[plug] broadband with linux

Gavin Chester gavin.chester at gmail.com
Sat May 17 13:14:34 WST 2008

On Fri, 2008-05-16 at 03:04 +0800, Dem N wrote:
> plug question:
> Hi, I'm researching broadband, because I'm getting a little tired of
> dialup, and I'd like to know what people would recommend.

Well, you certainly have sparked interest with this thread ;-). My "me
too" response is to summarise some options, probably repeating some of
what's already been said in longer posts, but hopefully making it into
an overall summary of collective wisdom:

1/ Any ethernet-connected modem will be linux compatible. Do NOT get a
usb modem. No drivers cd needed;
2/ chase down a good brand name to suit by researching their capability
and reliability on 'whirlpool' then consider buying one on ebay to get
it much cheaper than dealers and isp with contracts. Typical brand
recommendations are billion, netgear, netcomm. Make sure you get a
VOIP-CAPABLE MODEM!! If you sign up to a plan with your own modem then
it is cheaper and can avoid locking into 12-24mth contract. I'm with
amnet and only committed to a 6mth contract to save a bit of setup fee;
3/ Connect modem to your onboard network point (ethernet) or if you
haven't got that then get a network card (nic) to plug into one of your
pci slots on motherboard;
4/ use your modem setup software (different with every distro) to
configure connection using PPPoE, username, password and allow automatic
detection of settings (i.e., use DHCP, not fixed IP). Allow software to
setup the modem, trying to be too clever can actually cause problems; 
5/ Use a voip-modem and pay a little extra for a voip contract.
Personally, I don't see the point of skype and other similar systems
because you have to make calls thru' your PC and have to have extra
hardware for it. Many voip plans are cheaper anyway. PLUS. a voip modem
will allow ANY analog phone (the home phone you already have) to be used
for making voip calls. I have the netgear wg834gv which gives me TWO
separate voip lines and is also a 4-port lan router and wireless router
to boot. 
6/ On recommendation from this list I went with amcom/amnet for adsl and
voip. I found them cheaper than iinet and other providers and service
has been SUPERB. If you're in their area and can get adsl2 then you're
even better off with price and speed. Sadly, I have to suffer thru'
adsl1 at my exchange.
7/ Alternatively, my son went with iinet naked dsl in kwinana, using his
own billion voip modem, and is very happy with that too. However, he had
to fiddle the settings and call me to test many times before he got
usable voice quality on the voip. Now he's happy.

I know where you're coming from in terms of trepidation making the leap
to adsl. But follow the collective wisdom of these postings and it will
be dead easy. HTH.


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