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Advice wanted on ADSL router, please. - Mac Networking

Hi there. Can anyone offer advice on what I should be looking for in an ADSL router for use with a 256KB per second ADSL connection? All I want is a decent device with good reliability, low price, at least three Ethernet ports and I'd prefer that it be compatible with MacOS 8.6, 9.x and X. 8.6 support isn't an absolute must, but it would be very nice. I must admit, having been a 28.8 - 56k modem user for many years I'm a bit in the dark as to what constitutes compatibility with an ADSL router. I'm assuming it's ...

  1. #1

    Default Advice wanted on ADSL router, please.

    Hi there.

    Can anyone offer advice on what I should be looking for in an ADSL
    router for use with a 256KB per second ADSL connection?

    All I want is a decent device with good reliability, low price, at least
    three Ethernet ports and I'd prefer that it be compatible with MacOS
    8.6, 9.x and X. 8.6 support isn't an absolute must, but it would be very
    nice.

    I must admit, having been a 28.8 - 56k modem user for many years I'm a
    bit in the dark as to what constitutes compatibility with an ADSL
    router. I'm assuming it's as basic as having at least one machine with
    the right system specs to be able to configure the router via webpage
    with a Java (I need Java, right?) compatible browser. Is it this simple?
    What do I need to be aware of?

    Thank you for any help you may be able to give me.

    Regards,
    Jamie Kahn Genet
    --
    "To see Tomorrow's PC, look at today's Macintosh."
    - Byte magazine October 1995
    Jamie Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Advice wanted on ADSL router, please.

    In article <1gdlmu3.1dyhemv1z0hqtvN%geek.nz>,
    geek.nz (Jamie Kahn Genet) wrote:
     

    I think that most routers just require a basic web browser to configure
    them. They might use Javascript, but I doubt it, and I can't think of a
    reason why they would need Java. Configuration is basically just simple
    form-filling -- any browser that can be used with a typical e-commerce
    site should have absolutely no problem with the router.

    So any of the popular routers (D-Link, Cisco, Belkin) should be fine.

    --
    Barry Margolin, mit.edu
    Arlington, MA
    *** PLEASE post questions in newsgroups, not directly to me ***
    Barry Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Advice wanted on ADSL router, please.

    On Mon, 10 May 2004 09:00:43 -0500, Jamie Kahn Genet wrote
    (in article <1gdlmu3.1dyhemv1z0hqtvN%geek.nz>):
     

    I would _first_ check out the DSL ISP and see which brands they recommend
    and/or support. If you get a router which they don't support you'll be SOL if
    there's a problem, even a fixable one.

    That said, just about _all_ DSL router vendors sell Ethernet devices in three
    basic classes:

    1 those with one Ethernet port

    2 those with four Ethernet ports, courtesy of an intelligent switch built
    into the basic router

    3 those with one or more Ethernet ports and a wireless port.

    An example of type 2 can be found at
    <http://www.speedtouchdsl.com/prod510.htm>. There are Alcatel routers in all
    three basic classes; the 510 comes in two types, one with one port, one with
    four. (or, rather, it _used_ to come in two types. It seems that the
    single-port version isn't available any more.)

    There's a downloadable PDF on that page which lists all the various DSL
    things that Alcatel sells.
     

    You might consider getting a single-port unit and a separate router with
    firewall for added protection. Intruders would have to get past _two_ routers
    to get to your system. If you don't want a second router (you'd have to
    configure things twice) in many cases it'll be cheaper to get a single-port
    DSL device and a five or eight-port switch than a DSL router with four ports.
    Plug the switch into the router and the Macs into the switch. Problem done.
    Mac OS X has a built-in software firewall which is adequate for most purposes
    (it will _not_ stop everything, but it's not meant to) and OS 9 and previous
    are fairly resistant to most common hack attacks, particularly if they're
    behind a router.

