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Sharing Broadband (DSL)

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Roger Faucher
Honored Contributor

Sharing Broadband (DSL)


I have a customer who was successfully using one PC to access the internet via DSL (using a Westell modem/router provided by Bellsouth). I sold them a broadband router with an embedded 4-port switch and 802.11b wireless support. The Westell product supports DHCP as well as NAT by default by I can disable them, if necessary. The wireless router also supports DHCP.

I have been unable to make these two products work together. I believe I need to disable the DHCP server in the Westell and it should work. When I've tried that it doesn't work. I think it's because the username/password is no longer being sent across.

Does anyone have any ideas about how to make this work. I'd love to be able to connect my laptop to their LAN wirelessly when I go there.


Make a great day!

Honored Contributor

Re: Sharing Broadband (DSL)

Hi Roger:

I have seen some other products do this to and in a few cases, the PC's were getting their DHCP lease from one and some from the other.
On one lan segment, you only want one DHCP server issuing leases; so turn off this feasture, if possible, on one of the boxes.
The other problem that I encountered was that when the original router was configured (by another tech), the tech locked down the DHCP such that only "regestered" MAC addresses would be issued an IP. Hope this can help or give you ideas to solve it.
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Ron Kinner
Honored Contributor

Re: Sharing Broadband (DSL)

might help.

It's not clear to me exactly how you are setting this up. Are you replacing the modem/router with your router or just trying to get the new router to talk to the Westell over an Ethernet in place of the PC? If the latter you may have to call Bell South and tell them you have a new PC since they sometimes do a static MAC setting so that only the one PC is allowed.

Jon Finley
Honored Contributor

Re: Sharing Broadband (DSL)

The MAC wouldn't have changed, it will still be the MAC address of the modem.

Roger, I believe you're right, in that you want to turn off DHCP on the modem, and let the Wireless AP handle DHCP and NAT for you.

The gateway address would then become the address from the AP, with it forwarding to the WAN port.

This is VERY similar to my setup at home:
linksys cable modem to a wireless AP to my network. Everything points to the AP, and had to supply the MAC address of the cable modem to the provider.

"Do or do not. There is no try!" - Yoda
Roger Faucher
Honored Contributor

Re: Sharing Broadband (DSL)

Thanks for all the input guys. I'm going to take another shot at this on my next site visit and I'll let you know the results. Peace!

Make a great day!

Michael Jones_4
Occasional Visitor

Re: Sharing Broadband (DSL)

Roger and any who use Linksys products with BellSouth FastAccess:

Prior to using Westell modems for their services, Bellsouth's use of Alcatel modems was a simple setup using just the Linksys PPPoE configuration, a username and password, and usually assigning it to Keep-Alive provided all the shared broadband you and your clients could need.

Currently though, using Westell modem requires a work-around. Your first option is simply to use the Westell (which is specially designed for BellSouth by the way) as your router and hook-up a standard switch to allow the Westell to share out the IP itself. This works on most home DSL accounts unless a Bellsouth technician did the initial install and registered it to allow only one MAC address.

But what most of us techies need or sell to clients is a Linksys router (the traditional wired Cat5, wireless, phonelink, and now even the powerline option) This is also possible using the Westell, it just takes a minor change that isn't that obvious.

(If you have made any previous changes to the modem, or if it was setup via a BellSouth technician install or another consultant, if it is a new, out of box modem, skip to next section)

1. Make sure the power is completely removed from the Westell and the computer.
2. Connect the Westell directly to the computer's NIC (set to "Obtain IP address automatically" and power up the modem and then the computer.
3. Reset the Westell modem using the reset button.
4. Proceed to next section.

(For a fresh Westell modem setup)

1. Open a browser window and go to

2. Goto the "Expert Mode" and confirm when it asks if you are sure you want to enter expert mode.

3. Click on "Configure" and then change the protocol from PPPoE to Bridged Ethernet.

4. Click on "Save and restart the connection" at the bottom

(Connect Westell to Linksys router)

1. Take the Westell to PC NIC cable and connect the Westell to the Linksys at it's WAN port.

2. Connect your PC(s) to the Linksys in the appropriate manner (RJ45, Phonelink, etc)

3. Powercycle Westell, Linksys, and one PC. (You'll need to reboot any PC's that are currently powered anyway so make sure NIc's are all set to "Obtain an IP automatically"

4. For Win9x machines you may also need to set the default gateway to before shutting down. Most 2k and Xp Home machines will find the gateway automatically and XP Pro is usually capable as well.

(Configure the Linksys)

1. You may need to reset the Linksys router if it's been changed but the setup in the Linksys is the same as it has been previously with one minor exception.

2. Use a browser window to go to

3. Username stays blank, password by default is "admin" without quotes.

4. By default most of the option on this page are set correctly. You may leave Host and domain name blank.

5. Select PPPoE from the WAN Connection Type pull down.

6. Enter your BellSouth Username followed by ""

7. I usually prefer keep-alive, but you can enable Keep-alive or connect on demand based on your or client's preferences.

8. Save these settings and in most cases you'll need to reboot the PC.

9. You may then boot the other PC's and you should be back in business

For wireless routers you simply need a config to connect to the correct SSID with the proper WEP Key. I often use similar SSID's with different authentication info for my clients.

Hope this helps.

Best Regards,

The scales of experience vs. paper should always tip towards experience. Who has time to certify?
C Kramer
Occasional Visitor

Re: Sharing Broadband (DSL)

Roger...and Michael especially. I have been working to install a Linksys router behind the Westell 2100 at my daughter's house for some time now. I have tried all of the remedies on these forums and yet the connection will only stay up for about two days. I have set up the Westell modem and the router just as Michael describes and still after a day or two she no longer has access to the internet. Any thoughts?
Cynthia Garfold
Frequent Advisor

Re: Sharing Broadband (DSL)

Check Linksys site. they have a problem with routers and access points going to "sleep"
C Kramer
Occasional Visitor

Re: Sharing Broadband (DSL)

Thanks, but I can't find anything on the Linksys site that says they have a problem.