Dialup + Satellite = Happy Ook
May 18, 2005 10:03 AM   Subscribe

Home networking gurus: Is it possible to set things up such that most types of my net traffic will go through the satellite connection, but certain specific tasks will go over dialup instead?

I have direcway net access, because I live in the middle of nowhere and nothing better is available. It's passable for most things, but the latency makes it much worse than dialup for certain tasks.

Is there any way to get the best of both worlds, leave both hooked up and tell my LAN to send most traffic through the satellite, but to send stuff like ssh through the machine's internal dialup modem? (I only really need this on the one OSX box; the rest of them can just use the satellite for everything.)

Bonus points if it can switch everything over to the modem temporarily on the frequent occasions when the direcway decides it needs to reboot.
posted by ook to Technology (5 answers total)
Response by poster: Bluh. I probably picked the wrong category. Me sucks at metadata.
posted by ook at 10:04 AM on May 18, 2005

I believe what you want is policy based routing, which doesn't appear to be built into OSX. Since it's BSD-based, though, there's a pretty good chance this is possible.

You may want to read about configd and configuration agents if you want some technical background on OS X routing. Thos links won't solve the problem but they're a starting point. The automatic routing to dialup if the sat connection dies should be attainable without anything too complicated--in fact OS X appears to do this automatically for wired/wireless connections, so I imagine it's not too hard.

Routing based on applications (destination port) is referred to as "policy based routing" and as I said is probably possible but I haven't yet found it. Sorry I'm not a bigger help.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:37 AM on May 18, 2005

Response by poster: That's a helpful start, actually -- you've given me a hook to hang my google hat on, at least. I was having a hard time finding useful search terms for this one.
posted by ook at 11:14 AM on May 18, 2005

I'm not conversant in OSX, but it seems to me that you may want to take a look at the Linux Advanced Routing & Traffic Control HOWTO and Policy Routing with Linux (which is an actual book, this is the online version missing two chapters).

They'll at least provide you with google fodder and some theoretical framework to hang your hat on and then get to work. I have no idea if you can get ipchains to work on OSX (some googling says it comes with OSX, natch), but if not, a standalone linux box is always a good solution.

In fact, I firmly believe a standalone linux box is the solution to most of the world's problems.
posted by splice at 12:06 PM on May 18, 2005

Yeah, you could of course get a Linksys WRT54G(s) and run one of the distributions for it, or run something like m0n0wall on a PC or Soekris board (both small, Linux solutions). But, you're running a BSD box, which typically has similar capabilities to Linux. If you don't care if it just works on the mac or not, why bother?

But, hey, if you wana buy more stuff, go for it. You will have increased functionality, so that's good.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 5:00 PM on May 18, 2005

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