TP Link Archer A8 (AC1900) will not connect to my Fiber Modem

 
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TP Link Archer A8 (AC1900) will not connect to my Fiber Modem
TP Link Archer A8 (AC1900) will not connect to my Fiber Modem
2021-01-24 23:43:34 - last edited 2021-02-25 23:24:12
Model: Archer A8
Hardware Version: V1
Firmware Version: 1.4.7 Build 200907 Rel.62218n(5553)

I have to admit I'm about at my wit's end with this router.  I purchased it through Amazon thinking that it was going to be a cakewalk to set up, but nothing has been further from the truth.

 

I'm currently running an aging D-Link 868-L router and it's been a workhorse for the past 6 years.  However, now that D-Link has decided it's too old, they discontinued support, and I was in need of a new router.  Too, over the past month or so it has been dropping speed, and disconnecting Wi-Fi more often, and again I've been looking for a newer model to replace it.  Having done a good amount of comparing and searching, I opted for the TP-Link Archer A8 (AC1900) router.  

 

I received it yesterday and attempted to set it up.  Disconnected my fiber modem, and reconnected it using the Ethernet cables I already had.  Once done, I used first the TP-Link Tether app on my phone, but couldn't get the Internet to connect.  So, I tried the web portal.  Same result, no Internet.  At this point, I've already powered down the modem and the router multiple times, used my phone to search the web for possible solutions and getting nowhere.  When I go to the Status page under Advanced, it just says that it's 'Connecting', but it never does.  On my modem, the WAN light is steady, telling me that it sees the router, but the router apparently cannot see the modem, or just can't connect to it.  I've tried multiple solutions offered on different sites, as well as here on the Forum, even going so far as changing the DNS Primary to 8.8.8.8 and Secondary to 8.8.4.4 but that's not working either.  I've changed the default web address of the router to 192.168.2.1, that didn't work either.  

 

My last-ditch solution was to upgrade the firmware, thinking that perhaps there was something blocking my effort through the original firmware that was onboard the router.  I had hoped this would work, but the result was the same when I connected the modem.  No Internet.  It just keeps saying that it's 'Connecting' but never does.  At least when I had the Ethernet cable disconnected from the WAN port, it did accurately recognize that, but once I connected it, no dice.  I've tried the cable that came with the router, along with several other cables I have here, CAT5, even CAT6 hoping that it might make a difference.  Sadly, it hasn't.  Every time that I connect the modem to the router, I don't get Internet.  I've even cloned my PC's MAC address to the router, but that hasn't worked either.  I'm stumped.  I've been working with computers for more than 30 years, and this is the worst predicament I've ever had getting hardware to communicate.  

I'm hoping someone has something to offer, because I'm about to the point of sending it back to Amazon and trying another manufacturer.  This shouldn't be this hard!

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Re:TP Link Archer A8 (AC1900) will not connect to my Fiber Modem-Solution
2021-02-25 02:58:05 - last edited 2021-02-25 23:23:03

Update: After getting a replacement router from Amazon, I unboxed the new one, set it up as I had the first one, and got a green light on the router. Though this only lasted a second and I was back to the same problem with the first one.

 

As frustrating as this might sound, it proved to me that the problem wasn't the router at all, it was the connection to my ISP. After looking through many websites and trying to track down a manual for the fiber modem (I actually found one but it was in Portuguese!) I used a hack whereby I disconnected the power from the modem as well as the fiber cable, thinking perhaps that it was somehow keeping power to the modem. Left it off for an hour, hoping by then the modem would 'forget' the old router. Long story short (too late, I know) that didn't work either. As soon as I reconnected everything, no joy.

 

Last-ditch, I called the ISP this morning. Told them what was happening and they opened an IT ticket. I received a call from one of their techs about 30 minutes later and was informed that my old router's MAC address was the problem on their end. No matter what new equipment I connected to the modem, it was going to be rejected simply because the old MAC address was what was being looked for. I confirmed to him the old MAC address, gave him the new one, he cleared out the old, inputted the new, and what do you know, it all worked. Connected like a champ, I even updated the Firmware without bricking the router. It took a little while to get it all configured to my preferences, the wireless items connected fairly quickly and my repeaters are broadcasting the signal way better than they were with the old router.

