WEB OF DECEIT
One dark and stormy evening, you decide to share your Internet connection with the rest of your household. So you bring home a wireless router, an innocent-looking little gadget with a pair of black antennas sticking out of the back that give it the look of a squat, electronic bunny. When you connect it to your broadband modem and power it on, blinking lights on the front of the unit begin to contort themselves into an evil grimace. Suddenly overcome with fear, you check your computers to see if your wireless connection is working. You're somewhat relieved to see an icon in the lower-right side of the screen telling you that your wireless connection is working.
With great trepidation, you open a browser to surf the Internet, and that's when terror strikes. Your home page cannot be found. You try Google, Yahoo, and CNET, and to your dismay, they are gone, all gone. The World Wide Web has vanished, and each time you try to access a different site, your router's evil blinking grimace shines on.
These tips can help you use your wireless router to share your Internet connection.
1. Configure your router for PPPoE.
You can configure most routers to handle PPPoE authentication.
In many cases, a wireless router will let you share your Internet connection without much fiddling on your part. However, some Internet service providers use technologies that make Internet sharing more difficult. Many DSL providers use PPPoE, or point-to-point protocol over Ethernet, as a means of permitting their customers to log on to their broadband service. In order to establish your Internet connection, you must first submit a username and password via PPPoE, a process called authentication. Often, this authentication is handled by software that you or your service provider installed on one of your computers when you purchased the service. You can't install the same software on your router, but you can configure your router to supply the right PPPoE information for your service. You should have this information in the documentation you received when you purchased the service, but you can also call your provider to get it. Simply enter the information in the PPPoE section of your router's browser-based configuration tool and reboot your router; now the router will handle your PPPoE authentication and provide broadband Internet access to all of the devices connecting through it.
2. Give your router your DNS information. If you're still unable to call up Web pages, make sure that you've entered the correct IP addresses for your service provider's domain name servers along with your PPPoE login information. Domain name servers take easy-to-remember URLs, such as www.cnet.com, and map them to their routable IP addresses. Ultimately, it's the IP address that lets you locate the computer with the Web page you're looking for on the Internet. Without a domain name server, or DNS, URLs are useless. Most service providers give you two DNS addresses: a primary address and a secondary one. The secondary server is a backup should the primary DNS server fail. If your router lacks correct addresses for your service's DNS servers, it may be able to connect you to the Internet, but it won't be able to help you use URLs to call up Web pages. Here, too, your service provider should have sent you the IP addresses of your primary and secondary DNS servers when you purchased broadband service. If it didn't or if you misplaced the information, call your service provider and ask for the IP addresses of your DNS servers.