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ADSL Frequently Asked Questions

DSL Glossary

If you have a question, chances are we have the answer. We've grouped the most frequently asked questions into easy-to-use categories so you can get your answer quickly. If you don't find what you're looking for, please ask our DSL Help Center

The Basics
What is DSL?
How fast is ADSL?
Is ADSL available to all homes?
Do I need to install a new phone line to get DSL?
Why is the ADSL gateway better than standard dial-up modems?

DSL Connection
Does DSL affect the quality of my phone service?
Will DSL charges appear on my phone bill?
Can I use my new DSL line to make phone calls?
Do I still need my dial-up ISP?
How do I test my DSL Speed?
Can I access my email and the internet remotely?
What happens to my ADSL service if I move?

About Email and Web
Can I use my own domain name?

Technical Questions
Is there anything I should change about my computer?
Is there anything I should be aware of in my home environment?
Can I connect more than one computer to the ADSL gateway?
Can I use my firewall with my ADSL service?
Can I still use my fax software if I get ADSL Service?

Advanced Technical Questions
What does a static IP address let me do?
How many static IP addresses can I get?
Can I host a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?
Can I run my own Web, FTP, DNS, SMTP, POP3, or other email server?
Is my connection through ADSL a dial-up or LAN?
Does DSL support X-Windows, TELNET, and FTP?
Does the ADSL gateway act as a DHCP host or client?

DSL Glossary

What is DSL?
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is a technology that allows ISP to provide you with high-speed internet access over ordinary copper phone lines.

Current advances in DSL technology include wireless DSL.

ADSL
ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) lets you use the same ordinary copper phone line for both your phone service and high-speed Internet connection. In other words, you can surf the Web and talk on the phone at the same time. This is accomplished by sending the DSL signal over the line at a higher frequency than is used by voice. The DSL is asymmetric in that download speeds can be up to 4 times faster than upload speeds.

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How fast is ADSL connection?
Downloads can be as fast as 256kbps. Most pages will appear in a flash, and a large file that used to take minutes to download over a dial-up connection will load in seconds. Upload speed is typically 128Kbps.

The exact speed depends on the distance from your home to the DSL equipment in your phone company's central office; shorter distances yield a faster connection. The quality of a phone line (age, gauge, or the presence of devices that boost voice signals), and the quality of wiring in your home will also affect the speed.

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Is ADSL available to all homes
Chances are ADSL High-Speed Internet service is available to your home. If you haven't already, you can check for availability now. If service isn't available, it's either because ADSL has not rolled out service in your area, or your phone system does not support DSL. In general, DSL will not be available from any provider if:

  • Your phone company has not installed DSL equipment in the local facility that serves your home (also called the "CO" or Central Office).
  • Your home is too far from the Central Office. It must be within 5 Km.
  • Your phone company has installed equipment such as load coils on your line that boost voice signals but distort the DSL signal.
  • You have fiber-optic wiring to your phone, rather than the copper wires that are required for DSL.

If your home doesn't qualify now, there is hope. Phone companies are working quickly to install new equipment and increase the range limit, and new ADSL service zones are rolling out every week. Therefore, you could qualify for DSL service sooner than you think.

* Additional charges may apply for upgrades to your home's inside wiring or your telephone line, if necessary, to support DSL.

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Do I need to install a new phone line to get DSL?
If ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) is offered in your area, your ADSL connection and regular phone service can almost always share your existing phone line, so you don't have to install a new one. You'll only need an extra line if you live in an apartment or condominium that has three or more existing lines, or if you have a security system connected to your current line.

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Why is the ADSL gateway better than standard dial-up modems?
Three great reasons:

First. Easy setup! You don't have to install any new hardware. You simply connect the ADSL gateway to your computer and DSL line phone jack, perform the automatic software installation, and you'll be surfing the Web within minutes.

Second. Our gateways work with almost any computer, as long as you have an Ethernet, USB, or, in some cases, parallel port (see Technical Specifications for details).

Third. The ADSL gateway is reliable. Also, because it is separate from your computer, you can keep your gateway on even when you turn off your computer.

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Does DSL affect the quality of my phone service?
No. With ADSL you can make calls while surfing the Web, and your phone reception is just as crisp and clear as ever. And of course the phone still works when the ADSL gateway is unplugged or turned-off.

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Will DSL charges appear on my phone bill?
You will be billed for all phone lines in your home, however, your ADSL charge will be billed separately.

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Do I still need my dial-up ISP?
No. You'll receive dial-up access to your email accounts from ADSL. When you travel and want to check your email, you'll need to use this dial-up connection because your DSL connection is associated with your DSL phone number. However, if you use on-line banking or another service that is not web-based, you may want to keep your dial-up modem to use for that connection.

