Configuring PPPoE Connections
Starting with Airport version 1.3, Apple Base Stations can act as PPP over Ethernet (PPPoE) clients. PPP over ethernet is a means for the ISP to track who is logged in where. It is typically used in ADSL and xDSL installations and requires a user name and password to connect. Your ISP should be able to tell you if PPPoE is required to log into their high-speed network. If not, use the Ethernet method referenced above.
- Enter the user name, password, and service name (such as bellatlantic.net) as supplied by your ISP.
- I'd leave the "Always stay connected" box checked since the login process of PPPoE is much like a modem and can be lengthy. On the other hand, always being connected can be a security risk, particularly if the ABS has not been assigned a new password (see Airport Tab section above)
- If you're having frequent issues with flaky internet connections, your base station may be interacting badly with the high-speed modem. Usually, it's a problem that manifests itself with Domain Name Servers (I describe what DNS servers do in a bit more detail on my Drop-Outs Troubleshooting page). If the Domain Name Server (DNS) information is not passed properly between the modem and the base station you'll get frequent messages from your web-browser to the effect of Safari can't find page "http://www.xyz.com/abc.html" because it can't find the server "www.xyz.com".
If this is the case, simply copy the gray IP numbers to the right of the DNS Server fields exactly as shown into the open fields. Be very careful to get this step right... the IP numbers should consist of four sets of digits separated by dots, like "126.96.36.199", as a random example. Enter two different IP addresses for the DNS servers to ensure that if one fails that the other can pick up the load.
If the IP addresses are not listed next to the entry field, call up your ISP to get the information from them or look at your contract (sometimes, the DNS server IP addresses are listed there).
Note: By manually entering IP addresses for the DNS servers, you may experience service issues if the ISP changes the addresses of its DNS servers (typically, this is very rare). On the other hand, entering the DNS addresses can dramatically speed up your browser and may make it more adept at finding the servers you're looking for. I enabled it on my base station because RCN's cable modem misbehaves from time to time and have not had any issues with my browser since then.
- At the bottom of the screen, the admin utility also allows you to enter a Domain Name, which your ISP would give to you if it was necessary. Otherwise, just leave the field blank.