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New Comcast Router / Modem questions


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#1 Winterland

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 07:59 AM

Hey there.

 

Just upgraded to the new Comcast / Xfinity Modem / Router, the Arris TG862G/CT and was wondering the best way to secure this machine.

 

You can see a picture of the Router / Modem here on this post.

 

Please note I am aware of the "new" Hot Spot roll out program that Comcast is doing with these devices.

 

If you're not aware of what Comcast / Xfinity is doing with these new devices you can either DuckDuckGo it or take a look at this article.

 

 

Of course, I discovered that *after* I swapped it out and was setting it up.   :mellow:

 

I'm not really irritated by all that. I may chose to remedy that at a later date by purchasing my own (separate) equipment so for now, I'm just looking to lock down this Router / Modem as best I can. I will also be turning off (or, as they say, opting-out) of the new system.

 

 

Here's what I saw when I first logged into the new device. Note that you can't use spaces or special characters. They must really be concerned about Security over there at Comcast.  :lol:

 

comcastsetup1.png

 

 

 

 

Next Up - Device Discovery. I did Disable UPnP but I have no idea what Zero Config is, nor what I should do with it. Suggestions? Ideas? Comments?

 

 

 

comcastsetup2.png

 

 

 

And finally, setting up my wireless.

 

Renamed my SSID and changed my password to something super secret (letmeinrightnow1234).

 

Anyone else see anything on here that should be changed / adjusted / tweaked or gotten rid of?

 

 

comcastsetup3.png

 

 

And, one final question about all this.

 

My password to log into the Router is the same as my password for the Wi-Fi.  << is this a bad idea or practice? It's (I believe) a pretty secure password and I'm not really the paranoid type but if you believe I should change it, please let me know.

 

Thanks.

 

Winterland - broadcasting for The People on my new spiffy ultra-fast open to anyone with a Comcast email address Router / Modem located here in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia  (insert salute >here<)


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#2 Kilroy

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 07:56 AM

I'd have to look up what Zero Config is, but I'd disable it because with a name like that it can't be good for security, being on the same page as UPnP also seems to suggest that.

 

Password reuse is not a good thing, especially in a situation such as this where once you have access to the wireless you would have access to the router.

 

You can turn off the Comcast WiFi sharing in your Comcast account settings.



#3 Winterland

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 06:07 AM

Hey there Kilroy - thanks for checking in and the feedback.

 

I thought the same thing about the Zero Config. It will be disabled.

 

Password reuse - thanks for the reminder. As I mentioned in my OP, I'm not that paranoid and don't (thankfully) live in an area where I'm close enough for anyone to steal my wireless bandwidth without being too obvious, but it is any easy fix, so that too, will be tended to.

 

And, after a hilarious online "chat" with a Comcast rep, I discovered that the Comcast WiFi sharing had been turned off when the device shipped, even though Comcast was reporting that these devices were shipping with it turned ON. :mellow:

To be honest, I'm still a little wary of the whole dynamic.

 

               Wait, maybe I am paranoid.

 

 

There's something about this Router / Modem that seems...nefarious.

 

And since I've already got a decent router, perhaps I should just go ahead and buy a Modem that isn't supplied by Comcast and doesn't have any hidden features turned ON by default.  << that's the whole point of this transaction that has left a chalky taste in my mouth. Just seemed like bad business. But, then again, we are talking about Comcast here.

 

Thanks again for the advice and feedback.

 

Love the avatar btw.

 

onward,

 

Winterland


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#4 Kilroy

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 11:09 AM

Here is the Wiki on Zero Config.  The avatar is from Dead Like Me



#5 uByte

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 08:35 AM

When I read about what Comcast was doing with the open wifi hotspots a couple of months back I felt the same way (http://www.howtogeek.com/184727/your-home-router-may-also-be-a-public-hotspot-dont-panic/). The best thing to do is to buy your own modem and return that one back to comcast. This saves you the 8 bucks a month on the modem fee and for sure makes sure that you don't have this feature. 

 

I can't tell you how many times that I have called the comcast customer support and they have lied to me. The tell me there are going to do something and they don't. I wouldn't believe a single thing that they said about it being turned off. Remember they are trying to get you off the phone so they will lie to you and tell you what you want to hear in order to do that. Needless to say don't believe them when they say that its is disabled by default.



#6 uByte

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 08:55 AM

I was browsing newegg and found a Motorola SB6121 on sale with a free wireless router. (coupon code EMCPCWW49). 



