Monday, September 28, 2015

Modern home networking

I work remote.

There I said it and now all those fears you think you've had about QOS, ISP, VPS and so are are all mine. I depend on my network and when I would out of the house I depend on it there to. [I'm selective as to which Starbucks I work from because they are filtering their network]

The actual backstory goes like this.  Last Wednesday there was a severe thunderstorm and historically my ISP loses some equipment which can take several months to convince them to identify and replace. So when my network started to misbehave I knew exactly what to do.

I started making phone calls and was confronted with the same responses. "reboot the modem". "WiFi or wired? WiFi, then connect directly".  "Firewall? Then bypass and surf naked". These recommendations remind me of the old BSOD days from Microsoft ["reboot I say!"]. But I had already tried traceroute and I knew that the problem was in their network. My ISP previously used ATT and was not using ComCast for their back-haul... but when my network failed my traceroute indicated that my packets were going through ATT. Clearly they would discard the packets if they did not have an active contract with my ISP.

At around the same time I had also installed the latest iPhoto and had enabled iCloud Drive Sync. It's well documented that iPhoto/iCloud Sync will eat your network because there is no throttling. I tried disabling the sync but that had no effect. My network continued to jank. In a fit of desperation I switched my firewall from an apple express back to my apple extreme. [many months ago I had converted from extreme to express because there was a VPN issue that could only be patched with hardware and apple was not addressing it directly.]

(this is getting too  long)

With my Airport Express plugged in the (4th from the left) LED blinked yellow. With the Extreme plugged in it blinked Green. According to the Arris documentation they define the color as the speed indicator.

Right now the sync is disable, the extreme is installed and that's it. I've been working fine all day. I'm suspicious of all things at this point. So much that I've ordered Google's OnHub because I can set QOS per client connection.

I lost interest in this story after about the first sentence... I hope does not show. The payoff is that I hate my ISP (advanced cable communications) and I can say the same for ComCast... ATT is useless. What's a remote worker supposed to do?

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