I have had a Surf MK3 a bit over a month now and I am very happy with it, except for one thing: if the modem reboots or boots after the Surf is up then it never finishes connecting to it. It stays there saying “Connecting…” with a spinner. Exact details below. If this happens, then the only way out of this is to disconnect the WAN ethernet cable, reboot the MK3 (hard reboot/power cycle, in most instances a soft reboot is not enough) and reboot the cable modem separately and when everyone is fully up, reconnect the WAN cable.
I have spent countless hours experimenting with all the settings, reading forum articles and following advice given there (for example setting the port speed to 1000Mbps without advertise speed) and yet without success. Even tried putting a switch in between the cable modem and the Surf. At this point I don’t think this is a port negotiation/physical layer issue. Occasionally it stops happening for 2 or 3 tries but after all these tests, I am convinced these are just lucky timing flukes for sure.
At first I had an Arris SB6121. It appears there were many people complaining about it, so I went to an Arris 6183 which was said to work well by a user… same problem. Then I discovered Arris/Motorola were said to have problems with Peplink, so I bought yet another modem, a NetGear CM-500 which was listed as working well in a few places, and … same problem. It is very frustrating because each time Comcast has a small interruption, the modem restarts and my Surf gets hosed and I have to physically take care of it… until then the whole small office network is down… See the thread where I initially reported the problem couple days ago. I am starting this one though because it is modem independent: SB6121 Cable Modem
If the connection gets made, it is extremely stable until the modem reboots, which could be weeks, days or hours… you know Comcast…
Am I the only one experiencing this problem? I can’t resolve myself to think that the Surf would be incompatible with more than half of the cable modems out there, is it? Technical details below.
At this point I would love to see a software fix (I feels like it should be fixable in software) but I would be happy with any settings/workaround in the meantime that would make it so that I don’t have to do something every time Comcast cycles… Any ideas?
Surf MK3, FW 7.1.0 build 1284
Modems: Arris SB6121 and SB6183, NetGear CM-500
Cable Operator: Comcast
The key thing which I observed which for me could help someone who knows what the Surf is looking for understand what is going on is that, when the modem reboots it connects to the Surf without any problems initially before the link to the internet is up. I am not sure why they do that but they do offer an IP address before there is connection to the internet. As soon as the link to the internet is up however, the connection status changes to “Connecting…” and that is it, forever… It seems that something happens on the modem side when the link comes up that confuses the Surf in an unrecoverable way.
From the outside it looks like something that could be fixed in software even if there are some low level reasons involved. I am wondering if this could also be specific to the modem firmware ran by Comcast? I find it odd that all three modems would have exactly the same behavior and chain of events to get there. The Comcast firmware could explain some of it?
Here are the details of the WAN states observed when the modem reboots:
Cable not connected
Obtaining IP address…
DNS Check Failed – At this point the internet link is still not up, so no surprise
– Link goes up
Connecting… – never leaves that states
(Obtaining IP address… sometimes shows up once briefly too and then goes back to Connecting…)
After that point the reboot procedure mentioned above is the only recovery path, unplugging the WAN cable is paramount to ensure the Surf and the modem don’t talk before the internet link is up. I have never seen it fail that way, even after dozens of tests. This must be something that can be leveraged for debugging the issue by the Peplink team I would think.
I would be happy to give more details if needed.