Configuring Your High Speed Internet Using Routers and Modem/Routers
A router is the hardware that interconnects your computer to the Internet. It is configurable in order to route packets to the correct destination such as one network to another.
Many Internet providers offer DSL connection for residential, and most providers include a modem with their packages. These modems are plain digital signal transceivers (transmit and receive) on your telephone line. Remember your telephone line is analog and in order to achieve a high-speed data transmission a modem is used to transmit and receive digital signal from the host (Telco equipment “router”) and route the data to the nearest Internet server.
When you subscribe to a DSL provider, you basically first go through the telephone company to be approved for DSL (Digital Service Line). If the phone company has the right equipment already installed in your area, then it is said that you are qualified for DSL.
The regular DSL modem that is sent to you by your provider, usually is software driven (requires software to dial and login). Most residential DSL are dynamic connections; that is the reason it uses software to communicate and negotiate with the server and obtain an IP address temporarily. Make note that those modems only work with only one computer.
A router can be easily attached to those modems to expand the network to connect as many computers as you want. Routers are easy to configure for dynamic or static connections. Consult before you buy a router read on the package as it usually tells some specs about the router. The documentation tells how to access the configuration. Depending on the brand names and models a lot of them out there are configured via a web browser. Others are configured through a console terminal. The advantages and disadvantages of each other will depend on issues such as integrated firewall and prices.
Visit www.linksys.com www.smc.com and www.netgear.com read all the documentation for any router there so you can make better decisions when you buy. These websites have mostly web based programmed routers. Be ready before you go through the following configuration. Have all the information you need on hand.
So how do you program a router?
All routers are different, but many are configured the same way. When you don't know a piece of equipment read about it… the more information you gather the more professional you become when dealing with the product.
For example if your account is a dynamic connection; you may not even have to do anything but connect, and it is ready to go. Why? Some routers are pre-configured as DHCP from the manufacturer and generally obtain the information automatically from the ISP.
When connecting your router, make sure you connect everything:
- Power adapter
- Ethernet cable (cat 5), from the router to the PC
- The telephone cord from the wall jack
I have seen a lot of people claiming that their equipment doesn't work; I swear it helps a little bit if you plug in the power.
The Router's Front Panel
Some routers are very descriptive. The front panel, have LED's that tell you what devices are connected and on.
The Router's Rear Panel
The rear panel of the router contains the port connections for your computers.
For some routers in the rear panel it has a reset button. But note that some routers do not have a reset button.
Make sure that everything is connected properly. There is one port on the router called WAN or Internet, which is the port for the Internet. (That is where the cable or DSL modem goes). Refer to fig. 2.30 the ports 1-4 are your computers.
Fig. 2.31 This is how the connection looks with a plain modem connected to a router.
Note. You can connect any local port of the router to the Uplink port of an Ethernet hub or switch using standard category 5 Ethernet cable. You may also connect any Local port of your router to any normal port of an Ethernet hub or switch using a crossover Ethernet cable.
Figure 2.31 demonstrates two devices being used (modem and router). This picture could possibly represent a residential connection (Single user account). Much of the configuration information is dynamically assigned.
The router is used in order to share the Internet connection with other computers in your LAN. When the router's WAN port is connected to the DSL modem, the routers appear to be a single PC to the ISP. It then masquerades as a single PC to access the Internet through the DSL modem allowing the rest of the internal Network to gain access to the Internet. This method is called NAT (Network Address Translation) occurring within the router.