Archive for May, 2008

I didn’t even know I was gimped!

May 30, 2008

I’ve recently been engaged in upgrading my voice/data infrastructure here at the old compound.

In this part of New Hampshire, Comcast cable internet has a virtual monopoly. DSL has never been available here, not even in the nearby cities. Verizon has now sold northern New England telco operations to FairPoint. Considering how aged and irrelevant that infrastructure is, I think Verizon is playing it smart. 

Anyway, I’d been using an old Linksys WRT54G (with DD-WRT firmware) as my internet router since I moved back to NH. Last week I replaced this with a Netgate m1n1wall 2C3 (running pfSense). The Linksys is now acting as a wireless bridge only; routing and firewall functions are disabled.

Soon after installing the m1n1wall, while downloading software updates for my Mac, I noticed I was getting really great download rates. Today I got around to running a speed test:

Download Speed: 21863 kbps (2732.9 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 2566 kbps (320.8 KB/sec transfer rate)

This is at least 3x the best performance I’ve seen in the past. Now unless Comcast just did a stealth upgrade, it looks like I was bottlenecked on my firewall/router without ever suspecting it.

BTW, I do highly recommend the m1n1wall. This box draws very little power and performs well for the price. The out of box experience is more like an appliance and less like an embedded system. I didn’t have to do any disassembly or use the serial port to get things configured. That said, since I’m hooking up my new UPS right after I post this log entry, I’ll probably take a look inside the m1n1wall case while I’m at it.