Would appreciate simple technical advice about switching to "Broadband"

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by John S., Apr 13, 2006.

  1. John S.

    John S. Guest

    I've just arranged for a small club I belong to, to switch to
    broadband later this month, using the cheapest Xtra "basic"
    package.

    The Telecom lady I spoke to was pleasant, but not able to answer
    technical questions, and the Xtra number she gave me for advice
    seems really overloaded (and cut me off after I'd been waiting a
    few minutes).

    So - if anyone can help to educate me .....

    1) I've opted for the free self install package which I gather
    includes a couple of filters. Presumably the computer modem's
    broadband connection goes direct to the telecom line, and each
    filter is placed between the line and an ordinary phone socket to
    filter out the high frequency stuff???

    2) The telecom package includes a free modem, but it seems we'll
    need some additional equipment.

    We have seven computers on a network (six with Win XP home and
    one with Win XP pro), plus a photocopier with a static IP
    address. We can print to the photocopier over the network. The
    computers communicate among themselves, and to the photocopier,
    via a simple hub.

    Presumably we'll now need to buy a router to connect the computer
    network to the modem. However, does the router need to have a
    physical socket for the ethernet cable of every machine on the
    network, or can you "daisychain" to some of the computers via the
    existing hub?

    3 Anything else I might need to know?
    (eg is a router usually just a router, or do they often include a
    modem as well)?
    (Is the need for a static IP for the photocopier likely to be a
    problem for the router, as the computers currently use DHCP, with
    one of the machines acting as the host).


    ****

    In another thread I've been reading good comments about the
    Linksys routers and feel that something with firewall
    capabilities would be a wise investment. However, I haven't
    looked yet at the specs and don't know haw many ports/sockets the
    cheaper models are likely to have. Is there a model which looks
    like the obvious choice for our needs? (We don't use wireless
    yet, but I guess we may do at a later time)

    I know I'm being a bit lazy and could search on the internet for
    information. However I thought I'd try asking here first in the
    hope of picking up a bit of helpful comment from someone who's
    been there and done that!

    TIA

    John S
     
    John S., Apr 13, 2006
    #1
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  2. John S.

    David Guest

    John S. wrote:
    > I've just arranged for a small club I belong to, to switch to
    > broadband later this month, using the cheapest Xtra "basic"
    > package.
    >
    > The Telecom lady I spoke to was pleasant, but not able to answer
    > technical questions, and the Xtra number she gave me for advice
    > seems really overloaded (and cut me off after I'd been waiting a
    > few minutes).
    >
    > So - if anyone can help to educate me .....
    >
    > 1) I've opted for the free self install package which I gather
    > includes a couple of filters. Presumably the computer modem's
    > broadband connection goes direct to the telecom line, and each
    > filter is placed between the line and an ordinary phone socket to
    > filter out the high frequency stuff???
    >


    Unless the modem includes an internal filter, you'll need a filter for
    it too, the ones I've seen have two sockets, one for phone and one for ADSL.

    > 2) The telecom package includes a free modem, but it seems we'll
    > need some additional equipment.
    >

    The free modem will probably be USB? (Not sure on this), but if it is it
    will be of no use to you really, even if it has ethernet you will still
    need a router, which may end up more expensive than one with an ADSL
    modem integrated.

    > We have seven computers on a network (six with Win XP home and
    > one with Win XP pro), plus a photocopier with a static IP
    > address. We can print to the photocopier over the network. The
    > computers communicate among themselves, and to the photocopier,
    > via a simple hub.
    >
    > Presumably we'll now need to buy a router to connect the computer
    > network to the modem. However, does the router need to have a
    > physical socket for the ethernet cable of every machine on the
    > network, or can you "daisychain" to some of the computers via the
    > existing hub?
    >


    Yep, that should work, just use a crossover cable to connect the router
    to the hub. Of course almost every router has a switch now, so should in
    theory be faster, but if you're using it mainly for telecom DSL, you
    won't notice any difference (heh.)

    > 3 Anything else I might need to know?
    > (eg is a router usually just a router, or do they often include a
    > modem as well)?


    Routers with integrated ADSL are very cheap, many are available.

