Help switching from dialup to cable

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From browsing the postings yesterday, I'm hoping one (or more) of the group
has the answer I'm looking for.

Present setup is as follows:

Have two desktop pc's setup in a LAN (wired) using a Linksys "Printserver
for USB" (model #PSUS4).
Purpose of the network was to enable either PC access to the printer without
the 2nd PC being powered up. (Hence the print server)  I purchased Linksys
LAN cards for both Desktops (LNE100TX ver 5.1) for this setup.

Both PC's have independent access to internet thru dialup connection (i.e..
do NOT share internet).

We (a retired couple) are considering switching to  Comcast Broadband.  Our
use of the internet is mostly recreational, but doing updates for Microsoft,
virus software, etc, is taking forever with the dialup connection.

Questions I have:
1.   Does Comcast provide an external cable modem and necessary router
(switch) for hooking up to three pc's ? (Also have a laptop).

2.  What would be necessary to still share the printer without the other
PC's on the network being powered up?
     Would a 4th feed from the modem be required to go to the Linksys
Printserver?  All  PC's have an available RJ-45 motherboard connection.

I just now looked in manual for motherboard and discovered an RJ-45 port on
board.  Could this could be used for an internet feed from a router (switch)
and not interfere with existing printserver network?

I apologize for the confusion, but have tried to provide information
relevant to the situation.

Thanks in advance,
Ace




Re: Help switching from dialup to cable
On Fri, 29 May 2009 20:31:47 GMT, Ace wrote:

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Guessing you could call and find out. In the past you could give them
big bucks for a lan setup. Cheaper to buy your own router or switch
and hook to cable modem.

They will charge you a monthly fee for their cable modem.
Upside, if they roll a truck to find out their modem is broke, you get
another cable modem. No charge.

I bought my own cable modem.

Downside is they charge you a truck roll fee if you call them out and
your modem is broke.

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Hmmmm, thought you indicated you bought a usb print server. Hook it to
the ethernet router/switch or usb cable it to your systems.

Router would give you more protection from the internet worms.

I would recommend just hooking an ethernet multi-port router/switch to
the cable modem and plug all in systems. Now any system can
use the internet.


Re: Help switching from dialup to cable
Ace wrote:
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You may not have needed the LAN cards - most PCs come with an Ethernet port.

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Don't know - I'm assuming they don't from Bit Twister's reply.

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I would just get a Motorola cable modem (SB5101 or equiv) and a Linksys
or Netgear wireless G router (N router if you can afford the extra money
and/or need the extra speed).  Wireless so you can use the laptop without
plugging in (these routers should still have a 4-port switch on the router
for your other PCs and/or print server).

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I assume it's an Ethernet port - if so, you could just hook it to the
router or just move the cable from the LAN card to the router or just
connect the PSUS4 to the router and leave everything as is.

The router will give you added protection from break-ins that you don't
currently have and you can get a wireless G router cheap or get the
newer N router for speed (costs a lot more and you probably don't need
it).

Re: Help switching from dialup to cable
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Call Comcast and ask their sales department.  They'll know better than
anyone here.

If there's any chance at all that two or more of your computers would try
to access the 'Net concurrently, you'll need a router, not just a switch.
A router can also improve security.

The answers to your question I'd expect a cable company to offer are:

* yes, they can provide an external cable modem, and it will cost $X/month
  in addition to your network service;

* yes, they can configure your line for 2 or 3 IP addresses, 1 for each
  computer, at some huge additional cost per month (which is NOT anything
  you want unless you're willing to spend big bucks);

and
* yes, they can, if you prefer, provide an external cable modem that has
  built-in wireless networking support for $X + $Y /month (Y=$10 is
  common).

Some companies (Time Warner Cable, here in SC, for example) include the
cable modem as part of the service, and although you are permitted to buy
your own, (1) it won't get you any discount on the monthly service charge,
and (2) if it breaks or doesn't work properly, it's your problem, whereas
if it's their modem, any problem with it or its configuration is TWC's
problem.  So here, with TWC, it makes no sense at all to buy your own cable
modem.

Again, Comcast can tell you what options are available to you.


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It seems like your best option would be a wired solution consisting of the
cable modem, a separate external router box, a 5-port Ethernet switch (only
needed if your router doesn't already have 4 LAN ports on it, and many do),
and the Ethernet cables you already have.  Assuming your motherboard
Ethernet plugs work (very likely), you could remove the add-in LAN boards.

 laptop--[switch]----[router]------[Cable modem]======(Comcast cable)
         /  |  \\
        /   |   \\
      PC1  PC2   PSUS4---(USB)---

I think you'll find this approach easier than dealing with two parallel LAN
networks.

I don't know about the PSUS4 in particular, but some combo
router/switch/print server boxes had a problem that if/when the print
server part got hung, the router/switch aspect of the box stopped, too!
The diagram above has the PSUS4 serve *only* as a print server to avoid
that problem.

