The network over the year(s)

Filed under: Stories — Beneluxland @ 3 November 2009 20:39

What can I tell you about all the time I spend on this network…

Since middle 2006 I used the internet connection from a friend on the 5th floor. He was providing a, spider like, network around the building for all who wanted to use the internet. In August 2008 I started my own network, intentionally for the 1st floor only.

Well there I started, with a small server, 3 wireless accesspoints and some wires!

Hmm well, there was my first network connection. It took me and my neighbor quite some effort to connect every accesspoint on the several floors. There where floors where no power outlet was available, so we needed to create one. There where floors where we couldn’t drill in the walls to mount our brackets. Etc etc.

Damn if I think back on all the hours we spend, the laughs we had together, and the strange places in this building we found (don’t mind asking me about this ‘room’ on the 6th floor though) and almost forgot to mention, all the beers we had together!

I didn’t write it down how many accesspoints we did in the months but in total there are now 13 pieces around the building.

We where at one point very fast in placing an accesspoint and rolling out the wires (about 1,5 or 2 hours a piece). But we could have never have done that without the help of some Ikea shopping card and later a much better ‘network installation cart’.

Meanwhile the old server was replaced and a new location for the network servers was found. But since people where already using the network connection to visit their p0rn websites, I couldn’t just disconnect some wires and place some new hardware. All was done in phases.

There it was, everything on the floor, running and providing internet access to all the ones who wanted to use it. Meanwhile it is around January 2009. A short while later I created a website where people could register to use this network connection, later known as Also the network was upgraded with a second line to the outside world.

But a few weeks later I needed to change the location of the hardware again, so this time I decided to do it good. A desk was placed and some devices where put on a wallboard.

In the months following me and my neighbor put some more accesspoints around the building, and I changed the beneluxlaan website entirely. People could now register on the site and extend their access if necessary. Also a NOC (Network Operations Center) was created to monitor the network load and performance. The overview created by this systems is updated every 5 minutes and can be found here. Also a third line to the scary outside world was rented.

Everything was working well, and during summer 2009, when there where almost no people using the network I decided to disconnect every cable and wire and put them all nice on the wallboard so my overview which cable went where was improved. Also this created some nice view in the lonely darkness.

You know, during this ‘experience’ I learned a lot, and some people even think I make a good living out of this project, think again, think about all the time I put in this project, and other people such as my neighbor helping me, my friend who was all the knowledge of the Cisco devices in my network, all the hardware that had to be bought or just the bills I have to pay every month.

The group of people who used the network around August 2008 where very happy that they could check their e-mail and visit facebook or youtube, downloading movies was not done by these students because they knew that it would slow down their network.

These days (November 2009) almost everybody thinks there is this university like network connection over here, well think again (look at this building for one second longer), mind your house mates if you download a p0rn movie, that reminds me to pause my download ^^

After more than a year working on this project I have never disliked it at all, but there has been some stressful moments! I hope that you enjoy the network as much as I do! And above all, this project is the best way to get to know you all, even that you are only here for one or two semesters! I truly miss all the people from the last semester but we have an amazing night to remember.

Living here for 4 years has done me good, and this project is one of my biggest! For all the exchange students, I welcome you to visit one of the many party’s given by other exchange students here to see how we live! Beneluxlaan aka Beneluxland

3th of November 2009