I wish I could title this story "Actiontec Loss" due somehow to my replacing this Actiontec GT701 DSL modem with something better (say a Cisco). But alas, I'm stuck with it for the near future.
You see, my modem started dropping packets today. I can't figure out a rhyme or reason to it. Yesterday I added a pair of servers to my network. If I must be precise, I actually decommissioned one of them today so there's just the one now. It's only a temporary thing, which is good because them suckers is loud. Adding them involved adding two /24 networks to my little DSL modem. Yes, that is heavy over-kill, but it's due to historical reasons. Anyway, it ran just fine all day yesterday without incident but today the modem decided it had had enough.
I started getting packet loss on anything that touched the Actiontec. For example, here's a ping from my Linksys WRT54G which sits right behind the Actiontec.
--- 10.42.41.1 ping statistics ---
45 packets transmitted, 17 packets received, 62% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max = 1.3/1.4/2.4 ms
Even more curious, from the DSL modem I saw this error.
# ping 10.42.41.2
PING 10.42.41.2 (10.42.41.2): 56 data bytes
ping: sendto: Operation not permitted
I checked for loose cables or ethernet errors, but there were none. I checked system loads and free memory, all fine. I even tried re-arranging the network to eliminate the WRT54G, which incidentally is still how the system is set up, but that didn't help either. In desperation I even unplugged the server and tore the routes out of the Actiontec, but still the packet loss persisted. From the server to the WRT54G was fine. But from the upstream DSL router to the modem, or from my WRT54G to the modem both had large amounts of packet loss.
It finally occurred to me that I need to just reboot the modem, which had been up for about 90 days previously. Now that may seem like an obvious thing to some, and in the Windows world I suppose it is, but in general it's not a good answer and for Linux and Cisco systems most of the time you can find an actual solution. I guess deep down I still have hope that this modem, which is based on Linux, will grow up to be a real boy, er, router. That hope sunk further today as the reboot magically fixed everything.
I guess the question remaining is how long until the modem does it again. Who knows? At least I know what to do now and not to waste time debugging the network. It's so frustrating. It makes me wonder what Actiontec would say about their poor excuse for a router. Probably something like "we have leveraged enterprise technology to bring a workable product to market at a price point that consumers can afford". Maybe there would be more buzz words, I'm not really up on those at the moment. I don't think they would say anything about quality because I doubt they ever cared. Sell, sell, sell and screw the buyer. It's pathetic and the worst part is, they're not the only ones. It's a trend in this country and it makes me sick, especially when I find myself buying into it.