I have a problem.

In the place where I reside, it's a multi-tenant complex where I don't have direct access to the router connecting to the internet. This router forces periodic logins through a credential screen.

That would not be much of a problem, except that each master account, one per tenant, accepts unlimited devices, but, the router only attributes a 10Mbs bucket per account.

The router also has issues. The building manager is not tech savvy in this manner, and said router is managed by an outside IT firm that is not really concerned with any of it, and the larger building management company (above the local manager) could not give two shakes less that the router needs repair.

What can be controlled, and what cannot be controlled? That's the core coin I need to analyze and flip first.

the first problem

All of the devices that we have active at any time each directly form a connection to the router and collect their own IP address. Because of this, the 10Mbs pipe allocated to us is split by the increment of each new device.

This number is a Roku, four laptops, two tablets, and three phones. Sometimes an Oculus headset. So, ten to twelve devices. Each with their own connection to the router, each splitting the pipe a little more.

My work involves using a softphone. I have enough downlink to hear calls, but not enough uplink to respond well audibly. All of these devices hog the bucket, and I have a disadvantage if they are all off. To be fair, I have taken to shutting the net off on several of those devices to thin the number of net hogs.

I'm irritated there's even a limitation to begin with, but I understand why. I've seen the other end of the spectrum where it was the Wild West and all of the gamer kids sucked the bandwidth right up.

This does present a challenge.

The goal of this project is now to get all of the devices attaching to a local access point on a high speed LAN, then using a single server to proxy out to the glorious Interwebby stuff. The account then has a single pipe. I want to take that pipe and point to point out to my higher speed servers.

I may completely be talking out my ass with this and end up stuck with just the 10Mbs link. If that's it, then okay. I'll know a lot more about all of this stuff and the various pieces by the time I'm finished.

my toolbox

The good news is that I have a mostly complete toolbox of hardware at the moment. The big thing I lack is the machine that shall become Rei. She's the one that will proxy to the Net, keep an eye on that damned router, and back check the internal network.

As far as the networking devices, somehow I ended up with all Netgear gear. I have three items at current:

  • Netgear GS605v5 Unmanaged 5 port switch
  • Netgear EX6250 Mesh Extender / Access Point
  • Netgear EX 3110 Range Extender

The basic concept I have at current is to set up Rei with Squid and have her do the outbound connection. All the ethernet systems and the Access Point connect to the switch.

Our other mobile type devices connect to the access point. All paths lead to Rei, and she talks to the range extender that is amplifying the signal from the closest wifi hotspot.

A single point now faces the internet, whilst all other devices hide in the background behind a local network.

We'll see how this goes.