Networking For Fun And Happiness

All the WoW realms are down for maintenance, which coincides neatly (and unexpectedly) with the arrival of some new networking kit I ordered yesterday night from Eyo.

For no obvious reason, my Wireless network suddenly got flakey, about a week ago, and broke entirely while I was fiddling around, trying to fix it.

The problems were subtle and insidious, but led me to believe that my wireless router/switch was maliciously dropping DHCP packets from my DHCP server, but the model (Dlink DI-624 Rev C) didn’t offer extensive enough capabilities for me to be able to replace the server with the router’s DHCPd.

I tried the latest Aussie firmware, and then the latest US firmware, but the little box had taken to reinitializing its LAN connection every minute or so, and might have been having nasty problems with the cheapo 10/100 switch I had it plugged into. No number of reboots of either seemed to fix the problem, and neither was looking like it was going to back down. But I needed both.

So this time, I opted for a real Wireless Access Point, none of this combined router-and-AP-and-switch crap. It doesn’t need to be smart, it just needs to be bridge-y.

I was dissuaded from buying Linksys because the Linksys USB Wireless adapter I have plugged into the Media Centre doesn’t exactly behave like a real USB device – if you disable it, it won’t work until the PC is restarted. (My guess is that this might be a motherboard issue as much as a Linksys one, but other USB devices seem to work without issue. So it’s offputting.)

So the (low, low) price range essentially brought me back – misgivings and all after the DI624 fiascos (there have been intermittent issues with it for a while now, 0ften interesting and varied – this is the latest in a long and sorry saga) – to another D-Link – the DWL-2100AP, and a cheapie Netgear G5608 gig ethernet switch (which I figure might also come in handy for the odd LAN party).

I dropped them in this evening, configured my WPA-PSK setup, and six minutes after beginning – not to put too fine a point on it – BAM! It all just works again.