PPPoE DSL connection with Belkin router instead of 2Wire HomePortal
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Thread: PPPoE DSL connection with Belkin router instead of 2Wire HomePortal

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    PPPoE DSL connection with Belkin router instead of 2Wire HomePortal

    Hello! I'd like to pick the knowledgeable minds here on a problem I'm having with my modest home network that I simply haven't got the applicable experience to work out myself.


    I have DSL service from SBC - well, I suppose that's AT&T now, but it was SBC several years ago when I started.
    With the initial service purchase came a 2Wire HomePortal 1000HW DSL modem (the kind that look a bit like the Sidney Opera House).

    It's an OK device, I suppose, but since I don't wish to use its wireless features (I prefer a solid line), I can't network both my PCs through it.
    It has but one ethernet port, and one "networking via USB" port, which is too ridiculous for me to even consider.

    I bought a Belkin 4-port Cable/DSL Gateway Router (model F5D5231-4), which I'd then used essentially as a bridge to run ethernet from the 2Wire device to my two PCs.


    I have never cared for this arrangement, because it seems to make for redundant routing, but I've never been able to figure out exactly how to make the Belkin router into a simple bridge.

    Now, it doesn't seem to create noticable latency, but I'm still unhappy with the arrangement.


    I just moved into a new house, and I had intended to eschew the 2Wire device altogether this time, and configure the Belkin to authenticate into my PPPoE service with all the correct details.

    The problem is, when I tried that, not only do I not establish an Internet connection, but when the Belkin is plugged into the phone jack directly, I loose the dial tone in my phone (on another jack).
    (Yes, I have the filters on)


    When I set up the devices the "old way", that is, 2Wire DSL modem plugged into the jack, then run a line from it to the Belkin, then 2 lines out to my PCs, everything works alright.


    When I moved in and got my service activated, I tried to speak to a tech support rep and explain what I was doing. I claimed that I was replacing the 2Wire because it was aging and going wonky (it actually still works fine, I just wanted an excuse not to use it), and I asked them if they wanted the MAC address of my new device, the Belkin.

    At every turn, the response was "No sir, I don't think we need that information"... that is, if they even knew what I was talking about.

    I was pretty sure that they had to do something on their end with the MAC address of the device I was using, and that they had (naturally) the MAC of the 2Wire device.
    My problem here is that I cannot, no matter how tricky I am, seem to get past level 1 tech support, where everyone reads scripts and are only trained to ask you if the middle light is solid green or blinking orange.


    I have a shaky Network+ certification, and there is a lot that I don't remember because I never use what I learned, but I was pretty sure they needed to note the MAC address of whatever device I'm using to authenticate onto the service with.



    What I'd simply like to do is do away with the silly 2Wire device altogether, and use my Belkin to plug directly into the DSL jack and then run my patch cables from that to my PCs. It all sounds so simple, and I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong.

    I can't seem to find the documentation that came with the Belkin (Plus I am still unpacking after the move, so who knows where it is), but I'm not a complete dunce, and I can make sense of everything I see when I log into the router's Admin panel.

    I know I am configuring the PPPoE connection correctly, with the correct authentication information for my account.

    Is it really as simple as getting them to acknowledge my MAC address?

    What else should I be doing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Norman, Oklahoma
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    Lightbulb

    If you can't convince AT&T to update your account with the new MAC Address for the Belkin router then you might try changing the Belkin MAC Address to the 2Wire Mac Address. See pages 24-25 in the manual which you can download from Belkin...

    http://web.belkin.com/support/downlo...1-4_manual.pdf

    Good luck...
    "When all else fails, read the instructions..."

    Al Jarvi
    MS-MVP Windows Desktop User Experience (http://mvp.support.microsoft.com)
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Ojai, California
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    Thank you!

    I almost asked about that possibility. I'd noticed that the Belkin allows me to 'clone' my NIC's MAC address in cases where my service insists on having that particular piece of information, but it looked as though I could actually manually set the MAC address it would announce, and it crossed my mind to do just that.


    I did some further reading around here and located similar topics (I apologize for having created a redundant thread - I feared I was probably doing so), and did notice mention of PPPoA, and a cautionary note about whether or not one's router supports it (when trying to replace the service-supplied DSL gateway device).

    I've got to re-examine what documentation I can to determine if this applies to me.