 

My only lament is, I sent back a perfectly good router to Amazon. I would have kept it, but they would have charged me $100 for the spare, and I can use the old router now as an access point so I no longer need it. I suppose I can assuage my bruised ego knowing someone will get it in an electronics pallet and be pleased with having useable equipment. Live and learn. Thanks for all the responses and help. Beer is on me.

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Re:TP Link Archer A8 (AC1900) will not connect to my Fiber Modem
2021-01-25 12:43:05
You should not have that much trouble setting it up. I would try a factory reset, change as little as possible (use quick start guide) and retest. If using WIFI, use different SSIDs. If it still fails, it sounds to me like you got a defective router and needs to be replaced.
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Re:TP Link Archer A8 (AC1900) will not connect to my Fiber Modem
2021-01-25 23:20:56

@Leathers 

 

The D-Link looks to be a typical router so the A8 should be working like the D-Link.

 

I would do a factory reset on the A8, have the Ethernet connection from its WAN to your modem. See if the internet light on the A8 is showing as amber which indicates it sees something connected.

 

I would then reach out to the ISP and tell them the modem is not recognizing the new router.

 

Before you do all that, you can test to see if it is the case of the modem not recognizing the new router by connecting your D-Link back and see if that works.

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Re:TP Link Archer A8 (AC1900) will not connect to my Fiber Modem
2021-01-26 00:03:01
One other thought. Check to see if you are getting an IP address on the LAN as that may be the issue. If it is zero that is your issue.
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Re:TP Link Archer A8 (AC1900) will not connect to my Fiber Modem
2021-01-26 03:32:07

@ArcherC8 

 

Honestly, I had thought of the Factory Reset with minimal setup (using the Quick-Start Guide) as well, and after trying it, there was still no connection to the Net.

 

I've been using my desktop computer and the web setup as that method is more familiar to me. (TBH, apps [to me] don't seem like a stable platform for things like interacting with routers, access points, and the like) I do have the Tether app, but that didn't work any more than the other methods I tried.

 

Just for shits and giggles, I tried again upon returning home from work today. Sadly, no joy.  I had thought about downgrading to the original firmware (I saved a copy before upgrading) but I don't believe that's going to make any difference. One thing I failed to mention in my original post, the 'Internet' connection on the router always stays a solid amber.  So in accordance with what @Tony posted in his reply, the modem IS seeing the router, but the router is unable to understand how to connect to the Net.  

 

I most definitely feel like I'm running around in circles.  The Archer won't connect to the modem, but when I use the same cable on the old router (the D-Link) everything works as it has been.  I'm more and more thinking there's something not connected inside the router, but I don't want to crack the case and go looking for fear of voiding my warranty.  If it was a loose wire, that would be an easy fix.

 

Anyway, I appreciate your taking the time to give me a hand.

 

One other thought. Check to see if you are getting an IP address on the LAN as that may be the issue. If it is zero that is your issue.

 

In the LAN section of the router Advanced page, I am getting the 192.168.0.1 address as well as the correct subnet mask of 255.255.255.0

 

However, this is what I'm getting on the Status portion.  It never changes from saying 'Connecting' at the top.

 

Internet

Status:

Connecting

Internet Connection Type:

Dynamic IP

IP Address:

0.0.0.0

Subnet Mask:

0.0.0.0

Default Gateway:

0.0.0.0

Primary DNS:

0.0.0.0

Secondary DNS:

0.0.0.0

 

At this point, I'm definitely leaning toward the defective router option.  It's about the only thing that makes sense.

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Re:TP Link Archer A8 (AC1900) will not connect to my Fiber Modem
2021-01-26 03:40:58

@Tony 

 

If D-Link hadn't ceased supporting the 868-L, I probably would still be using it.  But it's 6 years old, there are better options in the marketplace, so here we are.

 

As I mentioned to @ArcherC8 before shutting down yesterday, and actually before posting my message, I had done a Factory Reset and did a minimal setup with the Quick guide that had come with the unit.  Didn't work.  Again as I mentioned in the last message I just posted, I did it again this evening, and just now before writing this message.  Steady Amber light from the Internet connection, and all zeros except for the LAN IP address and subnet mask.  I even tried manually inputting the Primary and Secondary DNS addresses from my ISP.  Didn't work.

