The Time I Completely Failed at Networking, Because Canada

Networking, eh?

Bam. It only took me, like, a second to come up with that joke. Aren’t you proud?

Anyway. There I was, networking and stuff – like all the cool people do, you know. I was trying to configure something on a server that was on the local network.

I was messing around with this particular server quite a bit around that time, and it went offline pretty frequently as a result. DNS broke, DHCP broke, the firewall was broken… every time the problem was different, but by that time I was expecting it, so it wasn’t really a surprise that I couldn’t connect to it.

I had most recently made firewall changes, so I reverted them. No dice.

There was already a physical console setup for this server because of the problems I was having with it previously, so I checked there. The server had internet connection.

But so did the computer I was trying to connect from. And only a single router separated them.

I tried pinging the gateway from my computer. It is one of those things you tend to do when you don’t know where things are broken, because it gives you a bit of assurance that at least something is working.

And… I couldn’t ping the gateway. Even though I was connected to the internet. Huh.

So I ran a traceroute to see what was going on, and discovered I had a different gateway than usual. But gateways don’t just randomly change like that, and no other computers on the network had network issues.

The problem? Canada.

What does Canada have to do with it?

Well… nothing, really. But also everything.

The problem was that I had made a change the other day. Suffice it to say that this is not the first time the problem I solve today was caused by that troublemaker I call past me. They are an idiot sometimes.

In this case, past me was clever enough to get a VPN set up. This VPN let me tunnel into Canada, to do… certain things. All perfectly legitimate, I assure you… just don’t tell anybody.

Unfortunately, I didn’t realize I was still connected to the VPN. So I was trying to access a local IP address from some random place in Canada. And that, of course, was never going to work.

I blame Canada.


Jacob Clarity


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