Ok, here is your official GEEK warning. First, however, there will be DRAMA. Everyone is welcome to read that. Then there will be Geek stuff sprinkled with drama (little d). The Geeks can read that. Or the really bored can read it. Hey, my blog gets the “hits” either way. 🙂
So, dear reader, you are officially warned that I’m gonna GEEK out on you. You’re not going to get a DRAMA warning as it should be obvious by now that there is ALWAYS drama in my life.
So, I’m going to geek out on you and talk about computers and such. Nope, narry a mention of weight loss or food or fitness or health will be made in this post. Why you ask, oh faithful readers? Why the digression?
Well because Uhm… pardon me while I pull this soap box out of the corner and put it front and center so I can go on a bit of a rant (ok, ok, I’ll through in some hard-core facts for you too)
<Scccccrrrrrrraaaapppppeeeeeee> Now where was I? Oh, yes….
AT&T is EVIL
There. I feel better now that I’ve got that off my chest. 🙂 Ok, maybe they’re not evil, I’m sure there are lots of very nice people working for AT&T, but the company seems to have this philosophy that is bent on maximizing their profits while ignoring the most basic tenants of customer service. More about that in Part 2 when I compare AT&T and Jitterbug/Great Call
The sad part is that they are not the worst Internet Service Provider out there! Eeek! According to Consumer Reports (May 1, 2011) which ranked 28 different companies/services AT&T U-Verse, which is a bundled service including Internet, Phone, and Television came in 3rd. Their DSL Internet by itself (which is what I subscribe to) came in 20th.
Now why does that not surprise me?
(Note dear readers, this is what is called Sarcasm)
When I moved into my current apartment, (Actually it isn’t an apartment…it’s a room that I rent from my best friend in his condo which is in an old apartment complex that went condo). Nonetheless, when I moved in here six years ago, all my telecommunication services from Cingular, Southwestern Bell, and AT&T Long Distance had been merged through corporate buyouts back into Ma Bell Risen.
Kinda like a Zombie Baby Bell if you think about it.
Southwestern Bell, which eventually became SBC Global then they bought AT&T and SBC went away and only AT&T was left. But somehow during all this my old Yahoo account ended up merged with my free Yahoo email accounts with my pay accounts… SIGH) Yahoo used to be so awesome. Now it is a piece of tripe.
According to Wikipedia:
“AT&T Yahoo! is an information service sold by AT&T Internet Services. It is a partnership between AT&T and Yahoo! to provide co-branded dial-up and DSL Internet service.”
Starting with SBC Global, their customer service began to stink. And then STINK then ***STINK****. It became harder and harder and harder to get to someone on their customer service lines who could understand my Texas accent and who would talk to me like a person holding an actual conversation where I asked for assistance and they provided it. It got even worse when SBC bought AT&T and changed its name to AT&T. Now all you get is scripted responses that don’t tell you anything and don’t fit the situation. More on that in Part 2.
So I switched my cell phone to Jitterbug, which I love (more in Part 2). Killed my land line and switched to DSL only. We won’t go into how much MORE that same service now costs me than it did when I switched to DSL and how the increase in cost has come with ZERO increase in services, bandwidth speed, AND WE WILL NOT discuss how the cost increases far out strip the cost of living index. Evil I tell you. AT&T is EVIL!
My DSL Router Died
Now, fast forward into the present, as in now, well a few days ago. My DSL Modem/Wireless Router/Ethernet Hub died. Against my will I went to the AT&T website to find out how much it would cost and learned that the AT&T stuff would only work with AT&T service. Aaaaaarrrrggggghhhh!!!! And I just couldn’t bring myself to pay AT&T or one of their partner companies any money. The mark up to get a replacement through AT&T is horrendous!
So I went shopping and bought a “Cisco Linksys X2000 Wireless-N Router with ADSL2+ Modem.” I used to be a Systems Librarian in charge of all computer operations for the library where I worked. Cisco is a brand that I know and trust. Excellent company. Buy it, configure it and it works forever.
