Cable/DSL Modems

This page has all the info I have collected on using Cable/DSL modems
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12/3/1999 DHCP issues with OS 8.6 and OS 9: Many cable modem and DSL modem users have had issues using DHCP to conect to their service provider. The most common issue is a lost connection after 10min or so or pauses every 10min or so. The main problem is with the OpenTransport that comes with these OS's. OpenTransport seems to try and renegotiate an IP address license very often which disrupts the connection. There are 2 remedies for this until Apple can fix it.

I know #2 will work if you have OS 8.6 installed and you revert to OS 8.5's OpenTransport but other variations might not? If you want to try it I suggest making a backup first. I think the reason Manual did not work for this user was because US West's service does not require a DNS server name. Without a name server address your computer cannot locate anything online. Somehow with DHCP this is not a problem for US West?

12/10/1999 MacInTouch's Router info page: I found this link to MacInTouch's info regarding internet routing solutions for the Mac. Very informative if you wish to get several Macs (or PC's) running over one internet connection.

Update on USWest's DSL service: The user I know that has the USWest DSL service here in AZ I mentioned in my last Just Update also reminded me of another problem she was having. The way USWest implements its service (without the need for a DNS server address in the TCP/IP control panel) also disables the Time & Date internet synchronization and the QT4 streaming features. This is not very good as who knows what else will break with their service. She is in contact with them right now and hopefully they can fix it.

DHCP / Manual IP setting: I also wanted to remind DHCP users that even though your IP address is not guaranteed as "static" it just might be static enough to allow for the fixes I posted earlier. Cox says they might never change my address unless they need to switch me to another node as load builds. This means you can manually set your IP address and in the event you notice your connections not working, just switch back to DHCP long enough to get the new IP address that will appear in the TCP/IP control panel. Then switch back to manual and type in the new IP address.

Cable/DSL router info: Speaking about these, I just found on Accelerate Your Mac some info on routers to let multiple Macs and PC's share one cable/DSL IP number.

2/18/2000 Apple Talk issues with Cable Modems!: I found this page on MacFixIt's web site that is discussing issues people are having with Apple Talk and owning a cable modem. It seems that some of the cable companies are upgrading their equipment which is allowing Apple Talk to cross over into other peoples houses and if someone in your neighborhood is running an Apple Talk server then this may cause problems for your Apple Talk network. Click here to read all about it.

I have not been affected yet as I cannot see any other Macs or printers in my Chooser so maybe COX has not upgraded in my area yet? It seems the only fix for now is to notify your cable provider and hope they shut down the user with the Apple Talk server or get a software/hardware router to isolate your local network.

DHCP issues with Cox Cable modems: recently I have been using OT 2.6 for DHCP with my Cox Cable modem because the OT that shipped with OS 8.6 had issues with DHCP. Well it seems that DHCP does not work for me at all anymore. Even if I reinstall the older OT? I thought it might have been something related to installing OT 2.6 but no one else that installed it had complained about this. But I did just get a letter from Michael who also has Cox Cable and he has the same problem. Sounds like Cox has changed somthing and DHCP no longer works for Macs? I can connect manually with no problem just like he can but I will have to call them and find out what happend.

4/8/2000 Linksys help page: Here is a page with good setup info for the Linksys Cable/DSL modem router

7/16/2000 RoadRunner service in Florida and OS 8.6 DHCP issues: I have posted many times by now how OS 8.6 has problems with DHCP and cable/DSL modems. Mark sent me some info from RoadRunner on how to possibly solve these issues for their service. Thanks Mark. It may also work for other services? Note, I have OT 2.6.1 posted for download which also fixes certain DHCP issues with OS 8.6, but maybe not this same issue?

2/24/2001 Another 6400 site devoted to helping you take apart your system and some good DSL info: Rav sent me a letter to inform me of his new site called 640Open that has some nice info on taking your 6400 apart. He also has some very good instructions on hooking up a DSL modem. Thanks Rav.

4/21/2001 Getting CU-SeeMe to work through a router: John sends some info on how to get CU-SeeMe to work through a hardware router. Basically it seems that you need a special router to do this and most hardware routers won't work :( Thanks John.

[Hey Tom, I've done it. My ibook is able to do wireless video conferencing. Pretty cool able to show my relatives around my house and share a barbecue with me outside from about 2500 miles away.

The Linksys etherfast Cable/DSL router was not able to do videoconferencing according to their technicians even with port forwarding or DMZ hosting features enabled. In fact I don't believe most of them realized this until we engaged in a five hour troubleshooting session trying to figure out the problem. I had to return the Linksys Cable router to CompUSA in the end.

