I'm trying to setup a Linksys WRT54G router for my friend, but it seems no connection to the internet through the router can be made. First, I used the installation CD to have the router automatically configured. At the end of the installation, it announced it failed to connect to the net.

Having one of these routers at home, I performed the usual setup procedure:

1.) Power down everything
2.) Connect cables into appropriate ports
3.) Turn on modem
4.) Turn on router soonafter, wait half a minute or so...
5.) Boot the machine

Naturally, this procedure and several other ones I attempted failed. He has no internets, but can access his router. I took the liberty of upgrading the firmware.

I noticed he had a DSL modem, and I was used to working with cable. I've never seen a connection interface requiring a username or password to connect to the net, but I was wondering if this little Westell thing is using PPPoE.

If anyone would know what to do, or what addresses to assign, or similar helpful stuff, I'd appreciate the input.

*Note: The net works fine when modem->comp connection is made, without the accursed router.

While cable Internet services usually use DHCP, PPPoE (Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet) is most common with DSL services; it's probably what your friend's ISP is using. The reason that the computer can reach the Internet when connected directly to the modem is that the ISP's setup software installed and configured the PPPoE client program on the computer. You may even see a PPPoE adapter listed in the Network Connections settings or in the output of the "ipconfig /all" command.

When using the WRT54G with a PPPoE modem, configure the router as follows:

* Choose PPPoE in the protocol drop-down box.
* In the User Name box, enter the user ID that the ISP gave your friend when the account was set up. This is often the email address associated with the account.
* In the Password box, enter the password that the ISP gave your friend when the account was set up.
* The Host Name may or may not be required. The ISP can tell you about that.
* The Domain Name is the ISP's domain name (without the "www" prefix).
* Leave the MTU setting at Auto. The default PPPoE MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) value is 1492.
* Click the Save Settings button to apply the changes.

To properly initialize the connection once you've configured the router, it's best to:

* Power down the modem, router, and computer.
* Wait about 30 seconds or so.
* Turn on the modem. Give it enough time for it to go through its initialization and stabilize (indicator LEDs stop flashing).
* Turn on the router. As with the modem, give the router time to initialize .
* Turn on the computer. Give it time to stabilize.

Note that the computer does not need to use the DSL/PPPoE connection/sign-in software once the router is installed; the router now takes care of that. Also- the router will supply the computer's IP configuration info via DHCP, just as it would when used with a cable Internet service.

** Note that some DSL "modems" are actually combo modem/routers. If that's the case with your friend's modem, the setup will be different than what I described above.