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How do I test my DSL Speed?
There are a number of internet testing services available to test your DSL speed. Try searching for "DSL speed test" on http://www.google.com/, or going to http://www.dslreports.com and searching for their DSL speed tests and patches.

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Can I access my email and the internet remotely?
Yes. With your ISP number, you can access the Internet from anywhere in the country, over a dial-up connection.

Use a laptop, or desktop, to surf the Web and get email from any location that has a phone jack. Of course, you'll be using an analog dial-up modem, so you won't get the same speed that you get with your ADSL connection, but you will be able to surf the Net and access your e-mail accounts.

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What happens to my ADSL service if I move?
If you move to an area where ADSL service is available, You can transfer the ADSL service to your new home or office location.

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Can I use my own domain name?
Yes. You can use your own domain name for custom Web pages. For example: www.(YourSiteHere).com or http://www.(YourSiteHere).com as the Web address for your ADSL Web page. You can even host your site on your computer, and have your domain name point to your IP address. You would need to support this yourself. First, register your domain name with a registration service like Network Solutions or Register.com (fees may apply). then point your URL to the proper servers.

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Is there anything I should change about my computer?
Probably not. If you bought or upgraded your computer within the last few years, it's probably equipped to handle a ADSL connection. The only change you might need to consider is if your Windows PC doesn't already have an Ethernet card, you may want to install one to get the best performance. Ethernet cards are inexpensive and rather simple to install. Macintosh, Linux, or UNIX computers need Ethernet for their ADSL connection, but most of these computers already come equipped with it. For more information, see the related Technical Specifications.

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Is there anything I should be aware of in my home environment?
Your home environment can affect your DSL connection and speed. Consult with Sales if any of the following conditions need further explanation:

  • Halogen lamps when placed near your DSL line adversely affect your connection
  • Some security systems may disrupt your DSL connection
  • Bad wiring in your home can adversely affect your DSL connection
  • Extreme weather (electrical storms) can adversely affect your DSL connection
  • Rolling blackouts adversely affect your DSL connection

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Can I connect more than one computer to the ADSL gateway?
Yes. You can share your ADSL among computers within a small home network using any of several DSL router products. The product should be capable of IP masking and NAT (Network Address Translation), and include an Ethernet hub (10Base-T or 10/100Base-T). Follow the router's installation instructions to connect your home network to the router and the router to the gateway.

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Can I use my firewall with my ADSL service?
Yes. You can use virtually any off-the-shelf firewall with your ADSL connection. Simply install it following the manufacturer's instructions.

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Can I still use my fax software if I get ADSL?
Most likely. If your fax software uses an analog modem that's already installed in your computer (and most fax software does), just keep using it the way you have been, with the modem connected to your phone jack. Faxing should continue to work as usual. Another option is to sign up for one of several online services that allow faxing via the Internet.

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What does a static IP address let me do?
DSL providers often connect your computer to a different physical location (IP address) each time you connect to the Internet, using whatever address is currently available (this is known as a dynamic IP address). With ADSL, you're assigned a personal IP address that doesn't change (known as a static IP address), which only you use. It's your IP address, every time, all the time. You do not have to share it with any other users outside of your home. With a static IP address, you can do great things that you can't do with a dynamic IP address, such as:

  • Host Web pages on your own computer; just pick up the appropriate server software and install it according to manufacturer specifications
  • Host your own FTP site or email server
  • Access a corporate network and work from home
  • Use third-party software to work remotely over a virtual private network (VPN)

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How many static IP addresses can I get?
Currently ADSL provide one static IP address with your service.

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Can I host a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?
YES! That's one of the reasons ISP assign each customer a static IP address. You may use your static IP address and any off-the-shelf VPN software, which you'll set up and manage yourself.

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Can I run my own Web, FTP, DNS, SMTP, POP3, or other email server?
Yes. You may use your static IP address and any off-the-shelf VPN software, which you'll set up and manage yourself.

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Is my ADSL a dial-up or LAN?
It's a LAN connection. The ADSL gateway is a router and doesn't perform any type of modulation/demodulation.

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Does ADSL support X-Windows, TELNET, and FTP?
Yes. These protocols can all be used over a DSL line, as can any Internet addressable traffic that can be carried over TCP/IP.

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Does the ADSL gateway act as a DHCP host or client?
When you first install the ADSL gateway, it acts as a DHCP client to receive an IP address from the server. It retains that address permanently as your static IP address. Each time you connect to the Internet thereafter, the ADSL gateway acts as a DHCP host assigning an IP address to your computer (or to each computer in your home network, if you're using Network Address Translation).

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