Tag Archives: dsl

No Open Ports

It started out with me not being able to remote in properly to multiple devices on my home network while I was traveling for work. I got home a week and a half later, thinking I’d probably just need to reboot my DSL router and perhaps a few other network devices and everything would quickly be back to normal.

Well, not so fast. It seems that my trusty and heretofore reliable telephone-company-provided Siemens Speedstream 4200 DSL router had somehow lost it’s configuration data – things like the phone number, the username and the password. I put all of that back in, and everything seemed to return to normal. That is, until I decided to see what would happen if I pulled the power plug. To my chagrin, it suffered yet another total identity crisis. Something must be wrong with it.

Hummm. The DSL installer had given me a second modem just in case the first one didn’t work when he initially got the DSL installed a couple of years ago, a unit designated as Sagem Fast 1704. I pulled it off the shelf and plugged it in to my system. This one is not nearly as user-friendly as the Siemens Speedstream 4200. After an extended amount of wrangling with it I got it working, but I still couldn’t get my remote IP camera, a Loftek CXS 2200 (an excellent inexpensive IP camera by the way) to work. I was doing everything exactly right, and it was still no go. The Loftek IP camera could not connect to the outgoing email server, and no matter what I did I couldn’t remote in to the camera itself from outside of my home network.

After wasting hours trying to determine what I might be doing wrong, I finally got the idea of going to a website where I could scan my home network IP address for open ports, and I immediately discovered what the problem was. Even though I was enabling port forwarding in the Sagem Fast 1704 DSL router, virtually ALL ports were closed. No matter what I did, unless I’m missing something, the ports cannot be opened on this router.

The moral of the story is if you are having problems with your router and port forwarding, potentially save yourself a bunch of time and go to a site such as http://www.yougetsignal.com/tools/open-ports/ and find out if the ports you are working with are actually open or not.

Additionally, I took advantage of Geek News Central’s DynDNS discount offer and quickly set up an inexpensive account that enables me to easily view my Loftek IP camera without messing around with finding what my dynamic IP home IP address has switched to.  With a camera app on my phone and other mobile devices, I can simply open up the app and always get a live view without having to go through any additional steps.

AT&T Instituting Bandwidth Caps for Residential DSL

I have had AT&T DSL for about 12 years now.  I’ve upgraded once, from a standard (all that they offered) plan to a top-level plan that promised us 10 mbps down and 6 mbps up.  Two years ago I dropped our landline and kept the DSL.  We have had minimal problems with our DSL here, while neighbors have ongoing problems with Charter.  The problems are primarily due to the fact that we have no overhead lines and everything is underground; Charter doesn’t know how to maintain underground lines, whereas AT&T has been using underground lines for decades.

At any rate, I’m a long-time and satisfied customer of AT&T DSL.  The limits being proposed go into effect May 2nd, and are capped at 150 gb per month.  I have a house full of computers and people who surf them, so of course I’m concerned about any kind of cap being imposed.  I also know that I have no idea how much we use every month, as I have no tool to tell me that information.  I called AT&T to ask a few questions.

My first question was, since I have a higher-level plan, will my cap be higher?  From a logical perspective, it would make sense that different levels of service would come with different levels of caps.  The guy across the street with the low-end plan could probably never download 150 gb in a month, out of the sheer lack of speed.  Someone like me could certainly hit that cap at some point, as I have a higher-speed connection and more users on my line.  The answer from AT&T?  The caps are the same regardless of your level of service.  AT&T currently offers four tiers of DSL service.  There’s a $15 plan, a $20 plan, a $30 plan (the one we have) and a $40 plan.  So other than a slight increase in speed, upgrading my plan will not give me any advantages.  Good to know, AT&T.

My second question was, how will I know if I’m using too much?  The charge for going over is another $10 for each 50 gb over, so the price isn’t horrifying, but still, I’d like to know if I’m going to get hit with a big bill.  AT&T is going to institute some tools on their website that will allow us to periodically check our usage, and they will also inform us if we are getting close to our limit.  This doesn’t tell me how much we’ve used in the past, but at least it’s a way for me to tell what we use in the future.

I’m opposed to any caps, of course, because it opens a door I’d rather not have opened.  Once a cap is in place, it is not going to be difficult to tighten that cap, throttling back the service we are paying for.  How long before they reduce the cap, or attach the caps to different service levels, thereby increasing prices for everyone?  As usual, AT&T is claiming that only 2% of their DSL subscribers ever reach that 150 gb limit.  I guess I’ll be finding out if I’m one of them.

GNC-2010-04-23 #569 Firing on all Cylinders!

Turned out we had a bad Audio card with my primary recording machine, went back to fire-wire for the audio recording. We announce the Roku winner tonight, but you need to listed to win as a new contest starts immediately. Two week road trip with a pit stop at home after week one. Meet Ups in your neck of the woods possible. Trip to Ford coming on Mid may looking forward to that and with a visit to the homestead.

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Listener Links:
School Insurer wants to Bail.
HP Remote Printing.
Diane Rehm Show and NASA Discussion.
56,000 Images.
iPad review by Vision Impaired Person!

