I am a network technician based out of Tucson, Az who has been working in the field for many years and know as well as anyone that no matter how simple a job should be there will always be some sort of weirdness to be addressed.
But here is a tale that must be told .
I recently accepted a job to set up remote access for a customers CCTV DVRs installed in three different locations. Seemed simple enough on its face and in my bravado i told my customer this could be done in a matter of hours..
Certainly famous last words if there ever were some.
Arrived at the first site and downloaded the user manual to find the name of the client applications for that make and model. This was a Q-See DVR and i have set many of them up in the past but for some reason when i searched the Play-Store and I-Tunes i was not able to find any apps for the QS version, turns out that they in there infinite wisdom had pulled them from circulation, I couldn't even find a copy on the greater internet. Same thing for a Windows client. in fact my from what I could see my only choice was to use thr built-in web server and it would only work with I.E. v9 or lower. WOW!! Anyway DVRs are cheaper than my time so I recommended replacing them with newer models.
Since these cameras were being used to monitor a set of airport parking lots I also recommended that the replacements be able to handle IP based cameras in addition to the existing analog units that were onsite. He agreed and we picked up a reasonable hybrid unit for around 300.00$.
When it arrived i returned to the site and quickly set it up for our needs all that I needed to do now is forward the ports and be done with it.
Strangeness number two...
The site doesn't have a router, there is a beautiful Cisco 24-port switch plugged in behind a Linksys 4-port switch but no router. I can find three devices that have DHCP assigned address in the same LAN
but no router..
This is when i learned that their ISP was a small local WISP called Simply Bits, I had heard of them before but had never had the dis-pleasure of working with one of the subscribers. I called them and was told that a quirk in their setup was allowing this users equipment to run on their system and although I found this unusual at the time I really didn't think too much about it. Now I have to tell my customer that he will also need to buy a router for each of the properties, of course he is asking me why since his equipment seemed to work fine without it. I did my best to explain and he agreed to buy one..
Trip three, router is onsite what could go wrong..
After quickly configuring the brand new Asus router. I entered the forwarding rules and began testing my connectivity to the DVR.
OK calm down lets run a port check, ports are open, but wait this says my public IP is in the 68.172.xxx.xxx range and I am certain that my router picked a 172.17.xxx.xxx network space...
WHAT!!! 172.17??? isn't that a private address, what is going on..
All of a sudden it all comes together for me. When I spoke with the Support tech at Simply Bits he said something about us being in a VLAN,
Simply Bits has just set up a bunch of subnets separated by VLANs and reselling a single IP to god only knows how many subscribers.
This has got to be the scam of the century I think that i'll go ahead and add a NanoBeam to my roof and sell my neighbors access to the internet from my house. Yeah!! I'll limit their bandwidth to 1-2Mbs, with my 150Mbs I should be able to handle at least 25-30 users. Damm, at 25.00$ a month, I'll clear 500.00$ a month easy.