The Linux Documentation Project at http://www.tldp.org/ offers many in-depth resources for configuring and troubleshooting these connections. The Internet search engine Google is also an invaluable tool for dealing with specific questions about these connections. For many other useful references, see the "Reference" section at the end of this chapter.
Here are a few troubleshooting tips culled from many years of experience:
• If your modem connects and then hangs up, you are probably using the wrong password or dialing the wrong number. If the password and phone number are correct, it is likely an authentication protocol problem.
• If you get connected but cannot reach websites, it is likely a domain name resolver problem, meaning that DNS is not working. If it worked yesterday and you haven't "adjusted" the associated files, it is probably a problem at the ISP's end. Call and ask.
• Always make certain that everything is plugged in. Check againand again.
• If the modem works in Windows, but not in Linux no matter what you do, it is probably a software modem no matter what it said on the box.
• If everything just stops working (and you do not see smoke), it is probably a glitch at the ISP or the telephone company. Take a break and give them some time to fix it.
• Never configure a network connection when you have had too little sleep or too much caffeine; you will just have to redo it tomorrow.
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