Monday, 20 April 2009

Network timeout - problem source

After months of hassle, getting slowly worse over the last few weeks until it became unbearable, I got to the root of my browsing difficulties.

It's my broadband router firewall. It's not the whole problem, as I still experience issues when using mobile broadband, but it's definitely a huge problem.

With my prodigious browsing activity during recent weeks, my router's firewall has got it into its head that my laptop is the source of denial-of-service type of activity and purposely "holds back" such activity. The sorts of items in my routers log that were at fault were apparently these things:
**SYN Flood to Host** 1xx.1xx.2.2, 2388->>, 80 (from ATM1 Outbound)
**TCP FIN Scan** 1xx.1xx.2.2, 2876->>, 80 (from ATM1 Outbound)

Digging around in its innards like this, I can see that what it's holding back are just ordinary browser requests to the places I'm browsing. Switching off the relevant bits of the router firewall cures the problem.

I'm also using Zone Alarm security suite (belt and braces never hurt!) so I've go a firewall on my laptop too.

Ok, it's not good to switch off bits of a firewall and leave them left off - but with Zone Alarm in place too, I was willing to risk it.

I've emailed the router manufacturer's support dept for advice on changing the settings, so ordinary browsing doesn't trigger this behaviour - it shouldn't be long before this is finally sorted.


UPDATE: I was brave enough to try changing some settings myself and it seems to have worked ok. Gawd, I hate this dark side of technology!

Oh, didn't hear back from the manufacturers yet but don't care now.
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