ISDN recommendations/help

Neil Ford neil at
Tue Sep 24 12:38:21 BST 2002

On 24/9/02 11:43 am, "Duncan Barclay" <dmlb at> wrote:

> Hi All,
> I need to put together a box that connects via ISDN. Having never done
> this, I need a bit of advice. ISDN is the only realistic thing
> to use out in deepest Cambs.
> I'm looking for an ISP that will give us bonded channels, a static IP and
> allow us to use SurfTime without dropping the line every once in a while.
That may be the single biggest hurdle.

Demon offer a Surftime based product but it's single channel only. True 24/=
no disconnect.

PlusNet may offer bonding via there "Connect" services, but at =A3120 pm for
true 24/7 it's very steep.

Most of the others (BT Openworld) have too many restrictions (maximum no of
hours a day, disconnects, etc.)

Having done a fair bit of investigation into this, I was unable to find
anyone who provided everything at a sensible cost. If cost is no object the=
possibly talk to PlusNet or Nildram.

> Any other ISDN experiences would be helpful too. Main question is do
> you really need always on? Is dialing up every few minutes sufficient?
When I did this at home, I ended up with an Eicon Diva card inside an IPCop
box as this provided the most stress free solution. I did consider an SMC
Barracuda but as I already had most of the components for a firewall decide=
against it. I have clients with the SMC boxes and they are very happy with

Biggest hassle was finding an ISDN card or adapter that was supported by
anything other than Windows. Ideally you want either a card based on the
winbond chipset (now very rare) or a TA that uses serial (they all seem to
be USB these days, except one from Hayes, but that was more expensive than
the SMC box). Alternatively look on ebay for someone flogging of a cheap
ISDN router from Cisco or 3Com (or similar).

I have my firewall set to do persistent connections, just makes life easier=

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