For the past week our internet service has been slowed to a crawl. Like, dial-up speeds: 0.8/0,1 Mbps (so 100 kB/s down, 12 kB/s up). I tried restarting our 8 year old modem, our brand new router. I eventually gave up and called Comcast and had a cable guy come out and check the signal level. He says it’s fine, but our modem is the culprit. So, I figure he’s right and besides, it’s an ancient modem anyway. I one-day a new DOCSIS 3.0 one and activate it.
Nope. Same speeds. I’m convinced it’s something on Comcast’s side, but after calling their support line again and getting disconnected I realize I haven’t tried connecting directly to the modem. After the call dropped I figure I’ll try it and call back. Well, lo and behold, our full 6 Mbps is unleashed. The thought that maybe Comcast support dropped the ball and flipped our internet switch back to “Normal” from “Remind them how much they need me”, and in all the embarrassment he ended the call out of shame.
Nope. Plugged back into the router, and speeds are back down to 0.8 Mbps. Great. I had already tried updating the firmware, restarting, and changing some configuration options. So in frustration I changed about 50 settings at once: Disabled IPv6, disabled the second band at 5GHz, disabled QoS, and a few other things I can’t remember. Now it’s back up to the correct speed.
So, perhaps over time I’ll start enabling QoS and 5GHz, the only things I’d really care to re-enable. Until then, who knows what killed it.
I attempted to get a webcam going on our home server. So, I plug it in, and since I’ve done this before I ran a script I made to grab an image from the webcam. Which didn’t work. So, after checking out why (/dev/video0 node was missing), I noticed that the kernel no longer had support built in.
After going through the kernel options, I realized they changed the v4l and webcam support options around and since I just upgrade using “–silentoldconfig” (the bad way to do upgrades), it broke whenever I upgraded to 3.2.12. And 3.2.12 wasn’t in portage’s tree anymore, and I didn’t have the sources for it installed (mistake number 2), so I was pretty much SOL.
So I decided to upgrade. Remotely. 1500 miles remotely. Long story short, a udev upgrade swapped my network device names around and broke the internet on the reboot, and I had to wait until I was home to fix it. I kind of knew this was going to happen, but meh, I like to gamble.
It’s amazing how many config files have references to eth0/1 in them.
Now everything started to work normally again, except after purchasing a game on Steam, my router appeared to drop the connection during the download. As it turns out, the router was at 100% CPU and 99% memory, and I guess was just running out of memory and rebooting due to the download (2-3 MB/s). So, it looks like my internet is faster than my wireless router can handle.
It’s a WRT54G running DD-WRT, and I don’t see any firmware upgrades for it. But DD-WRT’s website is pretty whack, so who knows. I think I’m going to upgrade it in the future, if it keeps crapping out on me.