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May 24

Corins Move to ADSL

That’s right, after 17 months of loyal service to wireless broadband provider Woosh, we’re moving on.

They’re not as bad as everyone makes out. Sure, their latency is really poor, but this is to be expected with a completely different type of network. Their service is good, and they’re fighting hard to be competitive in the market.

Unfortunately their future is extremely limited. With the unbundling of the local loop, ADSL should become cheaper and better, while Woosh will continue to require millions of dollars to improve their network.

So I picked up my ADSL equipment cheap off trademe (I should be able to recoup the cost by selling my woosh gear) and signed up initially with xnet. I’d heard some negative things about these guys, but they were the only place where I could switch to a plan at the same price I was paying at woosh, without using their tolls. I have no contract, so if it doesn’t work out, I can always switch.

So far so good.

I spent about five hours trying to make everything work yesterday. Man I’m glad I don’t have a job as a support guy at a helpdesk. It’s just that the possible problems can be so diverse. The guy I spoke to at xnet was good, but how could he possibly know the specific settings required to get my Dynalink RTA210 talking to my D-Link DI-624?

Eventually I got a call from Dynalink. A quick word on that, they have an odd automated message, it tells you that no one is available and that you should leave a message and they’ll get back to you. “Yeah right” I thought, so I just hung up. Hours later I left a message and sure enough, five minutes later they called me. They must just not want to answer the phone.

Anyway the guy at Dynalink knew their products, he took me through a few scenarios, and within five minutes had figured out the obscure problem. The DHCP of the ADSL Router (RTA210) was not enabled:

RTA210 Control Panel > LAN > DHCP Function

This needed to be enabled and in the primary DNS IP Address field, the IP of the DI-624 (192.168.0.1) needed to be entered.

With this done, and the DI-624 set to Dynamic IP Address and with the DNS of my ISP set, all was ready to go. Almost.

As often happens, in the preceding four or five hours, I’d changed a field on the RTA210, and this was now my bain. I sat on the phone for another half hour with a different guy from xnet, until I remembered what I’d done. Back to the ADSL router, turn off what I’d turned on and it was sweet. Hence the ability to write this post.

Wondering why the technical details? I’m quietly hoping that this post might help someone with the same or similar setup as myself. The inability to get ADSL set up has almost sent me into a spiral of depression in the past, and I hope this post can go some way to avoid this for someone else.

If you have any questions about problems you’re having, feel free to ask them as comments, and I’ll do my best to provide an answer.

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