Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bright House will now let you install your own cable modem

In the past you had to lease your cable modem from the cable company, but no more. Since I am now retired, I saw the advantage of eliminating a monthly $5-$7 lease charge. So I went to and purchased an ARRIS / Motorola SURFboard Gateway SBG6580 DOCSIS 3.0 Wireless N Cable Modem.

Was a former WAN tech, so configuration was not difficult. I had most of the menu options that a Bright House tech would have.

I had called BH earlier to make sure I was purchasing  a cable modem on their approved lsit. Once I had physicaly installed the unit, I called BH again and gave them the model number and the HFC MAC adress. The BH tech had the unit working in about 5 minutes. Of course, you have to return the old cable modem to end the lease.

Speedwise, the unit is far faster the old UBEE Cable modem I had been using. This is the line speed over a Ethernet cable.

The wireless connection worked poorly, if at all. This is a documented on the Internet and for this reason alone, Rightardia does not recommend this cable modem. 

If you decide to purchase a cable modem, check with your cable company first and then do some research on the Internet. Watch out for users complaining about wireless conections. 

Since I had a wireless router, I simply connected (bridged) it to the cable modem and turned the wireless features on the router to get wireless working again. 

Also, installed a wireless extender to bring wireless to the far end of my home. Youc an purcases either a wireless extender ot a repeater.  
NetGear universal Wifi Range extender

An extender does not require an Ethernet cable connection to work. A repeater may require an Ethernet connection to operate. The simplest may to do this is with Ethernet over power line adapters. Netgear makes different Ethernet over powerline devices that Rightardia would recommend.

Configuring a cable modem. 

You should change both the user name and the password upon connecting. This makes is doubly hard for a hacker to get into you home network.

If you have a home network , turn on the Dynamic Host configuration Protocol (DHCP) server to provide IP addresses to devices on your home network like printers and multimedia devices such as a Roku appliance. Also, backup the cable modem configuration. it will save you a lot of time if you home ever takes strong surge or a lightening strike.

Pay close attention to firewall option. Set the firewall to high and turn on "block fragmented IP packed, port scan detection and IP flood detection. The firewall will log the IP address of anyone who is scanning your network.  

You also have parental control option. You can block the Internet from you children after certain hours. If you are using DHCP, you will have to reserve the MAC adress and IP address of your children's computers in the DHCP sever. Otherwise the IP address will change when the DHCP lease runs out. 

Your children can around this by using a static IP address, but most kids don't know how to do this. 

BTW, don't let you kids use a computer in you home without having their administrative password. Children do have a right to some privacy, but not on the Internet. 

Having such a policy in your home may keep your kids out of trouble, too, if they know mom or dad can check their computers from time to time. 

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