From The Tips Box: Router Troubleshooting

Lifehacker reader Shkm lets us know an easy way to help friends and family members troubleshoot their router.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons — maybe they're a bit too niche, maybe we couldn't find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn't fit it in — the tip didn't make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites for your buffet-style consumption. Email it to tips at

Use Linksys' Router UI Emulators to Help Your Friends Troubleshoot

Linksys provide emulations of their router UIs here. Might be handy in helping people remotely forward a port if they have a different router than you, as I've had to do so many times. Found on Reddit.


    That's great, but I'm competent, and I still can't get my friend's new TP-Link TP-MR3420 to play nice with his Dodo E160X 3G USB modem. I've already entered the Dodo APN etc into the router's config page.

    Any ideas? TIA! :)


      is that modem listed as compatible?

      I looked up the user manual for that modem

      I would:

      * check i don't have to put a username/password in, if so I'd check for no typos again
      * disable Auto Detect and try the various manual connection options like PPPoE or Dynamic IP
      * make sure the Dial number is correct
      * make sure no typos in the APN
      * set mode to 3G Only rather than WLAN Preferred or 3G Preferred, this will ensure the WLAN is not interfering - you can reconfigure to use both networks later on once you get 3G working
      * check the 3G section on the Status page and ensure you have a signal
      * check you have been assigned an IP address on same 3G section
      * use the Diagnostic tool under Tools menu to ping/traceroute to or some host like that - see if it works - if not, why not
      * look at the System Log under tools and check that there aren't any possible clues in there eg, there might be a clue saying 'authentication denied' or something which wold give you a clue that your username or password is wrong
      Use most detailed logging level available.

        Wow, thank you Boris. I appreciate the time you've taken to lend a hand here.

        We checked the compatibility list before purchasing. If I can't get it to work, it'll be sent back for a refund.

        To address your list of suggestions, I'll do the tl;dr version and say simply that "I've done all those things", except I tried the tracert and pings in DOS prompt rather than through the router's web panel. I couldn't even tracert to (router) let alone tracert/ping to anywhere outside (tried,, etc).

        I got a response from TP-Link's email tech support, suggesting most of what you said, but also to update the firmware. I'll do that, and then I'll check under the System Log if it's still not working.

        Thanks again for the tips.


        It was the DNS servers. The router couldn't get them from the modem; one phone call later (Dodo tech support), two DNS servers were entered, and we were up and running.

        Thanks again Boris.


      Play nice and Dodo probably shouldn't be used in the same sentance :)

        I used to have two mobiles, landline and ADSL all through Dodo. Believe me, I know all about their shortcomings. :)

        My friend, however, didn't have much say in it because it was his daughter who signed up for the Dodo USB modem; now she's moved back home, he gets to deal with it. Gotta love having kids...


    i was stupid enough to sighn up with dodo for the internet,whenever i had trouble with the service(phone line connection),& rang to report problems,you either could not get through,or were placed in a que.once after being on hold for over 3 hours,then when being transfered to an operator,the line dropped out!rrraaaahhhh!!! on studying my mastercard account i found that after 3 months of service that they had started debiting my account twice every month for the service.i reported this twice to dodo,& they reversed the transactions.then over subsequent months random amounts,at random periods,were showing up on my m/c account.after reporting to my bank,they suggested the only way to stop the problem was to close my account & then reopen anew one.this was very inconvenient,the bank reimbursed all the thefts that dodo did not reverse.dodo put austrailian debt collectors after me,after another 3 months of phone calls & letter writing to them,in order to sort the issue i told them that any further communications from them would result in legal procedings,against them. dodo rang me 2 or 3 times since to demand payment,trying to be polite i just told them that their call was very important to me,please hold,put the phone down & walk away.on checking the phone an hour or so later,i found they had hung up,so i assumed they had resolved the issue on their own. its been about 6 months now since i have heard from either party,we now have govt sponsored satelite internet,as we live in a remote is good. i can still only type with one finger,will i use dodo again? as soon as hell freezes over,& politicians stop making empty promises,it will probably be the first phone call i make!

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now