Most of us do not have a direct connection to the high-bandwidth backbones of the Internet. Instead, we rely on dial-up modems, cable modems, or DSL connections to Internet service providers (ISPs), which, in turn, are connected to the backbones (typically provided by large telecommunications companies such as Sprint and AT&T). You can accomplish TCP/IP networking over serial lines with SLIP and PPP. Software for both SLIP and PPP comes with Linux. This chapter explains SLIP and PPP and shows you how to configure and use DSL, cable modem, PPP over dial-up modem, and wireless Ethernet to connect a single PC or a LAN to the Internet.

In this chapter, you learned the following:

  • DSL and cable modem provides higher speed access to the Internet than dial-up modems. You can use a network address translation (NAT) router and a hub to connect a single PC or a small LAN to the Internet through DSL or cable modem.

  • If you have laptops with wireless Ethernet card, you can bring them onto your LAN by connecting a wireless access point to the Ethernet hub and configuring wireless networking on the laptop. This chapter shows you how to configure wireless networking in Red Hat Linux.

  • PPP, or Point-to-Point Protocol, is a more complex protocol for packet transport over any point-to-point link. PPP can carry packets of many protocols over the same link. PPP is the preferred way to establish a dial-up TCP/IP network connection with ISPs.

  • Setting up a PPP link involves two basic steps. First, you must use a utility program to dial the modem and make the connection with the remote modem; then you have to start the PPP software on your system. The wvdial program functions with the pppd program to perform these two steps.

  • You can use the Red Hat Internet Configuration Wizard to set up a PPP connection over a dial-up modem and you can use the Network Configuration utility to activate the PPP connection.

  • You can use IP masquerading to provide Internet access to a private LAN through a Linux PC that has a PPP connection to an ISP.

  • You also can set up your Linux PC as a PPP server so that others may dial in and establish a PPP connection with your system. This chapter describes the steps for setting up a PPP server.