Asus DSL-AC68U Dual Band AC-1900 modem router review – Part 01

Welcome to Part 01 of our Asus DSL-AC68U modem router review! This is Asus’ latest effort and it sports a pretty impressive spec sheet;  
  • Wireless router + ADSL modem
  • Dual CPUs to assist with range and stability
  • USB 3.0 port – printer sharing, file sharing, 3G/4G internet dongle
  • Asus AiCloud – Asus’ home cloud solution
  • Asus AiRadar – universal beamforming for A/B/G/N/AC wifi signals
  • Wireless A,B,G,N and AC – 1300MHz theoretical max speed on 5GHz AC
  • 3x external, removable antennas
  If you are looking for just a wireless router and don’t need the ADSL portion, try the Asus RT-AC68U. The DSL-AC68U follows Asus’ recent industrial design;   asus-dsl-ac68u-modem-router-review-11 Quite striking if you ask us! Taking a look at the rear:   asus-dsl-ac68u-modem-router-review-3   On the left hand side we have – in clockwise order – the USB 3.0 port, ADSL connection, power connector, power switch and recessed reset switch:   asus-dsl-ac68u-modem-router-review-4 On the other side we have four gigabit ports:   asus-dsl-ac68u-modem-router-review-5 Decorative ASUS logo in the center:   asus-dsl-ac68u-modem-router-review-7   The right side is totally button-free, and the left holds a Wi-Fi on/off and WPS button:   asus-dsl-ac68u-modem-router-review-8 Moving to the top, we have the three antenna ports:   asus-dsl-ac68u-modem-router-review-6   And in the box, three adjustable antennas:   asus-dsl-ac68u-modem-router-review-10   Other goodies in the box include an Ethernet cable (not pictured), splitter and telephone line:   asus-dsl-ac68u-modem-router-review-12   …and a compact power brick:   asus-dsl-ac68u-modem-router-review-13 The compact size of the power brick is definitely appreciated, particularly in this day and age of having many, many electronic devices plugged into power boards! Now a side view showing the built-in foot and device profile:   asus-dsl-ac68u-modem-router-review-9   But back to the spec sheet. The DSL-AC68U can hook up to either an ADSL/ADSL2/2+/VDSL or fibre/cable through a WAN port; appealing to those who may have access to both over the life of the product. Certainly a feature which could be appealing for those who are currently on an ADSL exchange but are looking at having fibre installed to their home in the next year or two.   The Dual CPU feature involves one dedicated CPU for the ADSL/VDSL and one for Wi-Fi networking; Asus claim that this assists in achieving maximum throughput for both as they are no longer vying for the same CPU time.   The AC1900 claim is not achievable with a single Wi-Fi connection; it adds the 1300MHz theoretical maximum of Wireless AC with the 600MHz theoretical maximum of Wireless N. Wireless AC is appearing in more and more mobiles, tablets, laptops and desktops so it makes a lot of sense to consider a Wireless AC modem/router if wireless speeds matter to you at all. We have found that it can result in greatly improved network performance, particularly when you have multiple people streaming media or files simultaneously.   Asus claim that their AiRadar feature improves just about everything about your Wi-Fi – range, stability and speed. The beamforming benefit isn’t just restricted to AC, either – the older A/B/G/N standards receive it as well.   The USB 3.0 port can be used to share a 3G or 4G dongle’s internet connectivity, a USB drive or a printer. USB 3.0 here is definitely a plus for those with Wireless AC clients and USB 3.0 hard drives/flash drives – you stand a chance of actually seeing the benefit of the faster USB standard thanks to the potential 1Gb+ Wi-Fi speeds.   asus-dsl-ac68u-modem-router-review-2   Stay tuned for part 02 of our review, where we look at the rest of the features and Asus’ ASUSWRT web interface!

Fedora 20: ifconfig missing on minimal install

  If you have selected the minimal install option you might be surprised by just how minimal it is; one example is that the ifconfig command is not available. The command yum install ifconfig doesn’t work – it’s part of another broader package. We can find out which one that is by running:
yum provides ifconfig
  Through that we can see that the net-tools package installs it. Run:  
yum install net-tools
  …and you should be able to now use ifconfig.

