Monday, September 21, 2009

Replacing my Broadband ADSL modem

The last week has been interesting. My ever so reliable BSNL broadband connection gave way. I guess I must have bragged about its stability one too many times :-( .

The problem turned out to be in the modem (to be specific the power supply to the Modem). Didn't find this out easily though - after being shunted between the BSNL "Lineman" and the Broadband support guy (from a company called Syscon). After two days (and about 20 calls) the Broadband support guy finally shows up and confirms that the modem is out and I need to "come down to the BSNL office and get a new one". I tell him that if he can get me a modem - I'll compensate him for his efforts, as I really didn't have the time to go and buy a modem.

So he does that - ever so diligently. He installs the modem when I'm not at home - so I tell him that I will need to observe the connection for 24 hours before I can pay him.

I reach home after a hard day's work and find that the modem installed looks to be a used one (it even has a neat cut across the "Warranty void if seal broken" sticker).

I get livid and the guy from Syscon keeps changing his story from "It's a rental modem" to "You can buy the modem". He has a fishy "friend" with him who has supplied him with the modem. Long story short I tell him to take the modem and put it in a suitable place. I then order a D-Link GLB 802C ADSL2+ modem (I already have WRT54GL - flashed with dd-wrt, a Belkin N1 and a Belkin 4-port Gateway router - so I really needed something basic).

But the modem configuration turned out to be more than the plug and pray I hoped it would be.

Here's what I ended up doing (after connecting it to the Belkin WAN port failed to get me on the net) - and after 3 hours of futzing around with Dynamic IP mode and PPPoE mode on the Belkin router.

Connected directly to the modem through the Ethernet port with my macbook.

  1. Access the Web admin GUI (through
  2. Disable the DHCP Server (set the DHCP mode to none)
  3. Enable the BSNL connection (by default MTNL was enabled). Access this through the Quick Configuration link.
  4. Put the modem in a "Bridge mode" - the Belkin gateway would take care of setting up the PPPoE connection (basically user authentication).
  5. Pray

and it worked - I have my reliable net connection back!

Next challenge - figure out if the ~100 ms roundtrip to is ok.

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