Billion 743GE

As part of moving, I needed to get the Internet hooked up again, which meant getting a new ADSL modem. Looking around, there seemed to be good deals for combination ADSL modem/4 port hub/wireless access point dealies, and as it turned out I was able to get a second hand one for even cheaper. As you’ve guessed from this post’s title, I got a Billion 743GE, which does all of the above, as well as providing some VPN stuff.

First problem when I got it home was that I couldn’t ping it, even after doing a factory reset. Crap. Second problem was wireless wasn’t working at all. Double crap. Naturally, if you can’t ping it, you can’t use the web interface to configure it, either. Crap, crap, crap. Fortunately there’s a serial console mode you can use. Unfortunately, all the computers I use these days don’t have serial ports. Fortunately, I have an old box which I don’t use which still has a serial port. Unfortunately, the console mode seems to be completely undocumented.

Long story short, I managed to eventually tweak a couple of things to get the box to talk to computers other than the previous owners’, and managed to configure things up so that, well, I can post blog entries again. The web interface is nice, but doesn’t seem complete — you seem to be able to screw things up in the console interface that you can’t fix with either a facotry reset, or the web interface. And unfortunately the console interface doesn’t make an incredible amount of sense. It does look like I route the wireless and ethernet ports entirely separately though, and even possibly route each individual ethernet port separately. That seems like a pretty cool thing if I’m going to set up any VPNs using this little device, which I might — at the very least, I really don’t like having anyone be able to connect via wireless to the secure side of the VPN.

So far, it looks like a very cool product.

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