Archive for November 30th, 2015

Time Warner RoadRunner vs. SSH: Help Wanted

So Time Warner updated the infrastructure upstream of Mary’s folks and installed a new cable modem / router, which killed my remote access using ssh (with RSA keys, passphrases, nonstandard ports, fixed internal IP addresses, port forwarding, port triggers, and all the Right Stuff). I just spent a harried pair of days trying and failing to figure out how to make this work again.

My laptop can ssh into my file server from our house network, both wired and wireless. Ditto when it’s on the Squidwrench Operating Table. Ditto from the low-quality Hampton Inn WiFi near her folks. Plunked on their desk and jacked into their router, however, that outbound ssh times out somewhere between their bits and my basement.

I dinked with the TW Surfboard modem / router, added the appropriate port forwarding & triggers, dialed back the firewall intensity, and ssh flat out doesn’t work in either direction from any PC (all running various Linus flavors). No diagnostics, no logs, nothing that I could find.

From the outside (our house or the Hampton), there’s no response from the PCs inside (on their desk). I’m not trying a loopback from inside to inside, which I know doesn’t work with consumer-grade routers. I’d planned to ssh from there to my basement file server, then ssh back to verify that the connections worked, but the outbound connection doesn’t work.

Probably unrelated, but equally frustrating: trying to configure Thunderbird’s outbound SMTP with their email server flat-out doesn’t work. Either the username / password isn’t valid (it is), various combination of ports / security / encryption (including the ones in the TW FAQs) don’t survive the configuration test, or a seemingly valid configuration doesn’t actually transmit email. Incoming email works only in IMAP mode, not POP3.

I finally set up outbound TW email to bankshot through his Gmail account, which will probably have unforeseen side effects.

The usual Google searches were unavailing, other than several notes suggesting that if you have any other choice of ISP or email provider than TW, do that. But it’s not like they have any choice; Verizon provides 1 Mb/s (!) DSL in that area and satellite Internet isn’t going to happen in an apartment.

Obviously, I’m doing several things wrong, but I have no idea what else to try. I’ve set up email and remote access often enough to get a whole bunch of things right, but that sure didn’t help with TW.

Any suggestions?