    > (Is the need for a static IP for the photocopier likely to be a
    > problem for the router, as the computers currently use DHCP, with
    > one of the machines acting as the host).
    >

    I'd say every decent router out there has a DHCP server, my crap DSE one
    does. Just ensure you set the range it can allocate to exclude the
    photocopier's IP to avoid conflicts.
    >
    > ****
    >
    > In another thread I've been reading good comments about the
    > Linksys routers and feel that something with firewall
    > capabilities would be a wise investment. However, I haven't
    > looked yet at the specs and don't know haw many ports/sockets the
    > cheaper models are likely to have. Is there a model which looks
    > like the obvious choice for our needs? (We don't use wireless
    > yet, but I guess we may do at a later time)
    >


    Don't know about this really, but AFAIK a firewall is not really
    necessary with most routers, their NAT blocks any incoming connection
    attempts.

    > I know I'm being a bit lazy and could search on the internet for
    > information. However I thought I'd try asking here first in the
    > hope of picking up a bit of helpful comment from someone who's
    > been there and done that!
    >
    > TIA
    >
    > John S
     
    David, Apr 13, 2006
    #2
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  3. John S.

    Allistar Guest

    David wrote:

    > John S. wrote:
    >> I've just arranged for a small club I belong to, to switch to
    >> broadband later this month, using the cheapest Xtra "basic"
    >> package.
    >>
    >> The Telecom lady I spoke to was pleasant, but not able to answer
    >> technical questions, and the Xtra number she gave me for advice
    >> seems really overloaded (and cut me off after I'd been waiting a
    >> few minutes).
    >>
    >> So - if anyone can help to educate me .....
    >>
    >> 1) I've opted for the free self install package which I gather
    >> includes a couple of filters. Presumably the computer modem's
    >> broadband connection goes direct to the telecom line, and each
    >> filter is placed between the line and an ordinary phone socket to
    >> filter out the high frequency stuff???
    >>

    >
    > Unless the modem includes an internal filter, you'll need a filter for
    > it too, the ones I've seen have two sockets, one for phone and one for
    > ADSL.


    From what I know this is incorrect. The ADSL modem plugs directly into the
    wall socket, all other phone devices go through a filter. The filters with
    two sockets are like a double adapter for a phone, except that the one
    marked "phone" has a filter and the one marked "ADSL" does not.

    >> 2) The telecom package includes a free modem, but it seems we'll
    >> need some additional equipment.
    >>

    > The free modem will probably be USB? (Not sure on this), but if it is it
    > will be of no use to you really, even if it has ethernet you will still
    > need a router, which may end up more expensive than one with an ADSL
    > modem integrated.


    Yes, I'd recommend getting an external ADSL router with 4 ports (never seen
    one with more) and then you should be able to plug the existing hub into
    that.

    >> We have seven computers on a network (six with Win XP home and
    >> one with Win XP pro), plus a photocopier with a static IP
    >> address. We can print to the photocopier over the network. The
    >> computers communicate among themselves, and to the photocopier,
    >> via a simple hub.
    >>
    >> Presumably we'll now need to buy a router to connect the computer
    >> network to the modem. However, does the router need to have a
    >> physical socket for the ethernet cable of every machine on the
    >> network, or can you "daisychain" to some of the computers via the
    >> existing hub?
    >>

    >
    > Yep, that should work, just use a crossover cable to connect the router
    > to the hub. Of course almost every router has a switch now, so should in
    > theory be faster, but if you're using it mainly for telecom DSL, you
    > won't notice any difference (heh.)
    >
    >> 3 Anything else I might need to know?
    >> (eg is a router usually just a router, or do they often include a
    >> modem as well)?

    >
    > Routers with integrated ADSL are very cheap, many are available.


    Yep.

    >> (Is the need for a static IP for the photocopier likely to be a
    >> problem for the router, as the computers currently use DHCP, with
    >> one of the machines acting as the host).
    >>

    > I'd say every decent router out there has a DHCP server, my crap DSE one
    > does. Just ensure you set the range it can allocate to exclude the
    > photocopier's IP to avoid conflicts.


    I use the NetGear DG834G and am very happy with it. It provides a wireless
    service too.

