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How To Configure ISDN Internet Dialup On A Cisco Router

Some time ago, when broadband and ADSL wasn't available, analog and digital (ISDN) modems were the only way to connect to the Internet. Even though today ISDN isn't used much for Internet connectivity, it still remains an important alternative backup dialup method. Cisco routers are usually equipped with an ISDN BRI (Basic Rate) Interface. This interface is capable of supporting up to two 64Kbps channels, providing a maximum of 128Kbps throughput. You can learn all about the ISDN protocol and capabilities by reading our popular ISDN WAN Protocol article. Here will show you how to configure step-by-step your Cisco router to perform basic ISDN dialup to an Internet provider. We will also cover some basic authentication options and ISDN parameters that will help you better control your connection. Example Scenario The diagram below is our example network. The router is the local network's gateway and connects to our Internet provider via ISDN, when needed.

One first thing we need to do is configure the ISDN WAN interface with the necessary parameters. While every BRI ISDN interface card on a Cisco router looks the same, the actual ISDN parameters required to configure it (ISDN switch-type) changes depending on the country you live in. For Europe, Australia, Asia and the UK, the ISDN switch-type is usually set to 'ISDN Basic Net3'. For North America, 'Basic 5ess' or 'Basic-dms100' depending on your telecommunication provider. We will be using the 'Basic Net3' switch type. For more information, please advise our Basic ISDN configuration article. It contains extensive information on the various switch-types used throughout the world.

You can find more information on NAT by reading through our NAT Articles. inserting the phone number. username. that is. where you create a new connection. ISP username/password and of course. encapsulation type. password and other parameters. The 'dialer-group 1' command is used to match 'Interesting Traffic'. the 'dialer pool 5' command associates this dialer with the physical BRI 0 interface as it too is a member of the same pool. R1# configure terminal R1(config)# interface bri 0 R1(config-if)# description WAN Interface R1(config-if)# isdn switch-type basic-net3 R1(config-if)# encapsulation ppp R1(config-if)# dialer pool-member 5 The 'dialer pool-member' will associate the physical ISDN interface (bri 0) with a dialer interface (dialer 0) configured later on. we will simply list the necessary commands to configure NAT so that the internal network has access to the Internet. The 'ip nat outside' command is part of the NAT configuration for this router. Dialer interfaces carry the same role as a dialup connection in Windows. these include IP address. authentication method (CHAP or PAP). In this example. common amongst all ISP's. . traffic that would initiate the dialup to the ISP. This is a virtual interface that will use the BRI interface to complete the dialup and establish our Internet connection. any dialer interface assigned to 'dialer pool member 5' will use this BRI interface when dialing out.Further configuration of the BRI interface involves the encapsulation type. A number of parameters are necessary to make the connection work. the number it needs to dial: R1(config)# interface dialer 0 R1(config-if)# description Internet-Dialup R1(config-if)# ip address negotiated R1(config-if)# encapsulation ppp R1(config-if)# ppp authentication chap pap callin R1(config-if)# ppp chap hostname firewallcx R1(config-if)# ppp chap password cisco R1(config-if)# ppp pap sent-username firewallcx password cisco R1(config-if)# dialer string 2310559500 R1(config-if)# dialer pool 5 R1(config-if)# dialer-group 1 R1(config-if)# ip nat outside R1(config-if)# exit R1(config)# dialer-list 1 protocol ip permit Again. which is set to 'ppp' (Point-to-Point Protocol). While NAT is covered in a different article.

0 R1(config-if)# ip nat inside R1(config-if)# exit R1(config)# ip nat inside source list 100 interface dialer0 overload R1(config)# access-list 100 permit ip 192. if you want to restrict the NAT service to a few hosts. The 'dialer idle-timeout' command does exactly that.0) instructing the router to send all traffic destined to other networks. out through the dialer 0 interface: R1(config)# interface fastethernet 0/0 R1(config-if)# description LAN interface R1(config-if)# ip address 192. For this reason. Lastly. The above configuration commands are enough to successfully make your router connect to your ISP and provide full Internet access to your internal network.0.1 255.0. having the connection active without any data passing through. Let's now take a quick look at a few additional commands you can use to help tweak your connection.168.0.0 0.0 0. will eventually have you receiving a pretty large phone bill. If no data passes through the Internet link within the specified time.168.0 dialer0 Here we've enabled the NAT service for the Generally.168. we can force the router to bring up the second 64Kbps channel if the first one reaches its full capacity: .0. this timeout is 300 seconds: R1(config)# interface dialer 0 R1(config-if)# dialer idle-timeout 300 Up to this point. This means you'll have a maximum throughput of 64Kbps. Additional ISDN Tweaks Because ISDN dialups are usually charged by telecommunication providers based on their time usage.0 0. we insert a default route (0. In our example.We now need to configure the 'ip nat inside' interface. the configuration of our 'dialer 0' interface will only use one ISDN B channel.0. there is a command that can be used to instruct the router to tear-down the dialup if no data triverses the connection for an certain amount of time.1/24 network via access list 100.0. the dialup connection is teared down. you would simply need to modify access-list 100 to include these hosts only.255.255 any R1(config)# ip route 0.0.0. global nat overload command and associated access list.0.0. The access list is used to control which internal hosts or network(s) will pass through the nat service so they can access the Internet.0. Because ISDN BRI can handle up to 128Kbps.

Article Summary . the second ISDN channel will autmomatically come up. outgoing or either traffic.R1(config)# interface dialer 0 R1(config-if)# dialer load-threshold 255 either The threshold that triggeres the second channel can be configured for incoming. In our example. if the incoming or outgoing traffic reaches 64Kbps.