Category Archives: connectivity

Nigerian Networks, Servers and Long Queues

Day after day, many Nigerians stand in line for hours at banks, airline ticketing offices, government service providers like Customs, Driver’s Licence Authority, Hospitals, etc. The usual culprit is that “the network is slow” or “the server is not going”. As a Network Engineer, I cringe each time I hear “the network” being blamed for portal design or capacity planning failure.

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Stopping daylight robbery by network operators


** Update – The Consumer Protection Council indeed followed my complaint up with MTN. MTN has since refunded the airtime which they claim was deducted by the third party Value Added Service provider who subscribed me without my consent. MTN requested that anyone I know who has suffered something similar should contact them on 180. **

From time to time, I receive SMS notifications about some new service that I should subscribe to for X amount per day/week/month. Usually I just ignore them but recently I discovered that I have been automatically subscribed by the network operator (in this case MTN Nigeria) with a note that I can stop the deductions by texting a code to a particular number. Being a busy person, I did not take note of this until several deductions had been made,

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Semi-technical intro to web hosting and domain registration (Internet presence basics Part 1)

Getting your personal/corporate website on the Internet involves a number of distinct but related components. People often get them mixed up because they would usually source all components from the same person (or company).

Over the years, I’ve had to explain the components during domain or hosting transfer so I’m putting this online in case someone finds it useful.
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mikrotik server dns hijacked 20150624

Remote rogues spoiling your web experience?

To the terminally impatient who can not read long posts, scroll to the last paragraph.

In the quest for speedy web browsing and Internet bandwidth savings, many of us make use of servers/appliances that have HTTP and DNS caching functionality. Of course, the lazy (or accidental) administrator does the barest minimum to get the service working and moves on.

In the old days with lean VSAT bandwidth, many could (mis)configure their Web and DNS devices yet nothing bad would happen (mostly). Now that we have optic fibre internet connections however, it is a very different case. Continue reading

Just another day at the office (Little devices slaying giant networks)

The long email below is something I sent to a Consortium member that has been having challenges with browsing speed due to unseen forces guzzling their bandwidth.

I had to audit the network for several days using a Mikrotik router to be totally sure. Thought I’d share part of my report here with anyone having a similar experience. Hopefully, I make it a guide someday. Continue reading

Today I learned what dirt can do to your network

A very dusty environment can cause dirt to build up in a Cisco router in turn causing a Serial Interface Card to malfunction and spew out more CRC errors than data which in turn causes very high round trip times and packet loss.

We only found this after several days of troubleshooting and fixing other problems at this C-band VSAT site. Problem solved by opening up router and using a vacuum cleaner. No engineering involved; just plain old cleaning. Of course this would not have been necessary in a clean environment.

Cisco router after years in the dust 2-DSC01280