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How does 'Limited Access' message work?

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  • How does 'Limited Access' message work?


    I'm trying to diagnose an issue with a broadband satellite connection. It's a Tooway setup and has it's own modem which allows 1 device to be connected, which can be a computer or more usually a router.
    Everything works fine, and in fact I've set up a few of these over the last year or so as there is no local installer in our area.

    Recently I've hit an issue on one installation, the computers connected to the router report 'Limited Access' on the wireless connection. This is seen on both Windows 8 and MAC OSX Lion. On Windows there is a yellow exclamation on the system tray icon and on Mac the wireless icon top right has an exclamation mark. The odd thing is that if you open a browser you can browse the internet as normal, email works fine through Outlook or Mac mail, infact the connection is not limited, it's just falsely reported as such by the OS.
    I'm trying to find out what the cause is, I've not seen this before on any systems, I've only seen this message when there is a good connection to the router on the LAN but the router itself is not connected on WAN port, in which case the message would be correct.
    In order to diagnose I want to find out what mechanism either OS uses to determine if there is or isn't a routed connection. How does the OS know (or think it knows) there is a Limitied connection? Is there some ping built in to the networking component which under good conditions returns a positive, or in cases where there is no connection beyong the router, a negative, or in this case a seemingly 'false negative' that may be due to the latency on the satellite connection or some other factor specific to this type of connection as opposed to a regular DSL connection over a phone line.

    Long winded question I know but I wanted to make it clear that I'm not asking why am I getting a 'Limited Connection' message, and avoid potential answers telling me it's because I have a good connection to my router but the router itself is not connected and that I should release and renew my ipconfig etc etc: there are far too many of those on Google already. What I want to know is what mechanism does the OS on both Windows and Mac use to determine if there is a connection or not and therefor what is it that is tested to determine the state of the connection? Further to that can this mechanism be manipulated?

    Thank you