DSL modem recommendation

Chris Hodgins chodgins at cis.strath.ac.uk
Wed Feb 23 12:35:18 GMT 2005

Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Chris Hodgins [mailto:chodgins at cis.strath.ac.uk]
>>Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2005 3:51 AM
>>To: Ted Mittelstaedt
>>Cc: markzero; freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
>>Subject: Re: DSL modem recommendation
>>>STAY AWAY from ANY dsl modem that does NOT have an ethernet
>>>jack on it!!!  Such as the USB speedtouches that Pipex
>>>was handing out for free!!  There's a reason they are free!!
>>>You can't pay people (who know anything) to take them!!!
>>What is so wrong with USB DSL modems?  
> The USB port was designed for use with joysticks, keyboards,
> mice, etc.  Not ethernet speeds.
> If you ever have an opportunity to do a side-by-side comparison
> between an ethernet modem and a USB you will see your CPU
> utilization much lower on the ethernet.  Ethernet controllers
> are far superior and efficient than USB chipsets.
> Now of course, DSL is not high bandwidth (compared to Ethernet)
> so there is that argument that it makes no difference.

I was just thinking that. :)

> Another argument is that if you have no need to run a server,
> USB means you have to waste CPU on translation.  Of course the
> counter to that is that with a modem/router, you can't get a
> public IP address.

I guess generally most would not require to run a server so thats a fair 

> And yet another is that if the hardware changes in the future,
> a day might come when a new motherboard with a new USB chipset
> is not detected and usable by some version of FreeBSD.  Ethernet
> your pretty much guarenteed will be around forever.

Why would I buy a computer with a motherboard not supported by FreeBSD? 
  I guess if we are speaking about the general user that may apply but 
you could also argue the general user would most likely be using windows 
and pretty much guaranteed a working proprietary driver.  Of course by 
the time this new chipset is out, Windows may be dead and FreeBSD is the 
new ruler of the free world.  You just never know. ;)

> But, speaking as an ISP I can tell you the biggest reason
> we recommend against USB for our customers - most of our
> customers are windoze users, and if you put a USB modem on
> their windows boxes, when they connect in, they get a public
> IP address assigned to their Windows box.

Yeah, I can understand why that might be a problem.

> And if they aren't currently patched (few 'doze user are ever)
> within an hour their machine will be compromized by someone's
> trojan and their machine will then become a menace and a problem
> on the network.  Our network.

Indeed...bad user...bad!

> We do not see the advantage to us to have a couple dozen
> 'doze users on our 1.5x1M DSL circuits, infected with the
> latest virus and attempting to reinfect the rest of the
> Internet.  Maybe you do?  

You come across as being a very smart guy so why ask this question?  I 
am asking a general "why not USB?", not "USB modems are awesome and you 
should all convert!".

> Certainly the cable Internet providers
> in the US seem to think there's an advantage, that is why
> the cable networks all run like dog crap.
> Ted

Well they have made there bed and now they have to lie in it. :)


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