Friday, January 29, 2010

Quick and easy Verizon DSL installation

EDIT - This method probably will no longer work for you, Verizon started requiring that each DSL line be activated. Requiring that you go through the entire process of entering your order number and zip code, then going through several steps to complete the activation process. They claim because nobody reads the terms of service, which you are forced to at least view before closing that window and accepting the terms. Then you need to download an activation file to complete the activation, even if you uncheck all of the bloatware they try to get you to install. I will be making a new post about this shortly, and will provide the link to it here. Please tell Verizon that these steps are unnecessary and put a burden on small businesses that provide Verizon DSL service to their customers. HERE is the new post! 

[EDIT - this is for dynamic IP static IP settings are different, you should contact your DSL provider for those settings]

Forget about sitting at your PC for about 1/2 hour installing the whole bloatware software that comes with the DSL modem that just arrived in the mail. If your DSL due date is past, and the light is solid, meaning your modem is getting sync, you do not need to go thru all of those steps to get up and running.

First ensure that all of your phones are filtered, and make sure not to filter the modem.

Remember the first time you log into your modem at you will need to log in with user name: admin and with the password as: password The first time you try to do anything, it will want you to change this. For simplicity, I recommend user name: admin and password: admin this way you, or the next person that needs to log into the modem to make any changes will not have to go crazy attempting to determine what the password is.

now go to  (if .htm does not work try .html but every instance that i have come across is the .htm) now you will be on a web page that says RESTRICTED in red letters, and says not to make any changes on this page. Click the button that says DISABLE. If the button says enable, then do not click it, the redirect is already disabled.

[EDIT - 6-13-10: The following step has been confirmed that it is not required to change the user name and password for the DSL account once removing redirect from the modem]
The next step I am not sure if it is required, but something that I always do anyway. Since Verizon DSL is on open PPPoE, meaning that the user name and password is meaningless (but something still needs to be there) click network settings, then click DSL connections, then edit the user name from "newdsluser" (or whatever similar it says) to just about anything, and also change the password, I usually just enter abcd123 - remember the user name and password can be anything, it makes no difference.

The only down side to this is if you want to set up a user name for your Verizon.net  email account. I have not found a way how to accomplish this with out a call to the useless people over at 1-800-567-6789 (Verizon tech support) - every time I call I seem to get the same clueless Filipino  woman. I should get her name one day, so that I can post it here, but if you get her, don't bother, just ask to speak with someone else.

This is also a great method to installing DSL for "unsupported" operating systems such as Linux.

This works for PPPoE connections only, and not for static IP set ups. I recommend just calling the support number 1-800-567-6789 to get the static IP settings that you need to set up your system if you are using static IP

Once the modem is set up, if you plan on using a router, you will need to set it up on bridge mode. I will make a future post, or edit this one in the near future to explain how to set your router up in bridge mode, since I do not have DSL at home, and would prefer to have a modem in front of me so that I can detail each step by step instructions for you. [EDIT - 6-13-10: You do not need to use a router with a DSL modem, you can connect a switch instead, and do not need to make any changes to the modem as the modem will act as a DHCP server with the default modem settings]

Click image to enlarge.

edited a few posts to add information...

free long distance post updated

toll free ANAC numbers updated

free VoIP SIP provider

http://voipbuster.com provides free outgoing calls to the PSTN to over 60 different countries. The service is free. More information can be obtained from there website. You do initially have to download and install the softphone to set up your account, even if you plan on using the service with an ATA or SIP phone.

They do not however provide free DIDs, but that is where http://ipkall.com comes to the rescue. Ipkall will give you a free Washington state telephone number for any SIP service provider that you currently use. So paired with voipbusters service you could have a completely free home telephone service for incoming and outgoing calls.

So you say that you want a local phone number? That is OK. You just head over to http://google.com/voice and sign up for a google voice number. have your GV number forward to your ipkall number, and when someone calls your GV number, your voipbuster phone will ring.

you can also obtain free incoming calls with GV and http://gizmo5.com but gizmo is currently in closed beta, and not accepting new sign ups. Besides, the GV + Gizmo set up does not provide you with free outgoing calls, unless you use the click to call interface from the website, and who wants to dial numbers like that?

