My Netgear Router Has Started Freezing Since SONOS Attached


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I'm new to Sonos, and I've had a Bridge, Connect:Amp and 7xPlay:1 speakers working for about 4 weeks. The Boost is wired to my router (a Netgear DGND3700v2) and all other Sonos components are WiFi connected; control is via the IOS app on an iPad and the Connect:Amp drives a pair of good Sony speakers. I use a Classic Ipod with all my music connected to the Connect:Amp line-in, and play to all the speakers continuously After fixing all the glitches (many thanks to Sonos, and Forum contributors) I'm happy with the way Sonos works.

The router also switches up to four desktops connected to the router via one Ethernet cable off a gigabit switch which links the desktops using fixed IP addresses on the local LAN.

But since connecting the Sonos kit my router regularly freezes after an interval of about 24 hours. The Wifi and Sonos carry on working, but my desktops cannot connect to the router. I reboot the router, the Sonos kit stops for a few seconds and everything restarts until the next freeze.

Does anyone have any experience of this issue and/or have any idea how to diagnose and fix it?

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29 replies

This sounds very odd. What make/model of switch is it? Have you tried simply swapping the Boost and switch between router ports?
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My Ethernet switch is a simple Netgear GS105 5-port gigabit. It's never caused problems before. I've not tried swapping out the Boost and using the router's switch instead. The 4 x desktops are in a cluster connected via the GS105 (unmanaged) switch 30 feet away from the router, and then one Ethernet cable connects the switch to one port on the router's switch. It worked this way without problems before connecting the Sonos kit.
That switch should be harmless. When the PCs lose their connection do the port LEDs on the uplink from the switch to the router show any activity?
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"When the PCs lose their connection do the port LEDs on the uplink from the switch to the router show any activity?" Thanks, good question. I've not looked at that, but will do so the next time the router freezes.
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Right, I'm back again with a few more diagnostics. When the router freezes, the port LEDs on the uplink from the switch to the router are all showing activity at both the switch and the router. My desktops can still see each other, and access shared disks. The Wifi LEDs, both 2.4GHz and 5GHz are operating. However, I can't login to the router or any internet location - the attempts simply timeout. This happens every day on average and has only started since I added the Sonos kit.
This is most likely ‘packet storming’. It occurs because the speakers connect via WiFi (even if they are wired to your network - because Sonos won’t let you turn off the WiFi in a given unit), and your router also connects to your Sonos controller and the speakers or Amps. If units are close to each other, not only will there be information going to them via your network, but there is also information going between the units. This can cause conflicts with ever increasing numbers of information packets going round in circles ultimately seizing up you router. If you have an Ethernet switch where tree spanning can be controlled, you can apparently overcome this. I just separate units and don’t try to use speakers as stereo pairs. It is safer to use a single speaker or an amp with normal speakers. It can be difficult to fix satisfactorily but could be easily fixed by better device programming: particularly if the device WiFi could be turned off to allow wired connection . This would stop all conflicts.
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Many thanks KH19. I don't use stereo speakers on Sonos but the other issues you mention are relevant. My Boost is, of course, wired to my Netgear router, but they are also adjacent, as is one speaker, all within 4 feet. I could move the speaker to about 12 feet away but that's still well within Wifi range. The Amp and the other 6 speakers are fairly widely separated, but I'm sure they are all within Wifi range of each other as well as the Boost. I'll look to see if my router can control tree spanning but I rather doubt it. Maybe I'll need a new router (sigh).
Have you ever configured your WiFi details into the Sonos system? If not, there's no possible way it could connect to the router over WiFi.
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"Have you ever configured your WiFi details into the Sonos system?"

No, I just connected the Boost to the router and the Sonos kit just connected to it without problems. When I login to my router to look at attached devices, it shows the Sonos devices as Wired Devices, and there are no Wireless Devices.

Just a small point, every Sonos device shows with an assigned IP address and MAC address, but the names of three of the speakers (SONOSZP) fail to show even though they are working. Long before I attached the Sonos kit, I had assigned the 4 desktops fixed IP addresses on the router (we have an application which must have a fixed IP address).
Did you ever try wiring the switch to a different router port? What happens if you wire the Boost to the switch instead of to the router? Or alternatively wire the switch to the Boost's second port (daisy-chained)? It sounds like the router is, for some reason or other, blocking the port. Quite why it would block the port feeding a few PCs is a mystery, assuming they each have just a single wired network interface active. See what options are available in the router's configuration.

By the way, when you're unable to login to the router I take it this is from a wired PC. Can you still get in via a wireless device?

Just to clear up a few possible red herrings, a 'packet storm' would arise from a network loop. The way things are currently arranged there's no obvious way a loop would occur due to Sonos. Besides, when a storm sets in the whole network crashes, and port LEDs flash like crazy. The idea that Sonos units have to be widely separated, or not used in stereo pairs, is I'm afraid complete nonsense.

Also, Sonos no longer uses device names such as 'SONOSZP', for security reasons. If there are any still showing it's a leftover, perhaps a name tagged to a reserved IP entry in the DHCP server.
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Many thanks ratty. I had considered changing the switching architecture but was reluctant to muddy the water still further. I could easily try connecting the switch to a different router port, or alternatively connecting the switch to the second port on the Boost. Wiring the Boost to the switch rather than the router is also relatively easy (it's only a 5-port switch and would take up one of the desktop ports) and would be a more attractive location physically.

Each of the 4 desktops is connected by Ethernet cable to a port on the switch, and one Ethernet cable connects the 5th switch port to the router. None of the desktop PCs have Wifi. I've setup the router so that logging in can only occur from a wired port, not Wifi.

