My actual definition of HELL has been changed to:
Trying to set up a router--any router, it seems!!--to the Speedstream 5100b DSL Modem by Siemens/Efficient, doled out to SBC Global/AT&T DSL subscribers. After much pain and suffering, suffering and pain, dealing with a computer with a 2 GHz processor but less than 300 MB RAM, I found that the modem itself is the Achilles Heel of the situation. It's bad enough that even though the DSL service was first requested in late 2004, that SBC supplied a modem first made available in 2002 (!). The Heel-ish part is where the modem has a default TCP/IP of 192.168.0.1 -- exactly the same as a lot of the major routers, making it nigh impossible to connect the modem to a router without some precious, precocious gerrymandering--?!!!#&&^%%(**#@@!
Don't get me started on finding it impossible to reach the IP address (and modem set-up) at first simply because I was using the Safari browser and that IP doesn't like that browser these days. $$@#@#!!@@!
No, I was not talented (?!) enough to perform the precious, precocious gerry-mandering. Tried to re-set the IP on the router and goofed the works--the modem lost all ability to connect to the Internet completely. System Restore saw what I'd done and patted my head--sorry, can't help with that, sweetie! And so somewhere between the impossible connection, the IP and its browser requirements, reboots that honest-to-God took twenty minutes, and needing to install AOL to create a dial-up connection to get the computer to connect to the Internet at all towards the end--AGH!!!!!!! LUCKILY, there was another modem sitting around that was unhosed--albeit a duplicate Speedstream 5100b. I swapped out the hosed one and replaced it with the dupe and lo and behold, the DSL high speed connection returned--! Which is why I'm finally home!!
Now understand I did as much maintenance on that 2 GHz tub-of-silicon-lard as I could, unchecking box after box in the msconfig/Startup to lessen the boot-up load--which cut the boot time in half. It's still too long but pretty much only more RAM can fix that.
Why do I type this? Look, if you want a cheap and fast Internet connection, yeah, get DSL. But if you want to add a router so that you can use your laptop wherever the bleep you want, not just at your PC, I'd say cough up the extra bucks and get cable Internet. And if you can't afford that right now, just start putting some dollars aside and save up.
Then again, I'm assuming that new AT&T DSL customers would end up with this same miserable Speedstream. UPDATE: Ok, they don't--but they do. There's a Siemens 4100b DSL modem they supply you. Yeah, I'll bet that 1000 makes all the difference--! It's got exactly the same problem as the 5100b, the same IP deal. A rep just told me for DSL services: "We offer both a Siemens 4100B Modem ($49.99) and a 2Wire Wireless Gateway ($79.99)." Does the 2Wire work better with routers than the Siemens models? What do you think--?
Spare yourself the aggravation altogether. If I'd known then what I know now--I mean, I could have made better use of my time building an ice cream castle in a hothouse!!!
I cannot believe this day! My router and modem connection took minutes, not hours--and it worked!