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clic

@comcast.net

The fee is not the problem, lack of configurability is

I got Comcast business class internet recently (which I like, BTW -- my old AT&T DSL was getting to where I couldn't watch a stutter-free Youtube video, yet speed tests still showed everything to be OK). The tech gave me a rental modem/router, an SMC8013 or 8014 or some such, as they will only provision their own equipment for business class.

Now I've run my own router for 15 years, as a learning exercise first, but later for the flexibility and power that doing so gives me. So I logged into their modem/router, trying to put it in bridge mode. No option for that. Best I can do is "DMZ" mode -- sort of a 1-1 NAT, so their modem is still processing packets at layer 3. I get on the forums here and read that Comcast will not put business-class modems into bridge mode. I immediately bought a Motorola SB6121, activated it online, and returned the SMC.

I subsequently find out two other things. First, the SMC was not even a DOCSIS 3 modem, which I though odd, as I was under the impression that the bandwidth utilization improvements in that revision of the standard actually benefit the cable provider, as well as increasing maximum speeds. A side effect of my using the DOCSIS 3 Motorola was that my download speeds on speed tests went up by about 50% (to be fair, I was getting better than my advertised bandwidth even with the SMC).

Second, I came across a thread here discussing how Comcast had accidentally enabled proxy arp on some of their business-class customers' modems. This wouldn't have affected me, with my separate router, but for those customers that relied on Comcast's router for their firewalling (and Comcast certainly advertises the service to promote that), this had some security implications. What else might they accidentally do?

In short, if Comcast had given me a SB6121 or something similar in the first place, I probably would have just rented it from them. But since their hardware wouldn't do what I wanted, and it was older technology, I decided to go my own route.

One thing Mr. Jasper fails to mention in his statement is that Comcast at least gives customers the BYOD option, even with business class (if you don't have a static IP). I haven't had to call Comcast for support yet, so I don't know how they'll respond, but I can borrow another Motorola if they suspect mine is at fault.


plencnerb
Premium
join:2000-09-25
Carpentersville, IL
kudos:3
While I do see the "Lack of configurability" being an issue in a Modem / Router (or Modem / Gateway) device, what really can one configure on just a plan Cable Modem?

When I go to the any of the modem's that I have rented configuration pages, (192.168.0.1) there was not a setting that I could change. It was all information.

So, outside of the cost of renting each month, and one paying more over time for the actual unit, what benefit is there to purchasing your own modem? If there is nothing on the actual modem that you can modify, then what is the benefit?

--Brian
--
============================
--Brian Plencner

E-Mail: CoasterBrian72Cancer@gmail.com
Note: Kill Cancer to Reply via e-mail


mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:12
said by plencnerb:

While I do see the "Lack of configurability" being an issue in a Modem / Router (or Modem / Gateway) device, what really can one configure on just a plan Cable Modem?

That's just it. While the SB6121 is a plain modem, the SMC (POS) is a Router/Gateway combo. Running a service on your business connection (such as a VPN) that needs to know what your public IP is? Sorry, you're SOL with the SMC, it is not capable of handing the public IP to your equipment. Back when I had to deal with this BS, BYOD was not an option

/M


clic

@comcast.net
Mackey beat me to it

The SMC was indeed a modem/router combo, and the SB6121 merely a modem (but a very good one, with a businesslike metal case, unlike the cheap-feeling consumer-y SMC). And aside from the fine-grained tweaking that my router can do (and most consumer/SMB commercial products cannot), the lack of the ability for my internal equipment to know its external IP does cause problems, with VPNs as well as private servers that I run for myself. At least Comcast still gives its users real IPv4 addresses, something I likely would have lost had I stayed with AT&T.

Also, the SMC was widely acknowledged as a PoS One more reason to ditch it.


plencnerb
Premium
join:2000-09-25
Carpentersville, IL
kudos:3
Ok, I still don't see (unless I'm missing it), an answer to my question: What advantages does one have with the purchase of their own modem, compared to one that is leased?

There are two things that I do understand as being an advantage. I'm asking if there are others.

First is saving money. For example, lets make the assumption that I can lease without any problems from my ISP the Motorola SURFboard SB5101 Cable Modem. I can also buy it brand new from Best Buy for $59.99 (Link here ---> »www.bestbuy.com/site/Motorola+-+···p=1&lp=1). If I rent it and have it for 24 months at cost of $7 per month, I would end up spending $168 in rental charges. That is more then twice the cost of the modem from Best Buy. So, saving money is Advantage #1.

Next, if the modem that is being rented is a Combo device (Modem / Router, or Modem / Wireless Gateway), I do get that the ISP may lock down certain configurations from being changed. But, (correct me if I'm wrong), those configurations are on the Router / Wireless Gateway side of things, not the modem. So, being able to configure the Router / Wireless Gateway fully on a combo device is Advantage #2.

For me, I would never rent a Combo device, as I have my own router. As far as the price issue goes, I do not mind spending $7 (or whatever the modem rental fee is for a given ISP), knowing that its their hardware, and if anything goes wrong with it, its on the ISP to fix it.

So, above and beyond those two points listed above, what else does one "gain"? I've rented all my modems from my ISP, and the only thing I could do with them is go to the modem's configuration page at 192.168.100.1, but nothing there is changeable...its all read-only information.

Now I do want to point out that I am not against those who want to purchase their own modem, to avoid the two points I made above (save $ and be able to modify the configurations on a Combo Device). Giving the customer the choice (rent or buy) is a good thing. What I want to try to verify is what else one "gains" for a standard modem, like the SB5101, if you choose to purchase it instead of renting it from your ISP.

Thanks,

--Brian
--
============================
--Brian Plencner

E-Mail: CoasterBrian72Cancer@gmail.com
Note: Kill Cancer to Reply via e-mail


chpalmer

join:2002-11-18
Belfair, WA
Reviews:
·Vonage
·OlyPen, Inc.
·VOIPO
·Wave Broadband
In my case my savings so far (owning over rental) is over $600.00...
I went to "Good Guys" and found a Motorola SB4000 series there that had both a factory rebate and an ISP (Charter) rebate that made the modem effectively free. (My parents still use this modem to this day.)

My next modem was given to me by someone on Comcast forced into the SMC modem when he went to a commercial account.

The modem I run now is a Zoom Docsis 3 that is the first modem Ive ever actually paid for...

Being that Ive been a customer for over 12 years owning has done me well!

Tech support is an non issue for me.