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 From:  Stephen Ronan <listsubs0506 at comcast dot net>
 To:  Lloyd Palfrey <Lloyd at wsufftrust dot org dot uk>
 Cc:  m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch
 Subject:  Re: [m0n0wall] Limited or no connectivity
 Date:  Tue, 12 Sep 2006 12:41:41 -0400
One question I'd have that I couldn't answer but I'd guess someone else 
her could has to do with 2.4GHZ base station phones. Do those create 
much more noise when someone's talking on them compared to when they're 
sitting idle in their base station? If so, one might wonder whether 
usage patterns of those phones contribute to the problems you're seeing. 
I'd be especially curious to know whether the pattern of problems on 
weekends is the same as on weekdays... problems just appearing during 
the evening.

If you haven't tried it yet, you may find it useful to set m0n0wall up 
to accept VPN connections from a remote location. That might let you do 
some troubleshooting in the evening when the problem occurs and you're 
off-site. You could then check the firewall to see if there's any blitz 
of activity due to an infected machine that is only turned on in the 
evening (you might want to block ports 135-139 and 445 in your LAN rules 
in any event). You could also check the firewall states to see if 
there's any extraordinary usage pattern appearing in the late evening. 
You could browse to the web interface of any suspect router and, 
perhaps, reboot it. You could check dhcp logs to see if there's evidence 
there of any clients having trouble requesting but not being able to 
pick up an IP address.
You might check with anyone who reports a problem to see if they are 
able to reconnect if they reboot their machines. I would certainly 
recommend that users be advised to try that. If multiple people using 
the same Linksys AP are simultaneously having the problem, it'd be good 
to reboot it and replace it if it's chronically a troublemaker.

If you have any similar installations planned for the future you may 
find the hardware and software solutions that Meraki Networks 
<meraki.net> expects to offer to be worth your considering (I don't know 
what their pricing will be after the summer beta). Before the principals 
took sabbaticals from MIT this year, they were the main developers of 
the MIT roofnet mesh networking software being used at Net Equality's 
project (and at various other sites including a couple I'm involved with 
in Boston):
http://netequality.org/locations.html
see their current deployment map:
http://www.roofnet.net/map.php?id=hacienda
I find that kind of mapping helpful when I'm off-site and trying to keep 
track of network capacity.

On the other hand, since m0n0wall does only the dhcp for for the mesh 
gateways in that setup and not for client computers, you don't get to 
take advantage of some m0n0wall's capacities, such as captive portal and 
ability to identify individual infected machines via the firewall logs. 
But you can still use the m0n0wall to VPN into the network and thence 
ssh from one mesh nodes to another and upgrade their software remotely, etc.
  - Stephen Ronan

Lloyd Palfrey wrote:

>1) I cant tell
>2) Also Cant tell
>3) Yes I think think this is the case, some users can browse all night
>with no problem, others get to 9-10pm and get limited or no
>connectivity.
>
>- Lloyd
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Stephen Ronan [mailto:listsubs0506 at comcast dot net] 
>Sent: 05 September 2006 16:20
>To: Lloyd Palfrey
>Cc: m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch
>Subject: Re: [m0n0wall] Limited or no connectivity
>
>Could you clarifiy whether 1) all users lose connectivity simultaneously
>at random times in the evening; 2) all users of particular access points
>lose connectivity while users of other access points are fine (are some
>APs much more vulnerable to this happening than others?); 3) or
>individual users are randomly disconnected while other users of the same
>access point maintain their connection (are some individuals much more
>vulnerable to this happening than others?).
>  - Stephen Ronan
>
>Lloyd Palfrey wrote:
>
>  
>
> [...]
>
>>I have 20 odd access points serving up wireless internet access. 
>>M0n0wall is the captive portal, dhcp and internet gateway.
>
>>At random periods users get "Limited or no connectivity". They can be 
>>connected for hours then suddenly it drops. 
>
[...]

>>Annoyingly it also only apears to happen in the evenings? When I'm not 
>>at work to "investigate". Any suggestions as to why it only happens in 
>>the evenings would be great.
>