[oclug]Newbie with an ISP question
kevinmcl at magma.ca
Tue Jan 21 21:07:48 EST 2003
On Tuesday 14 January 2003 21:42, Scott Rollins wrote:
> My cable company doesn't offer Internet access,
> so DSL looks like it: any suggestions on
> providers, especially since I'll be using an OS
> connected neither to Redmond nor to fruit.
> Especially if they're backed up with some
> personal experience?
If you haven't already blown the budget, why not
purchase a D-Link or Linksys (or similar) residential
router? Costs a little over a hundred bucks at any
local computer store, for a 4-port model. (Don't get
just a hub -- which is well under a hundred bucks.
You want hub-gateway or router,
equivalent to the D-Link DI-704 (I'm not familiar
with LinkSys model names, but they're just as good
and just as inexpensive)).
With that, you don't need any pppoe software running
in either of your computers, and you don't need to
have one computer act as the router or gateway.
Instead, you connect the computers to the D-Link
(or whatever) and connect the D-Link (or whatever)
to the DSL modem.
You use your favorite browser to connect to the D-Link
box's internal home page (at http://192.168.0.1) and you
enter your ISP's address and turn on PPPOE (which the
box already knows how to do). That's it.
You are in business, connected.
By default, all inbound ports are closed, and do not
respond, so portscanners see nothing to interest them.
If you want to learn to set up your own firewall and other
security, you can do it at your leisure, knowing that the
D-Link (or whatever) is keeping you fairly safe, while you
sort yourself out and give careful consideration to opening
and safeguarding any potential vulnerabilities.
At most, you'll need a $15 ethernet card for each computer.
As well, you won't need to do any configuration, nor worry about
software and setup help from the ISP. It'll all just work.
Check out "Trailing Edge" for bargain-priced cards and
My arrangement works perfectly with Magma, and friends
of mine had equally easy setup with Sympatico.
If you later add a third computer (or bring home a company
laptop), well you still have two more ethernet jacks on the
D-Link (or LinkSys, or whatever). It's solid, dependable,
quiet, has a small physical footprint, and sucks far less
electricity than a computer being used as a router.
On the downside, you are not forced to learn as much
about network configuration and routing.
Something to consider, instead of doing everything by hand.
As for providers, I've had only good and friendly service from
Magma. In eastern and southern Ontario, if you can get
Sympatico High Speed, you can get Magma High Speed.
More information about the OCLUG