Sky broadband

I moved my broadband over to Sky earlier this year and took out a phone line, I had no phone line before as I used Virgins medium cable internet service. The move actually gave me a landline with free evening and weekend calls for just £1pcm more, as well as a few nice features and some problems.

My Sky broadband is currently sync’d down at 14791 and up at 766, this does change a bit but I do generally get atleast 13.5Mbit down. The latency on the line is almost double that of the Virgin cable service at a touch > 40ms, which I’m starting to notice now playing on xbox live. One big advantage over Virgin’s service is the lack of traffic shaping, I can actually watch an hour long episode on the BBC IPlayer HD and not have it throttled at 50mins and unplayable.

The IP allocation is dynamic, but it doesnt even seem to cache the lease, so its a new IP every time you breathe on the router. The dynamic IP was something I didnt really consider when I changed from Virgin, as although Virgin’s service is also dynamic it did cache and infact I never had a different IP!

I ended up using the dyndns feature in the Sky router and using my domain registra’s dns service to cname my domains to the dyndns account, this seems to work quite well. I even use my domain registra’s email forwarding as a backup mx, so if for some reason the direct smtp connection to my mail server fails the mail is forwarded to my Sky mail account and can be retreived from there at a later date.

My main gripe at the moment is the flakey firmware in their rebranded Dlink dg834v2, the router is based around gnu linux and as such should be very capable, which just adds to the frustration. I have on 2 occasions had the port forwarding rules stop working, which then start working again as I re-apply, with no changes. When a config backup is run not everything is backed up, custom services are ignored and as such port forwarding rules using these will need to be re-written.

I mentioned before that I run a few services from home, when I first setup the router I found it does no source natting on internal traffic to the external address. When I hit mjleonard.me.uk from my internal network I get the routers admin panel, since possibly the last backup and restore it is now forwarding this traffic back to my webserver, I have checked the logs and the traffic is coming from the routers internal address so it is now source natting?!

To add yet more confusion the router is not doing this for every port forward rule, it appears to be just tcp/80. I will get around to investigating the inconsistancies of this router soon, I am still watching the openwrt forums in the hope the dsl side of this router becomes better supported.

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