Panix ADSL: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Panix Personal DSL Policies and Terms
(For our complete Terms and Conditions, see the separate document "Panix Personal DSL Terms of Service".)
Q. What does my initial Personal DSL bill cover, and when is it due?
A. When we place your order, we'll remind you about the costs of the setup fee and the ADSL modem (bridge), as well as the first month of service. Once your Panix ADSL connection is installed and active, these fees are due. If you are switching to Personal DSL from another Panix service, you may receive a credit towards your Personal DSL fees for unused portions of the prior service; feel free to ask us (staff@panix.com) if you have any questions about your bill.
Q. What happens if I want to quit before the year's up?
A. The minimum term of service for Personal DSL is one year, defined as 12 monthly payments or 1 full-year prepayment. Once your line is up and running, you can cancel within the first 30 days with no obligation; but after that, you must keep the service for the full year or pay a $150 early-disconnect fee.
Q. Will you let me run a server over my Personal DSL line?
A. Yes, to an extent. However, any servers you run MUST conform to our Personal DSL Server Policies, as outlined in the Panix Personal DSL Terms of Service. Please read them carefully. Also, we cannot guarantee server operability; Panix and MegaPath reserve the right to block any port requests they deem necessary for the safety and usability of their Internet service.
Q. What guarantees of uptime, throughput, etc., will I have?
A. Panix warrants that the circuit will be in good working order on the day your term of service begins (the "installation date"). There are NO bandwidth guarantees, but if you find your line is not performing at the level of service you have ordered, you can downgrade to a lower speed (at no charge). We provide no warranty for throughput beyond our "best effort" commitment, but we give credit per-diem for outages. Also, certain conditions can release you from your one-year obligation in the event of continued poor performance. See the Panix Personal DSL Terms of Service for details.
Q. What are the "fees and surcharges" on my bill? Please read this page.

The Personal DSL Installation Process
Q. What are the steps of the ADSL installation?
A.1. When we place your order with MegaPath, they will check your phone number and address in their database to confirm that it is suitable for DSL. Among the items they check for are: loop length (that is, the wiring distance from that location to the Verizon central office), confirmation that the line has Verizon local phone service, whether the customer name in Verizon's database for that line matches the name on the order, etc. Within a day or two, they will confirm or reject the order based on that assessment, and if confirmed they'll pass it on to Verizon.
2. Several days after, Verizon will respond with a Firm Order Commitment (FOC) date. The FOC date is when a Verizon tech will perform the necessary wiring in your local CO (Central Office). Verizon will notify MegaPath, and MegaPath will notify us.
3. Once MegaPath gets that notification, they will mail you your self-install kit. This kit contains your aDSL router, a number of line filters, cables, and instructions.
4. On the FOC date, just follow the directions in your self-install kit, call Panix to set up your username and password, and you'll be up and running!
Q. Does the ADSL use the same wiring as my phone line?
A. Yes. MegaPath uses "line sharing" DSL. This should not affect your phone service on that line at all (but if you have unusual equipment on that line, such as a PBX or voicemail equipment, it may be difficult or impossible to maintain DSL service on the same line).
Q. My building has a fiber optic phone trunk. Does that matter?
A. Unfortunately, it often does. DSL requires a direct copper pair (of wires) all the way from the End Office to your home. (Yes, it's ironic; the higher-tech phone lines can't run the higher-tech Internet service.) Most buildings with "fiber phone feeds" also have a number of copper lines too, so you may still be able to get DSL by ordering another phone line and trying to get Verizon to install it on copper--but there's no guarantee they will.
Q. Do I need to put special software on my computer, and why?
A. Panix aDSL uses PPPoE (PPP over Ethernet) to provide login control. However, the MegaPath-supplied routers all have built-in PPPoE support.
This means you don't have to install or configure any other PPPoE software on your computer. The router will take care of that for you.


Technical Questions
Q. I only get 1 IP address, right?
A. Right. It's a static IP address, which gives you more freedom of access than a dynamic one. But Personal DSL is limited to one IP address.
