Network issues at home – A new hope

My Aussies mates are great.
32 emails and a solid phone call latter and they almost have me sorted… well, ok, my network sorted….
Dan and Gary really were a huge help in helping me see through the fog and see my options and a way forward in a much better light.

Long story short, we ended up modifying a small computer, installing Linux on it with a software package called IPcop.
At this stage, we have it in and running things. There is some mopping up to get the last of the control devices readdressed, but the point is, things are back up and running.

There are a few quirks with the new router software. For example, a lot of the daily tests that I do with networking equipment and services are on non-standard port numbers, this means in the new software, I have to first make a ‘service’ for that port number, then I can open the firewall for it and do the port forward. It is surprising how annoying it is. I am still trying to find a way to label the service so that it makes sense, is quick and easy for me to find and makes it easier to read my firewall rules. (You can not rename your services once they are in use, so it has been a drag getting things working).

The wifi is also a work in progress. The new router does not include wifi which was deliberate. I was not happy with the wifi for the past, well, 5+ years, the whole time we have been in this house it has been hit and miss with the coverage and speeds, so it has been on my to-do list to fix for that whole time… In the past it has been tied to my main router, so was hard to get interested about fixing it, but now that it is totally separate, I am actually excited about fixing it… AND since the router was free, I hope I can use a bit of the budget for that on wifi access points.

Backing up the network is another issues I wanted to address. If it crashes (or breaks) again, I DO NOT (can not) go another week like the past one…… I need a solid disaster recover plan in place to get the network back to where it was. The new software and hardware should offer this, and it is something I will be testing once the dust settles.

Lastly, I do not have as much visibility of my network traffic as I hoped. A lot of my testing can sometimes get out of control…. I can have a service spew network traffic loud, far and wide and it has been hard to see that in the past, I wanted to address this in anything I implemented, so to that end, I hope to find some plugins or tools to help me see the invisible packets of traffic on the network (hint, TRON).

Anyway, we are not totally out of the woods, but the fog, doom and gloom has lifted and I can breath (and sleep) again.

Half a planet away, and my mates are still digging me out of holes.