When the DSL Dies

Admit it: you’re dreading the day it happens to you. The day you open up your laptop and instead of getting email, you’re getting errors. When your Wi-Fi goes bye-bye. Yes, your internet connection has died, and you don’t know how to survive.

I so dread that moment, I have both DSL and cable internet connections. Usually, if something goes wrong, it just needs a restart of the broadband router or wireless access point. Generally if one connection dies, I don’t worry, and just switch to the other one.

But not this time.

I run my own servers off my DSL connection. This very website, for example. Not just the webserver, but the domain name service for getting to it. Oh, did I mention mail too? So when my DSL goes down, jasonian.net goes down, along with mail for midstart.com (my mailing list/opt-in marketing domain) and my other dozen or so domains.

And go down it did. The red lights on my DSL router indicted a serious problem. The normal steps of unplugging and replugging the router resulted in only more red lights.

It became clear after a conversation with SBC AT&T tech support that the router had died a violent death, possibly a power surge through the phone line. After disconnecting the power brick itself from the battery backup it’s usually plugged into and connecting it to another outlet, the device wouldn’t even power up. Not a single light. Sigh.

I was without DSL, and my servers and domains would be down until I could get a replacement router. To make matters worse, I was heading out of town over the weekend for E & L’s wedding in Tahoe, and wouldn’t be able to get a new one until I returned.

That means my servers and domains would be down for over four days.


I should probably rethink this whole “run my own server” thing and move my important domains over to a hosting provider.