Head blueLogoText.gif NCF HelpWiki
Help | StartPage

Difference between revisions of "Tips (DSL)"

From Support
Jump to: navigation, search
(copy edit for clarity, formatting, updating information, linking)
Line 1: Line 1:
This is an unordered informal collection of tips and how-to snippets relating to DSL, with emphasis on informatino specific to NCF that might not be elsewhere on the internet, or of special interest to NCF mebmers. If you have something that would be good to add, please mention it to an NCF office person.
+
This is a collection of DSL tips. The emphasis is on information specific to NCF that might not be elsewhere on the internet, or of special interest to NCF members. If you have something that would be good to add, please mention it to the NCF office.
  
Similar sources of information are the NCF [http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/dg/index.jsp?dg=82 DSL discussion group] and the NCF [http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/dg/index.jsp?dg=1 Help Desk discussion group].
+
Great sources of DSL information are:
  
== Using a ST516 with router: De-activate your router's idle timer ==
+
*[http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/dg/index.jsp?dg=82 NCF DSL discussion group]
If you have a ST516 DSL modem connected to a router, it's best if the router's idle timeout feature (if it has one) be disabled. Otherwise your DSL connection may go up and down every five minutes.
+
*[http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/dg/index.jsp?dg=1 NCF Help Desk discussion group].
  
To see if you have the problem, log into the NCF StartPage and then click on the link "Your recent DSL use" ([http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/home/modems/dslUsage.jsp]). Scroll down to 'Connection details'.  If there are many session of short duration (eg., 5 minutes), you've probably got a router with an idle timer running.  Read below how to fix it.
+
==Using a ST516 with router: De-activate your router's idle timer==
 +
If you have a ST516 DSL modem connected to a router, it is best if the router's idle timeout feature (if it has one) be disabled. Otherwise your DSL connection may go up and down every five minutes.
  
There is a router setting usually called something like "Maximum Idle Time" which will cause the internet DSL connection to be dropped after a period of no internet use. As long as you are using the internet, this setting does nothing, but when you stop using the internet, after the period specified by this setting, your router will tell your DSL modem to disconnect and reconnect. This usually is pointless but OK, but often causes grief for members.  It's best to stop it. Change the number to something larger than 3 days (eg., set it to 5000), or, on some routers, you can disable it altogether (try entering 0).
+
To see if you have the problem, log into the NCF StartPage and then click on the link [http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/home/modems/dslUsage.jsp Your recent DSL use]. Scroll down to 'Connection details'. If there are many session of short duration (eg., 5 minutes), you probably have a router with an idle timer running.
  
So if you are getting regular DSL cuts, check that your router idle time is set to
+
To fix this there is a router setting usually called something like "Maximum Idle Time" which will cause the internet DSL connection to be dropped after a period of no internet use. As long as you are using the internet, this setting does nothing, but when you stop using the internet, after the period specified by this setting, your router will tell your DSL modem to disconnect and reconnect. This usually acceptable, but pointless, although it often causes grief for members. It is best to disable it. Change the number to something larger than 3 days (eg., set it to 5000), or, on some routers, you can disable it altogether (try entering 0).
  a large number of minutes (eg., 5000). Some routers may have an "always connected"
+
 
  setting which would override all of the foregoing and leave your DSL connection in
+
So if you are getting regular DSL cuts, check that your router idle time is set to  a large number of minutes (eg., 5000). Some routers may have an "always connected"  setting which will override all of the foregoing and leave your DSL connection in permanent connect mode, which is the ideal solution!
permanent connect mode - perfect!
 
  
 
You can check that it worked by waiting a day for the DSL use page to be updated (it is updated nightly).
 
You can check that it worked by waiting a day for the DSL use page to be updated (it is updated nightly).
  
2010-Feb-23 (thanks, Bob)
+
=='SpeedTouch' modem name change==
 +
The ''SpeedTouch'' brand of DSL modems was developed by Alcatel, who sold that product line to Thomson. Thomson carried on with the SpeedTouch name until 2009, when they started naming newer models "Thomson Gateway". The model numbers reflect that, for example, the ST585 became the TG585. Thomson was then bought out by [http://www.technicolor.com/en/hi/digital-home/mediaaccess/dsl Technicolor] in January 2010, although in 2011 they were still using the TG designation for most models.
  
== 'SpeedTouch' modem name change: Now 'Thomson Gateway' ==
+
Technically, Thomson/SpeedTouch DSL modems are DSL ''gateways'' (because they include a DEL modem and a router, in one box), but most people seem more comfortable using the term 'modem' so NCF calls them that too. If 'gateway' gains traction, maybe NCF will switch back to calling them 'gateway'.  Meanwhile, NCF calls them 'DSL modems'.
The ''SpeedTouch'' brand of DSL modems was developed by Alcatel, who sold that product line to Thomson.  Thomson carried on with the SpeedTouch name until 2009, when they started naming newer models "Thomson Gateway".  The model numbers reflect that, for example, the ST585 became the TG585.
 
 
 
Technically, Thomson/SpeedTouch DSL modems are DSL ''gateways'' (because they include a DEL modem and a router, in one box), but most people seem more comfortable using the term 'modem' so NCF calls them that too. If 'gateway' gains traction, maybe NCF will switch back to calling them 'gateway'.  Meanwhile, NCF calls them 'DSL modems'.
 
