Several months ago I switched from Shaw to Telus for both HDTV and internet service. While I have been reasonably happy with Telus Optik TV and Telus Optik Internet, there have been several challenges along the way. For example, in a previous story, I talked about some much needed improvements for Telus Optik TV. In another story, I also talked about the potential challenges of adding a second wireless access point to your Telus Optik network.
Today’s story is about my problems with accessing a Windows share via the WLAN on the Actiontec V1000H VDSL Modem Router, which is provided by Telus when you sign up for the Telus Optik High Speed Turbo package.
Until recently, I never had a problem with accessing Windows shares via the Actiontec’s WLAN. Lately, however, I have been receiving the following error message when accessing Windows shares from a wireless client running Windows XP:
share-name is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource. Contact the administrator of this server to find out if you have access permissions. The network name cannot be found.
Note that when I connect a Windows XP client or Windows 7 client to the Actiontec V1000H via a wired LAN port, I have no problem accessing the Windows shares. Furthermore, when I connect a second wireless access point to my network (e.g. a Netgear WNR3500L running DD-WRT) wireless clients of that access point also have no problems accessing the Windows shares on my LAN. So, the problem only occurs when the access is attempted over the V1000H’s WLAN. The Actiontec V1000H wireless clients can get on the internet, they just can’t access Windows shares on my LAN. Lame!
Thinking it was a Windows XP issue, I also tried accessing the same Windows share from a Windows 7 wireless client. Unfortunately, this produced a similar error message:
Windows cannot access share-name. Error code: 0×80070035. The network path was not found.
As I said, this used to work, so something must have changed recently. I don’t recall making any firewall or permissions changes to the Windows 7 computer hosting the share. Perhaps it was a recent Windows Update? Maybe…but I suggest Telus made a recent change to the Actiontec router that inadvertently broke wireless file sharing.
According to my hacking notes from November 2011, my Actiontec V1000H was running firmware version 31.30L.48 back then. Now, according to the Actiontec’s lame web admin interface, it is running firmware version 31.30L.55. Clearly, Telus must have remotely upgraded my firmware sometime between November 2011 and now (May 2012). Furthermore, I can certainly confirm that the new firmware version behaves differently from the old one. For example, I can no longer SSH to the V1000H; indeed, this is confirmed in the version 31.30L.55 change log where it says “Closed Local SSH ability from LAN client to V1000H”. Perhaps firmware version 31.30L.55 has other changes that inadvertently break file sharing for wireless clients?
I suppose I could call Telus’ tech support to help me out with this problem but frankly, I just don’t believe they’ll have a solution. So, I worked around the problem by simply turning off the WLAN radio on the Actiontec. Instead of the Actiontec, I now use a Netgear WNR3500L for wifi on one side of the house and an Asus RT-N16 for wifi on the other side of the house. Both run DD-WRT and both use ebtables to block IGMP multicast floods on the WLAN when watching Telus Optik TV.
Maybe one of these days Telus will give power users a little more control over the Actiontec V1000H modem router. Until then, we’ll have to keep finding silly hacks and workarounds to make the thing work they way we all want it to. As it stands right now, the Actiontec V1000H sucks with Telus’ current firmware.
Actually, using IGMP proxy, I may soon be able to put my own pfSense router behind the Actiontec and connect the Cisco HDTV PVR and terminals to my router, instead of the Actiontec. That would allow me to have almost complete control of my network and, in effect, turn the Actiontec into a modem instead of a modem/router. In my limited testing of IGMP proxy on a pfSense router, it seems to play well with Telus Optik TV. However, I can’t currently complete my plan because I still have one section of my house that uses a coaxial cable to connect an HDTV terminal to the network, which means I must use the HPNA port on the Actiontec V1000H. As soon as that coaxial cable is replaced with Cat5E, I can complete my plan. Stay tuned.