TL-WA1201 causing DNS errors on Hitron Chita routers

TL-WA1201 causing DNS errors on Hitron Chita routers

TL-WA1201 causing DNS errors on Hitron Chita routers
TL-WA1201 causing DNS errors on Hitron Chita routers
2022-06-24 11:10:03
Model: TL-WA1201  
Hardware Version: V3
Firmware Version:

I have about 20 of these devices across multiple sites. We recently replaced our Hitron CGNV4 routers for Hitron Chita routers. Before the change, all access points worked fine with no problems. All are set up to mirror the separate 2.4 and 5GHz SSIDs as the router. No VLANs. 
 

Since changing the routers, we've been getting countless reports of intermittent connections and total loss of service. Users have been able to access certain apps and websites but time out for the majority. This also occurs for anyone connected directly to the router, wired or wirelessly, so not just on the APs network. Changing the DNS settings on the router from the ISPs automatic ones to use Google's servers instantly solves that problem. 
 

The thing I don't understand is why this is only happening at sites I have this access point installed and how the APs would even be able to mess with the DNS settings on the router? 
 

SmartIP is turned on and DHCP is disabled on the APs. There's no DHCP reservation for the APs on the router. 

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9 Reply
Re:TL-WA1201 causing DNS errors on Hitron Chita routers
2022-06-24 16:18:12 - last edited 2022-06-24 16:19:35

  @Velo 

 

Hey

 

Reading your post this sounds like the relationship between the Issue and APs is just coinceidental.   The fact you mention this happens to anyone, regardless of the AP or not is the giveaway there.  

 

This also occurs for anyone connected directly to the router, wired or wirelessly, so not just on the APs network.

 

If someone is cabled straight into the router, they will be totally unaffected by anything the AP would do.  Unlike Switches, routers wont mix data between different ports, therefore an AP on port 1 will only go to a PC on port 4 if you directly ask it too do so.  In short any AP wouldn't have a need to go anywhere but its one specific router port. 

 

It seems highly unlikely to be the AP causing this, they also cant affect DNS on a router in any way as only routers handle DNS, APs are dumb devices.    It sounds to me like your ISPs DNS server is un-reliable.  Try a 3rd party DNS for while

 

If this is a Virgin Media router, then for sure its not the APs.. Virgin media DNS has long been questionable

 

 

 

 

 

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Re:TL-WA1201 causing DNS errors on Hitron Chita routers
2022-06-24 18:29:03

  @Philbert Yeah, a lot with Virgin Media is questionable so that wouldn't surprise me. 
 

I only question it because I'm running over 100 of these Hitrons and the only ones playing up are the ones with these APs. Especially as the ones running with no APs on the network using Virgin's DNS servers are fine. 
 

I completely agree the issue isn't the APs, it's the router. But the fact that every single AP installation is having problems means there is something triggering it to do with the APs. I know the answer is to not use the Hitron as a router, just given the amount of installations I have, I was hoping there was a simple setting I've overlooked before I end up buying new routers!
 

I'm trying to run as dumb a device as possible to extend wireless coverage so as not to upset the Hitron's fragile ego as they have a reputation for crashing when running any type of wireless extender on the network. God forbid you wanted to try out a mesh network. Thought I'd found a way around that issue with wired these APs. Time to spend more money to deal with Virgin's faulty hardware. 

Thanks for your help. 

 

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Re:TL-WA1201 causing DNS errors on Hitron Chita routers
2022-07-21 05:42:09

  @Velo 

my experience with the Chita router is exactly as you describe.

VM switched the hitron out for a Chita and then randomly during the day, zero access for most devices. The only solution was a router reboot. But this lasted at best 6hrs, at worst 30mins.

issues since 26june thru 19 July.

 

No issues found after several vm call outs, cables & splitters & attenuator changes and even a network engineer checked the core network and found no faults.

 

Then I checked the Chita and found that despite the majority of the local network unable to access the internet, the Chita could ping and tracert just fine.

So I manually switched one of the local devices dns to use 1.1.1.1, and immediately internet access was restored.

 

that is clearly not a solution for your network (nor my tiny one tbh), so I changed the Chita to manually use 1.1.1.1 (and 8.8.8.8 as a back up), and every device was immediately back online.

logically this makes no sense as the vm dns server is working fine (as some devices including the Chita can use it and access the internet), but something is clearly wrong with the Chita and how it manages auto dns around the local network.

it's also illogical why setting a manual dns doesn't also fail. But it's been three days and no drop outs.
 

I hope this helps you. I fed this back to the vm tech team, they said they'd log the workaround and suggested I keep the manual settings as it resolved the issue, even though they don't know why this is happening either.

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Re:TL-WA1201 causing DNS errors on Hitron Chita routers
2022-07-21 08:57:31

  @antbs As much as I'm not overjoyed to see you're also having the same problem, there is a slight solace knowing that it's not just me. 

 

Only thing to be aware of that I've found is if the CHITA is power cycled, they sometimes don't keep the manual DNS settings and reverts back to the automatic settings. 

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Re:TL-WA1201 causing DNS errors on Hitron Chita routers
2022-09-05 11:11:34 - last edited 2022-09-05 11:52:12

I am so glad to see this thread.  So it wasn't only me?

 

15:30 every day.  Give or take a few minutes.  Client would report "network down".  I left a laptop conencted via Ethernet to the VirginMedia supplied Chita.  Was logged in with remote access tools at 15:20... and sure enough the DNS disappeared from the laptop!  But my remote access software stayed solidly connected.

 

Manually setup DNS on the Windows laptop, and all services restored to the laptop.

