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Re: [pcgen] OT Phone line quality (was Re: file d/l size)

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  • Keith Davies
    ... Network topology. DSL setups are generally direct from the consumer to the switching station; the only people who can monitor your traffic are with your
    Message 1 of 11 , May 30, 2003
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      On Fri, May 30, 2003 at 03:54:12PM -0400, Tommy Williams wrote:
      > Another thing to try also (having worked for a rural ISP) is to run a
      > line temporarily from the computer to the NID (the little gray test
      > box on the side of the house). It's there for customer testing and you
      > are supposed to have entry access to the standard phone jack in it.
      >
      > This will bypass all your house wiring, which on occasion will cause a
      > dial-up connection to behave like yours does. Friend of mine had a
      > similar problem in his modular home, and when they made the
      > connections after assembling the house, they screwed em up.
      >
      > And about cable, what privacy issues? If you get any other form of
      > broadband, you're most likely going to have the same issues and will
      > still need to run a firewall.

      Network topology.

      DSL setups are generally direct from the consumer to the switching
      station; the only people who can monitor your traffic are with your
      provider (or can tap the line in another fashion).

      Cable, OTOH, runs through the entire neighborhood; everyone who shares
      the loop can potentionally sniff your traffic. That's also part of the
      reason cable performance degrades over time -- if you're one of the
      first in the neighborhood, you get a big whack of the bandwidth. As
      time goes on and more subscribers join, the bandwidth is chopped into
      smaller pieces and there is more overhead involved (including higher
      collision rate).


      A B C station --- A --- B --- C
      \ | / | |
      \ | / | |
      \ | / H --- G -- F -- E -- D
      D ----- station ----- E
      / | \
      / | \
      / | \
      F G H


      Simplified diagrams, DSL and cable, respectively


      Analogy: with cable, you have a big box of postcards going from house to
      house around your neighborhood. At each house, if someone's home he
      gets to look through the postcards for the ones that belong to him, then
      they get passed along (if nobody's home -- the machine's off -- the box
      skips that house). That person also has the option of looking at the
      other postcards, if he knows what he's doing. With DSL, there's a dude
      on a motorcycle hauling ass between your house and the switching
      station. The only way to get the data is to either break into the
      systems at either end or mugging the motorcyle rider.

      A firewall will help secure the system at your end, but it does not
      protect the data being transferred. Encryption can help, but is less
      effective over cable because it is still possible (and relatively easy)
      to sniff the packets and reconstruct the data. It almost always gets
      easier to crack encryption as the sample set grows.

      Basically, a firewall helps keep traffic you don't want, out (and
      traffic you do want, in -- when I put up my firewall my internal
      throughput when *way* up because it didn't have to bounce off my
      provider's router... which also improved my external bandwidth because
      there was less contention for the external line) but doesn't protect the
      data being transferred. If the firewall is also a NAT, it can MASQ the
      IP and identities of the machine protects, helping security (somewhat)
      that way as well.


      Keith
      --
      Keith Davies
      keith.davies@...

      PCGen: <reaper/>, smartass
      "You just can't argue with a moron. It's like handling Nuclear
      waste. It's not good, it's not evil, but for Christ's sake, don't
      get any on you!!" -- Chuck, PCGen mailing list
    • Paul Grosse
      ... It can be. I ve seen it drop me every 5 minutes for an hour s worth of attempt...real pain in the...ahem...not mentionable in polite company (or
      Message 2 of 11 , May 30, 2003
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        <snip>
        > Biggest file is only a little under 3 MB, it must be REAL twitchy
        > if you can't get that, it should only take around 15 minutes at
        > 28.8.

        It can be. I've seen it drop me every 5 minutes for an hour's worth
        of attempt...real pain in the...ahem...not mentionable in polite
        company (or else I fear the wrath of Kar).

        Paul W. King
        OGL/PL SB and BoD
        </snip>

        Use Getright, that's what I do :)
      • kigmatzomat
        ... Yes and no. Most cable modem providers are configured to only accept input from a registered device. You can buy your own hardware but have to call the
        Message 3 of 11 , May 30, 2003
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          > > And about cable, what privacy issues? If you get any other form of
          > > broadband, you're most likely going to have the same issues and will
          > > still need to run a firewall.
          >
          > Network topology.
          >
          > Cable, OTOH, runs through the entire neighborhood; everyone who shares
          > the loop can potentionally sniff your traffic.

          Yes and no. Most cable modem providers are configured to only accept
          input from a registered device. You can buy your own hardware but
          have to call the carrier to get them to accept it. Mine didn't use to
          be like that but they changed. (Course they could've changed back by
          now, it's been a while since I've read the T&Cs or talked to the
          techs). That means that while you could, in theory, sniff on the
          network with an unregistered device you won't be able to do anything
          while you are. Essentially it's a distributed switch, albeit one that
          relies on end-user firmware. A good system would log the rogue device
          and all the active devices on that loop to help find mr. sniffer.

          Other carriers are more strict and pre-configure all the hardware.
          Not that this means the system's secure, there was some major screw up
          a few months back when a cable provider didn't reset the remote admin
          password from factory default and every user's cable modem could be
          hacked by anyone who'd read the manual, but it means someone's
          dedicated.

          Having worked at ISPs, I really don't worry about packet sniffing.
          There's too much data out there to worry about getting noticed. If I
          do something I don't want someone to know about I either don't do it
          or use an encrypted connection to a remote machine. Someone can break
          my SSH tunnel, but they're gonna have to want to. Of course sometimes
          I'll encrypt connections to this board just to throw them off.
          Usually right before I change all the keys again using sneakernet.

          Which reminds me, time to re-key the WLAN.

          -James McP
        • Timothy L. Miller
          ... If you re having problems with your phone line on dial-up, you will probably still have touchy performance on DSL. Doubly so since most DSL providers are
          Message 4 of 11 , May 31, 2003
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            --- In pcgen@yahoogroups.com, "Paul W. King" <kingpaul@e...> wrote:

            > 3) Don't want cable for privacy issues. Now, if I can convince my
            > wife to get ADSL, that'd be great; dedicated line and high speed
            > transmissions.
            >
            > Paul W. King
            > OGL/PL SB and BoD

            If you're having problems with your phone line on dial-up, you will
            probably still have touchy performance on DSL. Doubly so since most
            DSL providers are going to pppoe. Have you thought about Sattelite
            internet? It's got much worse ping times than even dial up, but if
            you use it for surfing/downloading, it would be just fine. I'm not
            exactly sure how they do it, but supposedly it's just as safe as
            ordinary DSL (of course, cable is quite safe nowadays too, but if you
            are concerned about it, then that's your choice).
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