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Is Livebox necessary?


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Hae decided to go with Orange as our ISP.  We will have two oldish US desktop PCs, one brand new US laptop and 3 regular phones.  Can we use all of them on the ADSL line?  We don't want TV or anything else but the high speed internet access.  After reading many posts, I'm confused and worried that I won't be able to set it up myself, I'm not very technical.  Am not looking forward to working with the Livebox. 

Will the US modems we have in the PCs work? 

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[quote user="Joan A"]Hae decided to go with Orange as our ISP.  We will have two oldish US desktop PCs, one brand new US laptop and 3 regular phones.  Can we use all of them on the ADSL line?  We don't want TV or anything else but the high speed internet access.  After reading many posts, I'm confused and worried that I won't be able to set it up myself, I'm not very technical.  Am not looking forward to working with the Livebox. 

Will the US modems we have in the PCs work  [/quote]

Livebox is not necessary, but if you don't use that you will need a modem and some kind of router (Belkin and Netgear make decent routers available through amazon.fr, possibly also at Carrefour).  Depending on what router you get, you can connect to the internet wirelessly or by ethernet cable or both.  It's not hard to set up a home network this way (I've done it and I'm no techie), but you would do well to do a little research first at the manufacturer's website. 

The advantage is using Livebox is that it is preconfigured for Orange.  The disadvantage is that you have to download the Orange software that a lot of people hate.

I don't think you could connect more than 1 computer at a time using only their internal modems (but, as I mentioned above, I'm no techie).  I don't know whether your US modems will work.  My US laptop has an internal modem that, according to the manufacter, is not configured to work with European providers, so I've never tried it in France.  I use a (formerly) Wanadoo USB modem which works okay, particularly after I uninstalled all the Wanadoo software that came on the modem's installation CD.  (I'm not sure if you can uninstall that stuff if you're using a Livebox.)  But then, I'm only connecting the one computer.

Good luck.

 

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Orange/Wanadoo have an offer on USB and ethernet modems (at least they did recently). These are both pretty cheap and are outright purchases so you don't have to pay for them each month. Generally people do not seem to like the Livebox very much and pretty well everybody hates Wanadoo/Orange software. I have their ethernet ADSL modem which I got from them on outright purchase for 10€. Being an ethernet modem/router/firewall/etc., I have none of their software loaded. I configured it using a browser from my PC and then just put in the router address (to my IP stack) - easy to do even for non technical people (I have not explained it). Thus, no 3€ per month, no nasty Livebox, no nasty Wanadoo/Orange software, multiple computers at the same time.

I also have a WiFi Access Point on my network (pretty cheap) so can also use wireless connections to the internet (via my Wanadoo/Orange supplied router).

If you really do want a Livebox then check with them how much an outright purchase costs. Given that you have a minimum contract term with them and they are charging you 3 per month for it, for ever, it make make sense to purchase one. Last Dec they were on offer (from Wanadoo) for 45€. Given that you will be paying them 36€ rental per year some people would consider an outright purchase makes financial sense.

Wanadoo/Orange only push their Livebox and only on rental as this is what makes them most money. they do have other offerings.

Ian
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Hi Joan,

Are the modems broadband / ADSL modems?  If they are, then yes, in theory they should work, so long as you replace the US leads with French ones, and use a French ADSL filter in every phone socket.  However you will only be able to have one PC connected to the internet at any time.  Usually internal modems are only dial-up speed and suitable for using with fax software.

The Orange / Wanadoo “Livebox” is essentially a wireless broadband router – you should be able to have all your PCs networked and connected to the internet simultaneously with the appropriate wi-fi card installed in the PCs / laptop.

You will also have to replace the line cords on your US phones with French ones - it may be easier just to buy French telephones.

 

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As to whether or not existing non-French ADSL modems would work or nor - difficult to say. For example, French protocols are slightly different from UK protocols. UK ADSL modem firmware will not always work when in France. However, many ADSL modems are "worldwide" these days and can be configured/auto adapt to the French settings. Check if your modem can take a setting of 8.35 for its VPI/VCI.

I tried UK firmware in France and it did not work. I contacted the manufacturer who said "no it wont" - and they could not provide me the French firmware as it was under the control of the ISPs (in France). I then found some "worldwide" firmware for it, loaded that and no problems.

