Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Safari 4 vs a Netgear router: Safari won.

It's true, I am am a technical magpie. I can't help but gather shiny new things. To put on my shiny MacBook Pro, Apple recently released a shiny new version of Safari.

Well, Safari 4 is technically a beta, but it's shiny and new so I just had to download and install it. Must... click... install...

Most people seem to think Safari 4 is marvelous, when they're not arguing over the position of the tabs (tabs in the title bar, that's heresy!). And indeed, it is. It's quite fast, and the new pretty shiny things it provides are both pretty and shiny. If idiots can't find where they've hidden the "stop" and "reload" buttons, then it serves them right. All good stuff.

Almost.

Sadly, Safari 4 has lead to a networking fiasco chez Goodliffe. After a few minutes of Safari use, my laptop now stops accessing the internet. Well, at least it fails to complete any http or rtsp traffic. Pinging IP addresses works OK, and my VPN connection can be started and stopped (the VPN connection uses a fixed IP address). DNS lookups also fail. Traceroutes work.

It's taken me ages to track down the problem. I discovered that my trusty Netgear FWG114P wireless router is a feature-packed network device that can insulate me from networking problems. Including denial of service attacks perpetrated by Safari on my laptop... Safari 4's speedy page fetching provokes the router into thinking it's a hacker's SYN flood. The computer is ceremonially booted from the network for a while as penance.

The solution, if you suffer this problem, is to go to the Rules page on the router's web-based admin interface, and disable Block TCP flood and Block UDP flood. Then hope that this is something Apple will fix, and you'll remember to switch the features back on next time.

That's a short description of a problem that's taken me ages to track down and sort out.

Apples, eh? They Just Work.

13 comments:

Rik Hemsley said...

Expensive computer, cheap router.

Tsk tsk ;)

lijialefw said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
idbill said...

hmm... I'm having this problem, but disabling the firewall isn't something I'm willing to do. Interesting thing is, it doesn't happen often and appears to be 1 of a few IP's:
67.148.71.53
72.4.113.33 80
74.125.155.133 80
74.125.155.118 80

I've posted the issue on the netgear forum, and the consensus is my MacBookPro has been hacked!

http://forum1.netgear.com/showthread.php?t=39206&highlight=google

Pete Goodliffe said...

Interesting. Not quite the same problem I was having, then.

Seems rather unlikely your MPB has been hacked, though, doesn't it?

Ambroz said...

Pete, thank you for the revelation.
I'm using PC (Win 7 64 bit) with Safari 4 and Netgear RP614v4 Router. Also having the same "TCP SYN FLOOD" attacks, that were driving me crazy. Until I figured out that the attacks happened at the time I started Safari browser. Your post confirmed my concerns.

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