Upgrading my DSL 

For a long time I’d resisted upgrading my DSL service from CAP to DMT. Yes, it would be better (and cheaper), but I’d have to get a new modem, and go through the pain of reconfiguring things. But then my service started dropping out erratically, showing much the same symptoms that occurred the last time my Cisco router died. So I bit the bullet.

To try to minimize down time, I had Qwest ship the modem (a 2Wire 2700 HG) a day before they switched service. Of course, they then switched it that night, so my server was off the Net all night.

I had tried to get information from Qwest as to how to hook their modem up to my router, but they claimed ignorance. I was pretty sure it needed to be bridged, so that the router (an AirPort Extreme base station) sent the password, not the modem. Although none of the representatives knew about it, the Qwest site had information on enabling transparent bridging, which was my guess. (And luckily I had looked this up ahead of time, before they knocked me off the Net.)

After a fair amount of time on the phone as Qwest tried to finish enabling the new scheme (they hadn’t actually made it work, just made it so my old modem wouldn’t work), I spent more time on the phone with my ISP, Seanet. They had to do some tweaking too, but eventually I was up and running, at something like 7168M down/968K up. I was disappointed not to get faster uploading (since I run a server), but it was probably over 5 times as fast downloading.

Another gripe I had with Qwest: I was never told that the modem was shipped with wireless enabled -- it was set to the weakest possible WEP, broadcasting SSID. I turned these off, since the AirPort has much better security. (The 2Wire can do better, but it’s so much easier configuring an AirPort...)

Anyway, you can indeed hook up an AirPort router to a 2Wire modem. Use transparent bridging. My ISP wasn’t sure about this, but now they know too. 

Posted: Wed - May 23, 2007 at 08:17 PM