Comcast Self-install/Router Recommendation


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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Claude J Ortega

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

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

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.

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. :)

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Bill M.

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.

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Philip J. Koenig

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.

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Ron Hunter

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).

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egrumling1 wrote in news:1126453649.237748.16780

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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