    >> ****
    >>
    >> In another thread I've been reading good comments about the
    >> Linksys routers and feel that something with firewall
    >> capabilities would be a wise investment. However, I haven't
    >> looked yet at the specs and don't know haw many ports/sockets the
    >> cheaper models are likely to have. Is there a model which looks
    >> like the obvious choice for our needs? (We don't use wireless
    >> yet, but I guess we may do at a later time)
    >>

    >
    > Don't know about this really, but AFAIK a firewall is not really
    > necessary with most routers, their NAT blocks any incoming connection
    > attempts.


    The Netgear mentioned above has an easily configurable firewall that will
    allow you to block incoming traffic at least.

    >> I know I'm being a bit lazy and could search on the internet for
    >> information. However I thought I'd try asking here first in the
    >> hope of picking up a bit of helpful comment from someone who's
    >> been there and done that!
    >>
    >> TIA
    >>
    >> John S


    Allistar.
     
    Allistar, Apr 13, 2006
    #3
  4. John S.

    Shane Guest

    John S. wrote:

    > I've just arranged for a small club I belong to, to switch to
    > broadband later this month, using the cheapest Xtra "basic"
    > package.
    >
    > The Telecom lady I spoke to was pleasant, but not able to answer
    > technical questions, and the Xtra number she gave me for advice
    > seems really overloaded (and cut me off after I'd been waiting a
    > few minutes).
    >
    > So - if anyone can help to educate me .....
    >
    > 1) I've opted for the free self install package which I gather
    > includes a couple of filters. Presumably the computer modem's
    > broadband connection goes direct to the telecom line, and each
    > filter is placed between the line and an ordinary phone socket to
    > filter out the high frequency stuff???
    >


    Filters mean you dont hear the high frquency stuff, but the computers can.
    Put the phones into one socket, and the modem into the other (very straight
    forward)

    > 2) The telecom package includes a free modem, but it seems we'll
    > need some additional equipment.
    >
    > We have seven computers on a network (six with Win XP home and
    > one with Win XP pro), plus a photocopier with a static IP
    > address. We can print to the photocopier over the network. The
    > computers communicate among themselves, and to the photocopier,
    > via a simple hub.
    >
    > Presumably we'll now need to buy a router to connect the computer
    > network to the modem. However, does the router need to have a
    > physical socket for the ethernet cable of every machine on the
    > network, or can you "daisychain" to some of the computers via the
    > existing hub?
    >

    The modem that Telecom provides is/was a router modem, meaning all you need
    to do is either put some network cable between the hub and the router,
    giving your entire network (including the printer) connection to the
    intarweb, the gateways will need to be adjusted on the networks though to
    reflect the new route (out)
    Option 2) And the one Id suggest, dedicate a POS machine as the
    gateway/firewall, have two (or more) NIC's on it, plug one into the
    router/modem, and plug the other into the hub.
    Seeing as its been a while for me setting up a windows box as the Internet
    gateway, and I'm not really sure if ICS will handle multiple internal
    machines, I suggest installing either a standard linux distro (and then
    configuring the routing/firewall yourself) or downloading smoothwall, and
    use that as the OS on the POS machine (No doubt others can point out a
    windows solution if thats what you require)
    (POS == Piece of Sh*t >= 486 with more than 16 MB of RAM and a small HDD
    (sorry couldnt find the specs for HDD) and TWO NIC's)


    > 3 Anything else I might need to know?
    > (eg is a router usually just a router, or do they often include a
    > modem as well)?
    > (Is the need for a static IP for the photocopier likely to be a
    > problem for the router, as the computers currently use DHCP, with
    > one of the machines acting as the host).
    >
    >

    Your internal networks configuration wont matter as far as the modem/router
    is concerned, with the exception of the gateway settings
    The modems Ive seen usually have routers inbuilt, although Ive had a current
    run of being way off so YMMV :)

    <snip other stuff>
    > TIA
    >
    > John S



    HTH
    Shane
    --
    Rule 6: There is no Rule 6.
     
    Shane, Apr 13, 2006
    #4
  5. On Thu, 13 Apr 2006 03:50:45 +0000, John S. wrote:

    > So - if anyone can help to educate me .....


    If you are paying Telecom/Xtra for a service, then don't you think you
    should either get Telecom to install that service, or at the least, get
    specific directions from Telecom about how to install it so that you do
    not void any potential guarantee or warranty.