If you do this,
    -------------------------------------------------------
*** HAVE SOMEONE COMPETENT CONFIGURE AND SECURE THE ROUTER! ***
    -------------------------------------------------------

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The "always on" aspect is nice, too.  :)

HTH,
 -WBE

Re: Help switching from dialup to cable
:From browsing the postings yesterday, I'm hoping one (or more) of the group
:has the answer I'm looking for.
:
:Present setup is as follows:
:
:Have two desktop pc's setup in a LAN (wired) using a Linksys "Printserver
:for USB" (model #PSUS4).
:Purpose of the network was to enable either PC access to the printer without
:the 2nd PC being powered up. (Hence the print server)  I purchased Linksys
:LAN cards for both Desktops (LNE100TX ver 5.1) for this setup.
:
:Both PC's have independent access to internet thru dialup connection (i.e..
:do NOT share internet).
:
:We (a retired couple) are considering switching to  Comcast Broadband.  Our
:use of the internet is mostly recreational, but doing updates for Microsoft,
:virus software, etc, is taking forever with the dialup connection.
:
:Questions I have:
:1.   Does Comcast provide an external cable modem and necessary router
:(switch) for hooking up to three pc's ? (Also have a laptop).
:
:2.  What would be necessary to still share the printer without the other
:PC's on the network being powered up?
:     Would a 4th feed from the modem be required to go to the Linksys
:Printserver?  All  PC's have an available RJ-45 motherboard connection.
:
:I just now looked in manual for motherboard and discovered an RJ-45 port on
:board.  Could this could be used for an internet feed from a router (switch)
:and not interfere with existing printserver network?

Yes, you should be able to use the motherboard's RJ-45 connection for
your internet service.  It will simply be used in place of your current
dialup networking and shouldn't affect your printserver network at all.

Comcast will, for an extra monthly change, provide you with their "Home
Networking" package.  With this you get a combined modem/router wireless
gateway that will support a maximum of 5 devices, up to 4 of which can
use wired connections to the gateway's RJ-45 ports.  The problem with
this service is that the router will be running with Comcast's own
crippled firmware, and that leaves Comcast's customer service droids as
your only option for support (such as it is).

Don't do it!  Buy your own router for $50 to $70.  It will pay for
itself within a year in reduced monthly charges.  Comcast has some very
good user-to-user (mostly) technical support forums with a lot more
expertise than you will likely find at a customer service desk.  Any of
the major brands (Linksys, D-Link, Netgear, Buffalo, ...) should work
just fine.  Do get a wireless router, even if you don't plan on using
that feature now.  They are easier to find and generally cost no more
than the non-wireless variety and typically include the same four RJ-45
wired LAN connections.  You can (and should) disable the wireless
feature if you do not need it, but you probably will want it for your
laptop.

Do not under any circumstances buy a combo modem/router gateway, though.
Because it includes the modem function, Comcast _will_ install their
custom firmware, leaving you with a completely unsupported device.
Comcast won't provide help for problems with a user-owned router, and no
one else can help because it's Comcast's custom firmware.

The argument for owning your own modem is less clear.  Yes, you avoid
the $3 or so monthly fee, but with a rented modem there is no
finger-pointing to "your" modem if you are having signal problems, and
you can just walk into your local Comcast office and exchange it if you
suspect problems or need an upgrade.  Plus, if you are living in an area
where lightning strikes are common, the modem is the thing that is most
exposed.  That one's your call.  I own my modem because the rebates
available at the time more than covered its cost.  YMMV.

--
Bob Nichols         AT comcast.net I am "RNichols42"

Re: Help switching from dialup to cable
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Last year I "lost" my 6Mbps Sprint Broadband connection due to FCC
reallocation of the spectrum Sprint used for the service (which I had
for nearly 10 years).

DSL was not a viable option, which left only Comcast unless I went
with a $500/month equivalent to the $49/month pricing from Sprint.

Luckily for me, Comcast had run fiber to my area about 2 years ago,
and I found this with a Google search:

<http://www.comcastoffers.com/

In June 2008 a free Motorola SB5101 and about $250 in rebates
was part of the deal, now they're offering a Motorola wireless modem.

The offer changes slightly each month, but it's still a good deal, and
there was a recent auto-upgrade to DOCSIS 3.0; I'm getting 2 Mbytes/S
downloads from well-connected sites -- took only about 18 minutes
to download the entire DVD ISO for Windows 7 RC from Microsoft.

Re: Help switching from dialup to cable
*-* On Fri, 29 May 2009, at 20:31:47 GMT,
*-* In Article TCXTl.38390$d36.3178@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net,
*-* Ace wrote
*-* About Help switching from dialup to cable

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      Yes ... for an additional monthly charge.  According to the price
list I received with my February bill, the monthly modem lease charge
is $3.00 and their Home Networking is an additional $2.00 monthly.

      Others have pretty well covered the other aspects of your
questions, so I won't bother duplicating any of that.

                                         Ken Whiton
--
     FIDO: 1:132/152
InterNet: kenwhiton@surfglobal.net.INVAL (remove the obvious to reply)

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