DSL modems without internal routing use what is known as bridge mode to connect to an upstream router device. DSL modems with built-in routing can also sometimes be set to bridged mode to disable the internal built-in router in order to use an upstream router instead, such as for Multiple-WAN load balancing, Multilink PPP, or to replace the built-in router with an external device with more capabilities.
In bridged mode, although Ethernet cabling is used to connect the modem to the upstream router, Internet Protocol is not used for communication between the devices. Instead the Ethernet cable is treated as a high speed serial Asynchronous Transfer Mode data connection according to RFC 1483. Multiple bridged DSL modems can all have the same configuration IP address without conflict or error, since the address is not used.
The upstream router is expected to use Point-to-point protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE) or Multilink PPP in order to establish a connection on the DSL phone line.
The static IP address assigned to the bridged DSL modem is only used when the modem is plugged into a client computer for directly configuring the modem, typically through a web interface.
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