 

I called my ISP, but they couldn't offer anything other than to wish me luck.  There's no problem on their end, and I can prove that because I'm right now connected to the D-Link router, and am connected to the 'Net as always.  When I'm connected to the Archer, bupkus.

 

I appreciate your efforts, but I'm increasingly believing this to be a hardware boondoggle.  If I wasn't concerned about the warranty, I'd crack open the case and start looking for loose wires.  But I didn't win either Powerball or Mega Millions this weekend, so money is still an issue.

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Re:TP Link Archer A8 (AC1900) will not connect to my Fiber Modem
2021-01-26 12:43:36 - last edited 2021-01-26 12:46:29

@Leathers 

 

Follow the steps in the post "My new router is not obtaining an IP address from my cable modem" which is about the tenth entry in the posts.

 

 I should have said WAN IP address in my prior post.

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Re:TP Link Archer A8 (AC1900) will not connect to my Fiber Modem
2021-01-27 04:05:23

@ArcherC8 

 

I actually stumbled upon that solution suggestion a day or so ago, gave it a try and didn't get a positive result.  I did attempt to fiddle with the settings, changing it from a default of a router to the Access Point option.  The light on the Internet connection did change from Orange to Green, but it was a ruse.  The device wasn't online, it was merely attempting to do what the function of the AP is designed for.  Once I changed it back to Router, I was back on Orange again.

 

I think I've done all I can do here.  I'm going to contact Amazon and see about getting a replacement.  I'm not soured on TP-Link products, I'm going to see if I can get just another router and perhaps this one was just plain defective.  At any rate, as I said before, I'm grateful for you and @Tony taking the time to assist me with my issue.   Thanks.

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Re:TP Link Archer A8 (AC1900) will not connect to my Fiber Modem
2021-01-27 12:15:51
I had that issue after I did a factory reset and had to perform it several times. I unplugged the modem and router for several minutes to ensure the capacitors would drain (I shut off my UPS that supplied power to both) and that seamed to work. As far as Amazon goes, just go to your Amazon "orders" and you can start the return process.
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Re:TP Link Archer A8 (AC1900) will not connect to my Fiber Modem
2021-01-27 13:50:30 - last edited 2021-01-27 13:52:36

It makes sense that that would (normally) work. In other situations, hardware does seem to have a 'lagging memory' capacity, and shutting things off for a time will allow it to 'forget' where it was connected to. I was hopeful this was going to be the solution but disconnecting both the power coupling AND the fiber line (actually opening the modem to disconnect the line physically from it, which by the way you're NOT supposed to do) didn't seem to make any difference.

 

At least I know how to disconnect the fiber line now since I need to move the modem to a more central location in the house, to better facilitate Wi-Fi here (our modem and router are at one end of the house and it's a bad situation for the remainder of the house in terms of Wi-Fi).

 

Amazon is really good about returns. Almost too good. While they ask for a reason, I honestly don't think they read them. I've seen videos on YouTube showing people buying those pallets of returns from Amazon, and it's amazing what people send back. Some things are completely destroyed, others are unopened. It can be pretty bizarre to watch. Anyway, thanks again.

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Re:TP Link Archer A8 (AC1900) will not connect to my Fiber Modem
2021-01-27 17:58:44

@Leathers 

 

If you are getting 0s, I am pretty sure the issue is that your modem is only bound to your D-Link router. 

 

I am assuming your modem is a cable modem, and if so, the ISP will be able to reset the MAC binding. This will then cause the modem to reboot, and then bind to whatever is connected. 

 

So as far as what you are able to do is the following (previous FAQs probably mentioned):

 

-Leave the TP-Link router connected to the modem and powered on, and cut the power to the modem, and turn the modem back on. After the modem has been on for several hours, see if the WAN IP has changed, refresh the page.

 

-Leave the TP-Link router connected to the modem and powered on, cut the power to the modem, unscrew the coax cable from the modem, turn the modem on. Leave the modem alone for about 5 minutes, then while the modem is on, screw the coax cable back into the modem. After a couple of minutes check the WAN IP of the router.

 

If neither above works, contact the ISP and tell them nothing is failing, you just need to reset the MAC binding. In other words, your modem will only give internet to your D-Link as it recognizes its MAC address, not of the TP-Link. If the tech does not know what you are talking about, ask to speak to a higher level one.

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