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mwoodroof
2006-03-17, 10:22
Hi again, I have finally found a workaround for my problem described in this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=21866.

To summarise: after about 200Mb streaming (half hour of FLACs a few hours of MP3s) the SB3 stops, seems to lose the network conection, and I have to turn the router off and on again to get the network back. I think it is a router problem (I have the same problem copying large files over the wireless network, using Windows XP).

I have now worked out that if I switch WEP encryption off, the problem goes away and I can stream FLACs for hours on end no problem. This is rather frustrating, as I don't really want to run my wireless LAN unencrypted. And it just seems quite bizarre! Does anyone have any idea why encryption could be causing this problem?

One option I have considered is using MAC filtering instead of encryption - can anyone enlighten me as to how secure that would be?

Final question - have asked this before but got no help :-(
In order to try to understand what is happening when the SB3 stops playing with encryption on, is there any value in looking at the debugging in slimserver? If so, can anyone describe to me what I should be looking at/for? I know you can turn on various options in "server settings/debugging" in slimserver but don't know what to look for - it is a very long and confusing list!

Any advice much appreciated! Thanks a lot!!!

snarlydwarf
2006-03-17, 10:57
Well, if you want security, WEP won't give it to you. Nor will MAC filtering (though at least with MAC filtering, someone will have to hope you have the machine with the hijacked MAC turned off or they'll have problems).

WEP is trivial to break in a minute, regardless of the length of your passkey. (A design flaw in the way the encryption works.)

Since your router is broken to the point of not letting two PC's share files reliably... and since you want encryption...

Maybe it's time to get a new router?

WPA hasn't been broken yet.

As for why your existing router gets whiney about WEP: my guess is that their is a counter somewhere and when it cycles it should negotiate a new key... but it doesn't. It may be fixable with new firmware, but... WEP is still breakable.

mwoodroof
2006-03-17, 11:04
Thanks for the thoughts, I know WEP is not very good, but at least it deters casual threats. Do take your point though, think a new router might be in order. What would you recommend? I have read so much contradictory advice it is a nightmare!

Regarding your idea of why the router might be failing, that is an interesting thought. I have upgraded the firmware to the latest level without any effect though, so is there anything else I could do to trace this problem? I am using a manually set 10 digit hex key as I can't get the automatic/passphrase option to work. Would that affect anything? Afraid I don't really understand the details behind how encryption works!!

Thanks again.

MrC
2006-03-17, 11:28
Hi again, I have finally found a workaround for my problem described in this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=21866.

To summarise: after about 200Mb streaming (half hour of FLACs a few hours of MP3s) the SB3 stops, seems to lose the network conection, and I have to turn the router off and on again to get the network back. I think it is a router problem (I have the same problem copying large files over the wireless network, using Windows XP).

This is definitely a router / driver problem.


I have now worked out that if I switch WEP encryption off, the problem goes away and I can stream FLACs for hours on end no problem. This is rather frustrating, as I don't really want to run my wireless LAN unencrypted. And it just seems quite bizarre! Does anyone have any idea why encryption could be causing this problem?

While its not possible to know the exact cause without the router and/or driver source, a likely cause is a simple memory leak by in the encryption code. The router's memory is being consumed and not freed, hence the crash/hang. There can also be dangling references, unset variables, etc. in either the driver or router. Since Windows is not crashing on you, its likely in the router vs. the driver.



One option I have considered is using MAC filtering instead of encryption - can anyone enlighten me as to how secure that would be?


Don't go there. Get a new router and stop wasting your time with what you have now. While the Belkin Pre-N is a very good router, one cannot say the same for many other Belkin models. In all, Belkin has a terrible track record of resolving their networking problems, or putting much $$$ into maintenance. I have a Pre-N which I love, but would likely not purchase another Belkin product for the aforementioned reason.



Final question - have asked this before but got no help :-(
In order to try to understand what is happening when the SB3 stops playing with encryption on, is there any value in looking at the debugging in slimserver? If so, can anyone describe to me what I should be looking at/for? I know you can turn on various options in "server settings/debugging" in slimserver but don't know what to look for - it is a very long and confusing list!

No, you're not going to find a problem outside your router - its the router causing the problem. You already have two test cases using different protocols (Slim, Windows) that trigger the problem, and one test case that indicates it only occurs with WEP enabled. Belkin probably has not dealt with this issue, and likely never will, as WEP is so trivial to break, nobody should be using it, including yourself. Move on!

mwoodroof
2006-03-17, 13:59
OK, OK!!

Think I get your message.

:-)

Thanks for the advice.