Comcast Self-install/Router Recommendation

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Hi,

Six girls will be sharing a 3-bedroom, 2-story apartment near UC Davis,
CA, when the fall quarter starts.  For tv, they will have the standard
(extended basic) package from Comcast.  For internet, five want SBC
Yahoo! DSL, and one (my daughter) wants Comcast.  Some of the SBCers may
later move over to Comcast if the DSL service is poor.  (The CO is 11,424
feet from the apartment address.)  Or, the opposite could happen.

I'm in charge of getting Comcast tv and internet set up. Comcast tells me
that the apartment address does have cable tv capabilities, but the
service is turned off. I believe the current tenants moved out this week.  
I don't know if it ever had Comcast internet, so I don't know the
condition of the line.

Comcast is scheduled to turn the tv on and drop off a self-install
internet kit in two weeks.  I'll drive up there to accept the kit and set
it up. I have a few questions about self-install and wireless routers.

The last time I did a self install was when you had to connect to an SAS
region to provision the modem.  I see that it's different these days.

http://www.broadbandreports.com/faq/comcast/2.1+Modems#11356

According to this faq, one has to use the Comcast software provided to
provision the modem.  The SAS method is no longer used.  The faq states
that you may be able to 'ditch' the setup procedure once provisioned,
thereby avoiding the installation of any other Comcast software and
browser branding.  Has anyone done a self-install lately that can advise
me on this?

When I set up the self-install with the representative over the phone, he
only took the address of the install and my daughter's name.  Should we
have at least chosen an account name so that it would be in their
database when we did the self-install?

I have to have wired and wireless capabilities.  Some machines that will
be using Comcast are wired only, and some also have wireless
capabilities.  These are desktops and notebooks, upstairs and downstairs.

Someone else is setting up the SBC Yahoo! DSL which will also be wired
and wireless.  Will these two wireless signals peacefull coexist?

Since there will be a high density of wireless users in the area, I need
to select a router that will provide good security.  I've been looking at
the following, but I have to admit it's beyond me to decipher what's
important and what's marketting.  Should I automatically eliminate any of
these?  (I have an old D-link 514 in my house now, that works fine, but I
suspect security capabilites have long since passed this one up.)

D-link 524, 624
Netgear WGR614, WGT624, WPN824NA
Linksys WRT54G, WRT54GC, WRT54GS

I've asked a lot in this note, so if you get this far, thanks in advance.

Sincerely,
Bruce


Re: Comcast Self-install/Router Recommendation


wrote:

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Sadly, I have no experience when it comes to 6 girls sharing an
apartment.

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<snipped>

I also have no experience with the current self-install procedures,
but it's been discussed here before, so I'm sure someone knows.

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Probably yes, but since this is an apartment, the potential exists for
other apartment dwellers in the building to be using wireless, as
well, so it's possible that the air will be dense with wireless
signals. Keep in mind that while you have 11 channels to choose from,
they partially overlap their adjacent channels, so you'll want to
choose a channel as far away as possible from other channels currently
in use. You may want to revisit this topic periodically, especially if
the wireless user experience degrades, since networks can come and go
as tenants move in/out.

For example, you may have put the wireless router downstairs on the
main floor and someone upstairs needs to access it. The signal might
travel at an angle through a wall, through the ceiling/floor, and
possibly through another wall before making it to the PC. Meanwhile, a
tenant next door might have installed a router upstairs immediately on
the other side of the apartment wall, using the same channel, so
his/her signal will be much stronger upstairs than yours. Turn your
router off and 'listen' for other networks on one of the PC's, then
move away from those networks by selecting the appropriate channel.
Cordless phone and microwaves can also interfere, BTW.

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I wouldn't accept anything less than WPA or WPA2. This is a college
town, after all, so the likelihood of kids monitoring open networks
seems high. WEP is too easily cracked, so I'd use WPA/WPA2 with a
shared passphrase (Pre-Shared Key).