So expecting no problems, I got it home, plugged it in and THUNK. Well there wasn’t a “thunk” but there wasn’t any Internet access either. SIGH Knowing that the problem must be that AT&T is deliberately using some weird configuration that the Cisco installation disk can’t detect, I realize I have to go online to find the data. But, yes, you see the problem right? No Internet because my router is dead.
So I do what any geek would do. I check to see if any of neighbors have left their wireless routers unsecured! But alas no one had. Why isn’t there some brainless idiot near me with an unsecured wireless home network when I need a brainless idiot? I ask you is it too much to ask for a clueless non-geek to live nearby? Noooooooo!!!! Everybody near me is evidently Internet savvy and have set up their wireless routers correctly so I can’t shamelessly steal their Internets.
But I digress. 🙂
So instead, I snuck into my room mate’s bedroom (he was at work) and used his computer to get online. And dear readers, I searched and I FAILED to find the info! SIGH
The bottom line here is that NOWHERE on the Internet is there in a single spot a simple list of the doomahickies and whatchamacallits that you need to type in or click or flip or toggle to get the friggin Linksys X2000 to connect to an AT&T Internet Connection.
I think it is a conspiracy. I think that the Dark Lord heading up AT&T’s evil empire has released it minions to scour the Internet and delete the information when someone, like the every so kind and helpful moi, posts it. So, dear readers, if I don’t post for a few days after this appears, send out a rescue party.
So, here is the info, which I cobbled together from half a dozen different sources of information. Someone out there had better buy me a beer when they find this post.
Ok, Here is the GEEK part. Geeks or desperate homeowners with a new Linksys X2000 who need this info can keep reading. Everyone else just jump down to those little “like” and “Share” buttons and do your thing. Unless you want to keep reading. Me being me, the instructions are not your typical Geek 1-2-3 kinda thing. 😉
To connect to AT&T DSL using a Linksys X2000 Wireless-N Router with ADSL2+ Modem
Here’s what is going to happen. Or rather this is what happened to me and I’m making a huge leap here and assuming that it will happen to other folks. (all the way down at the bottom is a screen print that shows everything but here is the blow-by-blow:
- You’ll get your box home, rip off the plastic like a kid on Christmas morning and drool just a bit as you look at the sleek curves of your new DSL Modem Whatsit also known as the Linksys X2000. Some market guy made a lot of money by telling Cisco that X = sexy and that a router with X in the name will sell better than a router with K in the name. But I digess.
Throw away the piece of trash that AT&T sold you way back when and plug in the cables into the right holes in your new awesome Cisco Modem/Router Thingie, also know as the X2000
Stick in the CD-ROM that came with your new toy into your computer. Let it do its installation thing. Enjoy the nice graphics while it does its thing.
Odds are that if you are with any other company other than AT&T everything will work just fine. For those of us who haven’t switched, yet, you’ll hit the green “advanced settings” button when the installation program chokes because the Evil Empire has deliberately made life difficult.
5. That will open an internet browser and take you to what looks like a web page but is actually the control panel for your wireless router/DSL Modem. Book mark this. Save it in your Settings and name it something that you’ll recognize when you need it again. You won’t need it often but when you do, that bookmark will be a life saver! Uhm, were you paying attention?
BOOKMARK THAT CONFIGURATION PAGE! ITS IMPORTANT!
6. Now, here is the part where I save you oodles of time: Here are the settings you’ll want to fiddle with. On the “Setup” / “Basic Setup” tab, set things up like this:
Language – Uhm if you’re reading this I bet you’ll choose English.
( ) Auto ( * ) ADSL ( )Ethernet <<< Choose ADSL
Internet Connection Type
Note: The strings of characters in the drop down box represent the different types of protocols different Internet Service Providers use. The one you want is RFC2516 PPPoE. As long as the X2000 is the only gadget between your computer and the phone line coming out of the wall then you’re good to go. If you’re plugging the X2000 into something else and that something else is what the phone line plugs into then you’re doing something called bridging and well go Google it to find someone who has posted help on how to do that. Good Luck. 🙂
Multiplexing : ( * ) LLC ( ) VC <<< Choose LLC
QoS Type: UBR
PCR: 0 << the number zero, not the letter 0 which follows n and is before p
SCR: 0 << the number zero, not the letter 0 which follows n and is before p
VPI: Reside in AL, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN use “8” Any other state use “0” (zero)
DSL Modulation: MultiMode
Username: You would think this would be simple? Nope, not gonna be simple. We’re talking about AT&T here.