    Any Mac capable of DHCP can use these units, which means any Mac since System
    7.5.2 and probably since 7.1. Just plug 'em in, turn 'em on, and set DHCP in
    the Macs.
     

    You don't necessarily need Java. I don't think that Alcatels use Java. (I've
    never tried to access one from a machine which didn't have some version of
    Java already installed, so I'm not sure. But everything just worked even from
    Macs or WinBoxes using IE 4.x and 5.x, so there shouldn't be a problem.) And
    you don't usually need to configure anything. In most cases you just plug it
    in and go. No drivers, no nothing. Just set DHCP on the Mac side.

    Note that if you don't get the DSL device from your ISP you _will_ have to
    tell it your username and password, and if your ISP uses PPoE you'll need to
    tell the router that, too. This does require accessing the router's command
    page using a browser. Any browser, Safari, IE, Netscape, whatever. If you
    have a wireless unit, you may have to set a few things for wireless, too. But
    that's it. And if you don't have a wireless unit and got the router from your
    ISP you don't even have to do that.
     



    --
    We are Microsoft of Borg. You will be assimilated. Stability is irrelevant.
    Where _you_ want to go to today is irrelevant. We will add your currency to
    our own. Bend over right now. Resistance is futile.

    Charles Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Advice wanted on ADSL router, please.

    On Mon, 10 May 2004 09:30:58 -0500, Barry Margolin wrote
    (in article <ash.giganews.com>):
     
    >
    > I think that most routers just require a basic web browser to configure
    > them. They might use Javascript, but I doubt it, and I can't think of a
    > reason why they would need Java. Configuration is basically just simple
    > form-filling -- any browser that can be used with a typical e-commerce
    > site should have absolutely no problem with the router.
    >
    > So any of the popular routers (D-Link, Cisco, Belkin) should be fine.
    >
    >[/ref]

    be careful about the precise terms used. D-Link and several others use the
    term 'Cable/DSL _modem_' to refer to an Ethernet router which can be
    connected to a cable line or a DSL line, despite the fact that it's really a
    _router_. They use the term 'Cable/DSL _router_' to refer to a router which
    is plugged into the Ethernet line from a DSL device and is used to route that
    signal. Those devices typically have four ordinary switched Ethernet ports,
    usually 10/100, and a fifth 'broadband' or 'WAN' port which is another
    Ethernet port, only hardware configured to talk to another router somewhere
    upstream. They _don't_ have cable or RJ-11 ports and _cannot_ talk directly
    to an inbound signal from an ISP.

    This is a D-Link 'DSL modem': <http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=67> Note
    that the spec sheet shows one each RJ-11, RJ-45, and USB 1.1 connectors.

    This is a D-Link 'Cable/DSL router': <http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=272>
    Note that the spec sheet doesn't list any RJ-11s.

    Of course, they can't keep things simple, there's at least one D-Link
    'router' which _does_ have an RJ-11 port, but you really have to pay
    attention to the specs to make sure of what you're getting.

    --
    We are Microsoft of Borg. You will be assimilated. Stability is irrelevant.
    Where _you_ want to go to today is irrelevant. We will add your currency to
    our own. Bend over right now. Resistance is futile.

    Charles Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Advice wanted on ADSL router, please.

    In article <newsguy.com>, Charles Dyer
    <com> wrote:
     

    No, it's a modem. Data must be modulated and demodulated to be carried
    on both DSL and cable networks.

    --
    Jerry Kindall, Seattle, WA <http://www.jerrykindall.com/>

    Send only plain text messages under 32K to the Reply-To address.
    This mailbox is filtered aggressively to thwart spam and viruses.
    Jerry Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Advice wanted on ADSL router, please.

    Charles Dyer <com> wrote:
    [snip helpful advice] 

    I love your sig. It's similar to mine below, but funnier :-) Of course,
    mine lampoons the famous Pentium math error, heh heh.

