We just switched our telephone carrier to a VOIP, and are having difficulties. I was hoping someone may have some answers for us. We apparently have always used a USB cable to connect the modem to the PC, but with the telephone system it requires using an ethernet cable. For whatever reason, the PC does not recognize or read it (the ethernet cable). Now I have to choose between having internet access or a telephone. Has anyone else been able to fix this problem with their PC? We have an Inspiron 530. Any help is greatly appreciated!
A bit more detail on the system you had and what you connected might have helped, but I'll try anyway.
Many types of broadband modems can use either a USB or Ethernet connection, but they generally have only a single USB port. The same is true of the Ethernet port; only one is available, and it can't be used simultaneously with the USB port. The easiest solution to this problem is usually a router. This device has a port that will connect to the Ethernet port on your modem and usually provides at least four additional Ethernet ports to allow connection of additional devices. In order to use it you connect the wideband port of the router to the modem with an Ethernet cable and then connect an Ethernet cable from one of the four device ports to the PC and a second Ethernet cable from another of the four device ports to your VoIP equipment. The ports are usually labeled; the cables are all the same, but the wideband connection is wired differently from the regular ports used for the PC and other devices. If you Google "router" you will learn more about how they work and probably bring up some catalogues having equipment for sale.
One thing about your modem; most of them learn the hardware address of the device they are connected to and refuse to connect to anything else until you remove power and allow them to reset. To begin you need to have removed the power from the modem. Once you have connected the devices together you would first power up the modem, then the router. The router is more forgiving; only the equipment you are connecting needs to be off while you are plugging up the cables. Once you turn on the connected hardware the router will assign each item an "IP" address.
One caution; you might need to get advice from your VoIP provider on how to connect this device to the router in a way that it will work. I have no experience with VoIP and don't know what the companies use to ensure that your VoIP device is properly registered.
Dell Forum member since 2005