Example: "DSL Internet connections often require the network configuration to be set to PPPoE."

PPPoE is short for "Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet" and is pronounced "P-P-P-oh-E." It is a protocol commonly used by DSL providers for establishing a PPP connection over an Ethernet network. PPPoE is often seen as an alternative to DHCP, which is the standard network configuration used by cable Internet providers.

Since most DSL modems connect to a computer or router via an Ethernet cable, computers cannot connect to an ISP directly via PPP (like a traditional dial-up modem). Therefore, the network configuration must be set to PPPoE, which allows both the Ethernet and PPP protocols to work in tandem. This option is available in the Network control panel in Windows and the Network system preference in Mac OS X. In order to configure a PPPoE connection, you typically need to enter username and password, as well as a service name, which is provided by your ISP.

Updated: August 7, 2010