  
 
== DSL modem firmware upgrades ==
 
== DSL modem firmware upgrades ==
Thomson, manufacturer of the ''Thomson Gateway'' and ''SpeedTouch'' line of modems, says they are committed to maintaining the value of their older modems by providing firmware upgrades to fix problems that are found after release to market.  That's great!
+
Firmware on the Alcatel/Thomson/Technicolor SpeedTouch series of gateways can be upgraded, but only within the same version, due to hardware driver compatibility. For instance a ST585v6 can only accept version 6 firmware and not version 7 or 8.  
 
 
Thomson is a wholesaler and does not deal directly with the public, but they provide information to their distributors (which to NCF has access) so that they can provide updates.
 
 
 
Here's how things stand as of Feb 2010:  NCF office people aren't aware of any must-do upgrades for any of the modems sold by NCF. Being up to date is a good thing, but it comes with risks (finger problems, modem problems, etc), and there is some wisdom in ''if it isn't broken, don't fix it''.  Therefore NCF hasn't been recommending upgrades.
 
 
 
However, if you are comfortable doing updates at your own risk (explained below), NCF can provide the latest firmware; enquire by sending a message via the Office Message system at the [http://help.ncf.ca Help page]).
 
 
 
As of Feb 2010:
 
 
 
ST516 (all NCF-sold hardware versions):  No update available
 
 
 
ST585 / TG585 (all NCF-sold hardware versions):  8.2.6
 
 
 
[http://www.ncf.ca/ncf/home/modems/manuals/ReleaseNotesR8.2.6.pdf Release notes] for 8.2.6
 
  
'At your own risk' means that if your modem fails or becomes inoperative due to a failed update that you perform, unfortunately you might have to find a new modem. That said, NCF office people are not aware of anyone having had problems.
+
Because most firmware changes incorporate only minor updates of a non-critical nature, most average NCF members will gain no advantage in upgrading the firmware on most gateway versions. Firmware upgrades do carry the risk of disabling the gateway if they are not done right so for this reason they are not recommended by NCF.
  
The situation hasn't yet arisen, but perhaps for a donation or fee (policy to be determined), NCF office people might be able to help restore a modem if something went wrong.
+
Advanced users who wish to upgrade their own firmware should download the new firmware and instructions from [http://www.speedtouch.ca/firmware.php the Canadian distributor's website]. Note that firmware can only be upgraded using a Windows PC, as firmware upgrades are all ".exe" files and thus cannot be upgraded from Mac, Linux, BSD or Unix computers. Firmware upgrades done are at your own risk as if they are not completed correctly they may disable your gateway.  
  
 
[[Category:DSL]]
 
[[Category:DSL]]

Revision as of 15:26, 24 December 2011

This is a collection of DSL tips. The emphasis is on information specific to NCF that might not be elsewhere on the internet, or of special interest to NCF members. If you have something that would be good to add, please mention it to the NCF office.

Great sources of DSL information are:

Using a ST516 with router: De-activate your router's idle timer

If you have a ST516 DSL modem connected to a router, it is best if the router's idle timeout feature (if it has one) be disabled. Otherwise your DSL connection may go up and down every five minutes.

To see if you have the problem, log into the NCF StartPage and then click on the link Your recent DSL use. Scroll down to 'Connection details'. If there are many session of short duration (eg., 5 minutes), you probably have a router with an idle timer running.

To fix this there is a router setting usually called something like "Maximum Idle Time" which will cause the internet DSL connection to be dropped after a period of no internet use. As long as you are using the internet, this setting does nothing, but when you stop using the internet, after the period specified by this setting, your router will tell your DSL modem to disconnect and reconnect. This usually acceptable, but pointless, although it often causes grief for members. It is best to disable it. Change the number to something larger than 3 days (eg., set it to 5000), or, on some routers, you can disable it altogether (try entering 0).

So if you are getting regular DSL cuts, check that your router idle time is set to a large number of minutes (eg., 5000). Some routers may have an "always connected" setting which will override all of the foregoing and leave your DSL connection in permanent connect mode, which is the ideal solution!

You can check that it worked by waiting a day for the DSL use page to be updated (it is updated nightly).

'SpeedTouch' modem name change

The SpeedTouch brand of DSL modems was developed by Alcatel, who sold that product line to Thomson. Thomson carried on with the SpeedTouch name until 2009, when they started naming newer models "Thomson Gateway". The model numbers reflect that, for example, the ST585 became the TG585. Thomson was then bought out by Technicolor in January 2010, although in 2011 they were still using the TG designation for most models.

Technically, Thomson/SpeedTouch DSL modems are DSL gateways (because they include a DEL modem and a router, in one box), but most people seem more comfortable using the term 'modem' so NCF calls them that too. If 'gateway' gains traction, maybe NCF will switch back to calling them 'gateway'. Meanwhile, NCF calls them 'DSL modems'.

DSL modem firmware upgrades

Firmware on the Alcatel/Thomson/Technicolor SpeedTouch series of gateways can be upgraded, but only within the same version, due to hardware driver compatibility. For instance a ST585v6 can only accept version 6 firmware and not version 7 or 8.

Because most firmware changes incorporate only minor updates of a non-critical nature, most average NCF members will gain no advantage in upgrading the firmware on most gateway versions. Firmware upgrades do carry the risk of disabling the gateway if they are not done right so for this reason they are not recommended by NCF.

Advanced users who wish to upgrade their own firmware should download the new firmware and instructions from the Canadian distributor's website. Note that firmware can only be upgraded using a Windows PC, as firmware upgrades are all ".exe" files and thus cannot be upgraded from Mac, Linux, BSD or Unix computers. Firmware upgrades done are at your own risk as if they are not completed correctly they may disable your gateway.