The tyranny of terrible tech support
Terrible justifications for terrible decisions
By Mark Gibbs | Network World US | Published: 10:30, 25 September 2011
"Currently 2Wire does not support Universal Plug and Play (UPnP). 2Wire customises all gateway products and software to meet the requirements of our ISP partners. If supporting UPNP became a requirement, 2Wire will include the functionality to the system. UPNP allows the OS to control the firewall configuration that could have an adverse effect on any systems running behind a firewall that is being controlled by malicious software operating on a LAN-based computer."
Tell me, who writes this stuff?
The above is quoted from 2Wire's so-called Gateway Product Support page that you get to by clicking on the Help link on the management interface of a 2Wire 2701HG-B Gateway. Yes, I know it's an old model (really slow with some horrible user interface bugs), but these devices are still out there by the thousands so they are unfortunately relevant.
What is so annoying about this "explanation" (other than the text being written by someone who was obviously semi-literate) is they don't just come out and say "no"; they beat about the bush, push the issue in the direction of the ISP, and then imply it's a bad idea altogether. Really? Shame on you, 2Wire.
Anyway, I stumbled across this nonsense while setting up a new toy/product here in the Gibbs Universal Industries Secret Underground Bunker, a QNAP TS-1079 Pro.
The QNAP TS-1079 Pro is a network-attached storage device with 10 SATA drive bays that can provide up to 30TB of storage in an office-friendly package. I say "office friendly" because its noise emission is rated at a reasonable 30db in the configuration I have, which is with 10 1TB drives.
Powered by a Dual Core Intel Core i3-2120 3.3 GHz processor with 2GB DDR3 RAM, the QNAP TS-1079 Pro comes with two 1Gb Ethernet ports as standard, two USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports and two eSATA ports. Roughly toaster oven size it consumes (again, in my configuration) 121 watts in operation and 40 W on standby.
You can configure the QNAP TS-1079 Pro to be a single giant disk volume, a number of single disk volumes, a single RAID 0 striping disk volume, one or more RAID 1 mirroring disk volumes, a RAID 5 disk volume, a RAID 6 disk volume or a RAID 10 disk volume.
So, where to begin with features? This is tricky because this system is loaded.
Perhaps a good place is the reason I was checking to see if my Internet gateway was UPnP-enabled: This was because the TS-1079 supports a service called MyCloudNAS.
MyCloudNAS is essentially a Dynamic DNS service that allows you to publish and access applications running on a QNAP NAS system on the Internet. You register whatever subdomain name you like on MyCloudNAS, configure your QNAP device and voila! Your remote users can access your NAS-based apps.
Next week, we'll delve into more detail on the QNAP TS-1079 Pro. In the meantime, after careful prodding of the wretched 2Wire product, it looks like I'll have to replace the gateway. For some reason it doesn't know anything about the QNAP device, and if the gateway can't see a machine on your network, then you're out of luck as there's no way to tell the gateway to enable port forwarding for that address!
Who was the numbskull who thought that was a good idea?