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Topic # 93585 24-Nov-2011 12:50

I'm looking to see if I can construct/configure a network setup that will still allow Internet connectivity (albeit via dial-up) when my broadband connection is down.

Currently have a Linksys WAG54G2 modem/router as the central point of a network. On occasions (not often, admittedly) we 'lose' our broadband connection - although not at the physical level; the associated phone line works just fine.

Under these conditions, currently, one user fires up the dialup modem on their laptop and we take turns as needed to use the Internet. Hardly effective.

My thoughts were to leverage the Internet Connection Sharing function of that laptop and have the router "point" to the IP address of the laptop and effectively on-share that connection. By keeping the router as part of the mix, things like DHCP aren't impacted on the rest of the network.

I was looking at the Static and Dynamic routing options in the Linksys unit and trying to route traffic to the IP address of the laptop - but my knowledge in this area is minimal and despite some 'Googling' couldn't find a solution (most normally presented as communicating between different LAN segments) that I could 'convert' to my scenario.

First question - is this even possible? Or is the Linksys unit always going to be focussed on passing traffic through the broadband connection?

Or is there a better/different way that the same outcome may be achieved?

Many thanks for any assistance. 


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  Reply # 549379 24-Nov-2011 12:58
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Have you considered having failover to mobile broadband instead? Speed would be superior to dialup, and lots of modems have 3G backup options. Unless your data usage was going to be sky high, then it wouldn?t be al that expensive.

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  Reply # 549391 24-Nov-2011 13:15
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NonprayingMantis:
Have you considered having failover to mobile broadband instead? Speed would be superior to dialup, and lots of modems have 3G backup options. Unless your data usage was going to be sky high, then it wouldn?t be al that expensive.

Was about to say the same thing. We have Netgear routers in stock that do this (fall back to 3G)



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  Reply # 549404 24-Nov-2011 13:34

Many thanks NonprayingMantis and garvani.

Indeed my 2nd option is to do that (guess I should have said that in the initial post...).

However I was just trying to do something that wouldn't cost anything. The broadband account comes with free dial-up hours per month and we would be leveraging existing technology.

Also, the 3G sticks all seem to have time-limited data bundles which sod's law says I won't need within that time and then need to go to the per-MB rate.

I'll press on down my dial-up track for a little bit and see what happens - but I certainly appreciate your input very much.

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  Reply # 549405 24-Nov-2011 13:35
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Have a look at PFsense. It can do this with either 3g or dial up (or a mixture of both). I have a spare PC and dial up modem you could use.





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  Reply # 549408 24-Nov-2011 13:41
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Yes if you were to go down the dialup modem route it would have to be routed through a pc. you should be able to setup internet sharing on one of the pc's then all traffic would be routed through that pc (what happens is the dialup pc becomes 192.168.1.1 and the other pc's use this as there default gateway). Its not going to happen automatically though.
I remember back in my hayday of 56k modem sharing, were talking 1998 here, all my mates used to come around with there pc's and we would sit there for hours playing doom, c&c, dark reign networked most of the time but then came the internet, there was a program called ishare that would share the dialup connection, 56k shared between 5 people was not pretty but broadband was still a few years off then so we didn't know any better!

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  Reply # 549412 24-Nov-2011 13:44
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CaffeineFixx: Many thanks NonprayingMantis and garvani.

Indeed my 2nd option is to do that (guess I should have said that in the initial post...).

However I was just trying to do something that wouldn't cost anything. The broadband account comes with free dial-up hours per month and we would be leveraging existing technology.

Also, the 3G sticks all seem to have time-limited data bundles which sod's law says I won't need within that time and then need to go to the per-MB rate.

I'll press on down my dial-up track for a little bit and see what happens - but I certainly appreciate your input very much.


What you would need to do is buy a prepay one.  Yes, the initial chunk of ‘free’ data would probably expire, but then as long as you kept it at zero balance until it was needed and just bought a plan when your broadband was down you wouldn’t need to pay any monthly fees.



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  Reply # 549432 24-Nov-2011 14:32

Zeon:

Thank you for tour suggestion. I must admit I hadn't really considered the possibility of a software-based solutions as an option. I have taken a quick look at PFsense - what a mass of functionality. I'll need to do some more investigation on this.  Your offer of the use of your gear to see how it works is above-and-beyond the call - and is very much appreciated. I may well take you up on that.

garvani:

Thanks for your reassurance that in the slightly lower-tech days of yesteryear these types of network 'connections' were used. I'm sure there is a way...