Eventually you’ll put your email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or whatever.
Password: THIS IS NOT YOUR PERSONAL PASSWORD (see the note below)
Eventually you will put whatever “Network Password” the registration process spits out into this field. I told you this wouldn’t be simple.
This bit of information is CRUCIAL. You need the NETWORK password. The password they want in the password box is a special password that you use only here in the DSL Modem configuration and nowhere else. It is NOT the password you use to log onto your email account when you’re at a friend’s house or in a library!!!!!!
So, to get that elusive network password this is what you do:
The Username and password that you’ll use to REGISTER & DISCOVER THE NETWORK PASSWORD are:
Service: (leave this blank)
( * ) Connect on Demand – Max Idle Time 20 Minutes
Host Name (leave blank)
Domain Name (leave blank)
MTU: Manual Size: 1492
IP Address, Subnet Mask, and URL address should already be filled in. Leave them alone. Don’t change them, don’t fiddle with them. Don’t even think about changing them if you’re an average user. If you’re an Uber-Geek then you’re probably not reading this anyway.
DHCP Server: ( * ) Enabled
DHCP Relay Server: Leave it alone. In fact. Just leave everything else on the page alone. They are defaults and they work fine so don’t fiddle with them unless you have a good reason.
I fiddled with one. Changing the default “50” to “10” on Maximum Number of Users for no real reason other than it bugs me to have 50 IP numbers reserved for use when I know that I’ll be using maybe 5-6 at the most at any time.
So, there you go. Everything is set up. We’re ready to go hunting for that “Network Password”
Click “Save Settings” The screen will black for a bit and return you to your Setup page.
Click on “Status” over on the far right near the top. That will take you to a page where in the middle it will say “Connecting” “Connected” “Disconnected” If it says anything but “Connected” then click on the “Connect” button. Give it a few seconds and eventually if everything was entered correctly and you don’t have any loose cables, the screen will refresh and it will say “Connected” with a whole bunch of numbers that you don’t need to worry about.
Open a new tab in your browser and try to go to any website, like http://www.google.com. AT&T, the evil empire, will grab your attempted surf and redirect you to a registration sign up process. During this process you’ll be asked for your DSL phone number. My DSL is just a DSL line. I don’t have an actual phone number but I do have a string of numbers that look like a phone number that I typed into the spot. Whatever the number is for you, type it in. Let the evil empire do it’s thing, go grab a beer from the frig or moan and groan to your roommate about the evilness of the evil empire. I did both. Eventually the screen will refresh and you’ll get this screen that says:
Name: your name
AT&T Member ID: your email address
Homepage/Email Password: *********
Network Password: (a string of letters and numbers) Mine was six characters long
DSL Telephone/Account Number.
Print this off. Ahem, are you paying attention out there? Am I typing loud enough?
PRINT THIS OFF!!!!! Save it! Put it under lock and key. Keep it.
Treasure it. DO. NOT. LOOSE IT!
You’ll need it in just a bit. The evil empire has some more “configuration” to do. Hit yes, continue, yes, etc until it has done its work. I would recommend NOT installing the “extra” software they try to get you to install.
Your work however is not done yet.
Use the bookmark to the Router/DSL Modem’s configuration page (You did create a book mark didn’t you?) and make two changes:
Username: delete the firstname.lastname@example.org and replace it with your email address
Password: delete the ****** and replace it with the Network Password.
Click “Save Settings”
If all works right, that’s it. You can start surfing the net. I would however suggest that you print all this off and put it in a safe place so that when you need it you can find it.
To the right is the promised screen print. Click it to make it big so you can read it.
See ya on the dance floor!