Establishing a DSL connection with an ISP providing a static IP address is easy. Unfortunately, many DSL providers use a type of PPP protocol named Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE) that provides dynamic IP address assignment and authentication by encapsulating PPP information inside ethernet frames. Roaring Penguin's rp-pppoe clients are available from the Roaring Penguin site (www.roaringpenguin.com/penguin/pppoe/rp-pppoe-3.8.tar.gz), and these clients make the difficult-to-configure PPPoE connection much easier to deal with. You can download and install newer versions (see the Roaring Penguin link in the "Reference" section at the end of this chapter).
ADSL modems were frequently supplied by ISPs when they originally started to roll out ADSL services. Nowadays however, these modems are optional, which is a good thing as many people choose to purchase a router with an in-built modem to create a dedicated connection. Using a router can save many headaches and will allow you to easily connect more than one computer to an Internet connection. Note that if you are using a cable connection then they usually come with an ethernet cable, in which case you just need a router. Check with your ISP before buying to ensure that whatever router you do end up with can be supported by them.
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