    Regards,
    Jamie Kahn Genet
    --
    I am Pentium of Borg, Division is Futile, You will be approximated!
    Jamie Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Advice wanted on ADSL router, please.

    In article <newsguy.com>,
    Charles Dyer <com> wrote:
     

    What is the point of this device? With only one LAN output, you'll need
    a separate switch or hub, and you'll still have two devices between the
    wall socket and the computers.

    If they're going to put a router and a DSL and/or cable modem into one
    case, they should have at least four LAN outputs, with a built-in switch.

    --
    Stop Mad Cowboy Disease: Vote for John Kerry.
    Michelle Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Advice wanted on ADSL router, please.

    geek.nz (Jamie Kahn Genet) writes:
     

    One that works with your ISP's equipment, specifically the DSLAM.
    Call them first and ask for a list of routers that would work.
    Tim Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Advice wanted on ADSL router, please.

    On Mon, 10 May 2004 13:26:54 -0500, Michelle Steiner wrote
    (in article <west.cox.net>):
     
    >
    > What is the point of this device? With only one LAN output, you'll need
    > a separate switch or hub, and you'll still have two devices between the
    > wall socket and the computers.
    >
    > If they're going to put a router and a DSL and/or cable modem into one
    > case, they should have at least four LAN outputs, with a built-in switch.
    >
    >[/ref]

    It's good for those who have only one machine, or who have a switch or router
    already.

    --
    We are Microsoft of Borg. You will be assimilated. Stability is irrelevant.
    Where _you_ want to go to today is irrelevant. We will add your currency to
    our own. Bend over right now. Resistance is futile.

    Charles Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Advice wanted on ADSL router, please.

    In article <100520040858450244%invalid>,
    Jerry Kindall <invalid> wrote:
     
    >
    > No, it's a modem. Data must be modulated and demodulated to be carried
    > on both DSL and cable networks.[/ref]

    I'd say it's both. Basically, it's a modem and router in a single box,
    connected to each other via the device's bus rather than a LAN cable.

    --
    Barry Margolin, mit.edu
    Arlington, MA
    *** PLEASE post questions in newsgroups, not directly to me ***
    Barry Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Advice wanted on ADSL router, please.

    In article <local>,
    Tim McNamara <net> wrote:
     
    >
    > One that works with your ISP's equipment, specifically the DSLAM.
    > Call them first and ask for a list of routers that would work.[/ref]

    The device that connects to the DSLAM is a modem, not a router. The
    normal configuration is something like:

    /
    Wall Jack ------- DSL Modem ----- Router -- Computers
    DSL cable Ethernet \

    Someone else mentioned that there are some combinatio modem/routers. In
    that case you do need to ensure that it's compatible with the ISP.

    --
    Barry Margolin, mit.edu
    Arlington, MA
    *** PLEASE post questions in newsgroups, not directly to me ***
    Barry Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Advice wanted on ADSL router, please.

    In article <newsguy.com>,
    Charles Dyer <com> wrote:
     
    > >
    > > What is the point of this device? With only one LAN output, you'll
    > > need a separate switch or hub, and you'll still have two devices
    > > between the wall socket and the computers.
    > >
    > > If they're going to put a router and a DSL and/or cable modem into
    > > one case, they should have at least four LAN outputs, with a
    > > built-in switch.[/ref]
    >
    > It's good for those who have only one machine, or who have a switch
    > or router already.[/ref]

    OK, so this is strictly a DSL Modem, not a DSL Modem and Router
    combined, which is what I had thought it was, from the context of the
    discussion.

    --
    Stop Mad Cowboy Disease: Vote for John Kerry.
    Michelle Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Advice wanted on ADSL router, please.