HP ProCurve 2510-24 Power Consumption

  We measured the ProCurve 2510-24’s power usage:  
Idle: 11.9W Peak: 14.8W
  This was measured on a 240V power circuit with a handful of devices attached (5). The peak wattage was measured during power-on and idle was steady around 11.9W. We would expect power usage to increase as you add more bandwidth-heavy devices; however, now that many of these switches are falling into the hands of home enthusiasts for connecting things like low-bandwidth computers, printers, Raspberry Pis and the like it should stay quite a low figure even with more devices connected.   So, how much does it cost to run? Assuming the minimum power draw is 12W and that electricity costs ~$0.30/KWhr:  
Weekly:  2.016KWhr; $0.60 Monthly: 8.064KWhr; $2.42 Annually: 104.832KWhr; $31.45
  All up it’s not a particularly expensive device to keep running. If you don’t need gigabit speeds this switch can be an excellent choice for getting a large number of devices onto the same network – 100Mbit is more than enough for browsing, light file sharing and streaming, printing, 100Mbit devices like Raspberry Pis and more.

HP ProCurve 1410-16G (J9560A) review

  If you’re in the market for a gigabit switch the HP Procurve line has probably come up in your searches. The 1410-16G is a 16-port gigabit switch, unmanaged, that is also fanless and comes with rack-mounting equipment. Oh, and it’s under $100 AU. With a lifetime warranty. That’s a lot of boxes ticked right there.   hp-1410-16g-02   If you’re used to HP’s 24/48-port rackmount switches the 1410-16G will probably seem quite compact. Meausuring approx. 21 x 11.2 x 4.5cm and weighing ~650gm, it’s certainly not hard to stash away out of sight if needed. The metal chassis helps both with durability and also heat dissipation – and it doesn’t hurt the feeling of quality, either. Jumping straight into the important parts – a closeup of the ports on the front:   hp-1410-16g-05   Nothing out of the ordinary here – two sets of 8 ports, cable clips facing outward as they should be. To the left there’s the indicator lights:   hp-1410-16g-010   Pretty self-explanatory there – and the LEDs are quite appropriately bright, easy to see but not lighting up the entire room. Flipping the unit around to look at the back:   hp-1410-16g-026   Pretty bare back there. A closeup of the main point of interest: hp-1410-16g-018   hp-1410-16g-027   Flipping the unit around to look at the (identical) sides, there’s once again not a great deal to see. Ventilation holes and mounting points for the rack ears. Speaking of rack ears:   hp-1410-16g-012 They come with all necessary screws and mounting gear. A nice touch – for a lot of home enthusiasts who have a rack 16 gigabit ports may suffice, and this will save a shelf/custom mounting brackets. There’s also wall-mounting hardware supplied:   hp-1410-16g-011   …and some nice self-adhesive rubbised feet:   hp-1410-16g-06   The external power brick is reasonably small with a standard 2-pin figure-eight cable going into it:   hp-1410-16g-07   A closeup of the printed info for anyone who cares:   hp-1410-16g-08   The unit is silent as you would expect from a fanless unit, and we couldn’t hear any audible hissing/other noises coming from the power brick. In use it’s extremely power efficient, pulling an average of 8W from the wall in use with 14W peak during power-on. It also doesn’t get appreciably hot during use.   As far as performance goes, putting this switch between an iperf client and server showed a steady 945Mbit/s throughput – an excellent result. We weren’t able to test it in a situation where we pumped 16 or 32 gigabits/second through it, which should be where this switch really shines. If our experience with other Procurve switches is anything to go by, this one should be able to deal with very long periods of uptime without issue. We tested this one for three weeks with constant use and it remained trouble-free.   hp-1410-16g-04   Given the price point – at or below $100 delivered – the features of this switch make for a compelling product for anyone looking for an unmanaged gigabit switch with 16 ports. Well worth considering.

