Networking

Why you can’t rely on redundant

Some months back I spoke about setting my friend and partner in crime up on a pfSense router. Part of the reason for doing this was that he had dual WAN links and we could put them into a redundant configuration. I stress now, this wasn’t the primary reason, more of an added bonus. It was therefore with some surprise that I got the following text message on Tuesday: And my internet is down My first thoughts were that there had either been a power cut or some muppet had put a digger through the BT wiring. So, away from…
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Review: Ubiquiti UAP-Pro

As I mentioned previously, I’ve said goodbye to Cisco and so has my partner-in-crime when it comes to all things technical. The only problem is where do you go from there with regards to wireless networking? Around the same time, Ars Technica did a review of the Ubiquiti UAP-AC range of access points. The AC range has two main problems though. Firstly, it’s not available in the UK at the moment. Secondly, it doesn’t yet support zero handoff roaming, which allows you to move between two separate access points without needing to reconnect. Given 802.11ac wasn’t a pressing requirement though,…
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Networking 2015: Hello pfSense

Having spoken previously about how I’m done with using Cisco for my networks, I now need a replacement. This has come in the form of pfSense. Given that it doesn’t have the name recognition of a brand like Cisco, perhaps some explanation is necessary. The fundamental element of networking is moving packets of information across physical networks. Once upon a time, this required specialist hardware that could move these packets quickly enough, giving companies such as Cisco their market. Today, commodity hardware is cheap and powerful enough that it can act as a network router. This is where software such…
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Networking 2015: Saying goodbye to Cisco

For the past five years I’ve been in a relationship that I’ve had no business getting involved with. That is, with Cisco networking equipment. Back in 2010, a friend decided to begin learning Cisco and to obtain his CCNA with a view to becoming a network engineer. Because I can’t resist fiddling with technology, I soon picked up enough to build networks, and eventually had built four of them using Cisco routers and switches. Unfortunately, there’s a  few downsides to using Cisco, which I’ll cover below. In part two of the Networking 2015 series, I’ll introduce the technology I’m replacing…
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It’s time to get cabled… What now?

Up until now, you’ve connected all your computers, games consoles, and mobile devices to your home network using Wi-Fi and all has been good with the world. Now though you find yourself wanting more from your network. Perhaps now is the time to invest in a good quality wired network (otherwise known as Structured Cabling). If so, you now have two choices: To pay somebody, usually an electrician an obscene amount of money to do it for you, or to break out the tools, follow this guide and do it for yourself. Before we go further, you need to know…
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BT Infinity on Cisco Router: Read This First!

BT Infinity – BT’s implementation of Fibre-To-The-Cabinet (FTTC) is great, especially when you compare it to standard broadband. Sadly the same cannot be said for their provided router (the HomeHub) which is useless, and happens to use your bandwidth to provide a publicly accessible hotspot for any pleb to come along and use. This guide will talk you through setting up a Cisco router to take the place of the HomeHub and teach you how to avoid some of the pitfalls that may otherwise blight your installation. First of all, you need to understand the hardware you have and what…
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Incorporating Cisco Equipment into Visio Drawings

Want to put Cisco network icons into your Visio document or Powerpoint? Want to model Cisco equipment in Visio but can’t be bothered to draw it out? Well don’t worry because Cisco has done it for you! They provide a range of icons for use in the Microsoft Office suite and some of them should also work in more rubbish office suites. You can find the symbols here and the Visio components here

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How I spend my weekends…

Anybody that visits this site on a regular basis will notice that I have not been posting much lately. The reason for this, aside from my laziness is that I have been working on another project with my partner-in-crime – Mitul Patel. This time we have been doing some more work on his parents mini-supermarket. This time there I have taken a series of photos to show the saga. This photo was taken in July 2010, almost two years ago to the day. At this point I had only known Mitul for a couple of months and he asked me…
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HowTo: Secure a Cisco Router

With a normal Home / Small Office type router, once you have got it connected, you set a password to log into the web interface and that’s about it for security. But what about with a Cisco Router. This guide covers how to protect a router from unauthorised modification or access to the settings. What it does not cover is securing the connections, which is a topic for another guide. This guide assumes that you are running a fairly current router and IOS and that it supports encryption. On my desk, I have a little Netgear router that I got…
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HowTo: Configue a Cisco Router for simple ADSL home networking

So you’ve taken the plunge and gone and bought yourself a Cisco router and now you want to hook it up to the phone line and use it instead of whatever router you currently use. When complete, your router will be able to assign IP addresses via DHCP and route to and from the internet. This tutorial does not cover security or advanced features. This tutorial will go through the basics of setting up an ADSL connection to a non-switching router. It assumes you are capable of basic configuration tasks. The configuration above was tested on a Cisco 2821 1024/256…
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