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Setting up a Router with Sify Broadband

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Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Posts: 184
Location: Bangalore, India

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:02 pm    Post subject: Setting up a Router with Sify Broadband Reply with quote

I thought Iíd share my experiences of setting up an existing Sify Internet Connection (Indian ISP) via a wireless router to allow access to more than one device and untethering my laptop from the Sify Ethernet cable.

As a bit of background Sify offer broadband (well 256kbps) via Ethernet (no modem required). They limit the connection to a single MAC address, and connection is made by logging in to Sify's client software. This is by no means designed to allow routers to be connected, in fact I think it is designed to prevent it!

My existing laptop was already configured with the client and Ethernet connection attached directly. Upon launching the client software this has worked without much problem.

My first step was to connect my Netgear WRG614v4 that I used to use on my NTL/Virgin Media connection in the UK. Initially I configured the WAN port to have the same MAC as my laptopís WAN port, however this was later found to be unnecessary. So with the Sify cable connected to the WAN port, and the laptop connected to Port 1 on the router via Ethernet I was able to launch the Sify client and log in giving me internet access.

It was now possible to connect a second laptop to the router via Ethernet and gain access to the internet once the first laptop had logged in. This was easier than I thought!

I now configured the router for Wi-Fi enabling 128bit WEP security also. I was now able to connect the 2nd laptop via Wi-Fi rather than Ethernet, and this worked just fine. The only proviso was that the initial laptop logged in to Sify. So far so good.

I now connected my Netgear SPH200D Skype phone to the router via Ethernet and it logged in happily to Skype allowing phone calls to be made. This phone was one of the main reasons for setting up the router.

Now, after some experimentation with the connection, I found that so long as I did not initiate a logout from the Sify client I did not need to the original laptop on and connected to allow the internet to work. When shutting down the PC, it was necessary to End Task on the Sify client when it prompted to log out, however this was little heartache. Sify appear to log you out automatically after 24 hours whether you are using the connection or not. So it is necessary to launch the Sify client at least once a day.

My next task was to get the original laptop to connect to the router via Wi-Fi rather than direct Ethernet connection. Upon trying this, the Sify client complained that the configuration of the PC did not mach the details they had on record. Now, I could have called Sify up and registered a different MAC address with them, however I felt that was more trouble than trying to overcome the problem, and I could always do that as a last resort! All I needed to do was to change the MAC address of the Wi-Fi card to the same as the Ethernet card and hey presto it works! To do this, go in to the properties of the Wi-Fi card, go to the Advanced tab, and in my case set the Local Administration MAC Network to MAC address I wanted Ė note that this is without any : or Ė just the 12 digits. On some cards this setting will be called Network Address, or Locally Administered Address.

So now I had what I wanted the laptop was required to be used to log in to the Internet, however it didnít need to stay on. The Skype phone would work so long as I was logged in to Sify, and any other Ethernet or Wi-Fi devices could be connected as required to the router. Also the laptop was now untethered from Ethernet cable as it now connected via Wi-Fi.

I hope this helps others trying to do similar things.
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Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 2049
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting article Steve. Thank you.

I didn't realise such internet connections existed, so it is a bit of an eye opener for me. Hopefully this will help other people in India go wifi.
"Microsoft programs are generally bug-free. If you visit the Microsoft hotline, you'll literally have to wait weeks if not months until someone calls in with a bug in one of our programs. 99.99% of calls turn out to be user mistakes. I know not a single less irrelevant reason for an update than bugfixes. The reasons for updates are to present more new features."
-- Bill Gates, on code stability, from Focus Magazine
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:58 pm    Post subject: Very Usefull Reply with quote

Based on Steve's writeup, I successfully setup Sify on my client's Netgear Wifi router. I was not sure of IP settings in WAN and LAN. However this is what I did. The WAN (Internet) side was set up with the static ip, netmask, gw and dns settings of Sify. The LAN side was a local private IP and subnet with DHCP enabled for all pcs, just like any other router setup. The WAN mac address was changed to the one in the original Sify machine (Which is no longer on Sify). In the wired LAN pc, its mac address too was changed to the original mac address by right clicking on the ethernet device properties, selecting 'configure' , then 'advanced' and in the 'network address' part of the list, add the mac address manually without the hyphens. The dialer is able to login and provide net access in the LAN.. Another laptop simply gets connected by wireless and dhcp. On shutting down the wired pc, Sify asks if you want to log out. Select 'cancel' and let the shutdown process kill the dialer. The wireless laptop still has net connection. This is required as the boss still uses the laptop after the staff shut down and leave.

Thanks Steve for your writeup.
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