June 14th, 2011
Oh boy, do I.
Was having stupid problems this morning sshing between systems and decided to blame my router (Linksys WRT-310N) and its firmware (a scarily new dd-wrt build for all the recent IPv6 faffing). So I thought, sod it, I’m buying another – the 310N has always been a bit flaky anyway, and it’s always given me very poor wireless speeds, nowhere near 802.11n levels.
So, out I go and pick up a D-Link DIR-825. I make a first attempt at setting it up and find that its DHCP reserved lease feature doesn’t accept that there can possibly be MAC addresses that don’t start with 00 – d’oh. I find an updated firmware that fixes this, set that up, and this time all seems fine and worky. I test the wireless connection – glorious! Over 2.4GHz I get 6-7MB/sec (byte, not bit) and over 5GHz I get over 10MB/sec. With the old router and firmware I couldn’t get past 2MB/sec.
So I’m happy as a lamb until I notice my mail isn’t working. Then I try browsing to my own site – this one – and it fails. But it works from my phone. Oh, crap: this means NAT loopback isn’t working, and this is a major problem for me: I need to set my laptop (and other mobile devices) to use happyassassin.net addresses for all mail and web stuff so that they will work when I’m outside my local network. If the router can’t do NAT loopback, this means I can’t use happyassassin.net addresses from inside the local network. Crap.
So…back to good old dd-wrt, which does have NAT loopback. (Except there’s a bug if you’re using pretty recent dd-wrt builds: see http://svn.dd-wrt.com:8000/ticket/1868 for the workaround). I flash to dd-wrt, reset everything again (which takes a while – 12 static DHCP leases, and another dozen port redirects…), and it all works…test the wireless speed, and I’m back down to 2MB/sec.
Le sigh. So, I get either working NAT redirection *or* decent wireless performance. Both is apparently out of the question. Plus the dd-wrt page for the DIR-825 says that a sudden decrease in WAN performance after the router’s been up for some time is a commonly encountered issue, so I’ve got that to look forward to!
mjg59, can we line the router engineers and firmware authors up behind the BIOS and EFI people in the lists of people to be put up against a wall come the revolution?