    Now, do you really think your small club will benefit from having an
    ALWAYS ON connection? Would it use it that much and to that extent?


    Have A Nice Cup of Tea

    --
    "Only one thing is impossible for a Vorlon to understand:
    How to change the IRQ setting in any DOS computer."
     
    Have A Nice Cup of Tea, Apr 13, 2006
    #5
  6. John S.

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Allistar wrote:
    > David wrote:
    >
    >> John S. wrote:
    >>> 2) The telecom package includes a free modem, but it seems we'll
    >>> need some additional equipment.
    >>>

    >> The free modem will probably be USB? (Not sure on this), but if it
    >> is it will be of no use to you really, even if it has ethernet you
    >> will still need a router, which may end up more expensive than one
    >> with an ADSL modem integrated.

    >
    > Yes, I'd recommend getting an external ADSL router with 4 ports
    > (never seen one with more) and then you should be able to plug the
    > existing hub into that.


    Surely one ethernet port would do? As long as there is a spare port on the
    existing hub. Just in case there is a price difference, there's no point
    having three redundant ports if they're going to cost you extra.

    Cheers,
    --
    ~Shaun~
     
    ~misfit~, Apr 13, 2006
    #6
  7. John S.

    Allistar Guest

    ~misfit~ wrote:

    > Allistar wrote:
    >> David wrote:
    >>
    >>> John S. wrote:
    >>>> 2) The telecom package includes a free modem, but it seems we'll
    >>>> need some additional equipment.
    >>>>
    >>> The free modem will probably be USB? (Not sure on this), but if it
    >>> is it will be of no use to you really, even if it has ethernet you
    >>> will still need a router, which may end up more expensive than one
    >>> with an ADSL modem integrated.

    >>
    >> Yes, I'd recommend getting an external ADSL router with 4 ports
    >> (never seen one with more) and then you should be able to plug the
    >> existing hub into that.

    >
    > Surely one ethernet port would do? As long as there is a spare port on the
    > existing hub. Just in case there is a price difference, there's no point
    > having three redundant ports if they're going to cost you extra.
    >
    > Cheers,


    Indeed. I've never had experience with an external ADSL modem with anything
    other than 4 ports before. I suppose you can get them with only one?

    Allistar.
     
    Allistar, Apr 14, 2006
    #7
  8. John S.

    -=rjh=- Guest

    ~misfit~ wrote:
    > Allistar wrote:
    >> David wrote:
    >>
    >>> John S. wrote:
    >>>> 2) The telecom package includes a free modem, but it seems we'll
    >>>> need some additional equipment.
    >>>>
    >>> The free modem will probably be USB? (Not sure on this), but if it
    >>> is it will be of no use to you really, even if it has ethernet you
    >>> will still need a router, which may end up more expensive than one
    >>> with an ADSL modem integrated.

    >> Yes, I'd recommend getting an external ADSL router with 4 ports
    >> (never seen one with more) and then you should be able to plug the
    >> existing hub into that.

    >
    > Surely one ethernet port would do? As long as there is a spare port on the
    > existing hub. Just in case there is a price difference, there's no point
    > having three redundant ports if they're going to cost you extra.


    The cost differential is going to be BA, if the OP is referring to a
    "simple hub" with that number of PCs connected, the extra switch ports
    on the router would be worthwhile. Plus, it allows for future expansion.

    Certainly agree about dumping the "free" modem and getting a proper one.
    For this kind of setup, a USB modem is going to cause nothing but grief.
     
    -=rjh=-, Apr 14, 2006
    #8
  9. John S.

    John S. Guest

    (John S.) wrote:

    >I've just arranged for a small club I belong to, to switch to
    >broadband later this month, using the cheapest Xtra "basic"
    >package.
    >
    >The Telecom lady I spoke to was pleasant, but not able to answer
    >technical questions, and the Xtra number she gave me for advice
    >seems really overloaded (and cut me off after I'd been waiting a
    >few minutes).
    >
    >So - if anyone can help to educate me .....


    Just to follow up my own post, thanks to those who offered
    advice.

    Looks like we will purchase a more capable modem/router than the
    Telecom one, and I'll need to do a bit of research into the ones
    available with firewall capabilities.

    Advice much appreciated,

    Cheers,

    John S
     
    John S., Apr 17, 2006
    #9
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