Did a little more research on the internet and found out that there is one router- the Zyxel 314 Prestige which has onboard support for CUseeMe, Netmeeting, and some other multimedia applications ( apparently just games). I was worried that this support was built only on a PC version of their firmware or that to activate it I would have to mess with a Telnet interface. Neither of the these turned out to be true.

The Zyxel router is the only router on the market that I know explicitly states support for CUSeeME which surprises me. A few salesmen have told me that they too have had incompatibilities with just about any router with video conferencing or video streaming. The linksys team even went as far as to say that live video is impossible through any router! Obviously they were wrong.

On a more technical side. I don't believe that the Airport base station on its own technology would be able to transmit wireless videoconferencing. Although its router does allow port forwarding; from what I can tell it does not allow for a RANGE of port numbers to be opened through its firewall. ( which CUSEEME and other video conferencing programs require) But I can be wrong and may need to try it. I believe however, that I will have the same problems as I did with the Linksys router.

Anyways the way I did it was to use a router with built in CuSeeMe capabilities (Zyxel) and then uplink the Airport as a PCI bridge

essentially disengaging its NAT capabilities along with its firewall. CuSeeMe states in its manual that it would not work with NAT translation or through a proxy server.

I was quite taken aback by how well the system works. This may be the only setup; in fact, that may work so you might want to give it a try.

Also FYI, many review sites list the Netgear 314 as an identical twin to the Zyxel 314 and review them together. While their motherboards are identical apparently their firmware isn't. So don't be fooled. In fact most reviews claim the firmware on the Zyxel produces better (faster) speeds than on the Netgear router. "Off the board speeds" in fact according to most reviewers. This is one serious home router and well priced at $149. The Zyxel router does not include instructions on how to connect on a mac but if you understand basically how to set up any router it should be easy to install. Also if you should have any difficulties connecting with your ISP you may need to set you "" in the domain entry option. ( Its the only way I was able to get my setup to work; the linksys router however was able to get through without this option)]

He wrote back telling me which ports are needed to be opened for CU-SeeMe. Thanks.

[The port numbers are 7648, 7649, (TCP & UDP) and 24032 (UDP only).]

5/5/2001 More router info from John: John sent me some good info on which router worked best for using video conferencing software. He just sent me some info on why certain routers may work better then others. Thanks John. Click hear to read his letter as it was rather long.

8/18/2001 Issues with getting a Mac to work with a Linksys router: A reader had issues of not being able to connect to the internet after installing a Linksys router and the fix was either adding a second Name Server (DNS) Address or filling in the Additional Search Domain info? After doing both of these with his @Home cable service, he was able to access the internet through the router. I thought that others may be having similar issues and wanted to let you all know :)

COX@home service usually gives you two Name Server (DNS) Addresses that look like 24.x.x.33 and 24.x.x.34 where x.x are numbers for your particular location. But they all seem to end in 33 and 34

Their Additional Search domain address look like for my location. The beginning of the address represents the area you live in.

So if you are having trouble and you do not have info similar to this entered in your TCP/IP control panel, then find the info for your area and give it a try. Not sure about DSL service but I assume they do something similar.

5/23/2002 Ethernet issues with an interesting fix!: Todd was having issues getting an ethernet connection with his 6400 through a Linksys router and found a simple solution that worked. Thanks Todd.

[Just got a Performa 6400/Sonnet G3 400 to backup my iMac 600. I've got a Linksys BEFSR41 4 port router with RoadRunner cable internet.
The machine came with an Asante e-net card originally installed. I could never get the machine online. The light on the card or the router would not come on. I have switched cables, tried different router ports, removed and installed drivers, tried all manner of TCP/IP settings. Asante e-mailed me and said they really doubted it was a driver issue and that they thought the card was dead.
Went to ebay and bought a brand new card. Same deal. No lights, drivers installed, removed, reinstalled, tried different ports (including the one I'm using right now with my iMac), tried the other PCI slot to make sure I didn't have a dead one, new CAT 5 cable and tried Mac OS all extensions with just the driver as the only non-Mac extension. John Strung at MacFixit has bent over backward to help find an answer, but we've had no luck.
Well, after all the trials with this thing it wound up being a simple (or coincidental) fix. Yanked out the CAT 5 cables from the router, reattached one to Port 1 and one to Port 4. Lights lit up, we're online. Amazing!]

I am not sure why this worked but maybe he had one of the cables in the uplink port by mistake before?

10/15/2002 PacBell DSL Enternet software issues with Opentransport 2.6 install available from my site: I reader of my site tried the OT 2.6 software I have posted that fixes a DHCP issue in OS 8.6, and said his DSL network access software no longer functioned afterwards. Later he wrote back to say that just reinstalling the access software fixed it. Thanks for the info.

