3.8.04

I was gonna post last night about my first week of wireless broadband surfing --- but it was precisely after I clicked 'Create a new post' that my broadband connection decided it was not going to play nice with my desktop. Half an hour on the phone with Starhub yielded no tech support, since the "customer care consultant" who picked up my call turned out to have zero experience with wireless networks and promised that someone would call me back right away if possible. If she didn't have a nicer voice, and I hadn't been wearied by a half hour of waiting on hold, I'm pretty sure I would've yelled at her rather than meekly accepting my situation as it was (I'm such a Singaporean sometimes). As it is, they owe me a reply to a less urgent query that I emailed them Sunday night, but about which I haven't heard beyond an autoreply acknowledgement yet.

This is turning strangely ranty, though I don't actually feel pissed off.

Neways, Terz gets home, pops open his Powerbook and voilà! He's got the Internet. My desktop --- still no Internet. Even when I'd used an Ethernet cable to plug in the work laptop earlier --- no signal. (Modem & router working, Internet apparently working, just that these computers seemed unable to find it after connecting to the router.) Terz finishes checking his email and insists I try again. So I do.

And there it is in all its glory: the damn Internet my computer'd been hunting for since 9:45 pm.

It was almost midnight then, I'd overdosed on Alias, and I didn't want to get sucked into a late night of blogging and web surfing, since I actually have, like, y'know, work to do first thing at work today. I also decided not to antagonize the connection by bragging about it right away.

This morning, it seems to be behaving. Just to be on the same side, I'll shelve my "first week of wireless" post to next week. We'll call it a two-week anniversary. Check back then.

7 Comments:

At 8/03/2004 9:43 am , Blogger Neil said...

If this happens if future I recommend doing the following (in order):

Shut down cable modem
Shut down wireless router
Shut down Computer

Start Cable modem - wait for all lights to come on (so your modem has an IP address and is connected)
Start Wireless Router - wait for all lights to come on
Start Computer

If it still doesnt work, open up a browser window and goto http://192.168.0.1 - this should give the HTML page for your router - if it doesn't then do a start->run-> and type cmd (or command)

Then type ipconfig /renew

This should refresh your IP on your PC

 
At 8/03/2004 5:13 pm , Blogger Tym said...

But Terz said that if we lose the modem signal, it's a real chore to reboot and reinstall the wireless connection --- so I wasn't planning to do so wilfully.

However, I will note your plenty helpful advice --- although I should probably print it out so that I have it in hard copy if *fingers crossed* this happens again.

 
At 8/03/2004 5:45 pm , Blogger Neil said...

It happens to me about once a month - I do the above and everything works. No need to reinstall anything - in fact, apart from drivers for your wireless card there shouldn't be anything to install at all in a wireless network.

Maybe he means configuration? Even so - you don't lose it when you power down the wireless router - it is store in memory, which is powered by a small 1.5v battery.

Trust me. I dabble, I mean work in IT!

 
At 8/03/2004 6:50 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you guys have made the SSID invisible and turned on MAC addressing, and WEP encryption. You don't want your neighbours piggybacking your network and getting free cable or worse, snooping around in your network.

-mb

P.S. Welcome to wireless broadband. It is better than sliced bread.

 
At 8/03/2004 10:51 pm , Blogger Agagooga said...

Oddly enough, my wireless connection in NUS today was spotty, despite my following instructions on the paper. Must wait for the official wireless "how to" session...

Heh I piggybacked on some anonymous neighbour's connection at home just now. How do you view files in unsecured networks anyway? Not that I want to do that, mind you, I just want to share the wealth without sharing my files (if at all possible)!

 
At 8/04/2004 9:11 am , Blogger Neil said...

To view other peoples crap on a network install something like Network Stumbler first. This will allow you to look for SSIDs that are being broadcast. Then simply join that network and use ethereal to view packets that are on the network.

FYI - even if you use WEP the network is not really that secure. If I can catch packets on teh network, given about one week of processor time I can generally work out the WEP key. Even if you limit connections by MAC address (that is nothing to do with Apple - all network adapters have a unique ID called a MAC) you can still be hacked. All the person needs to do is sniff one packet of data to find your MAC address and then spoof it. If you hide your SSID then you are safer, but still not 100%. The basic rule is.....

Wireless is fun, but poorly designed. If you need 100% security don't use it. However, if the site you are looking at is secure (e.g. DBS which is 128 bit SSL), then you are still safe. It is just for unencrypted browsing/mail/network actitivity that wireless is not 100% safe.

BTW - you are still pretty safe unless you happen to live next door, above or below a pretty determined hacker/IT professional

 
At 8/05/2004 6:19 pm , Blogger Tym said...

Like you, Mr B :)

 

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