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Thread: ethernet for dummies

  1. #21
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    Got it running yet, mac-in-tosh? How's it working out?

    Jim

  2. #22
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    Hello All,
    Sorry about the delay but My cpu (brain) just overloaded and I had to shut down for a little while. I'm trying to get it back on-line but it may take sometime to caught up on all stuff that starts piling up from the minute you shut down. Hopefully I'll be back to 100% in a couple of days.

    As I said previously I bought the SMC BarricadeȢ 4-Port Cable/DSL Broadband Router. I had some trouble getting the cable modem working at first thanks to the lack of info provided by Time Warner (RoadRunner) the Mac issue all over again. Once I got the modem working installing the router was a breeze. Literally plug and play. I was/am considerably peeved that the included software was not for Mac's even though it was implied to be. While the router is working on 2 soon to be 3 computers flawlessly I am a bit concerned about the firewall issue. Both the cable modem and the router talk about having firewalls but in my admitted ignorance I know absolutely nothing about it. That's on my list of things to learn. Apple Rendezvous seems to be a program worth taking a look at but haven't found the starting point yet? Thanks! everyone for your help!


    Ken

  3. #23
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    This information is intended for near-future shoppers, not to make you feel bad, Ken.

    Outpost.com is offering a $25 rebate on this very same SMC7004VBR DSL/Cable Router on sales completed by 12/1/02.

    I just ordered one. It will be $31.89 with shipping after the rebate check comes back. If anyone is looking for a router, you won't find a much better deal on anything brand new, in-the-box.

    Jim

  4. #24
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    Ken,

    Sorry you seemed to have some config trouble. I know my NetGear has some special config stuff for RoadRunner, but it is all web-based so you can do it from your browser. I don't think any company that makes networking products makes configuration software for the Mac. You always have to make sure configuration is "browser based".

    As to the firewall, I don't know if these home networking routers have what is technically called a firewall. I would call it that, but basically, the routers become the focal point for all outside network scans and access attempts. They are "hardened" security-wise in that they all come from the factory pre-configured to keep your computers on the internal network (the LAN) shielded from the outside world. There is one way to open computers on the LAN up to the internet called "port forwarding". I would guess that the SMC has this feature like my NetGear, but check the docs. Basically, port forwarding is just what it sounds like, you can configure the router to "forward" any access to a particular port to a particular computer on the LAN.

    So, for example, I use an Athlon box I built as a webserver and I have the router configured to forward any access on Port 80 (the web port) to the internal address of the Athlon box. (And let me tell ya, you should see the clowns from all over the globe trying to break into my machine thinking it is a windows box!).

    Unless you are running a webserver or some other service that you want to open to the outside world (ftp, gnutella), you have no need to change the factory settings.

    The only other way one of your computers on the LAN can be accessed is if somebody figures out a security hole in the SMC router you own. I know this recently happened with the Linksys router. See http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=0...thread&tid=172 . Probably not likely as my guess is that crackers have bigger fish to fry than the home network guy's router, but it never hurts to make sure you are running the latest firmware on the router.

    -A

    [This message has been edited by tmxmnr (edited 20 November 2002).]

  5. #25
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    Actually the config trouble hasn't begun yet and hopefully wont. I've tried to find the best Mac router available at a reasonable cost. The one I came up with while it didn't include mac software (even though it implied it did) has so far been purely plug and play. Although at present I'm just running it for internet connect with 2 computers. As for having an actual lan, not yet. I imagine that will require me to use a few more brain cells which at present I don't seem to have to spare. I see Jaguar which is what I am presently learning has an application called Rendezvous. I don't know if it will help me set up my lan or not but I'm hopeful it will. As for the firewall if I understand you correctly it's partly hardware or in the hardware and software. I guess it's the software part that concerns me since it's not Mac specific, although the SMC site did say that this SMC7004VBR BarricadeȢ "is the first router in its class to offer an integrated Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) firewall." what ever that means? http://www.smc.com/index.cfm?sec=Pro...rod=257&site=c
    The site does include Mac's so I'm guessing it's in there somewhere? (man that sounds dumb but it honest)I do have a Mac specific cable modem and RR also boasts firewall protection so? For the most part I'm not to concerned since any intelligent (oxymoron) hacker wouldn't bother with a home user like myself but I would feel more secure if I had a clue. Soon come, I hope.


    Jim: No hard feelings at all. Actually I'm glad to see that it's available cheaper for those that read this post. Obviously I've invested a lot of time in trying to find a router that likes Mac's and I believe I succeeded and now to find it cheaper will hopefully make someone else's router quest much easier. Now personally I'm done (hopefully) with router research but the one feature that would seem to be nice in a router is a phone modem for when the cable is down. It may be that this is cost prohibitive and not feasible for other reasons but I do seem to recall some models with this feature possible much more expensive? For now I'll keep my old 56k on the shelf and hope I don't need it.

    As I progress I'll continue to post with my hopefully good news re this router, but so far seriously, literally Plug & Play.


