Wii and My Strange ISP (MaxNet Thailand)

wiiOne of my distractions last weekend was my new Nintendo Wii. After playing my first game, I tried to get the Internet connection working without success. After spending few hours I finally found out why: The Wii Connection test DOES NOT send a user agent, and apparently my ISP uses a transparent proxy that will deny access to anything that doesn’t provide "User-Agent" header. It took me quite a long time to realize this.

It is quite a long story how I realized the problem. Connecting Wii trough direct connection never works, so I use my proxy server. It didn’t work either, so I looked at the log file, and tried to connect to URL listed in the log file (http://conntest.nintendowifi.net/) using my browser trhough my proxy server, and it works. I tried again using the Wii and now it works also. At that time I still don’t understand why. I just thought that Wii needs the proxy server, and since I don’t want to turn on my computer just to access the Internet through my Wii, I tried to install tinyproxy on my openwrt linksys router, and it still doesn’t work.

After sniffing with WireShark, I realized the difference in the header (Wii only sends 1 line of GET request). Squid is a caching server, when the Wii asks for the same document, it is already in the proxy server (because I tested the URL with Firefox), so the request was handled properly by my squid.

Realizing that, I installed squid on my router, with wget periodically pulling the connection test to refresh the cache. Now everything is OK, and I think may be I can just redirect the request to http://conntest.nintendowifi.net/ to my server, but I will wait to check at my squid log to make sure whether this URL is used for connection test only or for something else.

7 thoughts on “Wii and My Strange ISP (MaxNet Thailand)”

  1. I am amazed that you were able to come up with a solution. Believe it or not, I had the same *exact* problem, and would have never figured out the workaround had I not stumbled upon your site.

    Is there a workaround for connecting to Nintendo WFC? Or was setting up a proxy server with conntest.nintendowifi.net sufficient? For some reason, I can’t connect to WFC, but I’m not sure if this is the same issue or an issue going through squid3.

    In particular, these are the access logs for when I try to play Mario Kart online:
    TCP_MISS/200 2688 CONNECT naswii.nintendowifi.net:443 – DIRECT/209.67.106.143 –

    TCP_MISS/200 395 POST http://rcw.wc24.wii.com/cgi-bin/check.cgi – DIRECT/125.199.254.50 text/plain

    If this is a similar issue then I assume there is no easy workaround since I can’t really “cache” these urls. Any ideas?

    -manu

  2. For my problem, setting out a proxy server and accessing the server through my browser was enough. As for your problem, Right now, I don’t have any idea. It seems that the response for the connection to naswii.nintendowifi.net and rcw.wc32.wii.com has been successfully made. What error code did you get on the Wii?

  3. 61070 – which supposedly means Nintendo WFC is down.

    While this does happen on occasion, I have tried enough times where the chance of WFC happening to be down *every time* I connect is negligible.

    Could it be a problem with my Squid/Wii Proxy configuration (although my generous ACL policy is to let everybody through…)?

    The sad part is that I recently moved and before the move I had no issues playing Mario Kart Wii / Smash Brothers online, but afterwards I was completely stumped that I could not get an internet connection (and of course, when I contacted my ISP, they insisted that I am doing something wrong on my end…)

    At the very least, I got some closure as to why the internet wasn’t working, but with Mario Kart Wii, it is all for naught. =p

    -manu

  4. I have looked at the Internet for that error code, and it seems there are many people experiencing the same problem (other connection like Internet or News working, but WFC not working).

    Sorry, I think I am unable to help you with the problem, and I hope you can solve it.

  5. God Dammit – i just changed to MaxNet from Phuket Island Technology.. whilst i could happily use the WFC on Island Tech – the MaxNet wont do it.. for reasons probably mentioned above!

    Whilst im ok with basic computer stuff – the whole squid on router… sounds out of my depth.

    Anyone care to help? few beers should anyone visit sunny phuket in it for the solution! – perhaps a walkthrough or even better a “click and run” solution if someone is really clever.. im sure im not the only one with this problem!

    Waiting for help!

    Cheers

    James

  6. The Nintendo DSi engages in the same sort of stupidity; I find outgoing requests to “conntest.nentendowifi.net” in my log files just as a result of opening the thing.

    This is an idiot way to test a wifi connection – pinging the router would have been far preferable. As a result of Nintendo’s decision to do things this way, a little bit of internet congestion now makes it appear (from the user’s end) that their router isn’t set up correctly.

    Oh well.

  7. The Nintendo DSi engages in the same sort of stupidity; I find outgoing requests to “conntest.nentendowifi.net” in my log files just as a result of opening the thing.

    This is an idiot way to test a wifi connection – pinging the router would have been far preferable. As a result of Nintendo’s decision to do things this way, a little bit of internet congestion now makes it appear (from the user’s end) that their router isn’t set up correctly.

    Oh well. (reposting – it didn’t show up)

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