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comcast and router


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#1
chimpyboy

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So the other day I installed a Netgear wireless router, and connected my PC to it (w/ a cable...I intend to use a wireless laptop as well), and it worked great for a few days....then, all of a sudden, my connection is all wonky...slows down, drops out, etc.

I've done some digging, and from what people on the Internets are [bleep]ing about, Comcast seems to either intentionally or through their own ineptitude, creating it so that it's difficult for people to hook up routers on their own...something about IP or Mac addresses expiring, or the router not being validated. Of course, they'll be happy to install a home network for you, if you pay for their hardware and installation time.....freakin fascists.

I've heard there may be a workaround for this, and wondered if anyone knew what I could do to get my connection back up to the norm?

I'm running XP SP2, and trying to hook into a Netgear WPN824 Wireless Router.
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#2
simplejohn

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Is sounds a little bit whooo hoooo what you're saying.
It's hard for me to believe that comcast will do such a thing. As much
as they want to gain more sales and money (who doesn't), i don't buy this story.
Try to check your equipment. maybe some one sold you a damaged router?
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#3
brianmil0923

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Hey ChimpyBoy, Welcome to G2G

What you are describing is both right and wrong. ComCast has nothing to do with it. DHCP (RFC2131) is actually the culprit.

DHCP works like this:
When your computer (DHCP CLIENT) connects to a network (in your case a private lan), it sends a request message to the DHCP SERVER (an actual server or a router) to request an IP address. The DHCP SERVER grabs an IP address from a pool or scope of IP address that it has been configured to work with and associates that IP address with the MAC address for that computer. The IP address it associates has a "lease" period or expiration. while the "lease" is valid every time you connect to the network the DHCP server still reads the MAC address from the DHCPREQUEST and looks up the IP address in its database and ends up just saying "you're still good" and all is fine. When the lease expires, the DHCP SERVER reads the MAC, looks up the IP address and says "um, this is expired" and tries to assign a new IP address.

Your router acts as a DHCP SERVER. On your router config, under DHCP settings, look at the DHCP LEASE TIME, that is the amount of time that your router "keeps" that IP address active for your computer (DHCP uses the MAC address to identify computers). To ensure smooth operation you want to create a "pool" of IP addresses that DHCP can work with. This is accomplished by setting a DHCP START ADDRESS and a DHCP END ADDRESS

Example:

DHCP LEASE TIME 1 : 0 : 0 : 0
Days Hours Minutes Seconds

DHCP Start Address 192.168.1.15
DHCP End Address 192.168.1.47

Here I have 32 IP address to work with.

What would happen if it looked like this:
DHCP Start Address 192.168.1.2
DHCP End Address 192.168.1.2

or if there was not even a range of IP addresses configured?

Another possible issue is that some ISPs (especially cable companies) have the DHCP SERVER on their end and they associate an IP address with the cable modem's MAC address. To connect a router in this type of setup you may need to have the router "spoof" the MAC address of the cable modem. or you may need to turn off Use router as DHCP server by unchecking it in the router configuration menu.

Click on this LINK for support on your router.


Having said ALL that, keep in mind that WIRELESS networking is at best an "open-proprietary standard" . If you have a netgear router for best results use a netgear card. Different vendors still don't always 'habla' each other that well yet.... :tazz:

Edited by brianmil0923, 28 September 2005 - 12:46 AM.

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#4
chimpyboy

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thanks, I'll check out these options and check in again later...

I know I sounded all "conspiracy theory" in my original post, but I'd been doing some digging on other forums, and found that just about everyone has problems w/ comcast when it comes to routers. Of course, Comcast will not give you any hint on how to configure your router....when you call them up and complain, the conversation goes a bit like this:
Them: do you have a router?
You: Yes
Them: Try unplugging it and going directly to the modem
You: Ok, I switched the cables, and now it works
Them: Ok, that's great, CLICK.

So basically, if you tell them that you need to have a home network, they will provide you w/ absolutely no hint as to what the settings need to be on your router in order to set it up...they'll give you the phone number for Netgear or Linksys, but how the heck are they supposed to know how to set it up properly if Comcast is making constant firmware changes?

But they'll be happy to provide you w/ their own router and send a tech out to set it up, and try and sell you extra bandwidth while they're at it. It's very sneaky in my opinion....it reminds me of back in the day, when cable TV first came out, they'd keep the signal strength very low, so that if you tried to split it and watch it on more than 1 TV, you'd have a crappy picture, so you had to basically call them and either A) ask them to come out and hook up another TV, which they'd gladly do (and charge you for the extra TV connection), or B) tell them your picture was crappy and hope you could trick them into boosting the signal strength, which of course would clue them in to what you're doing.

grrrr...makes me mad.
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#5
chimpyboy

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so I checked the DHCP settings, and I do have a range of IP addresses, but can't find the "time expires" option. And I do have it set so the router is a DHCP server.

I also have it set so that the router uses a specific MAC address, and obtains the IP address dynamically from the ISP.

Currently, for some unknown reason, this config has worked for about 12hrs now....so I'll see what happens.

Do you think that I should have the router use it's own MAC address? Or should I have it mirror the PC's address?
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#6
chimpyboy

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so around 2pm, after about 14hrs of good connection, it finally gave out....so I decided to make a tweak and see if it would work, so I un-checked the "Use router as DHCP server"...

after I hit apply, I got a couple min, but then it dropped again, so I turned it back on, and it's working again....

anyone have any ideas?
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#7
TheSiege

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