 

The Chita router is a mess.  While poking around in the router control panel I was trying to manually set DNS details to OpenDNS instead of the ISP.  Router then partially crashed and lost all the red Virgin Media branding.  It went back to a generic Blue with a different layout to the pages.  Worse was when I hit logout on those pages it now would not accept the default VM password.


So this is the Chita router internally crashing in an odd way.  Fixed with a power cycle.  Maybe a cheap fix is just attach to a timed plug that cuts the power daily?

 

One interesting side puzzle.  The TP-WA1201 AP in the office acted in an "interesting" manner when this occurred.  I think the Chita may also loose something DHCP related, but it does not really make sense.  The Access Point is setup with a reserved IP Address in the DHCP of the Chita.  So should be on 192.168.0.10.  But after this outage occurred I found the Access Point then moved to 192.168.0.254 - its old default.  That part was really puzzling.  Maybe when the router supplied DNS fails it also send the Access Point back to workable settings of its own?  I am pretty certain the Chita failed first as I was working on the AP at the time on 192.168.0.10

 

My solution has been to buy a new TP-Link Router and put the Chita into Modem Mode and run the connection from a trusted router.  No more daily dropouts.

 

The only thing that puzzles me is how hard it is to find ANYTHING online about Chita and DNS failure.  Or is it only a few of us who have put it all together as to the why of the Chita Network dropouts?

 

Other troubleshooting notes: While these problems were occuring I had the Access Point running a different pair of WiFi networks to the main router.  Leading to separate 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz networks on both devices.  A total of four networks in an already crowded airspace.

 

VOIP phones in use (via Ethernet), Apple Macs and Phones on the WiFi.

 

 

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Re:TL-WA1201 causing DNS errors on Hitron Chita routers
2022-11-10 10:34:15

  @Velo @antbs 

Hi I have had the exact same issue. I am a Virgin Media Business customer. Are you also? Virgin Media engineers have told me that they have had issues but unaware of what it could be. They also told me they dont have this issue with the residential customers on the Gig1.

 

Since we upgraded from the 500mbps to the Gig1, they gave us the new Chita which isn't the best.

I have had numerous engineer visits and I think 5 routers. They have also checked cables, connectors etc which are all brand new. They still don't know what the issue is and looks like they arent bothered to fix it.

 

My issue started when it was installed in August. The net would drop out atleast twice a day sometimes for 30 mins. A quick reboot or reset would fix the issue.

 

Note I do not have any Tp-Link access points. I do have some network switches and 3 x smart plugs. These were also connected to the old Hitron. I have a Cisco access point which makes no issue if plugged in or not and I have also run the router without any wired connections and still had the issue.

 

I changed the DNS to manual and use 8.8.8.8 and I havent had any issues since mid September. This with no help from Virgin Media technical support.However, on Monday, my internet cut out around 4pm in the same way it used to. It happened again around 10:30am the next morning but didn't fix itself until that evening around 6pm. Again no help from the Virgin Media team. 

 

This morning it cut off again and I noticed the DNS was set on auto (probably becuase I reset the router on Tuesday afternoon). This time I went into the GUI and changed the DNS to manual with 1.1.1.1 and 8.8.8.8 as a backup. The internet shot back up again and no issues as of yet. No idea what causes the issue. I really dont think the access points are behind the issue and I think Virgin Media has a bunch of faulty routers. 

 

I must say its actually a relief to see others having the same issue as me as I thought I was the only one!

 

Any ideas what fixed yours? I am unaware why mine worked since mid September then randomly cut off on Monday afternoon. I am monitoring it and seeing if it will drop out again. The DNS is still on manual as above.

 

Best bet may be what @Gerty said in terms of using the Chita as a modem. Has this solved the problem for anyone? I have 2 x BT Business Smart Hub 2's which I can use in router mode as they are quite solid!

 

Since the old Hitron router, I havent made any changes to my network infastructure so this can't be the reason.

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Re:TL-WA1201 causing DNS errors on Hitron Chita routers
2022-11-10 11:21:45
Yes, this is a VM Business contract and a VM Business router. They had even had engineers out on site checking everything, got a new router, and checked the cable run itself. Do your sanity a favour. Stick the VM router into modem mode and put a decent router into place. My client was going mad with resets every day, always around 3:30pm. Bought a TP-Link router and set it up - problem went away. Was it caused by the TP-Link access point used in the back office? I doubt it. I spent hours on all kinds of test combos. Then gave up and bought a router. My sanity has returned. My client is now happy. Not a single problem in the last two months. Now running solid. I have VM at home, and also had it for 20 years. ALWAYS ALWAYS use modem mode. VM support always deny issues in their hardware - bad PR to say otherwise. Broadband great, routers often buggy.
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Re:TL-WA1201 causing DNS errors on Hitron Chita routers
Saturday
So I took your advice and purchased an Archer AX20. it is all set up and the internet does not cut out!! Its been a week and we have had 0 dropouts! Saying that, the wifi does tend to drop off the new router so I am assuming this is a DNS issue? I have put the secondary DNS as 8.8.8.8 just now so maybe this will fix the issue? Any advice is always welcome.
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Re:TL-WA1201 causing DNS errors on Hitron Chita routers
Saturday
Glad to help restore your sanity. Sometimes things are just not "fixable". And it is much better to bypass it. There are better things to be spending your time on. The bonus of using your own router allows more control over other features too. Personally I use OpenDNS for my DNS ( 208.67.222.222 208.67.220.220 ) As to your wifi dropout, I can't comment on that. With my client there are only six of them in the office so they now have an AX55 as the router, and a TL-WA1201 in the rear office (connected via Ethernet through a very solid wall). All Apple laptops and iPhones and all happy people. Not wanting to go OT - but wifi I generally take things off auto. Select WPA2\AES. Fix the Wifi channel to 1, 7 or 13 (or whatever the neighbours are not using). Update any firmware.
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