DSL network question

OK, I have set up LANs using ISDN, Cable, and even satellite connections. Is there anything about a DSL setup that I need to know? Any difference from cable? Obviously, I am switching to DSL (because of a move). I only need to connect 2 PCs. Is it worth it/possible to just get a DSL modem for each one and plug them into the phone jacks? I don’t use the networking anyway. Basically, it is just my PC and my wife’s, and they don’t need to communicate (I also have a hub, in case i just WANT to connect them one day).

Only one DSL modem per line, regardless of number of jacks. DSL modems typically synchronise upstream all by themselves. DSL modems may come with built-in router. ISPs typically offer DHCP or PPPoE connections.

2 computers: if the DSL modem they give you is also a router and a hub/switch, plug each computer into it using ethernet cables.

If it is just a router, you can either plug a switch (your hub will do just fine) into it, then plug each computer into the switch.

If the DSL modem is just a modem, you can only plug one computer into it. To do more, you’ll need a router.

You are unlikely to get very far trying to plug two computers directly into one DSL modem (through a hub or switch) without a router. This is because your ISP will probably only let you have a single IP address. One computer will get a hookup, the other one will probably just get nothing.

Get a router, in other words, if one isn’t built into your DSL modem. If you are really cheap or freakish about minimizing the number of wires or something, you could always install an extra network card in your main computer and and use it as the router (Internet Connection Sharing). PLug one ethernet card into the DSL modem and the other into your other computer.

Ok, I have a router. I was using it with my cable connection. So, now I have the DSL modem setup, and it works just fine with my computer plugging straight into it (ethernet, not USB).

So I tried just plugging everything into the router, since I already had it all set up before. But it isn’t working. Two possibilities occurred to me. First, the Bellsouth CD may have changed my network settings for some reason. Second, those network settings may be wrong for DSL for some reason.

Which one is more likely? I tried running the network wizard (while plugged into the router) but it didn’t work either. So I plugged back into the modem and everything is fine now. What am I doing wrong?

Is there some magic software you had to install on your PC to make it work?

I think you’ve got to configure your router to connect to BellSouth – PPPoE perhaps.

Well, I think the CD they included just configured my connection settings to use Bellsouth’s modem. But maybe I need to add something similar to the router, yes. I’ll see if I can get that to work…but the modem does all the work. I could swear I didn’t have to do anything special to the router with the cable modem.

You put your email and password into the bellsouth software, right? Well, that’s what it uses to connect and authenticate. DSL is (for the larger companies, anyway), a process with a few more steps.

Here’s a link that might help:


It’s linksys specific, but you’ll have most of the same stuff in any router you’ve got.

Apparently, some idiot (whistles) was only putting in the first part of the email address, instead of adding the bellsouth.net part…

anyway, thanks for your help!

I don’t know why you’d add a second router when every ADSL modem I’ve ever seen that has an ethernet connection has a router built in. In fact, I’ve only ever seen one ADSL modem without a router - it was just a tiny little USB dongle type thing. Is there some sort of advantage here I’m not seeing?

My 4-year old DSL modem doesn’t have a router.

Same here.

When I was working tech support for Dell, I ran into plenty of DSL modems with no integrated router.

Ironically, my ISP (Speakeasy) doesn’t use modems with routers built in because the quality of those modems is apparently not as good as the quality of dedicated modems. Normally I’d call bullshit on that, but Speakeasy is ruthlessly honest (as well as a kick ass, if somewhat expensive, ISP).

My first DSL modem was just a modem. My ISP has been mailing out SpeedStream modem/routers recently to customers for free. I didn’t bother with it until the first modem basically stopped working, forcing me to replace it with the new one. I’m not going to make any assumptions about what stopped the modem working: it probably just packed in, as it was of obviously cheap construction.

The speedstream is fine, but a pain in the arse to anyone who already has a router: it has to be placed in bridge mode to work properly in this regard (or your router will itself be behind NAT on a 192.168.x.x subnet (with your computers behind the router’s own NAT on another nested 192.168.x.x subnet) which seemed to work OK for some things, but not for others. To get into the setup menu, however, required an Admin password that te ISP won’t give out! Thankfully someone leaked it onto DSLreports.

I’m using that ridiculous setup right now (i.e. speedstream is in router mode), but I haven’t run into any networking problems with anything. Bittorrent works, mirc fserv works, simple apache webserving works. What doesn’t work? (online games? I don’t play any of those…)

Your Speedstream DSL modem is most likely a different model than Rob’s.

I come across both types regularly, the ones that will not work unless you put them into bridge mode (usually the 5XXX-series) and those that don’t have a problem with a router being attached (usually the 4XXX-series).