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Thursday, February 4th, 2010

New ADSL Modem

Categories: [ IT ]

The old A-Link RR64, Linux 2.4-based ADSL modem and router has been dying slowly for the past eight months or so, and when the “alarm” LED went suddenly on, I decided it was time to get a new piece of hardware before that one broke down completely. Since it had a hard time booting up after the power had been down, it was a good idea anyway.

After long discussions with my colleagues, I decided to buy a ZyXEL Prestige 660WP-D1, with an integrated WLAN base station. It's not based on free software, but the equivalent linux-based model by A-Link doesn't respect the GPL regarding the distributon of the source code (it actually doesn't even mention it's based on Linux), so I wasn't going to give my money to those people anymore.

I spent the whole evening and half the night yesterday trying to set it up so that it replaces the old device in the network. First thing, the ZyXEL does't have a DNS server for the local network, so I had to setup one on the server there using dnsmasq (merci tontonth :) ). This means I cannot get the outside DNS server's address from the ISP anymore (the router is unwilling to serve as a DNS proxy while at the same time propagating the dnsmasq's address through the DHCP configuration) but I have to set it up statically in dnsmasq. I hope it doesn't change its address every two weeks…

The second problem was that the NAS I use for backups is unable to get its IP address from the ZyXEL, so I had to set a static one.

But the weirdest of the weirdest, is that the machines connected through the WLAN were not able to connect to the ones on the LAN, which is a bit of a problem since the dnsmasq is on the LAN. After a long time reading the docs, I found in the latest firmware's changelog that the following bug had been fixed: 22. WLAN and LAN can not communicate with each other when the admin password is changed in the GUI. The new firmware indeed fixed the problem, but what screwy software design makes the bridging between two networks dependent on the admin's password and the GUI? This is bound to be a problem for any user who knows that default passwords must be changed, since the first time you connect to the Web interface as admin, it forces you to change the password.

Well, it seems to be working now. Let's cross fingers.

[ Posted on February 4th, 2010 at 12:21 | 1 comment | ]

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