December 16th, 2006

Find X

Fun and games with networks

A while back, in an attempt to get my VOIP system up and running I picked up a netgear TA612V router+VOIP box, which I then used to connect to Sipgate and connect my normal phone to VOIP, thus getting cheap calls.

Due to Telewest checking the MAC address before assigning an IP address, I changed the external MAC address of this router to be the same as my PC.

Some months later I got fed up with the terrible quality of this device - it wasn't too bad as a VOIP box, so long as there wasn't also a lot of network traffic - but it didn't handle UPNP terribly well, and had other reliability problems. In the end I decided to stick in a dedicated pure router as the outgoing point of the network, and move the TA612V into being a pure VOIP box with nothing behind it.

Today, 6 months later, I realised I'd never switched the MAC address back. Which meant that the current router was dealing with two machines on the network both claiming the same MAC address. Which might explain the _terrible_ phone quality, and other network problems I've been having. Five minutes of fiddling later the phone seems to be working much better - and the streaming TV/music from my PC to the DVD player in the living room is also work properly again (after months with constant drop-outs/stuttering).

I wish the router would tell me when I've done something that stupid.