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The most daunting part of upgrading to Windows Vista may be trying to figure out where in the layers of menus the networking and file-sharing options are hidden.

• Do It Yourself: Roll Your Own Network Cables
It may not be something you do everyday, but having the supplies and know-how to whip up a network cable on the spot can be very handy.

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Seemingly minor and easily overlooked settings can still have profound security implications. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your wired or wireless home router and by extension, your network is as secure as possible.

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Iomega's fourth generation StorCenter Network Hard Drive brings many of the features found in higher-end storage devices down to an attractive price.

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This free tool delivers many of the same capabilities that you'd find in pricey network monitoring tools. As long as you don't mind tinkering, The Dude is a decent network utility that should be worth the download.

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I'm having trouble connecting to my ISP that is using PPPoE 
(This is a common problem with Sympatico customers and DSL bPPPoE*
is a new standard for authentication and control of the connection from the ISP and it can cause problems with both hardware and software routers. Manufacturers of these products are updating them to try to work with this new protocol, but in the meantime, try the information below.  

Tip: Vicomsoft has an easy to understand overview of PPPoE in their Knowledgeshare section.

ased connections).

How do I know if I'm using PPPoE?
Here are a few things you can check:

  • You are a customer of the following DSL ISPs:

    • Sympatico

    • Bell Canada

    • Bell Atlantic Infospeed DSL

    • SNET

    • SBC

    • PacBell DSL

  • You have a cable modem, but your ISP has told you to use Dial-up networking to connect.

  • You are using a program one of the following programs:

    • WinPOET

    • Access Manager

    • EnterNet (by Network Telesystems [NTS])

PPPoE Help
  • If you're using a hardware router, you'll have to check your router specs to see it supports PPPoE operation.  If the router does support PPPoE, you must uninstall any PPPoE client software from your computers and configure the router with your PPPoE logon information.  The router must handle all PPPoE session management.

  • If you've been tearing your hair out trying to get PPPoE based connection to work with a dynamically assigned IP address, see if you can get a static IP address.  It might cost you more, but it also might be worth it!

  • 5/29/00 Another "it's not working with ICS and Enternet hint (Thanks to "Duck" Moore)
    - Symptom: EnterNet performs logon, authentication, and
    connection ok, but it does not communicate or transfer data.
    - Solution: Go to the Enternet System Information
    program (under Accessories) and access the "Automatic skip driver agent" under the "Tools" menu. 
    If there are any files listed and not checked, just check them.  Let the computer restart and you should be up and running.

  • If you have PacBell DSL service, are using ICS, and can't connect 
    you may have the Enternet PPPoE program set incorrectly.
           - First, make sure you have Enternet 1.3
           - Under Connections ->Settings, click the Advanced button. 
          - Under IP configuration, change from default "Private API" to "Use DHCP".
    [Thanks to Mike Berrow for this tip!]

  • Vicomsoft's SoftRouter Plus and Internet Gateway Version 6.6 support PPPoE without needing to use 3rd party applications like WinPOET.

  • Sympatico users with PPPoe problems may find help here, since the site has been shut down.

To get Sygate working to share an internet connection with Sympatico HSE, you must follow the following step by step instructions. Please note that you should uninstall Access Manager before installing WinPoET, as some people have reported conflicts when both are installed on the same system.

1. Install WinPoet and reboot.

2. Connect to the net with WinPoet and stay connected.

3. Install Sygate 3.1 (build 5.38). There is a 30 day trial download at

4. After installing Sygate, with WinPoet still connected, run the Sygate diagnostic, it will detect the WinPoet Dial up connection.

5. Configure Sygate to Start as a service on startup and enable the DHCP server.

6. Do not enable the Enhanced Security on Sygate

7. Reboot the gateway computer

8. Connect via WinPoet on the gateway to make sure your connection is working well.

  • If you're not using Sygate, but are using some other sort of sharing software, try connecting to your ISP first (including logging in if that's required by your ISP), then installing the software while you are logged in.

  • A user with an internal DSL adapter fixed their PPPoE problems with ICS by specifying the Dial-up Adapter instead of the DSL card as their Network adapter.

If you're interested in learning more about PPPoE, check these pages: Earthweb HardwareCentral earthwebdeveloper CrossNodes Datamation

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