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  Reply # 549836 25-Nov-2011 10:21
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Is this for home, or for a business? If it's for home is it really that critical? Just buy a book. If it's for business and is really that critical then a robust solution is probably more important, the 3G should address that.

AWS Certified Solution Architect Professional, Sysop Administrator Associate, and Developer Associate
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  Reply # 549845 25-Nov-2011 10:59

Thanks for your input Timmmay.

Confirming that this is for a small business. The owners are old-school and felt that a low-cost (read next-to-nothing) dial-up solution would suffice - hence their directive to me to investigate.

Now that I have done that - and concluded that it isn't really a suitable option, i.e. contemporary products don't cater for it and the suggested software solutions - although promising - are fairly technically involved; I am comfortable in going back to them and saying that a 3G solution is best and here's an off-the-shelf product to do the job.

Thanks again for your time.

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  Reply # 549860 25-Nov-2011 11:27
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The saving by using dialup would be swallowed up by the cost of your time to set it up, I think. Even if a 3G backup costs $30/month that's still not much for a business. I guess the trick would be finding the right plan, and when the main broadband is down keeping usage to an absolute minimum to keep costs down.

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208 posts

Master Geek

  Reply # 550012 25-Nov-2011 14:30
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Hmm, I'm always late to the party.

I have/had an olde worlde circa 1999 netbook with 56Kb modem built in. (could use external 56Kb USB modem)

I have/had a Linksys WAG120N connection to the laptop via Ethernet to the laptop using the 56Kb dialup modem.
No laughing now, I had port forwarding and all.

The Linksys WAG120N then handed off to a Linksys E4200 supporting a NAS and local Gigabit LAN.

UmmmH.. doesn't that make it triple NAT? Whatever.

But it all worked no problem, all be it .. VERY slow.

Gavani is on the right track regards setting up the routing on the Laptop/56Kb modem connection.

Not hard to setup, just had to share the modem on the laptop.

When I got broadband I split the network and connected the ADSL to my WAG120N and reconfiguring the 1st WAN port etc.

So ... still had 56Kb dialup... AND ADSL.

Then I bought a thumb WiFi USB from PB Tech for $40.00 and configured it as a WiFi hotspot on my laptop and directed it out my dialup connection. 56Kb Dialup via WiFi hotspot RULES!!!! Cool  [:quickly tucks flared pants and platform shoes under desk:]

Again simple configuration, in fact so simple I thought... this can't be right.
So now I had ADSL via one WAN and the WiFi hotspot/56Kb dialup there as an alternative WAN.

Never bothered setting up any failover as that was not the mission at the time, but even with the two WANs it was a simple switch of WiFi network connections.

Use to do this as a day job on Cisco boxes with Frame-relay/ATM and ISDN/56Kb modem fail-over.

Wouldn't count your chances of getting a failover working on the Linksys modem box though, you'd need a PC to act as a router given the lack of any other 'intelligent' router available.

Mate, she's a pretty big job. Laughing


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  Reply # 550024 25-Nov-2011 14:53


One benefit of being late to the party is to make somewhat of an entrance! (And I bet your flares and platforms would definitely make a statement).

I appreciate your thoughts (or actually your rather non-trivial discertation) on how you've managed to make something akin to my initial design goal. Your input is very much appreciated.

It has re-energised me to keep this dial-up scenario as a pet project to do as a 'nice to have' - just to "Knock the bugger off" as Sir Ed would say.

Your parting words (gotta love Mitre 10), however, tend to align with the other feedback received and perhaps biting the bullet on an all-in-one 3G solution may result in less wailing and gnashing of teeth than a dial-up provision.

Your reply to my post is very much appreciated - almost as much in humour as technical detail!

You have made my Friday afternoon!


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  Reply # 550615 27-Nov-2011 17:02
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tonyhughes: IT STILL EXISTS!!

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.

Think i still have 16MB of SIMMS that came out of a 486... You could try monowall if pfsense is too big, but i have pfsense working on a P3 machine at moment, 128kB is plenty of memory for it. You can failover to a second ethernet if required, eg if you only use that laptop with wireless then setup the ethernet to share the modem and set the modem to only dial manually.

Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^

26 posts


  Reply # 550869 28-Nov-2011 11:45

Thanks for your advice/input webwat.

I'll add monowall to my list of software alternatives to investigate. A solution on a lower-spec machine is certainly a palatable option for me to pursue.

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