My $0.02. :)

--
Bill


Re: Comcast Self-install/Router Recommendation


["Followup-To:" header set to comp.dcom.modems.cable.]
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I had moved into my new apartment in 3 months ago & didn't need to
install Comcast software to do a new connection.  When I started
the browser, it was an automatic send to the "self-install" site
where some prompts were done.  ahem, there was a huge bug at the
self-install/provisioning site where one just kept looping back
to the main menu.

My solution was to call Comcast tech & they told me about the bug
& setup my connection from their (comcast's) end.  Another problem
cropped up due to my router's cache (netgear fr114p) which kept
finding the self-provisioning site & not too many other sites;
solution was to unplug the router, wait 10 secs (counted to 15) &
replug the router.

If the website has been fixed, then it would just prompt you for
info as in account number (listed on the bill), etc.


Re: Comcast Self-install/Router Recommendation


parcxman@netscape.net says...
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Do a google search for network stumbler (freeware), running it on a wireless
system will list the WAP's that are in range.

Also airsnare, which will list attempts to access your WAP.

--
Claude


Re: Comcast Self-install/Router Recommendation


parcxman@netscape.net (Bruce) writes...

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Motorola makes a decent DOCSIS (cable) modem that includes
a WiFi access point.  Friend of mine uses this and it works
fine, and has a decent configurable firewall function.  It
was purchased retail somewhere. (Best Buy?)

As for wireless security, AFAIK it doesn't support WPA, but
it does support WEP.  You can make WEP a little more secure
by tweaking certain parameters like MAC restrictions and
SSID broadcast, depends on how far you want to take this.
I personally keep having weird problems getting WPA to work
on XP boxes, and if anyone is using older OS's it could
also be an issue to get WPA working, so keep that in mind.



--
*   Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which       *
*   differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are   *
*   even incapable of forming such opinions.             -- Albert Einstein   *
*                                                                             *
* To send email, remove numbers and spaces:  pjkusenet64 @  ekahuna27 . com   *
*  Simple answers are for simple minds.  Try a new way of looking at things.  *


Re: Comcast Self-install/Router Recommendation


Philip J. Koenig wrote:
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No problems here with XP and WPA on a Linksys WRT54G.  Easy setup, and
the only problem I see is that if I hibernate the laptop a lot of times,
it may not reconnect and require a reboot.  Maybe once a week.


--
Ron Hunter  rphunter@charter.net


Re: Comcast Self-install/Router Recommendation


I just stumbled across this thread, so I'm a little late to the
discussion. Hope it worked ok for you.

The link provides good information about the Comcast installer. It is a
somewhat easy to use system for getting online. If you're worried about
the Comcast support agent and IE branding, just create a system restore
point prior to running the installer. You can then "go back" to the
point before registering. In some cases, you may need to change some of
the security settings to "prompt" from "disable," specifically,
Unsigned ActiveX controls, and Initialize and Script ActiveX controls
not marked as safe. Make sure you reset these after installing (not
sure if system restore will reset them).



Re: Comcast Self-install/Router Recommendation


egrumling1@hotmail.com wrote in news:1126453649.237748.16780
@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

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I did that this past Friday, 9/2/05.
Comcast arrived as scheduled, extended existing coax to where I needed
it, and dropped off the self-install kit.  Once I connected my daughter's
laptop to the modem (RCA DCM425C), and launched her browser, I was
presented with a Comcast welcome screen, and instructed to "Click here"
to install the Comcast software and configure my account.  Instead, I
called Comcast and configured my account over the phone, and was online
in about 15 minutes.  Once I had the Comcast HSI working fine, I
installed a wireless router.

The other five roomies that ordered SBC dsl had the phone line installed
on 9/2/05, but are still waiting for dsl.  The earliest ETA is 9/15/05.  
They have been using the Comcast HSI in the meantime.


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