    In article <ash.giganews.com>,
    Barry Margolin <mit.edu> wrote:
     
    > >
    > > No, it's a modem. Data must be modulated and demodulated to be
    > > carried on both DSL and cable networks.[/ref]
    >
    > I'd say it's both. Basically, it's a modem and router in a single
    > box, connected to each other via the device's bus rather than a LAN
    > cable.[/ref]

    What is the point of having a DSL modem and router combined into one
    unit if it has only one LAN port? You still have to connect a second
    device (switch or hub) to it in order to connect more than one device.

    What am I missing here?

    --
    Stop Mad Cowboy Disease: Vote for John Kerry.
    Michelle Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Advice wanted on ADSL router, please.

    In article <west.cox.net>,
    Michelle Steiner <org> wrote:
     

    The router also probably serves as a firewall.

    And if you already happen to have a hub (perhaps you had a home LAN, and
    you just decided to connect it to the Internet), you don't need a
    multiport router.

    --
    Barry Margolin, mit.edu
    Arlington, MA
    *** PLEASE post questions in newsgroups, not directly to me ***
    Barry Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: Advice wanted on ADSL router, please.

    On Mon, 10 May 2004 16:54:01 -0500, Michelle Steiner wrote
    (in article <west.cox.net>):
     
    >>
    >> It's good for those who have only one machine, or who have a switch
    >> or router already.[/ref]
    >
    > OK, so this is strictly a DSL Modem, not a DSL Modem and Router
    > combined, which is what I had thought it was, from the context of the
    > discussion.
    >
    >[/ref]

    nah. It's a router. Does DHCP and everything. My Alcatel 510 is set up
    exactly that way: one RJ-45 for 10/100 Ethernet, one RJ-11 for the DSL line.
    The inbound DSL is NATed so that I have a local IP of 10.0.0.1 (the router is
    factory-set to 10.0.0.138) if I use the factory-set DHCP or any other IP in
    the 255.0.0.0 subnet for 10.x.x.x that I want if I hand-set the IP. (I
    hand-sent the IPs. I also changed the factory settings. And the factory
    password.) If I plug in a switch between my Mac and the router (which I did)
    then everyone attached to the switch gets to see DSL. The router in the DSL
    device makes things a bit more difficult for outsiders to see in. Most of the
    machines on my home net are Macs running OS X and have the built-in firewall
    on. The W2K box and the WinXP box have every security update known to
    Mickeysoft installed, and are behind Zone Alarm as well. The Win98 box is
    usually not connected to the network. I'd have had to install a switch
    _anyway_ to accommodate all the machines, but I suspect that my net is not
    the normal home net. For J. Random User, the procedure is to plug in the DSL
    line, plug in power, plug in Ethernet, turn the router on, plug the other end
    of Ethernet into the Mac, turn the Mac on, make sure the Mac is set for DHCP,
    make sure the router knows your username and password, cruise. Anyone who's
    used a browser for more than 10 minutes can do it without raising a sweat.

    The office net has a single-port SpeedStream similar to the Alcatel feeding
    into another router; obnoxious types have to get past _two_ sets of NATs with
    different subnets. Special cases, like Accounting, have their own router as
    well. They can see out, but no-one sees in unless they want to go to a lot of
    trouble.

    --
    We are Microsoft of Borg. You will be assimilated. Stability is irrelevant.
    Where _you_ want to go to today is irrelevant. We will add your currency to
    our own. Bend over right now. Resistance is futile.

    Charles Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: Advice wanted on ADSL router, please.

    On Mon, 10 May 2004 10:58:45 -0500, Jerry Kindall wrote
    (in article <100520040858450244%invalid>):
     
    >
    > No, it's a modem. Data must be modulated and demodulated to be carried
    > on both DSL and cable networks.
    >
    >[/ref]

    It's a router. It routs the signal to different subnets. And DSL is
    _digital_. No modulation/demodulation necessary. That's why ISDN devices
    ain't modems, either.

    --
    We are Microsoft of Borg. You will be assimilated. Stability is irrelevant.
    Where _you_ want to go to today is irrelevant. We will add your currency to
    our own. Bend over right now. Resistance is futile.

