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The Autobiography of Russell
Life from a different perspective
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I don't know how many times EarthLink's PPPoE (whatever that is) server is going to go down on us. No net access, again. And again. For the last two hours.
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raist_ From: raist_ Date: November 8th, 2006 02:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Point to Point Protocol over Ethernet.

IE, DSL and Cable style Internet access. Some others fall under this category too.
swanhart From: swanhart Date: November 8th, 2006 07:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Point-to-Point protocol over Ethernet...

In the old days there was slip (serial line internet protocol) that allowed a computer with a modem or direct serial connection to get a connection to an internet gateway. SLiP has some major disadvantages and was eventually replaced by a more flexible protcol supporting authentication and accounting called PPP (point-to-point protocol).

When service providers started providing DSL service there wasn't an easy way to provide authentication features because the modem simply had a direct connection to the internet. To solve this, PPPoE was invented.

PPPoE encapsulates PPP packets inside Ethernet frames. Ethernet communicates via only MAC addresses. When you 'connect' to the internet, the ADSL modem sends a broadcast packet to the ISP gateway server to locate it. After a response comes back the connection is negotiated with the username/password and PPP is used to encapsulate the IP traffic inside Ethernet frames.

The two big advantages are:
1) IP addressing - addresses are deallocated when not actually in use, thereby improving utilization of a small DHCP pool

2) Authentication and accounting - ISP knows when you were on, what IP you were using, what you downloaded, etc.

A similar technology is PPtP (point-to-point tunnelling protocol) which encapsulates IP traffic in an encrypted tunnel over an existing IP connection.
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