Monday, March 19, 2007

Aborted DSL Install

Yesterday morning I went over to a friend of my parents to help her setup a new DSL connection. Verizon shipped her a Westell DSL modem/router along with a CD containing Flash-based instructions on how to connect her PC to the gateway and install the DSL filters on her phones. It was rather well done, IMO.

Unfortunately, the modem would not lock. To isolate the problem we took the Westell gateway down into her basement and plugged it into her NID. Lo and behold, it locked. This is the second time I've seen this happen when trying to install a DSL modem in an older house. The old internal wiring simply won't support the DSL signal.

She's going to call Verizon to get a home run from the NID to her home office. The Westell gateway does have wireless, but aside from the fact that her PC does not, she's not computer savvy at all, and there's no way she'll be able to troubleshoot the inevitable wireless LAN problem. So, the best bet for the long term is to get a home run into which she can plugin the gateway. (I don't have the tools to do the home run myself, or I would've.)

The key thing to take away from this is that if you have an older home, it's likely that your internal wiring won't support a DSL connection on a lot of the jacks. You can either install a home run, or install the modem near the NID and extend the LAN internally using wireless or HomePlug (Ethernet over electrical wiring).

Oh, in case you're wondering, the reason that I didn't suggest she get a cable modem is that she doesn't have cable TV (nor satellite, for that matter) and has no coax in her house.

1 comment:

Dan Seto said...

For what it's worth, I agree with your comment about running a line directly to the room with the modem.

Even though our house is not that old, I decided to run a dedicated line from the demarc outside to the room where my modem/firewall/routers are.

I reckon this mitigates one possible point of failure and also ensured that the run was Cat5e rather than something slower and more prone to interference.

Aloha - Dan