June 22, 2004

DSL Notes

When I got home from work today and tried to download my e-mail, I couldn't get through to the e-mail server. Well, I thought, that's interesting.

I think I've figured out the problem.

The protocol used to access the Internet over DSL is something called "PPPoE", or "PPP over Ethernet", whatever that means. The DSL Modem we got from Earthlink has a "PPPoE" light on it; and it tries to do the PPPoE login and connection all by itself. On the other hand, our Airport Base Station also understands PPPoE, and when I configured things on Friday I ended up telling it to do the PPPoE login.

I think what happened today is that the Airport Base Station dropped the connection (why, I don't know) and the DSL Modem picked it up. And since the Base Station was expecting to talk PPPoE to the Modem, and the Modem was expecting normal Internet traffic from the Base Station, nothing worked. At least, the PPPoE light was lit up on the DSL Modem when I checked, and when I told the Base Station just to use normal Ethernet to connect to the Internet everything started working again.

So I've left it that way for the timing being; we'll see how things go.

Posted by Will Duquette at June 22, 2004 03:57 PM

Lars Walker said:

Now I feel better. Your experience was going so much smoother than mine, I was eaten by envy. But now you've got the e-mail protocol problem too, so I'm content. You'll probably need to spend some time on the phone with Customer Support. The nice thing is that you'll be able to do that while you're online now.

Will Duquette said:

Alas (Alas?), Lars, everything's working fine. The problem wasn't with the e-mail protocol, it was that the connection to the 'net was broken because the DSL Modem and the Airport Base Station were speaking two different languages. E-mail just happened to be the first thing I tried when I got home.

Good luck with yours, though.

Lars Walker said:

Mine is working fine now. All the _sturm und drang_ occured about a month ago. But _a murrain on you_ for having an easy changeover!

Will Duquette said:

Hey, being a professional software engineer has to be good for something. :-)