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Can I have two modems on the same telephone line ?

shermans
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Can I have two modems on the same telephone line ?

I have a webcam with a movement detector which automatically sends an email to a remote address as a notification that it has been activated.  The modem / router, a LinkSys 354 WAG, is too far away from the webcam to make LAn connection practical.  A simple solution would be to connect the webcam to another modem which I have (an old BT Voyager), and connect this second modem to a nearby telephone socket.  The webcam has its own IP address and email software, so it is stand-alone.
But how would I install the BT Voyager on my computer to set it up without causing a confict with the LinkSys which is both my main modem / router and is of course WiFi.  Normally I would want to use the LinkSys, which, when using the intruder alarm and T Voyager, I would turn off at the socket.
But if two modems were installed, how would my computer know which one to use ?  
The obvious solution would be to disconnect the LinkSys, and to relocate it near the webcam when I need it, but that is not really practical because there is a hard-wired LAN as well as a computer connected to it and it means climbing under the desk and too much messing about to be worth it. The easiest is just to unplug the electrical feed, leave everything in  position and connect another modem near the webcam.
Thanks for any advice.
15 REPLIES
itsme
Grafter
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Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Can I have two modems on the same telephone line ?

No
A wireless bridge will be an option.
lexusuk
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Registered: 20-10-2009

Re: Can I have two modems on the same telephone line ?

Hi shermans,
I'm assuming you would connect your laptop to the BT Voyager via ethernet?  And under normal running you would be connected wirelessly to the Linksys router?
If this is the case the machine should switch seamlessly between the two.  Just bear in mind that you would have to ensure that you had only one modem/router powered on at a time for everything to work ok.  You may be able to use WDS / bridging to link the two routers together as suggested by itsme which would prevent you from having to connect the BT Voyager to a telephone socket however both routers would have to support this function.
Superuser
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Re: Can I have two modems on the same telephone line ?

Would using HomePlug power-line adapters (eg these from Solwise) provide the networking capability required?
David
shermans
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Re: Can I have two modems on the same telephone line ?

Quote from: Alex
I'm assuming you would connect your laptop to the BT Voyager via ethernet?  And under normal running you would be connected wirelessly to the Linksys router?

Not quite.  My desktop connects by USB directly to the LinkSys, and my laptop is normally connected to a hard-wired LAN which I have running to some rooms.  I tend not to use WiFi because it is an old cottahe with very thick walls and signal strength can be a problem with WiFI.  The webcam also has WiFi but it is too far away from the LinkSys to work having to go through several very thick walls.
In order to set things up I could install the BT Voyager on the laptop and plug the laptop into the BT Voyager socket, but only for that purpose.  Once set up, the webcam is stand-alone.  After that, the laptop would need to connect to the LinkSys via the LAN again.
shermans
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Re: Can I have two modems on the same telephone line ?

Quote from: spraxyt
Would using HomePlug power-line adapters (eg these from Solwise) provide the networking capability required?

Thanks for the idea.  I had thought of that as a last resort but did not want to spend £50 if I don't have to, as I have a spaer BT Voyager already.
Superuser
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Re: Can I have two modems on the same telephone line ?

My thoughts were to avoid having to disconnect the Linksys for activating webcam with BT Voyager (and vice-versa). Swapping over would involve disconnections which the DLM might react adversely to.
David
richster
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Registered: 17-08-2011

Re: Can I have two modems on the same telephone line ?

I have an idea for you it involves a little bit of messing about but you could set this up with just a length of ethernet cable, bare with me im not great at explaining anything.
Part one, for the moment, disconnect the linksys router from the computer and without pluging anything in except the power and a network cable or install the usb option for the voyager router to the pc to alloow you access to the voyager settings.
In the voyager router (im assuming it has wifi and isnt a very old voyager router) enable the wifi and take note of the wifi name and the security key if enabled. Now disable the DHCP  server on the voyager and save settings. Disconnect from your computer and then plug your linksys router back in.
Part two, with the voyager router pluged in so its signal would be in range of the wireless camera, connect a long ethernet cable into port 1 on the voyager and the other end into your linksys router, then turn the voyager off and back on.
Part three, you need to setup your camera so that it can connect to the Voyagers wifi name, using the name you took note of earlier and the wifi password program your camera, i dont know how you normally do this but i assume you can either plug it directly into your pc to configure it or can connect it by network cable, either way program it with the voyager wifi name and password.
Finally take your webcam into the range of the voyager router nearer to where it needs signal

