This is a collection of DSL tips. The emphasis is on information specific to NCF that might not be elsewhere on the internet, or of special interest to NCF members. If you have something that would be good to add, please mention it to the NCF office.
Great sources of DSL information are:
Using a ST516 with router: De-activate your router's idle timer
If you have a ST516 DSL modem connected to a router, it is best if the router's idle timeout feature (if it has one) be disabled. Otherwise your DSL connection may go up and down every five minutes.
To see if you have the problem, log into the NCF StartPage and then click on the link Your recent DSL use. Scroll down to 'Connection details'. If there are many session of short duration (eg., 5 minutes), you probably have a router with an idle timer running.
To fix this there is a router setting usually called something like "Maximum Idle Time" which will cause the internet DSL connection to be dropped after a period of no internet use. As long as you are using the internet, this setting does nothing, but when you stop using the internet, after the period specified by this setting, your router will tell your DSL modem to disconnect and reconnect. This usually acceptable, but pointless, although it often causes grief for members. It is best to disable it. Change the number to something larger than 3 days (eg., set it to 5000), or, on some routers, you can disable it altogether (try entering 0).
So if you are getting regular DSL cuts, check that your router idle time is set to a large number of minutes (eg., 5000). Some routers may have an "always connected" setting which will override all of the foregoing and leave your DSL connection in permanent connect mode, which is the ideal solution!
You can check that it worked by waiting a day for the DSL use page to be updated (it is updated nightly).
'SpeedTouch' modem name change
The SpeedTouch brand of DSL modems was developed by Alcatel, who sold that product line to Thomson. Thomson carried on with the SpeedTouch name until 2009, when they started naming newer models "Thomson Gateway". The model numbers reflect that, for example, the ST585 became the TG585. Thomson was then bought out by Technicolor in January 2010, although in 2011 they were still using the TG designation for most models.
Technically, Thomson/SpeedTouch DSL modems are DSL gateways (because they include a DEL modem and a router, in one box), but most people seem more comfortable using the term 'modem' so NCF calls them that too. If 'gateway' gains traction, maybe NCF will switch back to calling them 'gateway'. Meanwhile, NCF calls them 'DSL modems'.
You can test your modem security configuration, the effectiveness of your firewalls and other security measures against on-line intrusion with this online test: