Making O2 donglenet more reliable

Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.

In theory my ADSL finally goes live tomorrow. The frustration of trying to work without a reliable ‘net connection has been high. The O2 mobile broadband account has been a life-saver, although it certainly has its failings.

There’s one thing that has been rather a bother. While SSH connections are fairly manageable, the only problem being intermittent disconnections lasting 5 to 10 minutes, HTTP behaves very badly. Even when I did have an apparent working ‘net link, evidenced by the fact that my SSH sessions were still live, HTTP connections would time out and fail regularly.

I have HTTP working pretty well now, here’s what I did:

  1. Forward all HTTP(S) to a remote proxy, in my case running on a machine I have in Germany.
  2. Stop using the O2 allocated DNS addresses, I’m using OpenDNS‘s and instead, though I’m considering just using my own remote DNS server.

The former should be all that is required, however it looks like Opera uses local name resolution for something even when a proxy is set up. The latter alone may be sufficient too, since the ‘net is certainly still there but it looks like name resolution times out or fails.