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Home Network Suckage Supreme

In my old flat I had like 20 meters of cable canal to connect my room that contained all the computers to the DSL modem in another room. The DSL line went into the linux router, and that was it. It was an effort to install the cable canal, but after I had it all setup, it worked flawlessly for three years. The DSL modem never failed. Neither did the cabling.

DSL Modem

Then I moved.

I the new surroundings I had the same spatial problem. This time I decided to solve it wirelessly and to get rid of the noisy linux box. I wrote about this endeavour a little bit here in my weblog. Basically the setup was: DSL-Modem -> Router -> WirelessClient ..... Access Point -> Switch -> various machines. Though Trendware T-100 S4W1CA router doesn't have the most sophisticated firewall, it is all in all a good product. It worked. Almost. Unfortunately the D-Link was not too clever as a wireless client and needed to get a packet from the router first to know that the router was there to be happy and receive packets and to forward them to the router. It needed that initital packet from the router, because it didn't know the MAC address or the IP address of its client right from the start. In normal operation, the router never emitted a packet. Catch-22.
I still haven't figured out, how it eventually did work most of the time. I suspect some routing information package eventually brought things into sync. But it was a pain in the ass. So some of the time the wireless client was just ignoring packets and the internet connection was dead.

DSL Modem

The last month I decided to switch Internet provides from T-Online to 1&1. 1&1 had a nice package where I could purchase a DSL Modem + Router Switch + WLAN for - not so much money (I forgot how much it was). So I was going to combine the "DSL-Modem -> Router -> WirelessClient" threesome into one hopefully well working box.
I have to admit that this wasn't thought well through, because the "FritzBox" that appeared on my doorstep converted my setup rather to a "DSL-Modem ->Router->Access Point" scenario as it can't work as a wireless client.
Now that was truely a disappointment, because this obsoleted my DWL-700APs as they can't be used for bridging an ethernet based network to an access point. After a lot of head scratching I invested into a Linksys Wireless Ethernet Bridge WET54G. This device can be hooked up to an ethernet switch and is able to forward the traffic to the access point. Rumor has it, that it is limited to 32 devices. Documentation is really scarce. The setup screen is very barebones and there is very little in terms of status feedback.

Finally everything worked as expected. That was two days ago. Today for a final pretty up I decided that I should optimize one of my two power strips away, that I use to juice up the phone and DSL machinery. Obviously two outlets had become superflous. So I unplugged the FritzBox from strip A and plugged it into strip B. And now it can't do DSL anymore. It just broke. It can do wireless and everything, but the internal DSL modem has gone to bit heaven.

Currently I have again about 20 meters worth of ethernet cabling lying on the floor, that connect my LAN to the Internet over the Trendware router and the T-DSL modem.