I have a problem that neither Hotmail nor an otherwise helpful technician
can solve. I have within my home a network: Compaq desktop with a D-link
extreme G card, attached via a modem to an ADSL line, a separate router and a
new Tosh laptop with a wi-fi card. Everything works as it should, except that i
cannot access Hotmail from the laptop: any other URL can be accessed
immediately. I have had various “help” suggestions from Hotmail, including
re-installation of IE 6. Nothing works and my computer adviser has given up. If
I plug the ADSL line into the laptop direct, I can access Hotmail normally, yet
not when I do so remotely through the router and desktop. Do you have any
I have two guesses – one involves your router, and the other involves an
obscure network setting.
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I’ve not tested this, but I wonder if HotMail is sensitive to what’s called
“double NATing” and wonder if that’s
what you have happening.
Double NATing happens if you are behind two routers, each attempting to
perform “Network Address Translation”. I have seen several cases where a
broadband modem attempts to perform NAT, and thus in some ways it’s “acting
like” a router. If you put a NAT router in front of that modem, then you are,
effectively, behind two routers.
When you plug your laptop into the ADSL line directly, does your IP address
begin with 192. or perhaps 10.? If so, then it appears your ADSL modem is
performing NAT. Addresses that begin with 192 or 10 never appear on the
internet, but are assigned by routers when sharing a single internet connection
between several computers. If your modem is assigning you an address in that
range, then it’s pretty likely that it’s acting a little bit like a router. At
least in a way that we care about.
If that happens, you might consider turning DHCP off in your router and
seeing if a) all computers connected still connect to the internet properly,
and b) whether or not this resolves your problem.
My other guess has little to do with the router, but apparently has resolved
HotMail access issues for others. While I think of this as more of a long shot,
it’s possible that how you connect to the network could impact this.
There is an obscure network setting called “MTU” that deals with how packets
are sent on the network. Several people have reported that reducing the MTU
setting has restored access to some sites that they couldn’t access before.
This article: I can’t access
some websites … why? covers the setting, and how to go about adjusting
As I said, it’s a long shot, but it is something that could be affected by
your network topology.