cable modem + wireless router


I changed my ISP and now I wait for the Virgin guys to drill some holes and leave in my house a cable modem. I've got:

-two built-in wireless laptops (Debian & Vista)

-the old BT Voyager 2091 wireless router

I plan to connect the 2091 to the cable modem so I can setup a wireless network and be happy again. I have no experience with cable suppliers; as I understand from google and Virgin site:

-cable modem needs to be configured (they give you a CD...)

-only one MAC to be connected at any time

-Virgin no longer requires MAC registration at installation

Now, this makes me wonder what the right steps would be:

-Should I first plug the cable modem to one of the laptops, login, unplug, and plug the router afterwards?

-Do I really need to follow the instructions of the crappy CD they'll provide or could I get away with a manual configuration?

Regards Jose

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Jose Rodriguez
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Do it yourself. Tried a Belkin install CD once and nothing but problems. Did it myself and in less then 5 mins, up and running.

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No problem. That's the way it's done.

Well, I think what you're really doing is registering the cable modem with the ISP's DSLAM (provisioning) and establishing an email account.

Yep. One MAC = 1 routeable IP address.

That's because using the MAC address for authentication is a PITA. It's not the MAC address in the cable modem that gets registered. It's the one in the router which tends to change.

Right. Start at the cable end. First get the modem to work. Then setup the router with a wired connection and get it configured. Last, setup the wireless section of the Voyager 2091.

You probably could get away with a manual configuration, especially since it's probably a Windoze or MacIntosh CD. Dunno for sure. They might have Linux setup instructions on their support web pile. The search thing didn't find anything under Linux. However, this is something you do once and never again. You may was well make Virgin happy and use the stupid CD. Borrow a Windoze box if necessary. Anyway, you're paying for an installer visit, so you may as well play dumb and let the installer earn their pay.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Radact wrote: >Do it yourself. Tried a Belkin install CD once and nothing but >problems. Did it myself and in less then 5 mins, up and running.

Excellent, the same as I thought. I used the BT > On Thu, 05 Jul 2007 11:55:57 +0100, Jose Rodriguez


Uhm, I'm not sure whether I get this. Why would the router's MAC change? I read about the need to clone MAC addresses in the router in cases where other machines had been previously registered, but nothing about changing the same router's address.

One problem at a time, agreed.

Virgin, and I believe it's a general thing, has zero support for Linux. Maybe the right thing to do to push things forward would be doing as you said and making the guy to do it, although I can imagine they'd just repeat "sorry, it's in the terms & conditions, we do only Mac and Windows". Be it as it may, I don't have the patience to see somebody struggling to do a dirt, half-finished job when I can do it myself.

Something that worries me is that I received a letter from Virgin where they provide the codes to set the cable modem up, including an extra code for Vista...I don't get why would Vista need this extra thing. Bah.

Thanks a lot for the replies. Jose

PS.Since BT had the brilliant idea of locking their routers up, I'll have to flash it before proceeding. If anything unusual/interesting arises I'll write back so maybe somebody finds it useful.

Reply to
Jose Rodriguez

Jose Rodriguez hath wroth:

People buy new routers all the time, especially if there's a wireless access point inside. The ISP has control over the cable modem, but not the router, which is usually supplied by the customer. In the bad old days of early cable broadband, the idea behind identification was to restrict the customer to only connecting one computah. MAC authentication was fine for that as long as the customer plugged the computah into the cable modem direction. However, with an NAT router in between, the ISP can't see the computer(s) and ends up authenticating the router instead of the computah. I think most ISP's finally gave up on the idea of counting computers (and billing for them) about 6 years ago. The few that kept up the practice to the bitter end probably got tired of chronic support calls from customers where nothing worked after changing the hardware.

Can I change my mind? Since you already have the router and wireless, you could probably setup the wireless part in advance. Same with the WAN setup on the router. Just DHCP is fine. After you get the cable modem running with a directly connected computah, power everything off, wait a little will for things to reset, and then plug in the router. It should work without additional tweaking.

The Linux community generally takes care of itself. More interesting is that they only support what they sell, which means that calling Virgin for help with a store bought wireless router is going to be a problem. Anyway, even the most ardent Linux zealot runs WINE or some other emulator for such ocassions.

Expediency has its benifits. Did you notice that Virgin apparently offered a customer install plan for less money? You seem qualified to do your own install. However, since you're paying for the install, you might was well watch the installer earn their pay. There's quite a bit more to installing a cable modem than just plug-n-play. The line levels need to be checked, splitters or directional couplers may need to be installed, some cable run, terminators where necessary, and the usual performance checks. Locally, if the customer has a Mac or Linux, the installer will drag out their PC, which they use for testing anyway, and do the setup with it.

You could have opted for a self-install. As for the lack of patience, I think you might find it entertaining if not educational. I don't do much cable work, but the local telco installers are more than happy to disgorge a wealth of cool information, such as test numbers, test web sites, organizational detail, procedures, expansion plans, system topology, and such. Some of my best espionage was done by playing intelligent, but uninformed, and letting the installer fill in the gaps.

MS decided to change the way DHCP works in Vista. It was a minor change, but it broke many DHCP servers.

There is a point where a new wireless router might be less work. Good luck.

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