168.10.1, you also set its DHCP server IP Pool to 192.168.10.*. Hopefully there is no conflict with whatever IP the HOA is assigning to the AC5300 WAN IP.

Shooting in the dark, you could try some things in search of stability:

o clean install firmware... install, reset, and configure from scratch.
(reset via the webUI Restore/Initialize or by holding the Reset Button until the power LED begins to flash)

o update and clean install firmware... install, reset, and configure from scratch.

o assume the AC5300 has a hardware issue and swap it for the closer AC86U to retain the farther bridge as 86u-86u.

o remove the AC5300 for a lessor but stable network; then replace it with a new router.

o try Asuswrt RC2-7 beta, media bridge or AiMesh 2.0.

OE
 
Last edited:

pcb

Occasional Visitor
Hmm. Considering I've had far more problems with this 5300 than I did with the one at my old place, a HW issue is not out of the question, I guess. I had pegged it more on bad FW updates, but worth investigating.

Thanks for your suggestions. I do plan to try the latest stable Merlin builds on my boxes first, but will cconsider swapping out devices as a next step (assuming I don't completely ditch the ASUS ecosystem first). If AiMesh 2 actually worked that would be ideal, since I desire not only Ethernet connectivity but range extension as well. Not holding my breath though.
 

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