[6400/g3/400/136/macos 8.6/pacbell dsl

I tried the OT 2.6 tip on the cable/dsl modems page by exchangin' the six 2.0.3 extensions + control panels for the 2.6 control panels + extensions. Restarted and everythin' but when it fully booted up .. I saw that "enternet" panel in the control strip was Xed out and not available in TCP/IP. When goin' to tcp/ip, the comp would freeze. Rebooted twice and got the same results .. It froze. Luckily, the enternet panel was available again after I exchanged the old 2.0.3 set back. Has anyone usin' prodigy DSL or any of the Bell DSL services gotten this to work ? .. I believe they all use the same Enternet scheme in TCP/IP.

I'm goin' to be moving over back to a linksys router and want to solve any router issues. Under 2.0.3 and the linksys router, I had to restart each time the connection died on me.

And are these the correct 2.0.3 extensions ? ..
Open Tpt AppleTalk Library
Open Tpt Internet Library
Open Transport Library

any infos/insights appreciated .]

Later he wrote back with the fix.

[All I had to do was reinstall enternet and it was restored. So anyone usin' enternet.. make sure to reinstall it after updating OT.]

Usually software like this will actually alter your OT drivers or hook into them in such away that changing the OT drivers breaks the special software. This can also happen from just upgrading your OS as that will also replace the OT drivers with new ones.

11/2/2002 Another solution to fix Enternet DSL issues. Using a router: I had noted on a previous update that a DSL user had issues with the Opentransport software I have posted because it interfered with his Enternet software. Reinstalling the Enternet software fixed it for him but VRic has a more permanent solution that is good for any cable/DSL user. Thanks VRic.

[I suggest you advise your reader with software ADSL problems to consider hardware solutions if he can afford it.

I too had major problems using Enternet on my 6400/Sonnet G3 (would freeze at any unexpected connection drop, which would be often since France Telecom's entry ADSL subscription cuts the connection every 24h).

Since I also hated the idea that Enternet modified some system files, I soon looked for an alternative.

Updated (but not free) versions of Enternet seemed to improve things, but nothing near what I finally did:

- for some time I hacked my ADSL modem (Alcatel SpeedTouch Home -- technically identical to the "Pro" version) to activate it's pro features (including PPPOE, PPTP, DHCP client AND server, DNS, NAT, firewall) in the modem itself, which would then act as a router: no more connection matters on the Mac at all, so no more problems

- when I came to need a shared connection, I bought a hardware ADSL router+swith (Asante FriendlyNet 3004, which I highly recommend since it is VERY easy to set up for newbies, unlike some competing products). This allows for the use of a normal unmodified ADLS modem (Ethernet, not USB, nobody should accept a USB ADSL modem anyways), and handles any connection matters in hardware, and more (router, 5 port switch, firewall, etc.)

From then on I've strongly advised anyone using ADSL to consider the hardware approach (even under Mac OS X which doesn't need Enternet).

Not only does a hardware solutions make any software problem impossible (since there is no software: no need for Enternet, just network settings in the TCP/IP control panel), but it also suppresses connection latency, as the connection is always up wether the macs are running or not (the router handles reconnections when the line drops), so the user never waits for network negotiation, unlike when using Enternet, which would negotiate connections slower than my Sagem ISDN pod (up in 4 seconds using Sagem ISDN PPP).

And if rock-solid stability, time gains and peace of mind aren't enough, there's even more benefits as it lets you connect ANY computer with an ethernet port to the Internet with almost no setup nor reboot, be it supported by the ISP or not, regardless to it's OS or age (all that is needed is a TCP/IP implementation, which qualifies almost anything -- I didn't try Macs from before 1989 and system 7.5, but there's no reason older shouldn't work). - FriendlyNET FR3004FLC Internet Router with Firewall


Basically this is good info for any user that needs special software for an internet connection with Cable or DSL services. The software is basically used for what is called PPPoE which means PPP over Ethernet. This allows for authenticating the user on the ISP's network. By doing PPPoE in hardware via a router, you get rid of the need for special software and no longer have to worry about that when doing any OS upgrades. Also for those with multiple computers, a router can allow all of them to share one IP address which can save you money :)

OpenTransport 2.6 for older OS's to fix DHCP issues1/21/2000

OT 2.6 from OS 9.0-
OT 2.6.1 from OS 9.0.4-

Well most of you may know that Apple released OT 2.6 to fix a denial of service attack that OS 9's OT created and it also is supposed to fix the DHCP issues in OS 8.6 and 9. Well OT 2.6 is advertised as only for OS 9 users and OS 8.6 iBook, iMac DV and G4 owners so that leaves us 6400 cable/DSL modem users stuck. Wrong. I haven't tried the OT 2.6 on my 6400 yet but I am running it right now on my B&W G3 and it runs great! I can get online and use Apple Talk with no issues so far so it is compatible with older systems.