Ian
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I have a Livebox, which I'm actually happy with (rare, I know), but I don't use their software to run it and haven't. We have two laptops networked to it and were able to easily do that without loading the Wanadoo software.

I would add that you should make sure that your power supplies specifically say CE on them.  I had a supposedly dual voltage powere supply for my Toshiba laptop, but it was not CE compliant and I had all sorts of problems with it until I replaced it with a new one.  Now, everything is copacetic.

PG

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Thanks to all for your answers.  I've been assured by the laptop maker (Compaq) that its modem "shouldn't" be a problem.  The others are generic modems installed by my local PC guy and he says the same thing.  So guess I'll just wait and see what happens.  As long as we have access from the laptop we'll be ok for the nonce. 

I like the idea of possibly doing WI-FI for all three.  We're currently wireless and love it.  Since we need access from two PCs at the same time, nice to know there is an option to do it.  After reading all the horror stories about the Livebox, except from PG, I don't really want it.  What is the software it has that everyone hates? 

Ecossais

How do I find out if the modems are broadband/ASDL?  We're currently using hi-speed wireless using my ISP supplied router.

Deimos

How do I check to see what settings the modems can take? 

PG

What is CE?  The power supply box says it's good for 110-220v and 50-60hz, and the propaganda says it is ok in Europe.  Obviously the cord that plugs into the wall will have to be changed. 

Really appreciate everyones input. 

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Joan,

You will already have either a wireless router with a broadband (ADSL) modem connected to it or an all-in-one broadband wireless router.  You only need one broadband modem (or broadband wireless router).

You don’t say which computer you are using wirelessly at present.  You will need a PCI network card for each desktop PC and a PCMCIA network card for the laptop (unless it has built-in wi-fi).

Your American broadband wireless router MIGHT work in France if you don’t want a Livebox.  You will need to replace the phone lead, configure it with the Orange settings however the mains adapter might not be the right voltage / current.

 

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Currently, my PC is hooked up a router (I believe) which is hooked to the antennae on the roof which gets its stuff from a tower several miles away.  The other PC has a gizmo attached with a very small antennae on it and is wireless to my PC or the router.  At least, I think that's how it's set up.  The laptop is completely wireless and does it automagically. 

I'm not planning on bringing my US router, too much stuff to do to it.  I'll just buy a new one.  But sounds like I only need to get one modem or router. 

I'll be glad when all this is over!! 

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[quote user="Joan A"]

PG

What is CE?  The power supply box says it's good for 110-220v and 50-60hz, and the propaganda says it is ok in Europe.  Obviously the cord that plugs into the wall will have to be changed. 

[/quote]

Joan, CE is the symbol that indicates an item is up to European Community standards.  It's particularly important on electrical devices, as not having it there could mean that the device won't work properly on European current.  My Toshiba said it was dual voltage, but it was clearly not entirely true, as my computer would just shut itself down or not boot up at all.  When I unplugged it from the wall socket and just ran it on the battery, things would be fine.  It's what we in the FBI call a "clue!"   Once the new power supply was in place, no further problems.

PG

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[quote user="Deimos"]As to whether or not existing non-French ADSL modems would work or nor - difficult to say. For example, French protocols are slightly different from UK protocols. UK ADSL modem firmware will not always work when in France. However, many ADSL modems are "worldwide" these days and can be configured/auto adapt to the French settings. Check if your modem can take a setting of 8.35 for its VPI/VCI.

I tried UK firmware in France and it did not work. I contacted the manufacturer who said "no it wont" - and they could not provide me the French firmware as it was under the control of the ISPs (in France). I then found some "worldwide" firmware for it, loaded that and no problems.

Ian[/quote]

I connected a netgear DG834 in France bought in UK. It automatically set the vpi/vci and connected straight away.

I found with livebox that the pc connected via usb with the wanadoo software drops connection regularly in every case but the ethernet connection for a second pc with no wanadoo software never misses a beat. Seems to me the software is designed to fail to boost customer support profits.

Still no ADSL chez moi. Merde merde merde!

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"bigjimbishop"said - You just plug it in and put address 192.160.0.1 into address bar on Explorer or Firefox to input isp username and password in 'connection settings'.

I completely agree with the Netgear recommendation but the address is usually 192.168.0.1 - might save frustration or defenestration!

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