FreeBSD challenged by Internet

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at
Thu Jan 18 08:44:06 UTC 2007

Hi Bob,

  As I am ad administrator of an ISP that is a DSL
ISP that offers DSL, and also runs FreeBSD on it's
servers, I am going to address your point.

 The problem your having is present on MANY of
these "some box(s) which connects me to to net"
Generally, it's older Linksys and Netgear routers that
are the worst offenders.  The newer devices don't
generally have this problem - the manufacturers aren't
completely stupid, and do learn from their mistakes -
bot not always.  I'm still seeing stupid crap like this in
even the latest boxes.

Now, here's where I'm going to take you somewhat to
task.  You have to understand some things about marketing
these boxes.

When a company like Airlink101 produces a
"cable/DSL" ethernet router and sells it for $30,
or a company like 2 Wire, or Westell, or ActionTec,
produces a DSL modem/router combo that sells
for $60, it is absolutely impossible for them to make
a profit doing this unless they configure their support
offering so that the quality of technical support you
get is on the level of that which would be provided by
your average 6 year old.  Also, these companies simply
cannot afford to put their best programming and design
talent on solving things like slow DNS resolver queries
through their proxy, when these problems are reported.

Instead when they get these problems, they spend the
R&D money and talent they have building next year's
model - which is then sold for another $30, next year.

Slow DNS queries are just one of the problems on a
very long, long, long laundry list of problems with these
small cheapo routers.

Yet, do the customers that actually have these devices,
after going through 2 or 3 of them in that many years,
actually stop one day and say "Gee, I'm really stupid
to keep urinating my money away on these cheezy
little routers when I could spend $600 on a nice new
Cisco 800 series and get expert Cisco support on it, and
it would work and I could then just forget about it"

Of course not.  So, who do you think ends up picking
up the slack?  I'll tell you, it's us ISP's that's who.

If you were our DSL customer and you called in with
this problem, we would have known immediately what
it was, and instructed you in how to correct the configuration.
In your case the absolute best way is to ditch your
router and turn on pppoe on your BSD box and config
your DSL modem out of routing mode and into bridging
mode.  Or your cable modem, or whatever.

You wouldn't get that as a response if you were running
Windows - since Windows attracts security crackers like
dog shit attracts flies - but any UNIX - be it Linux, MacOS X
or whatever, you would get that response.

Anyway, I think you should have availed yourself of your ISP's
tech support department first.   And if your ISP's support
department stinks - some unfortunately do - then drop service
and get a better one.  There's plenty more ISP's in the
phone book.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bob McIsaac" <bobmc at>
To: <questions at>
Sent: Monday, January 15, 2007 10:32 PM
Subject: FreeBSD challenged by Internet

> Hi:
> This is not exactly a question rather it is wrapup for a
> series of questions.  I had a tricky, confusing problem
> getting FreeBSD on the net but I was able to solve it
> with help from this list.. Ian Smith in particular.
> The DHCP lease from my ISP set the nameserver
> address as being, the IP of some box
> which connects me to to net.  Correct me if wrong,
> but whois would not reveal a nameserver IP in this
> form for a net host.
> Linux accepted this but FreeBSD-6.1 had 10 second
> delays in TCP connects for mail and web pages.
> This does not imply a problem with BSD. It
> probably implies that Linux is more tolerant of
> loosely configured web services.  But in the
> world of security it's "casual configuration
> considered harmful".
> I spent many hours reading and testing before
> hitting on a solution in dhclient.conf. I think this
> would be  discouraging for most FreeBSD newbies.
> But making setup a no-brainer does not seem
> possible. It is difficult to provide a quality,
> standards-compliant OS unless all net-citizens
> share that focus on quality.
> Just my 2cents.
> Cheers,
> -Bob-
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