Input on New Network with DSL

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by DeltaSpread, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. Greetings...

    Starting from scratch this weekend with a little project. I have 1 PC, 1 windows laptop, and a MAC; all hard drives have been totally wiped. Have a brand new DSL modem and a new Linksys router.

    I was basically wondering if I should tweak the router settings at all in order to maximize bandwidth/speed, etc. I have never really looked to intensely at the settings, normally just popped it out of the box, plugged it in and thats it.

    I know some people like messing with their MAC addresses, clones, etc. Any recommendations appreciated.

    Thanks in advance
  2. LeeD


    1) Connect everything vai cables and don't use WiFi. The latter always has occasional slowdowns due to interference, computers re-establishing connection etc.
    2) Get right cables. If you use gigabit ethernet, get CAT5E or, better, CAT6. Simple CAT5 won't do
    3) Check with your internet provider whether you are getting the maximum speed. You may have ADSL2+ available in the area but the provider may not offer the fastest option unless you specifically ask. Faster doesn't mean it costs extra.
  3. They sell DSL at different throughput. The higher the throughput the more you need to pay. What kind of throughput rate did you subscribe? Because no matter how you tweak your router your overall throughput is limited to what the service provider allocated to your subscription.

    The new kind of DSL modems already has a router built in. If you have one of those, then the external linksys router is no longer necessary. Do you have one of those DSL modems from your provider? IMO it is cleaner to get the routing function from the DSL modem itself instead of dealing with 2 gadgets. The price for having (DSL modem - no router, linksys router) and (DSL modem with router built in) are about the same.
  4. DSL is mileage sensitive the farther from CO the worse off. Set router to PPoE.
  5. Thanks I did not realize routers are now built in. I have not even opened the box yet. I concur that it would be much more streamlined that way. Yes the DSL modem was shipped to me from my provider.

    I will have to double check subscription rates and services. But I believe right now I have a cheaper throughput plan. Will have to upgrade that.

  6. Exactly and if I am not mistaken I believe I am not running off a direct connection from the CO on top of that issue. Will have to verify that.
  7. Thanks for the checklist.
  8. LeeD


    You are welcome!

    If you haven't got the router working yet, you probably need to contact the internet provider and ask them what settings they require. Performance is pretty much driven by the provider (and the length and quality of the cable). The modem is set up just to ensure compatibility.

    If you use WiFi, set the encryption to the most complex. Usually this will be WPA2. Some access points allow downgrading encryption if the connecting device doesn't support it. Encryption is as good as the weakest encryption allowed. So, just set it explicitly to one supported by all devices. You can "obscure PSK" but this will make connecting a new device to the network a little more difficult. The user will have to enter the network name manually rather than select it from the list. Some WiFi devices can check all wirelessly connected computers against a list of accepted MAC addresses. This is an extra hurdle for a naive intruder.

    Most modems allow changing their MAC address and in particular cloning the MAC address of one of the connected computers. (This is the MAC address ISP sees when the modem connects to the interrnet.) This is one of the things you'd already know if you needed it. For exmaple, it may be a requirement of the internet provider.

    It is possible to forward some or, in fact, all portd from the modem to one of the computers connected to the network. It's not required for typical home or business use and is in fact a security risk. You'd need to do it only if you are duing something special like running a Web-server on your network.
  9. My DSL provider is AT&T.

    I have their highest throughput plan that they called "Elite", rated at 6Mbps. $35 a month. They have other slower plans: 3Mbps, 1.5Mbps and 0.75Mbps. If you are going to share your bandwidth among multiple computers, I am not sure how any of the lower bandwidth options would be adequate, especially if you have a lot of charts. Cable modem is by far a much better bandwidth-for-your-buck service. (Unless you have FIOS).

    AT&T provided me a modem router:

    2Wire 2701HG-B

    It is optional. But I am very glad I bought this DSL modem/router. 4 ports and WiFi.

    Just take a look at the back of your DSL modem. If it has 4 RJ45 sockets, it is a router. If it has only 1 RJ45 socket, that's only a modem and you need your own router. Maybe you can ask them about swapping it for a DSL modem/router.
  10. How exciting, the DSL modem is in fact a router. I have 4 RJ45 sockets. However 1 of them is labeled LAN/WAN. Can I still connect a computer specifically to this port or not? What else could I use this LAN/WAN socket for since I do not need to hook up a router to the modem now?

    My service plans work the same as yours; meaning the more throughput you want, the more $$ it costs. But now I am curious, since my modem does support ADSL2, whether or not that is the actual infrastructure that is being run from my provider. I am going to ask.
    #10     Jul 4, 2010