STATIC DISCLAIMER: All the stuff in here is purely my opinions, and they tend to change depending on what mood I'm in. If you're going to get bitter if I say something about you that you don't like, then maybe don't read. I avoid using names as much as possible, and would request that people who know me do the same in their comments. Basically, I often vent my frustrations on here, so if you happen to be someone who frustrates me, expect to read a description of someone very much like you in here!

Monday, February 12, 2007

My ISP is t3h suxx0r.

So I'm at work today, like most days, and I fire up Internet Explorer which opens about half a dozen tabs of my selected homepages. Two of these, are mailboxes on my mail server at home. Running my own mail server means that if I change ISP, I don't need to change my email address, and that is a good, good thing. So anyway, I'm greeted with that "friendly" screen that indicates the server could not be contacted, and assume the problem must be the connection at home. Every now and then, the connection will drop out and I'll need to tell it to reconnect. No biggy, I'll give my wife a call and we'll get it sorted...

When I call my wife, I learn that she's had no internet all morning, and is quite keen for me to resolve it. So we reboot the modem, and everything comes up as it should, but still no internet access for her, and no mail for me. What's going on?

So I do a tracert to my home server's IP, and what do I find? Please observe:

Tracing route to []over a maximum of 30 hops:
1 1 ms 1 ms 1 ms

2 1 ms 2 ms 2 ms
3 2 ms 8 ms
4 4 ms 4 ms 4 ms
5 255 ms 315 ms 343 ms []
6 12 ms 11 ms 11 ms []
7 11 ms 11 ms 11 ms []
8 13 ms 11 ms 28 ms []
9 20 ms 25 ms 31 ms []
10 13 ms 17 ms 13 ms
11 14 ms 15 ms 20 ms []
12 19 ms 16 ms 15 ms []
13 18 ms 15 ms 15 ms []
14 79 ms 49 ms 54 ms []
15 19 ms 21 ms 18 ms []
16 18 ms 15 ms 19 ms []
17 24 ms 16 ms 25 ms []
18 37 ms 42 ms 42 ms []
19 23 ms 21 ms 19 ms []
20 24 ms 21 ms 23 ms []
21 25 ms 48 ms 97 ms []
22 205 ms 133 ms 130 ms []
23 32 ms 29 ms 27 ms []
24 25 ms 21 ms 27 ms []
25 27 ms 26 ms 30 ms []
26 21 ms 23 ms 22 ms []
27 36 ms 26 ms 26 ms []
28 21 ms 38 ms 24 ms []
29 23 ms 21 ms 30 ms []
30 41 ms 24 ms 24 ms []
Trace complete.

For the slightly less tech savvy amongst us, let me explain that what you're looking at is the path taken across the internet from me at work to my computer at home. This path should jump from point to point until it reaches my home PC. However, if you look at line 13, and then line 15, and then line 17, etc. etc. you'll notice that they're the same. Also, lines 14, 16, 18, etc. are all the same. And then right down at line 30 - does that look like the address I asked it to get to? Ah, no. Why? Because after it goes past 30 hops, it gives up in disgust.

What does this mean? It means my craphouse ISP whom I won't mention by name (*cough*) have pointed two routers at each other and said to Router A:
"If you're trying to get to Justin's PC, go to Router B"

and then turned to Router B and said:
"If you're trying to get to Justin's PC, go to Router A".

Have you ever been in a public toilet cubicle, and read on one wall "Toilet Tennis: Look other side", and then turned and looked at the other wall, only to find the words "Toilet Tennis: Look other side"?? No?? Well, you're missing out. But basically, that's what's going on here.

Sound intelligent? Yes well - this from a provider who when I first signed up had their mail server blacklisted by Bigpond for being a spam relay. I emailed to let them know and they fixed it, but... that's just BAD. At the time, they were on half a dozen other well-known DNSBL servers as well.

Anyway - the moral of the story is less of a moral and more of a cry for help. I NEEEEEED a decent internet provider who will give me unlimited 512kbps ADSL for a flat monthly rate. Dodo had crap customer service, and this new provider is slow, and breaks regularly. And I don't like them. I have a suspicion they use Macs, and that alone would cause me to run screaming away from them at the speed of light. People who use Macs shouldn't run ISPs.

'Nuf said. Hopefully by the time this posts, my connection will be back up. I don't think I'll hold my breath...


Anonymous said...

If you mean Optus, they did use Macs, but have now mostly finished an upgrade to PCs. Yes, I agree with you - it was an upgrade.

Justin Warner said...

Nah, not Optus. SuperNerd is the ISP in question, and their site's URL is in the post immediately after I say I won't mention them by name. ;)

Nathan Zamprogno said...

If you are genuinely working from home then your employer should pay for your broadband access. Mine does. And so, in that case, you can sweat a little less blood about paying $50 instead of $19.95 per month for it. I am with iiNet, fwiw.

Justin Warner said...

Working from home is considered to be somewhat of a privillage, and thus if I want to continue doing that, I need to provide my own broadband access.

As for cost, I'm currently paying $60 a month for true unlimited 512kbps ADSL. I'm finding it hard to find another provider who does truely unlimited plans anymore (ie: not shaped, and no excess d/l charges). I'll have a look at iiNet though...

Tam said...

Briefly viewing iiNet's plans and pricing etc, they seem awfully expensive without providing much in the way of bandwidth...

Luke said...

Why don't you give internode a whirl.
I think you'll like it!

Justin Warner said...

Just in follow up for all that commented: About a week before I made this post, one of my ISPs upstream providers had gone into liquidation and so they'd reconfig'd their network. Not only that, but it appears support calls are now handled by AINS rather then Supernerd staff (this is good, because their staff really sucked). So given that sudden large network changes may give rise to unusual problems like the one mentioned in this post, I'm going to give the "new and different" Supernerd a bit of time and then reassess whether I still need to change. Given that there is no well known provider offering unlimited plans, it might be much of a muchness if I was to change to another unknown provider.

Also, I've done some statistics, and found that my average monthly useage is about 20Gb. So a plan shaped at say 30Gb at the same speed (512/128) would probably be adequate. Too bad most providers seem to cap at 20Gb for plans at the $60 pricepoint.