Intel Gigabit CT Desktop Network Adapter Review

  intel-pro-1000-ct-gigabit-nic-01   Intel’s network cards are popular due to their speed and reliability, which is often greater than the onboard chips in devices/motherboards. The Intel Gigabit CT Desktop Network Adapter is a PCI-E x1 add-in card with a single gigabit port, usually selling for around $30AU. It is low-profile and should come with a low-profile bracket – handy for thin HTPCs or servers – and is passively cooled as you would expect. It auto-negotiates – so you don’t need to worry about crossover cables – and is PCI-E v.1.1, which supplies more than enough bandwidth for a single gigabit port and should work fine in V2 and V3 slots. It is also supposed to be compatible with x1, x4, x8 and x16 slots. The network controller is Intel’s 82574L – a design released in 2008, with an expected discontinuance of 2018 – Intel certainly expect to get a lot of mileage out of that chip!   intel-pro-1000-ct-gigabit-nic-02   The 82574L has a TDP of below a single watt, so this is going to be quite a power-efficient add-in card. Intel state that the typical power consumption is in the range of 1.9W for the entire card. Driver support is excellent across virtually all operating systems – it’s plug and play with many Linux distros and works perfectly well with the provided drivers in Windows machines. It also has support for teaming/bonding/link aggregation and 9K jumbo frames. Physically the card is 11.92cm long and 5.53cm wide.   In our tests the card managed an impressive average of approx. 950Mbit/s – very close to the theoretical maximum throughput of a gigabit line.   intel-pro-1000-ct-gigabit-nic-03   If you are in the market for a reliable, fast PCI-Express network card and only need a single port this card is well worth a look – between the features, low power usage, low profile option and driver support it’s an excellent buy for the price.

How to set up SNMP monitoring (snmpd) on Ubuntu 12.04

  This one caused a bit of hassle recently – a few online guides don’t seem to work with the current version of Ubuntu. We found that this works, at least in the ~10 or so servers we have tried so far:  
sudo apt-get install snmpd
  Back up your snmpd.conf file:  
sudo mv /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf.old
  Create a new file:  
sudo touch /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf
  Edit with your chosen editor and put in the following:  
rocommunity public syslocation “Describe the server’s location” syscontact [email protected]
  Save and exit. Now edit the following file:  
/etc/default/snmpd
  Comment out the following line by putting a # before it:  
SNMPDOPTS=’-Lsd -Lf /dev/null -u snmp -g snmp -I -smux -p /var/run/snmpd.pid’
  On the next blank line add the following:  
SNMPDOPTS=’-Lsd -Lf /dev/null -u snmp -I -smux -p /var/run/snmpd.pid -c /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf’
  Save the file and restart the SNMP daemon:  
sudo /etc/init.d/snmpd restart
  Now you should be able to successfully snmpwalk locally and from machines on the local network.

Monitoring network usage on Ubuntu

  If you want to see how much traffic is passing through your network port there’s a handy tool called vnstat which will tally the amount of data passing through. You can install it with:  
sudo apt-get install vnstat
  It will usually add the databases and network ports automatically like so:   vnstat-0   If it doesn’t and gives you an error you can create the database(s) with:  
sudo vnstat -u -i eth0
  If you have multiple network cards/ports you can add those in, too:  
vnstat -u -i eth1 vnstat -u -i eth2 …etc  
If it couldn’t create the databases you can start it with:  
sudo /etc/init.d/vnstat start  
If you need to change the maximum bandwidth from 100Mb you can edit the file:  
/etc/vnstat.conf
  Scroll down until you see the following:  
# maximum bandwidth (Mbit) for all interfaces, 0 = disable feature # (unless interface specific limit is given) MaxBandwidth 100
  and make MaxBandwidth the figure you require (e.g. 1000). If you make a change restart vnstat with:  
/etc/init.d/vnstat restart
  You can now see how much traffic has come through the NIC since vnstat started recording – at first it probably won’t be much (if any), but as it adds up you can check it with:  
vnstat
  The output should look like:   vnstat-01   You can watch how much traffic is flowing through in real-time by running:  
vnstat -i eth0 -l
  This will give you a screen showing you the current traffic:   vnstat-02   You can end this with CTRL+C, which shows you a summary screen:   vnstat-03   You can get an hourly summary with:  
vnstat -i eth0 -h
  vnstat-04 vnstat-05   Daily summary with:  
vnstat -i eth0 -d
  vnstat-04 Monthly summary with:  
vnstat -i eth0 -m
  vnstat-06   This is a really handy way of keeping track of your network traffic – whether it’s out of curiosity, wanting to know how much stress your network is under or looking for a bottleneck this can be quite a valuable tool.

Ubiquiti Edge Router Lite default IP address

  I know someone is going to ask me this in the future so I’m making this post now – the default IP address for the Ubiquiti Edge Router Lite is:  
192.168.1.1
  For those of us who use 10.1.1.x etc. you’ll have to put a computer onto the 192.168.1.x range temporarily to change the router to suit your network.