DSL Network Connection Setup

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Steve CDN

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I decided to try DSL this week after having held out using dialup since the beginning of time.  The provider supplied a wizard CD installation disk, which made me suspicious, but not having experience setting up a DSL connection, I submitted and used it for the step by step installation.

My worst fears were realized when I discovered the disk installed a help utility which hijacked Systray and ultimately caused by system to crash on loading.

There was some other utility installed which persisted in trying to call out, which I blocked with ZoneAlarm.

Once I uninstalled all the unwanted self serving utilities installed by the wizard disk, the DSL connection is working fine and the computer is stable again.

The DSL modem is hard wired to the network connection of the computer.

I want to install the DSL connection on another machine, but don't want to use the wizard disk.  Could someone walk me through how to set up a network connection manually on a machine that has never had a previous activated network connection.

Does Windows provide a wizard for connecting my wired DSL modem and if so what setting do I need to be aware of?

Thanks!
 

Ned

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Typically you would just set up your network connection to get its IP and DNS addresses automatically and let the DSL modem assign the addresses.  Connect your Ethernet port to the modem with a Cat5 cable and it should get the address assignments from the modem.  If you want to put a router behind the modem, it's a bit more complicated but the configuration depends on the modem and its capabilities.
 

PancakeBill

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Nice part of the router is you can contain the security.  It can act as a firewall, which in my experience is much less tempermental than Zone Alarm.  If you use a wireless router, you can take advantage of the wifi capabilities you may have.

The wizard allows the provider to make sure you have all their stuff.  (ugh)...  I didn't use iot for mine. 
 

Ned

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Some DSL and cable modems include a router and firewall, check the specs on your model.? If it does DHCP and NAT, then you already have the protection of a router and don't need the extra hardware and the more complicated configuration requirements.? If it just assigns one IP address to the connected device, then that device should be a router with a firewall.

A router firewall is only going to protect you from external attacks, it won't help if any malware gets into your comptuer and calls out.? That's where a software firewall like ZoneAlarm offers more protection.? However, if you practice what I call "safe computing" you should never get such malware in the first place, but most people aren't careful enough so they need the extra protection.? There are a lot of us that don't run any firewall other than what our router and XP give us, and no anti-virus software and never have malware problems.? Of course, this takes some effort to configure the computers correctly as the default settings are NOT as safe as they should be.? However, that's a topic for another time and has been discussed before.

As Bill suggests, a router with wireless access point is a nice thing to have, especially if you have more than one computer.? If your modem has the routing functions, then all you need is a wireless access point.

Steve, what is the make and model of the DSL modem?  I can see what I can find for configuration options for you.  You shouldn't need any additional software to use it.
 

Steve CDN

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Thanks for the great information!? The DSL modem is Westell? model B90-210030-04S2

if you practice what I call "safe computing" you should never get such malware in the first place, but most people aren't careful enough so they need the extra protection.? There are a lot of us that don't run any firewall other than what our router and XP give us, and no anti-virus software and never have malware problems.? Of course, this takes some effort to configure the computers correctly as the default settings are NOT as safe as they should be.? However, that's a topic for another time and has been discussed before.

It seems this subject cannot be underestimated, and could be updated with current thinking in this discussion thread
 

Ned

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I didn't find much on Google with that number, but this page has links to product sheets for all of the Westell DSL products: http://www.westell.com/pages/products/products.jsp.  As far as I can tell, the modems have both Ethernet and USB ports and the CD software was most likely for the USB support.  I would not use that but use the Ethernet connection instead.  If your modem is model 6100 (one Ethernet, one USB port), which I'm guessing it is, it has DHCP, NAT and a firewall.  If you only need to connect one computer, you don't need any additional hardware or software, unless you feel the need for the additional protection a software firewall other than the XP one will give you.  If you do use a software firewall, be sure to turn off the XP firewall to avoid conflicts.

If yours is a 6110 then it doesn't have the router or firewall and you would either need a hardware router (really only if you want to connect multiple computers) or run a software firewall on your computer.  In either case, I recommend for most people running antivirus software as well.
 

Ned

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Looking deeper into the Westell web site, your model B90-210030-04S2 is only offered to Internet Service Providers, independent phone companies, and distributors, and I can't find any product information at all on it.  However, it's called a WireSpeed? Dual Connect NAT Modem which implies is does at least NAT, which would also imply DHCP and probably routing.  Can't tell about the firewall so run a software firewall to be safe.

Here's a few links to more detailed information on your modem.  I leave it to you to read them and see how useful they are :)

User Guide in PDF http://www.fastaccess.drivers.bellsouth.net/documents/Westell_Guide.pdf
General info on using with various routers and switches http://www.dslreports.com/faq/8175

That should keep you busy for the rest of the day :)
 

Steve CDN

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Ned,

I really appreciate the time you took to poiint me to the information on the modem.  Once I get through this, I'll let you know if I have other questions.

Thanks!!!
 

John From Detroit

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DSL the easy way,

First: install Zone Alarm personal on ALL computers (if you have not already done this)

Now: spend the 10 or 20 bucks and get a router

Read the router's help manual, The set up disk that comes with the router may well contain NO softwrae (Well Acroread but you likely already have that)  Just go to the URL in the set up guide and configure the modem

With DSL you will go to the WAN configure page and select PPoE, you will then enter your user name and password.

And that, folks, is just about all there is to it: you are not set up and connected, everything works (Wried)

Wrieless there are a few more steps you should follow to secure the network

But the router handles all the conversion from DSL to "normal" and in addition it slaps in a decent degree of protection.. Not 100% but back it up with zone alarm and your system will be about as secure as it can get

I did have to do some additional security stuff,,, Block Pings,  Forwared one port to never-never land, that kind of thing but www.grc.com helps a low with security... Do visit
 

Steve CDN

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ZoneAlarm is already installed on all my systems.

If I don't plan to use more than one PC online at a time, is there a need for a router?

On a related topic, if two of my PC's are equipped with bluetooth, can that mode be used to transfer data or is bluetooth used to operate devices like a mouse, keyboard etc?

With DSL you will go to the WAN configure page and select PPoE, you will then enter your user name and password

Where is this located?
 

Ned

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Steve,

For one computer, you do not need a router, but the software firewall is good.  Use just the firewall, forget the Security Suite.  If you feel you need it, get a good antivirus program as well but viruses can be avoided with proper security settings and practices. 

Bluetooth is a very short range mechanism for attaching peripherals, like a wireless USB :)  It's not as fast, nor a safe, as a true network connection.  If you want to transfer data between multiple computer, then get a switch.  Since your 2100 modem includes a router, you could put the switch behind the modem and wire the computers to the switch.  You will have to do some configuration in ZA to allow file sharing on the local network while blocking it on the internet, but that's well covered in many places.
 
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