General Network Troubleshooting Tips

Article ID: #1078

Setup and Install » General Information

The following steps give general advice for troubleshooting and solving a network issue. Troubleshooting steps to resolve the most common networking issues are first followed by advanced troubleshooting steps for less common conditions. Not every step will be appropriate for the error condition you are seeing.

NOTE: If you are having issues with transfer speeds or sporadic connections for a wireless network, go directly to Step 7.


1. If you are seeing a network error message, click here  to view the list of network error messages and what they mean.


NOTE: A home network is an interactive system. Be aware that in some cases, an error message can be misleading because it points to a condition that may be related to what is wrong, but the TiVo box cannot accurately detect the root cause of the problem. For example, the box might display a message that a network adapter can’t be found, when the real problem is that there is no signal coming from the router.


2. Check the adapter connection. If the Last Status on the Network  screen says, "Failed. No network adapter," make sure the USB cable is properly connected to the TiVo box and the adapter, and make sure the adapter's lights are on. If the lights are on, try these steps, in order, until a network connection is established:


  • While the Network screen is still displayed, unplug the USB cable from the back of your box. Wait 30 seconds and then plug the USB cable back in. Make sure the cable is pushed all the way in; sometimes lights on the adapter turn on before the USB cable is pushed all the way in.

  • Unplug the end of the USB cable connected to the adapter. Wait 30 seconds and then plug the cable back in to the adapter.

  • Disconnect the adapter from the TiVo box again. Wait 30 seconds and then reconnect it to see if the MAC address appears.

  • If you have another adapter or USB cable available, try that adapter or cabling.


NOTE: For a wired setup, unplug the ethernet cable and plug it in again, making sure the connector is firmly seated.


3. Check the physical connections of the entire network. Ensure that all network equipment is receiving power and that all cable connections for routers, hubs, access points, and computers in the network are working. Verify that the link light is lit on all devices connected to the network.

4. Verify that your network adapter and router are compatible



  • Verify that the network adapter you attached to the box is supported. The only wireless network adapter supported by any HD TiVo box model is the TiVo Wireless G Adapter. 

  • If you attached a wired adapter, remove it and plug the Ethernet cable directly into the box.

  • Verify that your wireless access point or router supports the type of wireless adapter you purchased. For example, if you purchased an 802.11g wireless adapter, make sure that your router supports the 802.11g wireless standard. Check the documentation for your router if you are not sure.

5. If you are installing the box for the first time, check the software version.

  • Your TiVo box must be running software version 11.3 or later to connect to a wireless network that is protected by WPA encryption. In addition, many adapters require a particular TiVo software version for compatibility.

  • New and renewed TiVo boxes (including boxes sent as replacements during an exchange) did not ship with the latest TiVo software and may require an update before they are compatible. If you purchased the box from a private party, it may also require a software update.



6.  If you are installing the TiVo box for the first time, or you recently made changes to your network, verify that the Network Settings on the TiVo box are correct. For more information, go to How to configure network settings on your box .

7. (Wireless connection only) If you are using WEP encryption, and you entered the password in alphanumeric format, enter the WEP password in hexadecimal format instead. Many routers create alphanumeric passwords that are not compatible with TiVo boxes. You can find a hexadecimal password (sometimes referred to as a Key or WEP Key) in the configuration settings for your wireless access point or wireless router. If more than one hexadecimal password is listed, always use the first one. For instructions on how to enter the password in a different format, go to How to configure network settings on your DVR .

If you are using WPA encryption, re-enter your WPA password to ensure that it is correct.

8. (Wireless connection only) Check the wireless signal strength. From TiVo Central, select Messages & Settings > Settings > Network. If the signal strength is weak, try the following:

  • Move the wireless adapter away from the TiVo box power supply. Power strips or surge protectors may cause interference and reduce signal strength. In addtion, some household appliances, such as microwave ovens, 2.4 GHz cordless phones, and baby monitors may also reduce signal strength when they are in use.

  • Verify the wireless network adapter's antenna is fully extended.

  • Move the wireless network adapter to a higher position, or give it a better line of sight to our wireless gateway/router.

  • Reduce the distance between the wireless network adapter and the wireless access point. Wireless networks typically have a range of 30-90 meters, but distances can vary based on walls, floors, and other obstructions. It may be necessary to adjust the location of the adapter or your wireless access point to be closer to the network adapter attached to your TiVo.

  • Consider adding a signal booster to your network (available from some wireless equipment manufacturers). 

9. Powercycle network devices. If you have a router, cable modem, or wireless access point, unplug it, wait a moment, and then plug it back in.


NOTE: This will temporarily halt your network's Internet connection and disconnect your phone temporarily - if using VoIP over the same Internet connection. It may take up to a minute for your equipment to restart.


10. Restart the box. From TiVo Central, select Messages & Settings > Restart or Reset System > Restart the DVR.




Advanced troubleshooting steps

WARNING: The following steps may require changes to your home network settings. Please refer to your home networking equipment manufacturer for specific help and information.

  1. (TiVo Desktop users only) If you are unable to make connections to the TiVo service using your network connection, you can use TiVo Desktop to check the connection between your PC and your TiVo box. From your PC or Mac, try to access Music & Photos on the TiVo box. If you are able to access Music & Photos, the problem is likely with your router or Internet service provider, since the connection between your computer and TiVo box is working. Check your network and router settings and contact your ISP if necessary.
  2. (TiVo Desktop users only) If you have a software-based firewall such as Black Ice, Norton Internet Security, or McAfee Personal Firewall installed on your PC, it may be necessary to adjust your settings to allow the TiVo Server to broadcast the beacon signal to your TiVo boxes. For more information on which ports need to be open, go to What network ports and IP addresses do I need open when using my TiVo DVR?
  3. If you assigned a Static IP address to your TiVo box, check that its IP address is correct and is unique on your network. Also, confirm that the first three sets of numbers of the DVR's IP address are the same as those of other devices on the network. (for example, if your computer's IP address starts with 192.168.1, then the box IP address must also start with 192.168.1.)
  4. Verify that the Domain Name System (DNS) server is functioning properly. From TiVo Central select Messages & Settings > Settings > Network  > View network diagnostics.

If the DNS resolution test says "Failed", try to access several web pages using a computer on the same network. If the computer is unable to access the web pages, there may be an issue with your Internet Service Provider’s DNS server. Contact your ISP for further troubleshooting assistance.

  1. Update the firmware on your network equipment. If your home network includes a router, home gateway, or wireless access point, it may need a firmware update. You can usually find any updated firmware at the customer support web site for the manufacturer of your hardware.

NOTE: Firmware is a software program that is loaded onto a hardware device. Older firmware may cause unpredictable results. It may be necessary to powercycle your device before and after you reinstall the firmware.

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