I know I just posted this blog, but I have additional information to add to it already...
http://voipstunt.com/en/index.html supposedly gives you free SIP phone service, as well as calls thru an access number. I have not had the opportunity to test this service out myself yet, but felt the need to provide the information here. (The website seems like it has a similar set up as voipbuster, so perhaps it is the same company)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

cheap cell phone service...


[EDIT  - newer rate post HERE]
[unlimited rates listed HERE]

Many companies have changed there pricing plans, and others have come available since my last post. So I will provide several options for those of you who are looking for cheap cell phone service.

I recently just switched my $50 unlimited iDEN Boost Mobile account over to a $60 unlimited CDMA Boost Mobile Blackberry account. If you are interested in a smart phone, this is going to be the best value. No contract, and unlimited talk, text and 3G EVDO internet access, as well as push e-mail.

For those of you who receive any sort of public assistance Tracphone has a product that will provide you with a free cell phone, and minutes called Safe Link. This service is subsidized by the government, just as the lifeline service for land line telephone service is. More information is available about how to qualify, or apply for the service at there website here https://www.safelinkwireless.com/EnrollmentPublic/home.aspx  You can purchace additional minutes from Tracfone if the included minutes are not enough for you, but IMO Tracfone prices are confusing for the average consumer (for the best rates you need to buy a double minutes card), and the rates (even for the double minutes) are rather high, compared to other providers.

Tracfone however has two other products/brands, that I also highly recommend. First is Net10, you can purchace a phone for $30, occasionally on sale for $25 - and the phone comes with $30 (300 minutes) of free calling credit. I consider this brand a great choice for a "throw away" or single use phone. If you purchace a phone from there website, you can get a refurbished phone with 300 minutes, plus 300 bonus minutes for a total of 600 minutes for $30. This is the best deal that I have found anywhere for a phone and minutes, but defeats the purpose if you plan to use the phone as an untraceable "throw away" since a throw away phone should be purchased with cash. Net 10's unlimited plan is too expensive to bother mentioning, but there per minute rate is 10 cents per minute always, and 5 cents per text message. Minutes are normally good for 60 days.

Straight Talk is the latest Tracfone product that I have become aware about. It offers one of the best rates for cell phones. They are available at Walmart, or online at http://www.straighttalk.com/  You can get a $30 per month plan with 1000 minutes, 1000 texts and 50 MB of data, or $45 for an unlimited plan. Most people will do just fine with the $30 plan.

Virgin mobile is another company owned by sprint (like boost mobile and nextel) they have unlimited voice plans for $50, or you can pay between 5 to 10 cents per minute if you buy a minute pack, or 20 cents per minute if you do not buy a minute pack. Minute packs expire in 30 days, but unused minutes roll over. For the texters out there, they have an unlimited texters plan for $15 per month, that does not require any voice plan. Minutes with the unlimited text plan are 10 cents per minute (unless you purchace a minute pack with a better rate)
[EDIT: Virgin Mobile recently changed there pricing structure, and not has plans from $25 to $60 all plans include unlimited text and web]

ATT Go Phone have gotten into the cheap prepaid war, although not the cheapest, they are still competitive, and they are a large reputable company. ATT Go Phone offers a $60 unlimited text and talk plan.

Page Plus Cellular is also another good budget minded cell phone company. For $30 you can get 1200 minutes, plus 1200 texts and 50MB data (that is 200 more texts and voice minutes than Straight talk's $30 plan) They also have an unlimited plan for $40, but that only includes unlimited talk and text, only 20MB of data comes with this plan.

I believe TMOB also has a $50 range unlimited plan, but I do not care much for TMOB... perhaps they are a better company from back in the day when I was a customer. If you have a favorable opinion or experience with them, then you can head over to there website and see what they are currently offering.

I am not including Verizon, because they still do not understand the prepaid market, with providing $3 or $4 PER DAY unlimited service, which would be more than double anyone else current prepaid offering.

I am not including Metro PCS - because the PCS stands for Pretty Crappy Service - the same reason why I am not including Cricket, or any other regional cellular companies.

For those saying wait, I forgot Sprint, you are mistaken. I included Sprint TWICE. Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile are both owned and operated by Sprint for prepaid customers. Sprint does not market a low price alternative to there contract plans under the Sprint name.

If you have a cellular company that I did not mention here, that you think deserves mention, or a comment about a company - good or bad, feel free to leave a comment.

Also if you are looking at getting a Virgin Mobile phone... look for one of my other posts, where I have a code to get both of us 60 free minutes.