Each provider makes its own choices for authentication. Protocols may vary as new ones become available on the market. Encryption technologies and Intranet security standards challenge (read conflict with) the authentication protocols. While in the earlier days, some providers used clear text logon scripts (like CompuServe) for PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) connections, today PAP (Password Authentication Protocol) and, better, CHAP (Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol) is used. The smart ones will support all three types (for compatibility). Be aware chaps, that some providers may only support one protocol. That’s were trouble starts: your (favorite Point-to-Point Protocol) software must be able to support the chosen (read forced) authentication protocol. Advanced software will include options to select either of the protocols or even negotiate with the server. However, limitations may occur and even worse, some vendors do not even mention which protocol selection they embeded. It gets even more complex when tunneling is used or needed for security. Many providers used the EnterNet client (and so did the ‘TurboLine’ provider Belgacom). Note that the MAC version did not offer a selection option between PAP or CHAP. Information about this MAC client setup is published on the EnterNet pages.
The Alcatel SpeedTouch Home works fine with the EnterNet MAC client. The RASPPPOE client is preferred for Windows 2000 (tested with the Belgacom TurboLine and SkyNet GO).
The Thomson SpeedTouch 510 works fine with the native Windows XP PPPOE client and the EnterNet 300 client (tested with Wanadoo eXtense 512k).
Many other configuration modes are possible.
Authentication: There’s a good chap!