18 June 2011

bridging vs routing modems

Some of you out there may be wondering what the difference between a bridging modem and a routing modem is.

I am speaking of DSL modems in this article, for clarification.

A bridging modem acts as a network BRIDGE like its name implies. That is to say, it bridges the difference in protocols and routing policies used on your network with the ones used on your Internet Service Providers Network. It will only allow you to connect a single computer to the other network unless you have a router in place. However, it allows you more flexibility in internal networking, as you may more easily set up multiple routers and subnets. This type of modem is best reserved for the advanced or business user or if your ISP requires bridging encapsulation.

A routing modem is a modem with a router built in. It acts in the manner of an edge of service router. (on much smaller scale!) and acts as a network gateway to sorts out the differences between your network and your ISP's network by running some routing protocol designed to do so. (typically IGREP- Interior Gate routing protocol) to complement your ISP's running of typically Exterior Gateway Routing Protocol. It also handles connecting more then one device via a hub or switch by using Network Address Translation and Port Forwarding.

This is typically your most commonly used consumer modem, and the type I'd recommend if you just want to plug in and go online.

Both have their place however, and you'll generally know which kind you need.

Creative Commons License
bridging vs routing modems by Dylan DiSalle is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.
Based on a work at network-computer-info.blogspot.com

15 June 2011

When Ironworking met I.T.

Today, one of our techs, who has a diploma in metalworking, found a unique solution to mounting a hard drive rack into a proprietary Dell 5 1/2 inch bay. This particular machine was destined to be a server and was to have 3 terabyte 3.5'' drives mounted. The rack was blocked by two protrusions from the case, and had means of being secured to the chassis.

Our tech whipped out his multi tool, used skilled metalworking techniques to bend back the protrusions right at their base, placed the hard drive rack into the chassis. To secure the rack to the chassis, he used the same protrusions, bending them back and right over until they where flush with the bottom of the hard disk rack. That provided a solid mounting base for the rack and required no holes drilled or reamed and made the 5.5 inch bay usable for the 3.5 inch drives.

Truly an 'outside the box' solution, to fall back on iron working techniques for I.T. tasks, but also a great hardware hack that solved the issue in the minimum of time, no expense and with ease.

The idea we're trying to get across here is to always look at problems from other angles; very often one can find a solution from an 'non-related' field.

14 June 2011

A little reminder about something that left me connectless

So, I had gotten a new ADSL modem and was excited to install in. So I quickly pull the phone wire, the cat 6 that goes to my switch and the power and swap in the new one.

Silly me! I'm using point to point over Ethernet (PPPOE) and I did not have my password around. I tried the old modem, but had forgotten the password due to being unplugged.

I was screwed. I use an independent Internet Service provider, so no tech support to call.

Then I remembered I had the connection details in my email. So off to the Internet Cafe it was; to search my mail for the password. I did find it and set up my modem.One of these to be exact- TP-Link TD-8616 - DSL modem - external - Fast Ethernet - 24 Mbps .

Now I keep my PPPOE password in my wallet. (No not with my user-name, making it useless to anyone else) and I recommend that anyone keeps a piece of information needed to "bootstrap" a system written and handy, a lesson well learned.

I figured I'd share that tale as I install gentoo on a box...doing the tarball download.