Always Do Your Homework

I’m arguably not making myself look very good with this week’s posts, but I shall continue the trend nevertheless. Do you remember the Tale of Two Routers? Well, I had another attempt at fixing it today.

I first tried to get the ADSL modem to connect at all, a feat which had eluded me previously. This time I managed it; using lowercase for the username solved the problem, despite the documentation being in uppercase. Once I knew that it was at least possible I set up the (purple) Linksys router, plugging the ADSL modem into its ‘internet port’. Now, you could configure the ADSL modem to connect by itself then act as a router, or just have it pass everything on to something else. I wanted the latter as the Linksys has a load more features and is generally more robust and configurable.

This is the point I discovered I should have done my homework properly. The ADSL modem can connect to the internet via a variety of methods, including PPPoE and PPPoA. UK ADSL uses PPPoA. Now that the modem is passing info to another device, however, it relies on said device to do the logging in. The Linksys router doesn’t support PPPoA. And never will, it seems. I could have used the modem to do the routing, but I need port forwarding that’s vaguely configurable, which this wasn’t. So I’m going to have to get a new router that supports PPPoA. Ah well, a lesson learnt.