The installer although will not install it on older Macs :( TomeViewer did not work either because the installer file is not a typical Apple tome :( so what did your favorite 6400 Zone guy do? I placed the files on the web for you to download and try for yourself :) I included the 2 OT 2.6 files plus the Apple Talk and TCP/IP control panels from OS 9 in case they were needed? I am running OS 8.6 and just dragged out all six old 2.0.3 OT extensions and dragged over the two new OT 2.6 extensions and all is fine. If you have problems with Apple Talk after this then try the ones I supplied. I don't know if this will work for older OS's but on OS 8.6 and a B&W G3 it does. I will try the 6400 soon. OS 8.5.x and older do not have the DHCP issue so OT 2.6 is not really needed for them anyway.

I placed OT_26.sit on Apples new iDisk (thanks Apple) so let me know if you have trouble getting it to download. Apple just gave me a free 20M of web space. Wasn't that nice of them :)

1/29/2000 OT 2.6 under OS 8.6 update: Joe wrote to let me know he is having a memory leak using OT 2.6 under OS 8.6 on his Yikes G4. Below is an email discussion I had with him. Thanks Joe. This is the only report I have of this issue so far.

I haven't noticed this and will look into it. I see you must not have VM turned on. I have RamDoubler which may be masking the issue on my end? I use manual IP setup to COX cable @home service.
> Tom,
> I have been using Open Transport 2.6 on my Yikes! G4/400 for a few
> days now and have noticed a strange side effect. It seems that there is
> some kind of System memory leak caused by OT 2.6 when it is used with
> Mac OS 8.6 on my G4.
> My G4 has 256 MB RAM installed and before installing OT 2.6, the
> System used between 45 and 50 MB RAM in the "About this ..." window and
> it would never go much higher than 50 MB. Now, with OT 2.6 in place,
> after several hours of use, the System memory usage climbs steadily
> higher. Yesterday, after about 8 hours of use, the System was using a
> bit over 80 MB of RAM.
> Adding OT 2.6 was the only change I made to the System Folder
> recently so it seems this new RAM usage must be caused by the new OT.
> Have you noticed this behavior on your B&W G3? I am using a Road
> Runner cable modem (DHCP server) with the G4.
> Joe]

I checked my B&W G3 and my 6400 and neither seem to have a memory leak but like I said I use RD on both which might mask the issue. I haven't tried without RD yet and I asked Joe to try VM and see what happens. Email me if your having this issue.

Well not everyone is having this issue. John writes that all is perfect with OT 2.6 under OS 8.6 on his 6400. Thanks John. He is having trouble with RD 9 though :(

4/29/2000 DHCP info from Apple: Here are 2 links to Apple TIL info on their DHCP implementations. From reading them it sounds like OS 9's OT reverted to the same DHCP licensing scheme used in Pre OS 8.6 systems? This may be why OT 2.6.x work so much better again?

OpenTransport extension 2.7.9 from OS 9.2.2 8/18/2002

I had left a post on my forums asking if anyone was interested in trying OT extensions from OS 9.2.2 in an older OS since these extensions greatly increased online speed for me with my cable modem when I installed OS 9.2.2 on my other Macs. Maurice requested to try them on his 6500 running OS 9.1 and he says they work great! Thanks Maurice.

[Hi, the OT extensions worked perfectly, and so the other ones such as the tcp/ip appleshare and appletalk. I realized the online performance has really increased, there was no incompatibility, I will keep using them from now on and let's see if other people try this too to see if with their configuration they will also note a performance boost.

PS: If you have another idea for a test please inform me and I'll be glad to
do it!

If anyone else would like to try, you can download them from here. Please do not trash your old extension in case these cause problems for you! I also include the AppleTalk and TCP/IP control panels because generally they are all tied together so you would need these with the newer OT extensions. Also AppleShare extension is included to go with the newer Apple Talk control panel. Please email me your experiences with these. Thanks.

9/1/2002 More user info from using Open Transport 2.7.9 in earlier OS's: I received two user reports on OT 2.7.9 in earlier OS's. Thanks guys. Robert noticed speed improvement while Len did not? I don't know how either of them connect to the internet but its possible that this may only increase the speed of ethernet connections?

