There might be cases where you are testing your network and it would be useful to know if your ping command is working without having to keep an eye on your screen. Imagine being in a server room behind a switch, while your computer is somewhere else in the room: it would be great if you could hear some sound while ping is working, and no sound when ping stops working (so you know when you have disconnected the correct cable).
Configuring VLANs on NETGEAR ProSafe switches has never been a very pleasant experience for me. Maybe it’s because I am used to the Cisco way of doing it which, at the end of the day, feels way more intuitive to me even if you have to take some time at the beginning to understand and remember all the CLI commands.
NETGEAR’s GUI, however, is just plain confusing to me, and it took me quite a few tries to get it working. Part of the reason is because I might be stupid, of course, but I also think that NETGEAR’s horrible documentation and “support” should take at least some of the blame.
Also, I really don’t think it’s necessary to have a Basic and an Advanced way of adding VLANs. If you need to configure VLANs, I assume you know what you are doing, so why the hell should there be a Basic option? Just get rid of that crap and leave just one option.
Anyway, rant over, this is a guide on how to configure VLANs on a NETGEAR ProSafe switch. For this tutorial, I have used a ProSafe GS116Ev2 switch, but I assume every other switch in the same line will be very similar if not identical.
Powerline adapters are a pretty cool way to keep your network wired without having to run cables through the walls, particularly handy if you are renting your place (but even if you own the house and you don’t feel like doing this type of work).
Obviously, wiring the house would be the best choice, but when this is not possible, powerline adapters are a very good alternative, and probably still better than just connecting every device via Wi-Fi.
However, the performance of these adapters vary based on a lot of factors, from the distance between the adapters, the quality of your electrical system and, perhaps most importantly, where you decide to plug your adapters into.
Every powerline manufacturer recommends to plug them directly into a wall socket for maximum performance. You should avoid plugging them in anywhere else, including power strips or UPSs. If you do, they will likely still work, but you won’t get the maximum throughput supported.
I used to have a long ethernet cable running from my core switch in the office to the router in the other room, but since getting a dog who apparently loves to eat copper, I had to find an alternative. I removed the chewed ethernet cable and added two powerline adapters into my network, so it was a great opportunity to run some basic performance tests to see how positioning the adapters will affect the network speed. Here are the results.
I couldn’t help myself, I needed to write a short rant. I am using a Netgear GS116Ev2 switch as my core switch at the moment, and it works great when it works. When it doesn’t, it’s pretty stupid. Twice in the last week, while performing some changes to the configuration (and not even something big, I am talking about adding a VLAN) the switch became unresponsive and I had to restore to factory settings. Trying to find a support email is close to impossible, so that doesn’t help either. Getting a reply from their Twitter account looks even more difficult, they really seem not to give a fuck.
I was taking a look at the network configuration of one of my FreeNAS machines, and I noticed a few network interfaces that I did not immediately recognize, something I am sure I had not created manually myself. These interfaces are named bridge0, epair0a and epair1a.
I agree that I am not the typical home Internet user, so this complaint does not apply to 99% of ISP customers, but man, the remaining 1% should speak up. I absolutely hate when an ISP does not allow you to put their modem/router combo in bridge mode. Not that it’s something you cannot deal with anyway, but it’s annoying. And it’s not only a home vs business connection thing, in certain cases you are not allowed to put it in bridge mode ever.
Of course, this only applies to you if you want to use your own router instead of the one provided by your ISP, but I suspect this is becoming more common nowadays. Well, I actually suspect that most users decide to go for another modem/router combo, rather than a router alone, even when they are not happy with the ISP equipment, but still. Oh anyway, rant over, let’s move on to discussing how to deal with the biggest annoyance introduced by this: double NAT.