    Speaking of documentation, thanks very much also for doing the legwork to locate that user manual for my device. I'm sure it was as simple as going to their site and doing a search, but I appreciate the fact that you did it nonetheless.

  4. #4
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    Norman, Oklahoma
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    If I remember right the Belkin manual for your router specifically calls out PPPoE so you should be good to go. I don't have DSL myself, I use Cox HSI a cable ISP, so I am about out of ideas. Hopefully someone else can help further...

    Good luck...
    "When all else fails, read the instructions..."

    Al Jarvi
    MS-MVP Windows Desktop User Experience (http://mvp.support.microsoft.com)
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by Tenmiles
    I just moved into a new house, and I had intended to eschew the 2Wire device altogether this time, and configure the Belkin to authenticate into my PPPoE service with all the correct details.

    The problem is, when I tried that, not only do I not establish an Internet connection, but when the Belkin is plugged into the phone jack directly, I loose the dial tone in my phone (on another jack).
    (Yes, I have the filters on)

    When I set up the devices the "old way", that is, 2Wire DSL modem plugged into the jack, then run a line from it to the Belkin, then 2 lines out to my PCs, everything works alright.
    Okay, there's a couple things here to be addressed:
    1) If you are still on SBC/AT&T (or any other!) DSL, you need a DSL modem to talk to the DSL signal and translate it to ethernet so that your computers/router can understand it. If you are just plugging the phone cable into the Belkin's WAN port, THAT is the cause of your dialtone and connection problems.

    2) Since you do not have a way to bridge the Belkin, here are instructions on how to bridge the HomePortal so it acts as just a DSL modem. (You will need to be directly connected to it to complete these instructions. See below instead if you have PPPoA instead of PPPoE.)
    - http://gateway.2wire.net/management
    - Troubleshooting > Resets > Reset to Factory State & confirm
    - http://gateway.2wire.net
    - Home Network
    - Hit the Disable button next to Wireless (to turn off the wireless)
    - http://gateway.2wire.net/management
    - Advanced > Configure Services
    - Uncheck Enable Routing and Submit
    At this point the HomePortal's lights should be GGO. To reverse this, you will have to hardcode a compatible IP address on your computer (like 172.16.1.5), go back into the /management area, and either turn routing back on or reset to factory state again. There are instructions on the page where you disable routing that you can copy and save in a text file just in case. At this point, you can connect your Belkin to the HomePortal and have it do the PPPoE connection.

    If you have PPPoA, you will need to setup your HomePortal again to the point you can surf. Then:
    - http://gateway.2wire.net/management
    - Firewall > Settings
    - Choose your computer in the drop down box
    - Select the 3rd radio button DMZ Plus Mode and submit
    - Connect the Belkin now
    This passes the public IP address through to Belkin, and is the least firewall/NAT interference you will be able to get with PPPoA. Some ISPs, even if they only support PPPoA, have PPPoE setup on some of the hardware -- it may work if you try. ;-)

    Hope this helps
    extrados

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by extrados
    If you are still on SBC/AT&T (or any other!) DSL, you need a DSL modem to talk to the DSL signal and translate it to ethernet so that your computers/router can understand it. If you are just plugging the phone cable into the Belkin's WAN port, THAT is the cause of your dialtone and connection problems.
    I am still on their DSL. I guess I had assumed, based on what the Belkin device was 'called', that it, too, could function as a fully-capable DSL modem and perform the functions that the 2Wire DSL modem was fulfiling.


    I believe you are right though, that makes sense.


    Now that you describe the proccess for bridging the 2Wire, I recall that an SBC tech once assisted me with doing that before. This was a while ago, and I don't remember exactly what happened after that, but I do know that after a few days, I went back in and reversed the changes to the 2Wire.

    I forget what was going on, but there was some kind of symptom that I wasn't happy with at the time, and decided to reverse my changes and restore the arrangement back to its original setup.

    I'm willing to try it again, and your directions are clear; thank you very much.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Norman, Oklahoma
    Posts
    331
    Man, I completely misread your first post particuarly about the 2Wire being a modem and router... Sorry for sending you off on a wild goose chase...
    "When all else fails, read the instructions..."

    Al Jarvi
    MS-MVP Windows Desktop User Experience (http://mvp.support.microsoft.com)
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights...

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