Off Topic - Internet Help Please.

bloaker

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Nov 14, 2011
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#1
Hey guys, I am sorry this is not bicycle related, but I could certainly use your help/experience.
My wife has been here two years and she has had internet through Sonixnet & NTT?
I am confused as two why we get two bills and what I am getting from each.

but the real question - I am working remote from my old job and I occasionally lose internet service (unacceptable). It is either the Modem or the outside the building. The router allows me to still ping the other computers on my network without any issues - but I an unable to reach the internet.

Megan called Sonixnet and they said the would have to contact NTT. Then they call her back and say there is no problem, but for 15700 yen, they will come to my house to look at it. Someone other than us owns this router - I guess we rent it? I have not idea if it is Sonixnet or NTT. I do not want to pay someone a ton of money to tell me what I already know if they come out and I don't want to pay a ton renting a modem if i could just go buy one.

I am asking two questions...
1) Can someone explain to my why there are two companies involved with me getting internet?

2) Is there a better service than these guys that I should look into?

Thank you again, I am sorry to post this here, but I really have no idea who to ask.
 

GSAstuto

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#2
NTT Is just the infrastructure provider. Depending where you live, you'll likely have some infra contract with NTT (North, South, East, West) JCI, USEN or other 'line provider'. SONIX is just the Internet Provider. NTT routes your connection to their switches and they actually provide the IP Data access. So - you might get 2 bills (or a combined one). If you're concerned about uptime - then I suggest getting another account on a completely different backbone - say KDDI so you have an option if one (or the other) drops.
 

joewein

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#3
The internet bill is split in two because there is one company providing either the DSL or fibre optics connection and another providing the internet connectivity (routing of data packets).

I'm using NTT Flet's for fibre to the home and @TCOM (Vic Tokai) for the actual internet service. My IP address is from @TCOM. There are over a dozen providers and probably better and cheaper ones than the one I'm using, but I'm reluctant to touch a system that works.

My Optical Service Unit (OSU), the box that converts the optical signal to Ethernet is provided by NTT. When using DSL or CATV internet there would be a similar unit. The OSU also supports hooking up analog phones and TVs via the optical line.

I own my own routers (Don't ask me why I have about 10 of them). I have one connected to the OSU. The router obtains one IP address from the internet provider and provides local IP addresses to all PCs and smartphones in the household, so they can connect to internet.

If there was a problem with the cable or OSU, I would have to call NTT, not the internet service provider.
 

Desune

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May 7, 2008
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#6
Our building is pre-wired for NTT Flets, so that's what we're using + Yahoo (Softbank) for ISP. I think it's split as an anti-monopoly measure...but that's just speculation.

From the wall-jack the cable goes into the NTT converter box, then out to the Softbank router. From there, I have my own router (for wireless capabilities and English UI) before the signal goes out to my computers. The phone is plugged into a splitter somewhere in there. It's been rock solid so far.

I don't think I can, but I wish I could eliminate the Softbank router from the chain.
 

Yamabushi

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#7
Our building is pre-wired for NTT Flets, so that's what we're using + Yahoo (Softbank) for ISP. I think it's split as an anti-monopoly measure...but that's just speculation.

From the wall-jack the cable goes into the NTT converter box, then out to the Softbank router. From there, I have my own router (for wireless capabilities and English UI) before the signal goes out to my computers. The phone is plugged into a splitter somewhere in there. It's been rock solid so far.

I don't think I can, but I wish I could eliminate the Softbank router from the chain.
Why can't you ditch the SoftBank router?
 

joewein

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#8
...because then you need to replicate the PPPoE setup of the Softbank router in your own router, rather than letting your own router simply use the DHCP service provided by the Softbank router.

I did the PPPoE setup on my own router (Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 reflashed with DD-WRT open source firmware) and it wasn't fun to get it working. Neither NTT nor the ISP really provide much support for setting up your own router.

Getting rid of the SB router doesn't buy you much (I presume it's included in the contract) except for a couple of W of power saving.

I also have a Softbank router hooked up in parallel to run the Home Antenna FT adapter (lousy mobile phone reception in my neighbourhood!), connected to one of the other Ethernet ports at the back of NTT's OSU.
 

Yamabushi

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#9
...because then you need to replicate the PPPoE setup of the Softbank router in your own router, rather than letting your own router simply use the DHCP service provided by the Softbank router.

I did the PPPoE setup on my own router (Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 reflashed with DD-WRT open source firmware) and it wasn't fun to get it working. Neither NTT nor the ISP really provide much support for setting up your own router.

Getting rid of the SB router doesn't buy you much (I presume it's included in the contract) except for a couple of W of power saving.

I also have a Softbank router hooked up in parallel to run the Home Antenna FT adapter (lousy mobile phone reception in my neighbourhood!), connected to one of the other Ethernet ports at the back of NTT's OSU.
I use the pfSense distro loaded on to my own box. It's an open source enterprise level firewall and can handle just about any conceivable situation. It has an English GUI, and it's free! See here:http://pfsense.org//

IMHO, getting rid of the SB router is important if you want to easily be able to port forward, it's better to have all your routing in one box, and it'll save space and possibly electricity.
 

joewein

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#10
I agree with the advantages you list, which is why I run my own router too.

However, it can be a little daunting for non-technical people without access to someone more experienced with this kind of stuff. Certainly not something my wife would enjoy setting up on her own!
 

joewein

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#12
I use the pfSense distro loaded on to my own box. It's an open source enterprise level firewall and can handle just about any conceivable situation. It has an English GUI, and it's free! See here:http://pfsense.org//
Glad to see you're happy with this, Pete. I see it requires a PC, even if it's a small one. The box I'm using has a Broadcom (MIPS) CPU and only draws a couple of W.

Uptime since last reboot: 228 days and counting! :D
 

Yamabushi

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#13
Glad to see you're happy with this, Pete. I see it requires a PC, even if it's a small one. The box I'm using has a Broadcom (MIPS) CPU and only draws a couple of W.

Uptime since last reboot: 228 days and counting! :D
Yeah, I've been using pfSense for years, and a lot of companies are using it in production. It's built on a stripped down FreeBSD kernel and is extremely stable. On a couple of occasions, I've had up times of over a year. It's really industrial strength and can do anything any top of the line firewall can do. It's really only limited by what hardware you choose to purpose for it. I highly recommend it! :thumb:
 
Apr 3, 2012
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Tama Center <-> Otemachi
#14
Add more data points. I have NTT Flets and Asahi Net as the ISP. Asahi Net has English service and for me has been "dial tone" service. Easy, straight forward setup, and haven't looked at the config for over 2 years now.

I'm not too sure what it's called, but the modem (?), has fiber leading to it. The output has two POTS (telephone), two ethernet ports, and two co-ax. The POTS act just like a copper wire telephone. PPoE to connect to the Internet. And the interesting bit is the co-ax that services the television and radio. From the televisions perspective, the co-ax signal is from an aerial antenna and BS/CS dish. There is also FM and AM on the co-ax as well.

I'm curious what's going on the backend. Is NTT pulling signal over the air, converting them into digital to distribute over fiber, my modem doing the digital to analog conversion, and finally the television do the analog to digital conversion?
 

joewein

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#15
You probably have something like the box on the left:

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Flh3.googleusercontent.com%2F-1QuEjhrZPs4%2FTXGXTnXHWXI%2FAAAAAAAABNg%2FbpGidGRMyWI%2Fs800%2FIMG_0256.JPG&hash=e72155946f25812ce8a365cd63b14048


It's an optical service unit. The signal comes in via a glass fibre (basically, a laser), onto which the internet data, the digitized phone signals and the radio and TV signals are modulated. The OSU does the conversion back to the conventional interfaces (Ethernet, POTS, coax for radio and TV).

Second from the right is my router, the other two units are the CATV-equivalents of the OSU which went away once I had the FLETS setup working.
 

GSAstuto

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#16
I guess I'm old fashioned -- I use a couple of older CISCO PIX units and then a BSD box with Squid, IPTABLES and some other packages for my internal proxy server / firewall. Actually for what he was really asking for (redundant internet) I'd suggest using a Watchguard unit which can accept multiple WAN connections and then failover accordingly. I used those in a couple of companies before where we had necessity for near 100% uptime. Then split the WAN connections to completly different service providers and physical carriers.
 

Desune

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#17
I did the PPPoE setup on my own router (Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 reflashed with DD-WRT open source firmware) and it wasn't fun to get it working. Neither NTT nor the ISP really provide much support for setting up your own router.
Really?...so it can be done...I might have to look into that. It bugs me to have to forward ports through both routers. I'm also running DD-WRT on a Netgear WNDR3700...it rocks!
 

joewein

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#18
Actually for what he was really asking for (redundant internet) I'd suggest using a Watchguard unit which can accept multiple WAN connections and then failover accordingly. I used those in a couple of companies before where we had necessity for near 100% uptime. Then split the WAN connections to completly different service providers and physical carriers.
I was reading his request more as "how do I get it working properly", not as how to get complete redundancy.

But if he did opt for that, he could use for example FLET'S and DSL, with two different providers, or CATV and DSL. However, FLET'S has been extremely reliable for me. I both upload and download about 3 GB per day on average and in close to two years I have yet to see the need for a backup connection.

For troubleshooting for the immediate problem, I'd look at whether the router has an IP address assigned to the WAN port. Does the IP address change every time there is a break in connection? Does a reset of the OSU and router help at all?

The NTT charge is probably for looking at equipment which is not their own, i.e. the router.
 

bloaker

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#19
My immediate issue was just absolute downtime while I was working.
I ended up just adding wimax to my phone plan with tethering.

I am a software developer and my source control server is in Virginia.
I am required to ensure I check in code daily as well and do pushed to Dev and Production Servers.

Yesterday I was very flustered when I was attempting to check in code and was down for 5 minutes or more.

The night prior I had a 20 minute lapse in connectivity.

This is a fairly recent deal - per my wife. She has not had issues in two years, but I am on the network more than her.

When I started asking her about the service, she seemed to have no answers other than we get two bills. She was not sure who to call or what to do to try and resolve the issue. She did finally get a hold of someone - but they were unable to do much.

I will get it sorted out, but at least now I understand why there are two bills and hopefully I will soon resolve the downtime issue.
 

FarEast

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#20
Guys a lot of modern Routers will allow you to "Clone" the setup of another router - this will then allow you to ditch the rental.

I suggest making sure the Firmware is up to date as these feature became available on mine last firmware update.