Posts tagged ‘Ethernet’

As a follow up on my previous article with the WRT320N, here’s my journey for the WRT610N revision 2 (which is very similar, but has two radio’s).

Continue reading ‘Converting a WRT610N to dd-wrt’ »

Together with most of the internet, we tested IPv6 on World IPv6 day last week. I won’t go into details on what IPv6 is and why it’s important. Although IPv6 has been tested intensely in isolated networks, this is the first time it was tested on such a large scale. Technically, the participants would just add AAAA-records for their websites to DNS. This small change causes a huge effect. Since most browsers are configured to prefer IPv6 AAAA-records over IPv4 A-records, this causes all IPv6-connected users to suddenly connect over IPv6 instead of IPv4.

For the most part, this major changeover happened without as much of a hitch. In fact, if I hadn’t known it was World IPv6 day, I wouldn’t have noticed anything. But I’m not a normal web-user, so I did notice some issues.

Continue reading ‘World IPv6 day – lessons learned’ »

The new installs of Belgacom’s DSL internet connection are actually fairly descend. They provide a “b-box 2” which provides 2 wired 10/100base-T ports and an 802.11g access point. It consumes 10.1W of power once booted (21VA with a cosφ of .47, measured with 241Vac), which costs around €22/year at the current prices. The box has a built-in router which performs the PPPoE connection and does the NAT. While this setup is perfectly fine for a regular setup, obviously I wanted something more…

Continue reading ‘Getting a public IPv4 address with Belgacom’s BBox-2’ »

I bought myself a new WiFi router. When in the shop, I specifically searched for a router that is supported by dd-wrt, and has (at least) 8MB of flash. I settled for the Linksys WRT320N: it has a dual band (switchable between 2.4GHz and 5GHz, not simultaneous) 802.11a/b/g/n radio, a 4 port GbE switch, and a WAN port. It houses a Broadcom BC4717 processor running at 354MHz, 8MB of flash and 32MB of RAM.

The default Linksys firmware is actually not bad, but dd-wrt just offers a ton more features: Multiple SSIDs, IPv6 support (including Sixxs tunneling), WAN volume monitoring, custom firewalling, traffic shaping, … So I decided to void my warranty and put my router on steroids! Mandatory note: this may very well turn your router in to a very expensive brick.

Continue reading ‘Converting a WRT320N to dd-wrt’ »

TBF or Token Bucket Filter is a tool from the linux kernel. It can be inserted as a “queueing discipline” for an Ethernet device. TBF is usually employed to limit the bandwidth.

I tried to configure TBF on my Ubuntu 9.10 VMware box, but I got disappointing results: I only got around 100kbps, no matter what I configured. I tried the same setup on a physical server, with the same results.

Continue reading ‘How to get TBF back to work’ »

In 10BASE-T, the Manchester-encoding guaranteed that the line would stay “active” with transitions. 100BASE-TX uses a different approach. This is done by translating every nibble (4bit) block into a 5bit block (4B5B coding). These 5bit blocks are specially designed to have the necessary transitions build in, while only adding 20% overhead, compared to 100% in the Manchester case. The official code-table can be found on page 144 of section 2 of the 802.3 standard [local copy].

100BASE-TX requires UTP cables of Cat5 or higher and utilizes 1 pair for Tx and 1 pair for Rx.

Continue reading ‘Ethernet – 100base-TX’ »

10base-T is the oldest Ethernet standard that runs over regular twisted pair cable. 10base-T requires UTP cables of Cat3 or higher, with a total length of maximum 100m. I wanted to figure out if you can generate “hard” packets for Ethernet; packets that somehow may expose problems in the hardware: signals with DC offsets, high frequency signals, low frequency signals, signals where the clock might be hard to track, … This post describes the journey of an ethernet frame from memory to wire.

Continue reading ‘Ethernet – 10base-T’ »

When looking for documentation on Ethernet, one can easily find that the frame includes a Frame Check Sequence. This is a bunch of bits that allow the receiver to verify the frame. If the frame somehow got corrupted on its way from sender to receiver, the FCS will not match the frame data and the receiver will discard the corrupt frame. Exactly how this FCS is calculated is not that easy to find.

Continue reading ‘Ethernet – The FCS’ »

When doing some network engineering, it’s sometimes necessary to tunnel across IP-clouds. There are multiple reasons why one would use a tunnel:

  • Security: You don’t want the carrier-network to see your data
  • IP conflicts and/or routing issues: You want to carry private IP addresses (eg in IPv4) across a public segment (eg the Internet)
  • Workarounds: for whatever reason you whised that there was a connection between A and B

Technically, a tunnel consists of taking a bunch of bytes and re-packaging it. The well knows GRE-tunnel takes IP packets and encapsulates them in another IP packet. The outer IP-layer is used to carry the packet across to the other endpoint, where the inner IP-layer reappears. Other tunnels operate at different layers. SSH for example encapsulates TCP segments inside its TCP-connection; SSL-based VPN encapsulate IP packets inside their TLS-session.

Especially in the third case, workarounds, it would be very practical to be able to build a layer 2 tunnel: transport raw ethernet frames, including IEEE802.1q VLAN tags. This is called the L2TP, Layer 2 tunneling protocol. The current version (3) is defined in RFC 3931.

Continue reading ‘Ethernet over IP (L2TP) on Cisco’ »