NonprayingMantis:

A great suggestion on how to best utilise the 3G cards to minimise costs - many thanks for your input.

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  Reply # 549448 24-Nov-2011 15:25
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I used to have a sub 1.44MB Linux distro that would boot and run off a 3.5" floppy that could achieve this.

If I can remember the name of it, and you have a 386SX 25MHz or better computer....







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  Reply # 549449 24-Nov-2011 15:27
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IT STILL EXISTS!!

http://www.freesco.org/index.php?id=o

Hardware requirements have shot up though, so you might find it tough to meet them.

Minimum install requires a 486sx with 12mb of ram. 16+mb of ram is recommended for enabling servers
Modes of operation. ethernet, dialup, leased, bridge, RAS, Printer server. Some of these modes can run at the same time as well as switching between dialup and ethernt modes
2.0.39 Linux kernel
Support for up to ten networks cards
Support for up to ten printer queues
Support for up to ten modems, although only four regular modems. Support includes Unix 4 or 8 port modems
FREESCO v.0.3.x can run entirely from ram. This requires at least 16+MB
FREESCO v0.3.x can run up to 16MB of packages with ramdisks enabled on a floppy install
Ident, DHCP, DNS, Print, SSH, FTP, HTTP servers
RAS (Remote Access Server) for dialin and nullmodem connections
PPPoE, and PPtP clients
Support for Dynamic DNS, Zonedit, DHS, Loopia, and Domain-dns as well as a unsupported dynamic DNS clients that can be configured as you need it.
Limited support for SCSI hard drives
FREESCO v0.3.x can be installed on any FAT 16/32 IDE drive on the primary or secondary controller and the primary or secondary drive
There is an official ext2 package, built into the advanced package menu, for formatting and installing FREESCO from the floppy to create an ext2 installation on a hard drive.
The specially modified 2.0.39 Linux kernel has an increased masq table and the icmp leak patch for security as well as many other patches to enhance it's abilities.
ISA PnP so network cards and PnP modems can be configured.







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  Reply # 549450 24-Nov-2011 15:31
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Some kiwis on the retired developers list too...

http://www.freesco.org/index.php?id=t

One of these boxes ran my home network a long time ago, before flat rate dialup was even a twinkle in NZs eyes.









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  Reply # 549451 24-Nov-2011 15:37

Many thanks Tony.

Geez - I think I used my last 486 as a boat anchor. More fool me, eh?

Not really as au fait with linux as I should be in this day and age - but this looks like an ideal opportunity to brush up my skills with two alternatives in the offing.

I really appreciate you taking the time to suggest this alternative.

Paul

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  Reply # 549453 24-Nov-2011 15:46
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My option is pretty nostalgic, but if you can do it, and find it works with little mucking about, then great.

But honestly - 3G failover built into a router (several choices, 3G built in, or USB ports to accept t-sticks etc) is the way to go...







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  Reply # 549472 24-Nov-2011 16:16
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It sounds like you live in a house of young professionals or students.. Do at least one of you have a smartphone that can act as a wireless hotspot?



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  Reply # 549810 25-Nov-2011 09:54

Thanks for your comments  - everyone!

Although many have assisted in providing suggestions on how to make dial-up work, pretty much everyone has said going for a 3G solution is just simpler - and I agree.

So if I change tack and ask for your further help for any recommendations that you may have in this area. If I'm doing this I want to make sure any unit purchased has everything on my "wish-list":

- ADSL2+ modem included
- Wireless (802.11g is OK, if it does 802.11n then even better)
- VPN server (PPTP endpoint) - 5 tunnels is the target, any more would be overkill
- WAN auto-failover to 3G

I've worked with one of the Draytek Vigor 2820 series units in the past which certainly covers this set nicely - but are there any other recommendations.

Thanks in advance,
Paul

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  Reply # 549823 25-Nov-2011 10:04
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Another option is to get an Apple Airport Extreme (Snow or Graphite). Produced about 10 years ago, they are a wireless router with built in dialup. Dialup can be set to be always-on or on-demand (when the device is switched on). The router and wireless probably arent up to much for these days everyday demands (so you wouldnt want to use it as an everyday router), but it will happily share dialup over your network (whether you are happy with dialup is a different question!)

Im not sure how you would integrate this into your network for auto switchover, the simplest would just be to swap it out for your broadband router, and set your devices to reapply for a dhcp address.

E.g. http://www.trademe.co.nz/computers/apple/peripherals/auction-425117184.htm

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