The Connection (Step 2)

This was definitely the hardest part of my project. I'll try not to get into too much of a rant about my telcom company, but let me say, choose your ISP with care! I ended up with a fairly decent deal on a sufficient ADSL connection, but Verizon's tech support and handling of my account was attrocious. Not only did they lose my account, send my DSL modem to the wrong address, and make me wait 6 months to finally receive high speed internet, but in the week before my modem finally arrived, they messed up my dial in account so I had no net access from home at all. I'm sure I'm the worst case scenario, but be forewarned. The only reason I put up with all that mess is that Verizon pretty much has a monopoly on high speed access in my area. It's either DSL through them, or an over-priced, relatively slow ISDN connection.

I don't know anything about cable modems, though I've heard both good and bad reports about using them. Setting up the DSL connection was extremely easy once I finally received all my equipment. You get something like the following:

  • A special DSL modem & associated cables
  • Some filters for your phone line
  • Splitters & other useful things
  • Cheap-o freebies that I didn't get because they messed up my account (me? bitter? never)

You put the filter on the line that leads directly to your phone line. This is to keep the extra data flowing on the line from affecting the sound quality when you use the phone. It seems to work pretty well. Don't put the filter on the line to the DSL modem or your connection won't work. Then connect your DSL modem to your network card on your computer with the provided ethernet cable. Plug in the modem's power cord, switch it on, and if you see all the lights light up, you're good to go.

High Speed Access Resources:

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