[Hi, I tried the open transport extensions you posted on your site on the 18th. They work fine. There is a definite speed increase. I don't want to put a number on it as yet, but it is there. Explorer 5 leaps to the screen, Netscape seems a bit slower, but these may be first impressions only. Tomorrow I'll try it when the web should be busier and see if I was mistaken. I'm using a stock 6400/180, with 80mbs. of ram. I learn something everyday on your site. Robert]
[Hi Thomas:
I just installed the 3 Extensions and 2 Control Panels from 9.2.2 onto my 9.1 System. Everything works as before. I'm not sure I've noticed any speed-up yet.

(Note: the two Control Panels are identical to the 9.1 versions; having the same dates of creation and modification.)

DSL on a 6500 2/28/2004

Tom, The Texas MacMan, sent me some info he found on using Yahoo's DSL internet connection on his 6500. Personally I prefer a cable modem as setup is much simpler but for those that have no choice and must use DSL for high speed internet, this information should be of grate value! Thanks Tom.


I got interfaced to SBC Yahoo DSL on my PM6500/275 running on OS 8.6 recently. Thought I would provide some details for other older Mac users (older Macs, not older users) who may be thinking about getting DSL to replace their dial-up service.

The Mac Requirements from the SBC DSL Installation CD manual are:
Power PC/G3/G4, iMac or eMac
64MB of RAM (128MB recommended)
100MB of free HD space
CD-ROM or DVD Drive
Mac OS 8.6-OS X (excluding 10.0-10.04)
Ethernet port/Network adapter

The telephone line service where I live (Richardson, TX) is somewhat different than in many areas. We have fiber optic cable at the curb and then the typical wire-type cable to the house. After placing my DSL order, a SBC installer came to the house to install a new wire to the house. He said this was necessary because the fiber optic cable service is VDSL instead of the usual ADSL, which operates over the existing wire line. He also had to install a DSL circuit card in a nearby neighborhood junction box.

I looked on the web to see what the difference was between ADSL & VDSL. Here's a quick summary from

"Two technologies, cable modems and Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL), currently dominate the industry.

While both of these technologies provide Internet connections that are many times faster than a 56K modem, they still are not fast enough to support the integration of home services such as digital television and Video-on-Demand.

However, another DSL technology known as very high bit-rate DSL (VDSL) is seen by many as the next step in providing a complete home-communications/entertainment package. There are already some companies that offer VDSL service in selected areas. VDSL provides an incredible amount of bandwidth, with speeds up to about 52 megabits per second (Mbps). Compare that with a maximum speed of 8 to 10 Mbps for ADSL or cable modem and it's clear that the move from current broadband technology to VDSL could be as significant as the migration from a 56K modem to broadband."

There are three possible ways to interface DSL to a computer. You can replace the existing dial-up modem in the Comm II slot with a Network Interface Card (10BASE-T ethernet); add a PCI ethernet card to an open PCI slot; or for some systems, interface over USB. The SBC installer provided a PCI ethernet card (Kingston model KNEIITX) and software driver. I installed the card and driver, and it was recognized by my Mac. (The driver software was on a floppy disk, but it can also be downloaded from the Kingston site.)

The SBC installer checked my existing telephone line (which I used for dial-up) for compatibility. Several years ago I had installed this direct line to the house input because the regular house tel wiring had too many connections which resulted in slow connection speeds. The line checked out OK. The SBC installer then connected the DSL modem (a NetFLX made by BroadBand Technologies; only had ethernet port and not USB port) to the tel line and connected the RJ-45 ethernet cable (which connects to the PCI card) to his laptop and checked the interface. It checked OK. He then left. This install and the required hardware was at no cost. (Note - If you have ADSL you have to install filters - they are provided- on all of you telephones to preclude interference between the telephones and the computer DSL connection.) If you want the SBC installer to do the computer set-up, there is an extra charge. Normally, for ADSL install, the provider sends (you pay shipping charge) you the hardware/software installation kit for self installation. Download this document for info:

I then put in the SBC Install CD. The CD guides you through the necessary steps for set-up and registration. The registration requires M$ Internet Explorer (I already had it installed, but it is on the CD if you don't have it.). It takes about an hour to complete the process. Connection via DSL is done using the Remote Access window. Everything is much faster now, although with my relatively slow processor speed of 275MHz, I'm sure I'm not able to take full advantage of the potential VDSL speeds. I did do one test. Some time ago I downloaded a 4.5MB file and it took 13 minutes on dial-up; with DSL it took 3 minutes.

SBC provides free firewall software for PCs, but not for Macs. However, it's not quite as important for Macs to have a firewall.

Cheers, Tom
Mac Troubleshooting, Maintenance & Tips ]

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