A friend of mine just moved and decided to use SBC/Yahoo for her new DSL. She ordered DSL and received the new modem. She has now changed her mind and will purchase a laptop and would like to go wireless in her new house. I am aware the DSL modem will be of no use to her, but I have no idea what she needs in place of a modem. Would one of you folks please describe what new parts she will need. Also, is the hook up a procedure that two "dummies" can do? Thanks, Steve
And don't just plug it in and use the Access Point. Configure it with wireless security.
A lot of this assumes that the DSL modem is also a router (pretty typical) and how it is set up to connect, and if it shares the connection.
It is possible to make most DSL modems dial and connect from a desktop PC. When the desktop PC has not dialing and connected the thing it is pretty much a paper weight. A consumer Broadband Router would be able to dial that connection and provide username and password as well. Such a Broadband Router can also share the connection and help you build your own wired and/or wireless network. Such consumer broadband routers can also handle other connection types such as a Cable Modem (and more).
So if it's already a DSL modem + Router (configured already that way) - then it will automagically manage the network. To know for sure if you plug in a wired network connection from it to a desktop or a laptop. That machine should be able to go on the Internet right away. There should be a management web page for the DSL Modem Router, in any case.
Personally I don't like DSL modem/routers to dial the link for me. I like to do it with something else. But that is usually an advanced configuration and networking that most home users won't want to do. However the Broadband Routers make that pretty easy to do. I wouldn't want to do double-NAT with the DSL Modem/Router doing Routing/NAT, and the Broadband Router doing Routing/NAT. Windows can also share connections but at least as of XP (probably even Vista) it has proven to be flakey at best.
True, most have routing set as the default. Personally I prefer setting them to bridging mode and use my own router
Second generation (for lack of a better phrase) DSL connectivity circa 2001 used a Desktop PPoE connectoid. The excuse, err...reason was to "preserve the dialing experience" (quoting a DSL support knowledge base from back then). The REAL reason was to prevent users from plugging a simple hub into the DSL modem and have the DSLAM dish out tens or even hundreds of IP addresses with the original "first generation" deployments
The next generation circa 2004 or so had the PPoE contained within the actual DSL modem. If the modem was set to bridging mode, you could use the PPoE dialer contained in your router for authentication.
Currently the trend is to have the DSLAMs' authentication tied to the actual telephone circuit pair. No user name or password required, but it may take up to an hour for the DSLAM back-end resources to recognize the first time modem install.
The above information was not grepped from Google, rather from first hand actual experiences. Actual dates of the above may vary from telco to telco.
SBC has a home networking kit which methinks is a tolerable deal. Some details...
The box her Speedstream 4100 modem came in has a return sticker inside. Hopefully, she kept the box. Have her call SBC support and arrange for an upgrade/trade/credit/whatever. What arrives is a 2wire DSL modem, router, with built in wireless. I think this is the current model:
I'm fairly sure it has wireless, but it wouldn't hurt to check:
Installation is fairly simple. Plug in the computah, DHCP delivers an IP, and it then points your web browser to a built in setup script. The AT&T account signup (which assigns username and password) is built in. If she alreay has an account, it will ask for the login and password. Everything else is automagic.
My only complaint is that the wireless defaults to WEP (with the WEP key printed on the serial number label). WEP is terribly insecure. She should be using WPA-PSK (also known as WPA-Personal) which will require some manual configuration. Everything else is fine at the defaults.