Q. My router prompts me for a username and password when I try to connect. What do I use?
A. You use your "maintenance mailbox" username (it will be something@access.net) and the password that goes with it. Panix shell users: do NOT use your shell username.
Q. How do I connect more than 1 computer to my Personal DSL line, for use at the same time?
A. What you're looking for is called NAT (Network Address Translation). It turns one real IP address into several "virtual IP addresses" (usually starting with 192.168) that you can share among your computers. You can enter these addresses into your computers directly, or use DHCP to set them automatically each time you turn on a computer.
Q. What's NAT?
A. NAT stands for Network Address Translation. A NAT router assigns virtual ("fake") IP addresses to all the computers on your local network, and directs traffic between those computers and the rest of the Internet. To the outside world, your whole network looks like a single computer.
Q. Will Panix help me set up a network behind my ADSL modem?
A. Sorry, no. Panix will help you through setting up a single computer, plugged directly into the ADSL router. If you have multiple computers connected, we can provide pointers but we will not troubleshoot routing problems that don't affect a single-computer connection.
Q. How is the ADSL router sent to me?
A. MegaPath will ship it to the address you specify in your order form. If you haven't received it by the day before your scheduled installation date, please let us know.
Q. What do the lights mean on my Westell WireSpeed ADSL modem?
A. There are 4 lights on the front of your WireSpeed modem. They function as follows:
Power: lights up when the power is on. ("it's plugged in") Since the modem doesn't have a power switch, you need to unplug and replug the power cord to "reboot" it if necessary.
Ready: lights up solid green when the DSL line is good and "in synch". If this light is blinking red/green, that means the DSL connection is broken somewhere. Check the cord between the ADSL modem and the wall jack to make sure it's plugged in firmly. (When it's rebooting, the DSL light may blink several times, but should settle at solid green within a minute or so.)
If "Ready" blinks red only, it means your modem is broken.
Link: lights up solid green when the Ethernet connection to your computer or router is up and good. If this light is dark, your Ethernet connection is broken.
Activity: This light flashes yellow whenever data is being sent or received to/from your computer(s).
Q. What do the lights mean on my SpeedStream 5260 ADSL modem?
A. There are 4 lights on the front of your SpeedStream 5260. They function as follows:
Power: lights up when the power is on. ("it's plugged in") Since the modem doesn't have a power switch, you need to unplug and replug the power cord to "reboot" it if necessary.
DSL: lights up solid green when the DSL line is good and "in synch". If this light is not solid green, that means the DSL connection is broken somewhere. Check the cord between the ADSL modem and the wall jack to make sure it's plugged in firmly. (When it's rebooting, the DSL light may blink several times, but should settle at solid green within a minute.)
ATM: lights up solid green when the DSL equipment on MegaPath's end has acknowledged the connection to your ADSL modem. This light also blinks rapidly when data is being passed in either direction through the modem.
ENET: lights up solid green when the Ethernet connection to your computer or router is up and good. If this light is dark, your Ethernet connection is broken.
Q. What do the lights mean on my Netopia 3347W router?
A. There are 7 lights on the front of your Netopia 3347W. They function as follows:
PWR: lights up when the power is on. ("it's plugged in") Since the modem doesn't have a power switch, you need to unplug and replug the power cord to "reboot" it if necessary.
DSL Sync: lights up solid green when the DSL line is good and "in synch". If this light is not solid green, that means the DSL connection is broken somewhere. Check the cord between the ADSL modem and the wall jack to make sure it's plugged in firmly. (When it's rebooting, the DSL light may blink several times, but should settle at solid green within a minute.) It will also flash green when traffic is passing over your DSL line.
LAN 1, 2, 3, & 4: each lights up solid green when an Ethernet cable is connected to the corresponding port on the router. It will flash green when activity is detected over that port--i.e., if traffic is going through the router to the computer plugged into the port marked "LAN 1", the LAN 1 light will flash.