Show Links:
I want my Pixels!
You Pay for Net but Should not Use it!
Cheaper Solar Panels coming?
Satellite issues Speeding Ticket.
The New $100.00 Dollar Bill.
Facebook Big Brother 2.0?
Opt Out of Privacy Invasion on Facebook.
How to turn off Mac Screen?
Apple Captures Japan Smartphone Market?
IT Managers want to Throttle McAfee.
Navigation from Google to iPhone.
YouTube Video Rental.
Amazon Sells More Stuff than Media.
Bitter Beer for Cows?
White House Opens up some code but not Legislation.
300 Mbps DSL.
Google Buys Chip Maker?
Microsoft has great Quarter.
Apple Dude offered free trip to Germany.
LHC gets it’s first Quark.
iPad helps 99yr old!
Civil Beat News Hawaii.
X37 Launches amongst Speculation.
Free Windows Touch 7 Pack.
$9.95 for Hulu plus Ads.
PS3 to get MLB.tv.
Hitler Parodies being targeted for takedown.
Our Sun in HD.

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Land Line Funeral

A recent article in the New York Times was trying to link the decline of landlines in homes as a result of a slowing economy. While it may be true that tighter home budgets pushed folks to trim the fat on things they don’t need, it is more to do with new technologies getting better. Cell phones are super popular choices for the main home phone with unlimited plans & shared minutes. Also skype and other VOIP services create a huge competitor to the old school home phones. I recently downgraded my alltel phone service to $40 from about $80. I only use it for the internet & I can still receive calls on the phone but it costs 10 cents a minute to call out. This has worked well but I wanted to reduce my cell bill also so I trimmed it down a bit also. But I have a daughter who shares minutes with me so I have to make sure I don’t go over on minutes. So last week I signed up for skype out which is only $2.95 per month! I can call any cell line or landline in the USA or Canada and I can get a wireless skype phone so I am not anchored to the laptop. I have not even checked into getting a skype number so people can call in to me. Why? First I can still use my home line & cell for that. More importantly without a number to call I don’t get bothered at home with people I do not want contacting me!

GNC-2007-11-30 #321

I catch you up on the latest info here at the new house, talk about podcasting and cover a pile of tech news.

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Listener Links:
Venus History
Water Solutions 1
Grey Watergator
Wet Wheelie
Java Promoting Open Office
Listener Opinion on Java and Open Office
Red Monday an Original Podcast Series

Show Notes:
Father of Podcasting Dave Winer’s take on Podcasting
Spammers Giving Up?
Use iPhone on Laptop
Be a Google Search Expert
EFF FInds Comcast Packet Shaping Trafic
MSNBC on EFF Comcast Findings
FBI Bot Roast II
Mobile Phone 3.3 Billion?
3G iPhone
Comcast Bandwidth in 2008
Warner Music Loosing Money
EMI to Slash RIAA Donation
Verizon going GSM
DSL Speed Growing Outside US
Digg Google Search
Cool Video Implementation
White Label RSS Aggregator
Netflix and NBC
Microsoft changes the iPod
P2P Traffic Increasing
Pay Per Post Bloggers Crying
ISS May Have Air Leak
Mars Rover Spotted
Hackers Hijack Search Results
NASA Outlines Mars Mission
Sprint Need No Money!

Gems I Found
Your Tax Dollars at Work
Extreme Data Recovery
Data Center Building

GNC-2007-09-11 #301

This is a monster show with a huge number of listener comments that I had to get caught up. This show is packed end to end with good info.

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Listener Links:
Go Green
Apple RingTones
SixApart iPhone Support
WallPaper Site
iPhone Racks Up Charges When OFF!
DSL Nightmare
Naval Air Podcast
Rare Todd Podcast
Time Travel
Invest In Time Travel?

Show Notes:
Firefox 400 Million downloads
Apple looking at 700mhz Auction
RIAA gets smacked by Judge on Boilerplate Lawsuits
iPhone Unlock Video
TechShop is totally Awesome!
Apple Cripples iPod Touch Calendar
Solar Powered Plane
iTunes 7.4.1 and RingTone Battles
$7000.00 Rebate for Apple Lisa Users :)
Windows Live Writer Review
Mahalo getting a lot of scrutiny
Banner Ad Trojans!
Search for Lost via Google Earth
AdBlock Plus Commentary
RIAA Facing first Jury Trial!
Cannon Hack to give RAW Images to most Cannon Cameras
Europe SeedCamp WInners
Adobe Online Image Editor Review
UAV Google Earth and Software equals cool things
ISP’s Ignoring Hacked Computers
Skype Worm
Mars Rovers on Move!
Technorati River of News
Thanks Michael

Drop Voice, Keep DSL

Verizon Communications will allow current customers in the Northeast U.S. to discontinue voice telephone service while keeping DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) broadband service. Telecommunication providers have been roundly criticized for requiring DSL subscribers to also maintain voice service, thereby limiting consumer choice.

Continue reading Drop Voice, Keep DSL