Being my first ever experience with routers I had no idea what to expect. I have heard horror stories from some of my friends in the USA who have routers and have had nightmares setting them up with the cable and DSL systems, and I was expecting the worst.
After collecting all the cables I powered up the unit without any cables connected to check if the unit was functional, a perfect power up first go, POST systems on the router worked like a charm and was ready for input. After setting my PC up to assign IP addresses via DHCP system and rebooted (Yes, I know Windows XP supports network changing on the fly but I still prefer a reboot to get those old settings out) I connected the link cable for the PC to the router's 8 port switch. The system detected cable connection and transmition speed of 100mbps - so far so good.
Above you can see the connection speed and the settings showing the system picked up an IP address assigned by the router.
After accomplishing this part I connected one of the ADSL modems into the WAN 1 port, just to make sure it all detected right. The ISB detection light came on and the LAN link light on the Alcatel SpeedTouch Home registered network activity.
After reading the sser manual (normally something I don't do) I found the connection command to access the web based interface for setting up the routers functions - typing in 192.168.0.1 into any web browser allows direct access to the unit.
After typing in the connection command I was greeted with this very user friendly screen for setting up the system. The" Main Setup" page is where you do your basic broadband connection system. Here you enter your username and password for the Internet Service Provider you are with (If you use PPPoE connection). If you have permanent connection and require no password (usually associated with static IP accounts) then you use the Static IP settings as provided by your ISP. There are two connection setups for each of the broadband connections you want to use, If you only have one you just set the second port to disabled.
Static IP and DNS address page is for users who have Always On broadband connection (mostly use with cable modems in the USA, 99% of Australian Broadband is PPPoE). It is here you enter the settings your ISP gave you to setup your computer for accessing their service - very simple to follow indeed.
Since you are being routed through a DHCP server by the router, you can't use WIPCFG or other network programs to detect your DSL or cable IP address. This can be a problem if you are running servers and need to know your IP address. Not a problem. The status page gives you IP addresses for both of the broadband ports and the IP address of the router being used.
Advanced PPPoE page is for getting the extra features that help PPPoE clients work much faster and easier. Since PPPoE requires Dial up action with a username and password you need to dial the net if/when it goes down or when you have to reset the modem or router. You can easily make the router do this with the Dial on Demand request, requiring no intervention by the user. Great little invention.
LAN IP and DHCP page allows you to assign IP address to the router and set the ranges for IP sharing for the PC's connected to the router. You can have up to 235 PC's connected (you need to use extra hubs and switches for this). In this section you can tell it what IP and submasks to lease out.
Finally on our tour we have the Analogue/IDSN setup page. If you don't have broadband in your area or you want to have a backup incase your broadband fails, you can setup the router to use a standard modem or ISDN device to connect to the internet and route it to all the PC's on your network.
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