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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 suggestions?
I have two guesses - one involves your router, and the other involves an obscure network setting.
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 it.
As I said, it's a long shot, but it is something that could be affected by your network topology.
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