When I look at the list of Attached Devices on the Netgear DGND3700v2 router it lists them by name. Top of the list are whichever of the 4 desktops is connected at that time. Each Sonos speaker is SONOSZP, and the Boost is SONOSZB (one of the missing speakers has now appeared on the list although 2 are still missing).

I'll start fiddling around with switch/router port connections.
My motivation for suggesting different topologies was simply to follow my usual fault isolation procedure: find a configuration which does work, then change one thing at a time until something breaks.

By the way, if the Boost takes over a switch port you could always reconnect the displaced PC to the Boost's other port (which is in part what it's for). It's only 100Mbps, but for many purposes this is more than adequate.
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Fine. I've now connected the switch to a different router port, and I'll wait to see if the router still freezes. If it does, I'll then try connecting the switch to the second port on the Boost.
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More diagnostic information. I've tried connecting my switch to a different router port, and to the spare port on the Boost, and in both cases the router freezes a few hours later. However, I also modified my router setup to allow Wifi logon and on the last occasion I logged in successfully from an iPad while the router was frozen and looked at the log. The last activities carried out were a series of DHCP address assignments to the Sonos components.

Adding the Sonos components to my network has increased the number of attached devices to 15 or 16. My model of router (the Netgear DGND3700v2) is about 8 years old now, and has no option for me to change DHCP lease times. The built-in lease is fixed at 24 hours, which means DHCP is looking at, say, 15 devices every 12 hours, which is about how long it lasts before it freezes. I'm wondering if the problem is that my router is unable to service all the DHCP requests and collapses.

Does that sound plausible?
Adding the Sonos components to my network has increased the number of attached devices to 15 or 16. My model of router (the Netgear DGND3700v2) is about 8 years old now, and has no option for me to change DHCP lease times. The built-in lease is fixed at 24 hours, which means DHCP is looking at, say, 15 devices every 12 hours, which is about how long it lasts before it freezes. I'm wondering if the problem is that my router is unable to service all the DHCP requests and collapses.

Does that sound plausible?
Only if the router's about as useful as a chocolate teapot. 16 devices is nothing in today's world. On one of my subnets I still use a mid-2000s Linksys WRT54G (running alternative firmware) as DHCP/DNS server, and it cheerfully doles out dozens of IPs, over 50 of which are statically reserved.

I've tried connecting my switch to ... the spare port on the Boost, and ... the router freezes a few hours later.
In this case does the Sonos also freeze? When it had its own port you said it (and the WiFi) continued to work.
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"In this case does the Sonos also freeze? When it had its own port you said it (and the WiFi) continued to work."

No, in no case has the Sonos kit stopped working. When the "freeze" happens, the desktops cannot access the router (they report "No internet; DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NO_INTERNET"), and trying to logon to the router via a desktop just times out. But the Wifi is still working, I can logon to the router from an iPad, and the Sonos music carries on playing. I unplug power from the router and the Sonos music stops playing a few seconds later. I reconnect the power and the Sonos restarts playing part way through the boot sequence.
When the "freeze" happens, the desktops cannot access the router (they report "No internet; DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NO_INTERNET"), and trying to logon to the router via a desktop just times out.
Fascinating. How are you attempting to connect to the router? If you're using a name in your browser (http://www.routerlogin.net) then what happens if you use the router's IP address (http://192.168.1.1)?
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I always use the router's IP address (192.168.0.1).
Just to be clear, you have this arrangement: router => Boost => switch => PCs. Correct?

And when the router 'freezes' the Sonos continues to work fine (via the Boost obviously) but the PCs are blocked from the router?
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"Just to be clear, you have this arrangement: router => Boost => switch => PCs. Correct? "

Yes, that's the current setup. And the result is that the Sonos carries on working, and the desktops can't access the internet, although they can talk to each other (via the switch). Also, an iPad can logon the router via Wifi, but the desktops can't, even using an absolute IP address. It's as though a bit of the router has crashed but other bits are working.
Very odd. I can't help thinking it's either the router or the switch that's somehow at fault. You could try wiring just one PC directly to the Boost and see how that fares.
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"I can't help thinking it's either the router or the switch that's somehow at fault."

That's my tentative conclusion as well. Because I need to eliminate the possibility and they are cheap enough I've ordered another switch - a simple 8-port unmanaged GS108. In any case, the extra ports will be useful because connecting the Boost to the switch rather than the router places it in a more convenient location. If that doesn't solve the problem, I will buy a replacement router - after all, I have sacrificed an arm and half a leg to buy the Sonos kit, and I am determined to see it work seamlessly with my home network!

I should also mention that the router log does show what it refers to as DoS attacks, although I don't think that's what they are. My router gets probes every so often, on average every 2-5 minutes, using either ACK or RST scans usually from what Whois tells me are respectable sites. I don't think that's an issue because the router's firewall is setup to reject all incoming requests, but I mention it for completeness.
It'll be interesting to see how the replacement switch fares -- or indeed no switch as in my last suggestion of wiring a PC directly to the Boost as a test.

Unless the router is getting very confused I can't see how a few probes on its WAN side should have any effect whatsoever on its local communications.
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ratty,

Can I just take this opportunity to thank you for all your help. You've been so kind and helpful, and it's been invaluable. I'll let you know how the replacement switch fares - it's supposed to arrive tomorrow.
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Disappointingly, the replacement switch (GS108 replacing GS105) has made no difference, and the router locked the desktops out again this morning about 24 hours after it was installed. I tried cycling power on the new switch but it made no difference. Interestingly, I needed to reboot the router twice before the problem cleared. I shall now buy a replacement modem/router, and I shall probably avoid Netgear and get a ASUS in the next few days. However, I also plan to move the Boost onto one of the spare switch ports now to take advantage of its location distant from the router.