    Charles Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: Advice wanted on ADSL router, please.

    In article <newsguy.com>, Charles Dyer
    <com> wrote:
     
    > >
    > > No, it's a modem. Data must be modulated and demodulated to be carried
    > > on both DSL and cable networks.[/ref]
    >
    > It's a router. It routs the signal to different subnets. And DSL is
    > _digital_. No modulation/demodulation necessary. That's why ISDN devices
    > ain't modems, either.[/ref]

    Here's a Web site that describes DMT (Discrete Multitone), an ANSI
    standard modulation scheme used in DSL modems:

    http://www.cs.tut.fi/tlt/stuff/adsl/node21.html

    ISDN is, in fact, digital. DSL is og, however, and is modulated on
    a high-frequency (i.e. above audibility) carrier. This is why DSL and
    POTS can be carried on the same phone line.

    --
    Jerry Kindall, Seattle, WA <http://www.jerrykindall.com/>

    Send only plain text messages under 32K to the Reply-To address.
    This mailbox is filtered aggressively to thwart spam and viruses.
    Jerry Guest

  18. #18

    Default Re: Advice wanted on ADSL router, please.

    On Mon, 10 May 2004 20:09:35 -0500, Jerry Kindall wrote
    (in article <100520041809353262%invalid>):
     
    >>
    >> It's a router. It routs the signal to different subnets. And DSL is
    >> _digital_. No modulation/demodulation necessary. That's why ISDN devices
    >> ain't modems, either.[/ref]
    >
    > Here's a Web site that describes DMT (Discrete Multitone), an ANSI
    > standard modulation scheme used in DSL modems:
    >
    > http://www.cs.tut.fi/tlt/stuff/adsl/node21.html
    >
    > ISDN is, in fact, digital. DSL is og, however, and is modulated on
    > a high-frequency (i.e. above audibility) carrier. This is why DSL and
    > POTS can be carried on the same phone line.
    >
    >[/ref]

    hmm. You learn something new every day...

    --
    We are Microsoft of Borg. You will be assimilated. Stability is irrelevant.
    Where _you_ want to go to today is irrelevant. We will add your currency to
    our own. Bend over right now. Resistance is futile.

    Charles Guest

  19. #19

    Default Re: Advice wanted on ADSL router, please.

    In article <ash.giganews.com>,
    Barry Margolin <mit.edu> wrote:
     

    If I could find a reasonably priced multiport router and cable modem in
    one case, I'd buy it and retire my current router and cable modem, just
    so I could get rid of one piece of equipment in my system.

    --
    Stop Mad Cowboy Disease: Vote for John Kerry.
    Michelle Guest

  20. #20

    Default Re: Advice wanted on ADSL router, please.

    Jamie Kahn Genet <geek.nz> wrote:
     

    Ideally, you should look for a single box that incorporates:
    - a DSL modem
    - an ethernet hub
    - built-in routing, and preferably
    - a true firewall feature, as opposed to NAT.

    The best device on the market, in my opinion, is the Netgear DG-834.
     

    If your computer can comunicate via TCP/IP, and knows how to accept DHCP
    information, then it will work. That means you can even use a Mac
    running System 7.6.1 and OpenTransport.
     

    You don't need Java - at least, not with a well-written in-machine web
    management program. Essentially, any standard browser that's version-4
    (IE4, Netscape 4) level will do the job.

    The only thing you'll have to be aware of is that some programs will
    require opening holes in the firewall or re-routing ports for some
    features to work (such as sending files from MSN Messenger, or an
    outgoing DCC transfer in IRC, or hosting a game server).


    Geoffrey

    (remove EXCESS BAGGAGE to reply via mail)
    --
    WARNING: mail to this address will be auto-bounced if:
    (a) more than 10% original content appears before first quoted matter,
    (b) quoted material exceeds 75% of total message content, and/or
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    Geoffrey Guest

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