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berend

58 posts

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#93464 22-Nov-2011 09:05
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Hi Guys,

As there is no other OS forum, let me post the question here: does anyone have experience with an ADSL2+ PCI card that works under FreeBSD?

I get a bit sick of unreliable ADSL2+ modems (even running in half-bridge) that lock up every month or so (yes, it's an RTA1320). And yes, they're cheap to replace, but reliability is an issue. They tend to lock up every 2 months or so.

I just want something I can control from FreeBSD (8.2) as my server never locks up and I just get really tired of being away from my server and having to call someone to reset the modem.

Thanks,

Berend. 

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muppet
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  #548256 22-Nov-2011 09:25
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@Berend

You're probably better off asking the FreeBSD guys. Especially because they'll know what hardware is well supported and what isn't. As much as I love FreeBSD, I don't think you'll find too many recent ADSL2 cards that are well supported.

That's purely person opinion though and may be a very long way from the truth!

(The way I handle reliability problems is to have a timer that resets the modem at 5:30am every sunday morning. A cheap electronic timer will do the trick.)

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berend

58 posts

Master Geek


  #548262 22-Nov-2011 09:37
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To answer my own qestion, I might have found a well-supported card: Viking PCI 1-port ADSL2+ Modem.

Can only get it in Aussie for 150 AUD it appears. 

Ragnor
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  #548688 22-Nov-2011 23:55
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berend: Viking PCI 1-port ADSL2+ Modem.



This ^ but I would highly suggest you take a look at the Draytek Vigor 120 which you can get for $90-$100.



berend

58 posts

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  #548715 23-Nov-2011 07:09
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I assume that modem can run in half-bridge mode?

Zeon
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  #548716 23-Nov-2011 07:22
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There are very few ADSL2 PCI cards and for those that there are, they probably aren't telepermitted.

The vigor 120 is a full bridge modem so it basically converts the adsl into a normal 100baseTX interface




Speedtest 2019-10-14


PANiCnz
875 posts

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  #548717 23-Nov-2011 07:24
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I looked into this a while back, the viking is the only real option and even then it still runs in half bridge mode, its not the most elegant setup.

Agree with Ragnor, look into the Vigor 120 and its PPPoA to PPPoE bridge.

berend

58 posts

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  #548739 23-Nov-2011 08:45
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Agree with Ragnor, look into the Vigor 120 and its PPPoA to PPPoE bridge.


Hmm, wouldn't that introduce another layer of complexity in my network? I.e. another NAT layer, QoS issues, another complex device, another setup. I like to have a brain-dead modem and control everything else myself. 



PANiCnz
875 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #548996 23-Nov-2011 17:57
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berend:
Agree with Ragnor, look into the Vigor 120 and its PPPoA to PPPoE bridge.


Hmm, wouldn't that introduce another layer of complexity in my network? I.e. another NAT layer, QoS issues, another complex device, another setup. I like to have a brain-dead modem and control everything else myself. 

Quite the opposite, because the modem is connecting to the router using PPPoE it does less work than the more common half-bridge setups. For example all user credentials are entered at the router and it uses the modem to establish the connection. Ragnor can probably explain it better.

heydonms
27 posts

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  #553496 4-Dec-2011 14:31
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Panic: are you sure you mean PPPo* and just "ATM" and "ethernet"?

Typically a straight ADSL modem will act as an ATM to Ethernet bridge, and it is then the responsibility of the device on the ethernet side to establish the PPP link.

 A device doing PPPoA to Ethernet is typically called a half bridge. I've never heard of a device doing PPPoA to PPPoE bridging, and while I'm sure it's possible I can't imagine why you would want to.

PANiCnz
875 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #553528 4-Dec-2011 15:32
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heydonms: Panic: are you sure you mean PPPo* and just "ATM" and "ethernet"?

Typically a straight ADSL modem will act as an ATM to Ethernet bridge, and it is then the responsibility of the device on the ethernet side to establish the PPP link.

 A device doing PPPoA to Ethernet is typically called a half bridge. I've never heard of a device doing PPPoA to PPPoE bridging, and while I'm sure it's possible I can't imagine why you would want to.

The Vigor 120 does a PPPoE to PPPoA bridge, allows you to do a full bridge and not half bridge. Its the whole selling point of the modem. Particular valuable here in NZ.

berend

58 posts

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  #553921 5-Dec-2011 10:37
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Why is PPPoE valuable? It's more overhead. Go straight on PPPoA saves bits.