Wireless Link: Flashes green when activity is detected on the wireless connection.
Q. What do the lights mean on my Broadxent BritePort 8120 ADSL router?
A. There are 7 lights on the front of your Broadxent 8120. They function as follows:
Power: lights up when the power is on. ("it's plugged in") Since the modem doesn't have a power switch, you need to unplug and replug the power cord to "reboot" it if necessary.
Diag: lights up when the router is powering up and performing its self-tests, then turns off. If it remains on, this indicates a problem with the router.
LAN 1, 2, 3, & 4: each lights up solid when an Ethernet cable is connected to the corresponding port on the router. If none of these lights is on, then your computer is not connected to the router properly.
DSL: lights up solid green when the DSL line is good and "in synch". If this light is not solid green, that means the DSL connection is broken somewhere. Check the cord between the ADSL modem and the wall jack to make sure it's plugged in firmly. (When it's rebooting, the DSL light may blink several times, but should settle at solid green within a minute.)
Q. I have a DSL router. Can I use it with my Personal DSL line?
A. If your "DSL router" has Ethernet ports on both the WAN and LAN sides, it's good for use with ADSL. (Ask your router's manufacturer if you're not sure.)
If your "DSL router" has an SDSL jack on the WAN side instead of an Ethernet jack, then you can't use it with ADSL. If it has an ADSL jack on the WAN side, you may be able to use it, but you still have to get a WireSpeed or SpeedStream ADSL modem from MegaPath as a stipulation of your service.

Security Considerations
Q. Do I need a firewall?
A. Panix doesn't require that you set up a firewall on your Personal DSL connection, but we recommend it. Unlike a plain dialup connection, your ADSL is up all the time, and as a result it's more susceptible to roving troublemakers. At the very least, you should make sure that all administrator or power-user level passwords on your computer are set to something unguessable. Adding firewall package is also nice, especially if you anticipate someone targeting you for attack.
Q. Which is better, a security software package or a separate router?
A. If you've only got one computer, the software route might be the best, and will certainly be the cheapest. The disadvantages of software firewalls are: They use system resources, and sometimes slow your computer down perceptibly; and even with the security software in place, your computer is still visible on the Internet, and vulnerable to newly-discovered exploits that the programmers couldn't anticipate. On the other hand, firewall software is more versatile than the firewalls built into home-market routers.
If this concerns you, or you're looking to share multiple computers anyway, you should consider buying a separate router. A NAT router will give you control over which computers (if any) on your network are accessible from the outside world, and a good one with full firewall features will provide better protection than even the best software package by itself.
Q. How can I protect my Windows 95/98/NT/2K computer without buying extra hardware or software?
A. Windows NT and 2000 have some built-in security features, such as incoming IP filtering and selective port/protocol blocking. Unfortunately, Windows 95 and 98 weren't designed with security in mind, and have no built-in firewall features.
Here's one place to look for security for Windows systems:
http://www.security-tips.com/
Q. How can I protect my Macintosh computer without buying extra hardware or software?
A. MacOS doesn't provide any built-in port blocking or IP filtering, but there are some things you can do to enhance the security of your connection. Here's a site devoted to security for Macs on the Internet:
http://www.securemac.com/
Q. Is my Personal DSL IP address linked to my identity? Can people tell who I am by where I'm coming from?
A. Your DSL comes with a static IP address. This means that if you visit the same site twice, the site's administrators will be able to tell that the same person visited the site twice. They'll even be able to tell that the person is a Panix customer, and (if they use certain unethical advertising methods that shall remain nameless) what other sites that person has visited lately. But they won't be able to tie that IP address to your real name.
Of course we can't guarantee that someone won't be able to figure out the identity of the real person behind your IP address, if they're clever and persistent enough. But we do our best to make it difficult.
As always, we will not release your name, address, email address, or phone number to anyone unless required by law or requested by you.
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Last Modified:Tuesday, 16-Aug-2016 15:21:18 EDT
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