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Modem modes (DSL)

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Bridge Versus Routed Mode

DSL modems obtained from NCF are pre-configured and ready to install.

To connect with the internet over DSL, your home network needs to provide "credentials" which are just a user-name and password to authenticate as a legitimate user of NCF service. Usually that is the job of your modem. In some cases, it's different though.

(If your modem is not pre-configured by NCF, consult the modem configuration guide.)

How Modems Connect

Credentials are used for a connection called a PPPoE connection. (That stands for point-to-point over Ethernet - a technical term for connecting with our servers.)

When you get a single-port router, like the 8816 unit, you are likely in one of two situations:

a) you've got one computer which needs a connection and you're going to use a wire to connect to the modem and thus to the internet

b) you've got your own router of some kind, and the modem will connect your router to the Internet. Often you have a wireless router and likely a laptop or several computers and maybe some hand-held devices like smartphones or tablets.

Bridge versus Routed - Two Ways Modems Connect

Case 'a' above is straight forward. We configure the modem in "Routed" mode, thus it routes data between your computer and the Internet. The modem provides your credentials to the Internet service.

Case 'b' is a bit different. In this case the best setup is to set up the router in "Bridge" mode. Then it bridges your separate router to the Internet. Your router then handles the various addressing needs of your devices. Your router also must provide your credentials for PPPoE.

Occasionally people in case 'b' use a modem set-up in routed mode, though this is inefficient as it imposes an extra layer of addressing on top of your home networking which may result in diminished performance.

To set up your router properly, you need to connect to its configuration page, which is a website that lives inside the router. Often the address and password to access that configuration are written on the bottom of the device. In other cases, you can find it in the device's manual, or on the Internet by using your favourite search engine.

NCF configures the modem/router combinations we sell, but our limited resources mean that we do not offer set-up of your router purchased elsewhere. Most router manufacturers can give you detailled support over the telephone, and provide a thorough manual. We will sell you a modem set in bridge mode upon your request.

Your Router Needs Your Credentials

Your goal with a router is to simply set up the PPPoE configuration with your username and password.

Your username will be something in the form of ab123@ncf.ca (with your own ID of course), and your password is your personal DSL password. (That's usually 12 characters, something like ncfabc123def ). With that set, your modem can then provide the router an Internet interface, and your router can handle all your local home networking needs.