Ragnor
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  #553943 5-Dec-2011 11:27
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berend: Why is PPPoE valuable? It's more overhead. Go straight on PPPoA saves bits.


The backhaul network is ethernet these days, there is practically no performance difference in having PPPoA > Ethernet vs PPPoE > PPPoA > Ethernet.

If you can get a PCI ADSL2+ card for a reasonable price that has Free BSD support, great go for it. One less device to run.  

I would warn you that older modem chipsets seem to have trouble working with the newer IKANOS line cards Telecom Wholesale/Chorus have used in all new cabinets and exchange upgrades, hopefully won't be a problem but you'd have to try it to find out for sure.


Assuming you don't get a PCI card, your options are:

Linksys AM300:
-  Does PPPoA half bridge via dhcp spoofing, implementation is slightly different to ip extension but generally does the job.
- Discontinued model and is cost prohibitive to buy new now.

Dynalink 1320: 
- ip extension via dhcp spoofing
- Discontinued model  and is cost prohibitive to buy new now, you can probably get one off trademe for $20 though due to the amount of them ISP's gave out in the past.
- Well known for overheating issues, often becomes temperamental or fails within 1-2 years of usage. 
- There are newer 1320E and 1320v6 models now but I haven't heard of anyone trying them in half bridge and people were largely put off the model by the overheating issues.

TP Link TD-8840:
- ip extension via dhcp spoofing
 You can get one new for - Hardware is similar (slightly newer chipset) to the Dynalink
- Firmware is similar (basically broadcom OEM firmware that has been skinned/customised)
- Runs nice and cool, better case design and (I think) heatsinks.

Draytek Vigor 120:
- PPPoA to PPPoE pass-through/bridging
- You can get one new for

About Half bridge:
There is an old but good article explaining what half bridge actually does here:
http://wlug.org.nz/Half%20bridge%20with%20PPPoA

It is a hack ^ but a cool one that does work.

The main advantage of what the Draytek Vigor 120 offers is that your other router (free bsd in your case) controls the modem connection (via PPPoE client), ie: it triggers the modem to connect and knows when it's down straight away. It does not rely on DHCP leases renewing to pickup changes.

In half bridge (with a separate modem as opposed to a PCI card) if/when the connection goes down your router (free bsd) doesn't know it's down and won't pickup a change until the DHCP lease renews.  Also the half bridge device will give a LAN ip address to your routers WAN interfance if the connection is down which may not be desireable.

So long story short, if you can't get PCI card either option will do the job.

You're looking at $30 difference between half bridge (TP Link TD 8840) and full bridge (Draytek Vigor 120) at new prices.

Hope that helps.

PANiCnz
875 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #554186 5-Dec-2011 18:38
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I swapped from the 8840 to a 1320v6 recently, best decision ever. The DHCP lease time is hardcoded into the 8840 and can't be changed. Thus when the modem resets the router waits forever before obtaining the new IP, a number of the router OS I've used don't offer an easy way to reassign the WAN IP so needed to reboot the router.

I've used the original 1320's before and the 1320v6 is a marked improvement, if you're going to ponie up the cash for a 8840 spend the bit extra for a Vigor 120.

My 8840 also cooked itself in about the same time as a 1320, had misplaced the receipt unfortunately.

berend

58 posts

Master Geek


  #554219 5-Dec-2011 19:50
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Is that the 1320E version? I.e. the black modem? Have them too, and they fail on me as well. I usually buy them 2nd hand so no clue what the previous owner has done to them, but I had a 1320E that worked well for 2.5 months, and then started to develop problems. Swapped it for another one which seems to be OK so far (12 hours up time), but I get just sick of needing to have a spare set of modems to swap every year or so.

If not the 1320E, what does the v6 stand for? 

Ragnor
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  #554247 5-Dec-2011 21:05
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berend: Is that the 1320E version? I.e. the black modem? Have them too, and they fail on me as well. I usually buy them 2nd hand so no clue what the previous owner has done to them, but I had a 1320E that worked well for 2.5 months, and then started to develop problems. Swapped it for another one which seems to be OK so far (12 hours up time), but I get just sick of needing to have a spare set of modems to swap every year or so.

If not the 1320E, what does the v6 stand for? 


1320E and 1320v6 are different, the v6 stands for ipv6 support.

Doesn't look like they've changed the casing much, would have to crack it open too see if they are still using cheap capacitors and whether they have a heatsink on the cpu.

Call me cynical I doubt they have fixed the underlying problem and would put money on them having the same overheating problem.

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