    Ken

  6. #26
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    Here's a fairly straightforward definition of stateful packet inspection: http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/S/stat...nspection.html

    You actually already have a "LAN", Ken. Your two computers are the LAN (i.e., the Local Area Network), the router connects them to the WAN (i.e., the Wide Area Network, or, in this case, the internet).

    I haven't played with Rendezvous yet, but it is supposed to make network connections between machines "plug and play". That's probably true for Apple to Apple connections, but I don't think anything is plug and play for Windows.

    -A

    [This message has been edited by tmxmnr (edited 21 November 2002).]

  7. #27
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    Well once upon a time I had an XT if that counts but since then it's been all Mac's actually mostly clones. I really liked/like the PowerComputing machines, in fact I still have 3 being used now by my kids and a couple in a closet. I realize your right about the lan but to me it's not complete until I can actually see another computer and share files etc. As for a stateful packet it amazes me that as fast as data travels that anything could look at much less filter something out of it. I'm going to take a look at Rendezvous tonight if I get a chance and hopefully it will be as it says "Plug and Play" ? If nothing else it's a good idea.



    Ken

  8. #28
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    Sounds like things are going well, Ken. I just got mine a couple days ago. It isn't connected to anything yet since I just ordered DSL on Thursday and I'm waiting for the modem to arrive.

    Which reminds me, you mentioned that you have a Mac-specific cable modem. When I ordered DSL I didn't even mention that I used Macs.

    Is that likely to be a problem? Does it really matter as far as a DSL modem goes?

    I'm more of a newbie to all this than you, probably, Ken. This thread has really helped me out a LOT. I hope I didn't need to order a specific modem for DSL, though.

    Jim

  9. #29
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    James,

    It shouldn't matter as DSL uses PPPoE (Point-to-Point protocol over Ethernet) to make the connection and in OS X, the Network pref has that built in. I am not sure if OS 9 or OS 8 do, but I know that when I had DSL with Earthlink, they had an installer which gave me some kind of PPPoE control panel.

    I'm sure you can find one freeware if you need it.

    Anyway, check the DSL service provider's website... I bet they have a "System Requirements" link that lists Macs.

    -A

    [This message has been edited by tmxmnr (edited 24 November 2002).]

  10. #30
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    The other thing is that if you install a router at home (so that you can hook up more than one computer - PC or Mac - and have them all use the same DLS connection), you can tell the router to establish the PPPoE connection - that way you never have to install the PPPoE software on your machine. In the past, it's usually been those PPPoE control panels / extensions that have caused problems.

    your computer(s) -> Router -> DSL Modem -> ISP - all the PPPoE info is stored on the router.

    Chris

  11. #31
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    Jim, If your more of a "newbe" than me it's only by a couple of weeks, although I did spend considerable time in the first few days of those weeks. However my research was mostly confined to the routers. I'm {(guessing )} that not unlike the 56k modems we/you/I are upgrading from that the DSL/cable modems are platform specific? Now I could be wrong but I seem to remember something about "Mac specific addressee's" and a couple of other things but that may have referred only to the router? In my case with RoadRunner (Time Warner) my modem is a Mac model, "SURFboard SB3100". When I first started researching routers I was told that they were not platform specific "just pick one, buy it and use it" I was told and it may actually work in some cases but I've learned while it may work it may be like the difference between SCSI 1 & SCSI 3. It's about "Performance" that's why we upgrade. I myself and I'm sure everyone else also want's the best performance possible. I've been up and running now for about 10 days and haven't had problem one with the cable network and I'm downloading at not less than 225kb/sec. That's flying compared to the old 5 or 6 kb/sec with my old 56k. I'd say call your provider and ask them, all the way to tech support if necessary. I haven't looked at new cable/DSL modems (yet) but would again say that they are probably platform specific at least for performance, but I could be wrong? it's happened before.
    Unfortunately all my links (bookmarks) are temporally tied up on my old SCSI drives, since I just upgraded to a G4/466 and it didn't have a SCSI card in it. I ordered two Atto dual cards but the company sent me the wrong ones so I guess I'll be RMAing them and ordering again tomorrow (monday). Good luck and hopefully if needed the installer will have a Mac modem with him/her.




    Ken

  12. #32
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    Hi...

    Just a couple of things from my end - I had no choice in DSL modems up here (Alcatel is what my ISP provided) but I did in terms of which router I could use. You're right - you do need to think about which one you want to use but as for platform specificity, most are configurable via a built-in WWW server so pretty much any computer can talk to them. I'm using a Asante one now and I have yet to restart it in over a year - rock solid...

    As for performance - I guess there can be differences but I usually think about the network congestion upstream of me (i.e. at the ISP and beyond) so throughput becomes a bit of a strange performance marker - too many other parameters in the way ;-)..

    Heck - we use the DSL/cable modem router systems here as firewalls for various labs who can't afford to buy a real firewall system. By real , I mean ones that have a 100 base T uplink and downlink. Most routers for home use while they have a 10/100 network for th e internal lan are limited in their upstream connection speed... (which makes sense since it's the ISP's cabling to your house that then becomes the limiting speed - and they aren't near even running 10 baseT rates to your house (at least in my locale)...

    (Huge advantage being at the University and having big network "pipes"..)

    Chris

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