By doing this, you are placing a new wifi hotspot in the cameras area but sharing the network of the linksys router so the voyager is getting IP address's from the linksys instead of using its own and it doesnt require the voyager connecting to a phone line just power and a network cable into port 1 and back to the linksys, thats what happens when the DHCP is disabled on the voyager and setup in this way.
The Dsl modem part of the voyager is basically being ignored and not used despite its purpose, ignore any error lights for the dsl broadband on the voyager as the linksys will provide the internet and local network service.
Hope this helps and i have done this before when i didnt have a pound to spare!
shermans
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Re: Can I have two modems on the same telephone line ?

Hi richster
Thanks for the instructions.  Sadly, there is one problem - my Voyager is the standard issue which Plusnet provided when I first signed up many, many moons ago and it does not have WiFi !  It is a Voyager 105 which is really ancient.  So unfortunately, your solution will not work although I would certainly have enjoyed the challenge of having a go.
Thanks nevertheless.
Superuser
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Re: Can I have two modems on the same telephone line ?

For general interest.
The BT Voyager 105 is a USB modem with no networking capability - phone (ADSL) line in, USB to computer out. The modem is powered from the USB connection.
Presumably the laptop runs Windows XP, don't think drivers were provided for Vista (or W7).
David
shermans
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Re: Can I have two modems on the same telephone line ?

Thanks.  Acctually, I manged to ower the Voyager 105 direct off the mains - I used the USB transformer that came with my Kindle to do it.
However, I think I am barking up the wrong tree.  A friend came round and was surprised that my WiFi signal was so low.  When I checked the WiFi connections on my laptop,  I could see my neighbour's BT Homehub more strongly than my own LinkSys, even though the neighbour's house is much further away !
If that is the case, then perhaps a better WiFi router would solve the problem and perhaps it is time for a change.  Have routers increased their signal strength over the years ?
My LinkSys dates all the way back to when I first joined Plusnet back in 2001 - so it's probably about yen years old and does not owe me much.
Does anyone know if Plusnet does any deals on new routers ?
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Can I have two modems on the same telephone line ?

Not if you want a decent one  Grin- you might be better getting a Home Hub off Ebay 
Either way a new router should include Wireless N for future proofing
lexusuk
Grafter
Posts: 567
Registered: 20-10-2009

Re: Can I have two modems on the same telephone line ?

@shermans,
We can offer you a Thomson ST585v8 ADSL modem router at a cost of £40 with postage and packaging at £4.99.  Alternatively if you agree to remain with us for a period of 12 months then we can give you the router free of charge and you would just have to pay for the postage and packaging again at £4.99.
Whether the wireless signal strength will be greater than your current router is impossible to say as the signal strength is dependent on the environment the router is used in.
shermans
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Re: Can I have two modems on the same telephone line ?

Alex
Thanks for that.  I guess that, having been with Plusnet since before ADSL was available  (remember ISDN ?), I am unlikely to want to move away from Plusnet in the foreseeable future, so I have nothing to lose by taking you up on the offer.  I presume that it would not affect my subscription otherwise.
Even if the Thomson (isn't it called Technicolor now ?) does not perform any better than the LinkSys, at least (a) I will know ! and (b) I could then resort to richster's proposal to link two WiFi routers together to give better coverage.  The cottage is two old cottages knocked into one, and therefore long and only one-room deep - we call it a train - which is why transmitting through thick walls to both ends is difficult - it ends up with a compromise, because the router has to be off centre to reach one end, which means there is no signal at the kitchen end.  Piggy-backing one router off the other should solve that, particularly as I aleady have a LAN cable running from my router down to the kitchen end, which presumably I can use to link the two together.  So it would be relatively easy.
So how do I go about ordering this ?
lexusuk
Grafter
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Registered: 20-10-2009

Re: Can I have two modems on the same telephone line ?

Just raise a support ticket requesting a "Deferred 4 port router" and my colleagues will process this for you.  You should ensure a valid credit or debit card is added to your account so that we can take the £4.99 postage and packaging fee.  Your subscription is unaffected by adding this router to your account.  It just means if you leave within the next 12 months then the £40 for the router becomes chargeable.  It's not a contract as such, you just defer the payment for the router for 12 months.  If you stay for 12 months then you don't have to pay and the router is yours to own.