SUMMARY: Farallon Netopia

From: Dan Simoes (
Date: Mon Aug 03 1998 - 12:53:40 CDT

My original question:

>I'm curious to see if any has experience using an external
>Farallon Netopia ISDN modem/router with a Sun machine.
>I can't see why this wouldn't work, but just in case...
>In particular, I'm looking to do DOV (data over voice)
>with this device.

Replies are below. Short answer is, yes, it should work.

In doing some further research, it appears that what I want
is a ISDN "router" which may or not have a builtin hub.
There is a pretty good review of these on CNET's web site.
It appears that most of these do data over voice.

I haven't decided what to use yet, but the Zyxel Prestige 100
3Com OfficeConnect are top contenders.

Thanks for the replies.

| Dan |


We've used the Netopia for both ISDN and Frame Relay and it works well.

We noticed that our telnet performance improved dramatically when we moved away from PPP over modems to connect to our ISP. The packets seemed to be buffered so that when you typed on a telnet terminal session nothing appeared on the screen for a few seconds, and thenthe whole line would appear. That made telnet almost useless.

When we got a data line we found that telnet was much better behaved. This may have been because of our ISP's setup, but it bodes well for what you are doing.

Hope this helps,

-- From: Rick Fincher <>

We are using a 660 with Frame Relay now. Whe have Sparc 2, 10, 670MP, and Macintosh machines on our net that use it, We have run Solaris 2.5 and 2.6 with it with no problems.

-- I don't know about DOV, but I use a Netopia 655 in my network (has a Sun running Solaris 2.5.1 and a PC running Windows NT 4.0) and it works just fine! Both the Sun and PC can access the Internet via my my ISP. I use Netscape and ftp and telnet typically.

I currently set the Netopia for using both channels for data, so I do not know what happens if you have a voice connection and try a data connection from the Sun. But I have tried the dynamic 2B setup option (drops 1 B channel in low use times and adds it in dynamically as needed) and it works correctly, so I'd guess what you have in mind should work. -- We have a Netopia doing T1 ... it works great, is reliable, has a good (simple) interface, keeps some statistics, we can log into it over the network (or not if we want to disable it). We had some initial line problems which caused it to drop the line, but that wasn't the fault of the Netopia. If we had had more experience the error messages it put out would have let us diagnose the problem right away.

Just a sample of one though ;-)

-- I have a handful of Netopia in the field, supporting hi-end telecommuters and small offices. When I tested it, data over voice worked fine; however, since then I have only implemented bonded (MP) 64K data channels, so I don't have any operational experience with DOV.

I use the PN 655/455, e.g. the ethernet/ISDN routers.

None of my users have Unix boxes at home, purely desktop machines (Win95/NT/Mac OS). However, there are of course no Unix-specific issues around the use of ISDN -- it is just a pipe for TCP-IP (and IPX and AppleTalk, in my configuration).

I like the Netopia product. The software has proved utterly reliable for me -- I've been using their software since 1.something (now on 3.3). The telnet interface is fine, not fancy, but fine. The box supports saving and retrieving its config file to a tftp server -- this is a quality feature. It supports the use of its two POTS ports in all the usual ways. It contains a slot for a PCMCIA modem for remote console access (not as an alternate data path) -- this is important when supporting telecommuters and remote offices -- saves me the road trip of visiting. For $250, you get the PCMCIA modem plus a year of next day hardware replacement and tech support -- great deal.

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