Monday, June 26, 2006

DSL Router Setup

Yesterday I went over to my brother's new apartment to setup the Netgear WGR614v6 router that I gave him as a housewarming gift. He wanted to get Comcast cable modem service but it's not available for him, so he got Verizon ADSL instead.

Verizon uses PPPoE on its ADSL connections and their online help pages were remarkably unhelpful. There's no information on their site showing you how to setup a router, for instance. As a matter of fact, they state that you cannot use any home networking equipment other than what they'll sell you to share one of their DSL connections. Verizon's "help" page claims that they work with vendors to specifically build equipment to work with their service, implying that it is totally proprietary.


The Netgear router has a setup wizard which will automatically detect the type of Internet connection it's plugged into, and configure itself accordingly. I ran the wizard and entered Josh's account information, and we were up and running.

Take that, you pinheads.

Next, I had to setup the wireless part of his network. He has a 12" G4 PowerBook and wanted to be able to use the AirPort card from anywhere in the apartment. I changed the default SSID and enabled WPA-PSK encryption (which Apple calls WPA Personal in OS-X) and was able to the wireless working easily. After I tested it with my iBook and got his PowerBook connected, we disabled SSID broadcast, so that unless someone is using a wireless sniffer his network shouldn't even appear to other users.

I had Josh login to the router, pointed out various parts of the interface, and had him save a backup of the config to his laptop, in case he needs to default the box at some point.

Compared with my Comcast cable modem the Verizon speed is a lot lower. Josh was able to stream a video off Youtube easily, and checking my email presented no problems, but sending a large file attachment took a lot longer on the DSL connection than the cable modem. If I remember correctly, the upstream on the DSL is 128K. It's 384K on cable. For his uses, though, it'll suffice, and it sure beats 56K dial up.

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