Mailing List Message #14834
From: Bill Cole <>
Subject: Wandering off-topic: Speedstream 5861 (was Re: Authentication Attempts)
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 12:02:41 -0500
To: SIMS Discussions <>
At 9:39 AM -0600 11/30/04, Mike Hebel  imposed structure on a stream of electrons, yielding:
 the hacks for it. Because I have DSL now and am not willing to trust
 my ISP with access to my network, I have a DSL router (Efficient
 SpeedStream 5861) where I actually do all my simple address and port

I know this is OT but does your Speedstream "fall down" from time to time?
 I mean need to be hard powered or logged back into the network?
We're using a 5861 which we got from SBC when we set up the
connection some years ago and it just seems to flak occasionally.

It is very hard to see that, if indeed it is occurring, because I see roughly one failure per month on the SBC end for some hours, and every time I see that I try a full power-cycle of the router. This usually doesn't work the first time, but seems to be necessary after SBC fixes whatever they've screwed up. In other words, I see a failure on the SBC side that the 5861 can't recover from without  a power cycle.

On the other hand, I see that no such incident has occurred in over 8 weeks now,   and the last time I rebooted it was to make sure that some changes were truly saved, so it seems that whatever SBC was doing to their DSLAM that drove the router insane has not happened for a while.

Link drops that come back on their own are a different matter, and I see them about 4 times a week. Sometimes they look like this on my central logging box

Nov 23 22:37:32 5861: PPP: remote <internet> does not respond to echo. Link closed
Nov 23 22:37:41 5861: DOD: connecting to <internet> using * over PPPoE/31
Nov 23 22:38:09 5861: DOD: connecting to <internet> using * over PPPoE/32
Nov 23 22:38:33 5861: DOD: connecting to <internet> using * over PPPoE/33
Nov 23 22:38:37 5861: PPP: remote <internet> will authenticate
Nov 23 22:38:38 5861: DOD: link to internet over PPPoE/33 is now up

The 'Link closed' message is pretty common. It means that the partner in the PPP session has gone dumb, maybe because it was rebooted. The next line indicating an attempt to reconnect is also normal, but almost all the time I only see one. In this case I saw three, indicating that while the underlying layers (DMT and ATM) were fine, the PPPoE (actually PPPoA) was dead for over a minute. That's definitely a provider-side problem (nothing got fiddled with on my end at 10:38 on a Tuesday night...) and the router recovered normally.

To add an on-topic here I would suggest looking at a cheap PC with two
network cards and downloading Smoothwall (
It's pretty simple to install and it can easily sit between any two points
and act as a good firewall.  You're going to have to learn how to open up
a couple of ports on it but that's a given if you're running any mail
server and a firewall of any type.

That's certainly a reasonable option if one wishes to tinker. The consumer-grade routers are usually a cheaper and simpler choice for someone who wants a simple web interface, a tiny form factor, and no moving parts.
Bill Cole

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