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schaps
Premium
join:2004-01-15
Saint Paul, MN

[MN] no router or firewall in standard install?

[I apologize if this is not a new topic; my attempts to search this forum about this came up empty.] I help my brother in a rural town with his tech for his small office (4 computers, 3 printers), usually doing phone support. He switched his office from Qwest to MC today and could not get any internet on several computers. I connected to a working service computer via TeamViewer and quickly ascertained that the devices were being assigned routable IP addresses, not IPs in a private range. So I talked to the installer, and he said MC just puts in a modem, and if a customer wants to pay for wireless, then they put in a router. So from my heavily fortified network in the city, I pinged the IP address that I could see the MC network had assigned this service computer, and I got a response. The computer is set up with a VNC account so that multiple computers on the LAN can view and control it (long story), but it's always been behind a NAT'ed router, not a security risk. Lo and behold, I was able to connect right to this computer with VNC across the Internets. I was flabbergasted and upset that MC would do something so completely different from other ISP's (at least in these parts) which would expose customer networks to hack and attack, and MC doesn't even notify the customer. I didn't bother to check if any other ports were reachable or blocked, port 5900 was enough.
The installer could tell I was upset, and he said he had a router out in his truck which he would put in. When I asked how much that would cost, he said MC doesn't need to know about it (thus me not giving more details of the location).
Is this Mediacom's standard practice? It seems insane if not idiotic. The installer is the hero here, too bad he would fear for his job just doing the right thing. I appreciate any insight from MC fans/foes.
T
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Edumacational Technoconologist



Tehrasha

join:2004-12-15
Vinton, IA

said by schaps:

I appreciate any insight from MC fans/foes.

If you are worried about security, your computers should be connected to own router (not ISP provided) sitting behind a cheap linux firewall.

(Personally, I dont even mess with a router, I just use a switch and manually set static IPs behind my firewall.)

Only the firewall should be touching the internet directly.

The cost savings of not renting a modem/router and the subscription to MC's 'Home Networking Service' will pay for the gear very quickly. Also, it should be plug-n-play with any other ISP you might switch to in the future.

calvinj

join:2011-08-16
united state
reply to schaps

Pretty standard from what I've seen.. Of course I've been rocking a Cisco 3725 at home for a while now. On that note I personally find it more of a pain to get one of the all in one routers modems than just getting a modem. A router at Walmart with wireless n even is less than 70 bucks.. One time cost keep using it. All good.



Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-01
IA
kudos:2
reply to schaps

Well that wireless gateway will eventually have the 'router' part disabled and it will be turned into a modem with only LAN 1 port working with no wireless and only one IP allowed so in other words expect downtime (and no you will not be warned before it happens). Mediacom provides connection to the internet and is not responsible for securing your LAN. This has always been the case.

If you want the wireless gateway fully functional you need to pay $4/mo or so.
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I speak for myself, not my employer.



schaps
Premium
join:2004-01-15
Saint Paul, MN
reply to Tehrasha

said by Tehrasha:

... The cost savings of not renting a modem/router and the subscription to MC's 'Home Networking Service' will pay for the gear very quickly.

I think my post shows I know the importance of a firewall. I was hoping for more information about how Mediacom runs things, if it's normal that a standard install includes no firewall router. I would suspect that the "home networking service" is not available to businesses. Is there a business service equivalent?
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Edumacational Technoconologist


schaps
Premium
join:2004-01-15
Saint Paul, MN
reply to Anonymous

said by Anonymous:

Well that wireless gateway will eventually have the 'router' part disabled and it will be turned into a modem with only LAN 1 port working with no wireless and only one IP allowed so in other words expect downtime (and no you will not be warned before it happens)... If you want the wireless gateway fully functional you need to pay $4/mo or so.

Was that really a reply to me as it indicated? My brother did not go for the wireless router option. I am not sure if you mean that MC would disable the router and wireless functions on their own wireless gateway, had he gone for that option?
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Edumacational Technoconologist


Tehrasha

join:2004-12-15
Vinton, IA

If it was a home install, and the tech installed a modem/router combo without the Home Networking Service being purchased, the router functions would eventually be disabled.

You did not mention that this was a business install in your original post. Only that it was for your brother's 'small office'.



Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-01
IA
kudos:2
reply to schaps

it was nice of him to do you a favor however judging by the outrage and people complaining about their internet service interrupted Mediacom is disabling these devices big time. i recommend buying your own modem and/or router.
--
I speak for myself, not my employer.



SHoTTa35

@optonline.net
reply to Anonymous

The main change is DSL providers using "gateway" modems which have wireless and all included. This was a way to get customers to stay with them vs cable but then it's now a pain in the butt (well for tech people) as they also want to manage your network for you. AT&T has been removing subnets from their gateways so you can only use 2 of the 3 private ones. It helps their people with training. They can easily log into your network and see all your data going over the switch (not just the modem).

I do understand though it might seem strange and a hassle to setup your own network and all that when you just want it to work. So I guess it has it's good and bad points. I generally like to manage my network myself, they can stay out there and manage theirs!


StreatorTech

join:2009-12-02
Streator, IL
reply to schaps

Mediacom does not provided any sort of networking to commercial accounts. All we do is provide you the modem as your internet source. Anything you want to do beyond that is up to you. There is no business equivalent. We do not provide firewalls period. Any sort of security is up to the consumer, as it should be.



schaps
Premium
join:2004-01-15
Saint Paul, MN

said by StreatorTech:

...We do not provide firewalls period. Any sort of security is up to the consumer, as it should be.

Not disputing your opinion, but do you think this position is common in the industry? In my experience, at least regarding small business accounts, it's rather rare to not provide a firewall/router. But I am seeking to learn here.
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Edumacational Technoconologist

silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA
reply to schaps

Businesses of any size should always have their own security. They know their needs better than Mediacom or any ISP.



schaps
Premium
join:2004-01-15
Saint Paul, MN

said by silbaco:

Businesses of any size should always have their own security.

Of any size? Perhaps if you said businesses of a size able to hire an IT person, I might agree. Aside from that, few small businesses understand their needs, especially those in non-tech industries.

I would counter that an ISP selling a small business customer away from their existing ISP which did provide a firewall has a professional responsibility to make sure this customer understands that their formerly private network will now be exposed wide open to the Internet. But since the sale tactic is price-based, that disclosure might negatively affect the customer's decision. It's probably all in the fine print, but every ISP knows that few customers read it and most would not understand it if they did. I'm not getting convinced that this isn't a crappy business practice.
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Edumacational Technoconologist

joleme

join:2013-01-20
Reviews:
·Mediacom

In Iowa its the same practice of just giving out a modem.

While its understandable that people would want more from them, and I am definately NOT a fan of mediacom in any way..... people have to realize that providing any sort of service other than a modem can open mediacom up to lawsuits if any business does get hit.

Also, most of the techs they send out to hook up the modems don't even have a month of computer experience, and hiring more qualified workers would cost them a whole lot more than they are willing to shell out. Trusting these people to protect your network would be a huge folly on their part.


CappinHoff

join:2007-01-05
Des Moines, IA
Reviews:
·Mediacom
reply to schaps

said by schaps:

said by StreatorTech:

...We do not provide firewalls period. Any sort of security is up to the consumer, as it should be.

Not disputing your opinion, but do you think this position is common in the industry? In my experience, at least regarding small business accounts, it's rather rare to not provide a firewall/router. But I am seeking to learn here.

That's a industry wide standard. For various reasons as well which joleme noted.

Someone also said it's always better to supply your own security as well. Which is correct and true.

said by schaps:

said by silbaco:

Businesses of any size should always have their own security.

Of any size? Perhaps if you said businesses of a size able to hire an IT person, I might agree. Aside from that, few small businesses understand their needs, especially those in non-tech industries.

I would counter that an ISP selling a small business customer away from their existing ISP which did provide a firewall has a professional responsibility to make sure this customer understands that their formerly private network will now be exposed wide open to the Internet. But since the sale tactic is price-based, that disclosure might negatively affect the customer's decision. It's probably all in the fine print, but every ISP knows that few customers read it and most would not understand it if they did. I'm not getting convinced that this isn't a crappy business practice.

People not read the fine print is their own fault. If you do read and don't understand ask.

To be honest, unless you're hosting a website on the business line your using, you don't really need a heavy duty firewall. You can use a basic software one to get the security you need.