ASDL2+ More Than Doubles Speed At The Digital Fringe

A friend of mine lives in the countryside at the very fringe of DSL coverage. While a decade ago a 3 Mbit/s DSL line with a 450 kbit/s uplink could still be considered sufficient, things have changed quite a bit these days. Several computers and smartphones are now connected to his network which makes using voice over IP applications such as Skype difficult as especially the uplink is immediately affected when someone else uploads data. Don’t even think about video telephony with a reasonable video quality. Running Skype and desktop sharing simultaneously is also next to impossible, downloading software updates takes ages and streaming HD video has become impossible in many cases.

Recently, however, my friend’s DSL line with bundled analog telephony was migrated to all-IP, i.e. voice telephony now also runs over IP. The only benefit I could see when this was announced was that voice quality would be upgraded to Wideband-AMR so I made sure he had a compatible phone by the time of the switch. In addition, I noticed that at the same time, the telephone company switched the line from ADSL to ADSL2+ which brought a huge improvement to up- and downlink speeds. I’m glad I took a number of screenshots of the DSL connection information before and after the switch as they reveal some very interesting details.

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Network Sharing Pains In The UK

In many countries around the world, network operators are sharing parts of their radio access networks. In many cases the country they operate in is split up into different parts and each network operator exclusively installs the network infrastructure for both. Obviously this reduces cost but also denies companies that are part of the agreement to differentiate themselves in the one thing that matters: Speed and capacity. Continue reading Network Sharing Pains In The UK

Let’s Encrypt On A Raspberry Pi Web Server

Recently I set up a new web server on a Raspberry Pi at home to securely run a new web application and to properly isolate it from my other servers. One new thing I wanted to try out was setting-up a Let’s Encrypt certificate for https access and to learn how the tools work to automatically install and update the certificate.

It turned out that it’s not very difficult to do it, just a bit different from the standard installation method described on the Let’s Encrypt web site for Debian based system. Also I noticed that one should ensure that http digest authentication configured in ‘.htaccess’ files for some directories still works as intended once Let’s Encrypt is set-up, as it didn’t in my case.

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In Pursuit of Micro SD-Card Speeds – Part 2

A few weeks ago I wrote about a magazine article I found in which micro-SD card speeds were evaluated. In the article, amazing speeds were mentioned that I could not reach with my USB2 Micro-SD adapters. So I went out and bought a small USB3 reader. I turned out that while read and write speeds improved, they were nowhere near those in the article, despite using the same Micro-SD cards. So I bought a ‘Ugreen USB 3.0 SD-card reader‘ with a built-in USB-3 hub that got good reviews for its read and write performance.

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33C3: IPv6 at Home – Make Sure Your IPv6 Firewall Works As Intended!

Back in 2016, I’ve written quite a number of blog posts about how to set up a server at home that is reachable over IPv6. Here’s a link to the summary. Over time one forgets some of the details so I recently couldn’t remember anymore if I’ve just opened my IPv6 firewall for single ports to the IPv6 Interface ID of my server or if I had given a ‘carte blanche’. No worries, as after all, who can find me in 128 bits of IPv6 entropy? But then I watched this talk at the recent 33C3 conference and I got worried enough to check my setup like real quick…

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As announced in 2012, AT&T Is Shutting Down GSM Now

I’ve been in a presentation on the LoRA PHY on the 29th of December at the 33C3 that I can fully recommend if you are interested in the LoRA IoT radio standard and want to learn about “chirp” modulation. During the talk it was mentioned that AT&T is shutting down its GSM network in the US by the end of 2016. A day later, quite a number of German tech websites such as Heise, Teltarif and Golem had articles on the topic and it really made me wonder if this talk was the seed for them!?

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Give Me Back That Tunnel Coverage – The Joys Of Operator Monopoly And Outsourcing

Today I have a practical example of how monopolizing access and outsourcing network operation ends up in the ultimate customer disappointment: Network coverage in tunnels and the inability of the network operator to fix it.

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