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January 2001

Using a Cable or DSL Internet Connection in OS/2 Warp 4

By Dan Casey©January 2001

Oliver Rick's Warp Updates Site: http://home.knuut.de/orick/english/warpupdates.html
As a subscriber to various OS/2 related Mailing Lists as well as a regular reader of USENET OS/2 newsgroups, I've seen a recent flood of posts spread across all forums relating to connecting an OS/2 system to a broadband Cable or xDSL Internet Connection. Regardless of the forum, these posts all have the same basic theme:

Can I connect my OS/2 System to a Cable/DSL connection ... and how do I do it?

The answer to the 1st part of the question is "Most Likely, Yes!"

Most all Cable and DSL connections will work with OS/2. However, it's highly unlikely that you'll find an ISP that actually "Supports" OS/2. For actual OS/2 Support, your only recourse is the OS/2 Community, and the various forums for support that are available to OS/2 users everywhere.

In order to provide a definite answer, we'll need to know what protocols the ISP is using, and how they are assigning IP addresses to their customers. The standard protocol on the Internet is TCP/IP, and with very few exceptions, this is the protocol used by most all Internet Service Providers (ISP).

Unlike a Dial-Up connection, which uses a Point to Point Protocol (PPP) and a software package (the Dialer) to resolve the IP address, a Broadband connection is more like a LAN (Local Area Network) connection and thus uses different methods of assigning an IP address when you connect.

How IP Addresses are Assigned

Static IP Address -
In this case, your ISP assigns you an IP Address that belongs to you and you alone. Regardless of how many times you connect, disconnect and reconnect, you always have the same IP Address. The first step is to Open the TCP/IP Configuration (LAN) Notebook. Once you have that open, the first page you'll see allows you to Enable the Interface (in this case, Interface 0) and configure the IP Addresses.

Open an OS/2 Command prompt, and at the prompt, type: PING hobbes.nmsu.edu

If you're setup is correct, you should get the following:

[C:\]ping hobbes.nmsu.edu
PING hobbes.nmsu.edu: 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0. time=110. ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1. time=90. ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2. time=90. ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=3. time=100. ms

----hobbes.nmsu.edu PING Statistics----
4 packets transmitted, 4 packets received, 0% packet loss
round-trip (ms) min/avg/max = 90/97/110

If you don't get a PING response, then try it using the IP Address:
If you get a response from this, then you have a problem in the DNS Configuration. If you still get no response, then you are not connected to the Internet, and will need to double-check you configuration.

Dynamically Assigned IP Addresses

Most providers (ISPs) "dynamically assign" an IP address to you when you connect. If they have a lot of customers, it's easier for them to assign IP Addresses this way because they can have a limited number of IP Addresses that serve a greater number of customers. In other words, they are betting that all their customers (unlike me) don't leave their computers turned on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (24/7).

The most common methods of dynamically assigning an IP Address are:

DHCP - Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol.
PPPoE - Point to Point Protocol over Ethernet
PPtP - Point to Point tunneling Protocol
The first method ... DHCP ... is fairly common among Cable Access providers, and is supported by OS/2's TCP/IP Stack without any 3rd party software. However, there is a problem with the basic DHCP services in the base TCP/IP Stack that shipped with Warp 4, and for best results when using DHCP, you'll want to upgrade the TCP/IP Stack to the latest version (4.02y, as of this date). A good source of information on this, and any OS/2 Update is the WarpUpdates International page at: http://home.knuut.de/orick/english/warpupdates.html

The second method, PPPoE, is rarely, if ever, used with a Cable connection. There are quite a few xDSL providers using this protocol, and if you happen to have an ISP using PPPoE, then you'll need a 3rd party utility such as the Injoy Firewall product. OS/2 Warp does not support PPPoE natively. If you don't need a full Firewall, then Injoy also has a PPPoE Standalone "Plug-In" that you can purchase.

The third method, PPtP, is a "Windows Thing". I've heard of a few xDSL providers that use it, and if you happen to have one of them as your ISP, then I'm afraid you're out of luck as there is no support (at this time) for PPtP in OS/2.

For the purposes of this article, we'll focus on DHCP.

The first thing you need to do is make sure that you have the updated TCP/IP components installed on your system. From an OS/2 command prompt, run INETVER:

Inet Version: 4.02t
4.02t is sufficient to use DHCP, though 4.02y is the latest version for the 16bit TCP/IP stack in Warp 4.

Next, open the TCP/IP LAN Configuration notebook, and look at the 1st page of that. If you're running Warp 4, it will look just like the 1st example screenshot above. However, if you're running eCS or the Convenience Pak release of Warp, it will look like the following screenshot.

As you can see, the Interface has been updated a bit, however the concept is the same. This is the same Interface that ships with Warp Server for eBusiness (WSeB).

Highlight LAN0, click on ENABLE Interface, and click on Automatically, Using DHCP. Do not check Also Using DDNS.

Enable the Loopback Interface just as you would for a Static connection, as instructed above.

That should be all you need to do to Setup your TCP/IP for DHCP.

You can monitor the DHCP client using the DHCP Monitor provided with Warp 4, the Convenience Pak, eCS and WSeB.

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