I get the gremlins bad.. by bad I’m talkin’… every single ethernet interface in my house gets fried simultaneously. Routers, switches, all the supporting hardware.. even my poor Xbox 360 wasn’t spared.    When the ISP tech splits, he leaves me a Westel 9100EM (Westel A90-9100EM15-10) router to replace my fried one.  Connectivity is simple with the exception of port forwards they’re convaluted but managable.  I go about my biddness.

A week goes by and I begin to notice when I’m inside on the home LAN connectivity to my (local lan) web server is spotty with the server returning “page cannot be found” 3 outta 5 times I try to connect.  Outside the LAN on the interweb I can connect to the same server just fine.   That’s when it dawns on me… it’s the f’n router.  (It doesn’t like these cans?!)

Ok it’s not all the f’n router’s fault.  I’m asking the 9100EM to do what most IP purists consider “witchcraft or chicanery” What’s sometimes called “NAT reflection.”  That’s where I ask my browser to find the webserver on my local LAN using it’s externally resolved domain name such as www.mydomain.com.  To date I’ve never had a SOHO (cheap ass’t) router that didn’t silently and reliably “reflect” without issue.  All Waldon‘y n shiz.  The router behaves as if it has very few NAT loopback sessions or just plain sucks at NAT reflection.  Either way over the next few days I’ll be cracking the case on this scooby doo mystery and get proof my Westfail is at fault.  I’ll post the results here.  Drop a line if you have a favorite test or util.

In the mean time I’ve used the purists solution, a split DNS / hosts file.. and viola the connectivity issues stopped… proof the Westfail is up to no good I tells ya. 

Westel-FIOS A90-9100EM15-10
Matrix21 router session tool instructions
Max session tool download
Useful Nat refelction split DNS link from PFsense firewall
Port forwarding instructions Westel FIOS 9100EM A90-9100EM15-10

PAT – Port address translation
NAT – Network address translation