#7 Winterland

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 11:43 AM

When I read about what Comcast was doing with the open wifi hotspots a couple of months back I felt the same way (http://www.howtogeek.com/184727/your-home-router-may-also-be-a-public-hotspot-dont-panic/). The best thing to do is to buy your own modem and return that one back to comcast. This saves you the 8 bucks a month on the modem fee and for sure makes sure that you don't have this feature. 

 

 

Hey there uByte, thanks for the feedback. A day or so after I posted my OP, I went ahead and did exactly what you recommended. I don't think I got the same model, but I did get a Motorola Surfboard, which should be here on Monday!

 

I agree, Comcast is not pleasant in a lot of ways, and like so many others, we're not in a spot that offers too many other choices, so I got to play the hand I've been dealt.

 

And for an update on all this, I've been powering the Comcast Modem / Router combo off at night and now every morning when I turn everything back on there it is >> "xfinitywifi" << broadcasting loud and clear.  :nono:

 

I did log in to My Account an attempted to turn it off, but - surprise! - I kept getting an error message that "something went wrong" and that "I should try again later". Of course, when I clicked on the Pay My Bill link from My Account, it worked without any problems... :scratchhead:

 

I considered calling them back, but my new Modem is on the way, so I just let it go.

 

Winterland


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#8 Queen-Evie

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 01:09 PM

Winterland, important information for you about the Comcast modem.

 

This is canned speech I use in the Comcast help forums.

 

 

When your equipment is picked up or turned in, GET A RETURNED EQUIPMENT RECEIPT.  Make sure it documents that what you returned is a modem or tv boxes. If there are any stickers with serial or MAC numbers, make sure those numbers are on the receipt. Keep the receipt in a safe place, don't forget where you put it. Keep it until the middle of the next century. In the past, Comcast has billed customers for equipment that had been returned. Sometimes they lose track of the equipment and the receipt will be your proof that you turned it in to Comcast.

 

If you ship the equipment to Comcast, record tracking numbers. Keep those numbers in a safe place. You will need them later if Comcast bills you for the equipment.

 Check the status of shipped items on the delivery company webpage. When you see it was delivered, print screen the delivery status. UPS also offers Track By Email. Use that option. You'll be notified by the delivery company when it is delivered. Save the email-again this will be proof it was received by Comcast. If using FedEx or the USPS see if they have a track by email and if they do, use it.

 

Print out the delivery confirmation (if your computer crashes and you lose the info the print out will be your proof of return) on the delivery company website.  This should also be kept in a safe place where you can get to it if needed.

I know from experience that having the receipts can save you a lot of headaches. I was able to pull out my receipts when a collection agency notified me I owed for Comcast equipment that had been returned.

 

One thing I do when I turn in equipment is take a picture of the stickers on whatever I return. I then transfer the photos to my computer and print them out. They get stapled to the returned equipment receipts.



#9 Winterland

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 05:58 AM

Queen-Evie - thanks for the post, info and reminder. I, too, have heard the horror stories and was concerned about sending this unit back once my new modem arrives.

 

Based on your information, I think I will take the extra time and drive over to the local Comcast drop off and request the Returned Equipment Receipt and take pictures & document any and all the stickers and numbers on the unit.

 

It's a sad commentary that this is necessary but that seems to be the nature of the beast these days.

 

Major thanks again for the information and the reminders as to why this is a good practice.

 

Winterland


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#10 Kilroy

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 08:09 AM

I'll second Queen-Evie about keeping documentation that the equipment has been returned to Comcast.  I had Comcast try and charge me for equipment when I had service set back up after a move.



#11 Queen-Evie

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 08:17 AM

Another thing I just thought about.

The Comcast help forum is full of posts by people being charged a modem rental fee for modems they purchased.

When they call Comcast to get the charge taken off the bill Comcast insists the modem is a Comcast owned modem.

Keep the box the modem came in since the serial number may be on it, keep your purchase receipt and any other documentation for the modem.

Even if the modem rental charge is taken off your bill, it is possible that at some point in the future the rental fee will suddenly show up on your bill. You will need to prove you bought the modem.

#12 uByte

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 06:45 AM

Just for the record I hate Comcast and there idea of equipment charges. And I am glad that you are getting your own modem. Make sure they don't charge you.

#13 mainer21

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 10:20 AM

When purchasing a cable modem be sure to buy  "Retail Packaging - White" .

TIP 1: Make sure you purchase this "Retail Packaging - White". Don't try to save the few bucks buying the black version; all my research shows they are refurbished rentals from ISP providers and the common complaint is that they stop working about the time the warranty expires.   

 

http://www.amazon.com/ARRIS-Motorola-SurfBoard-SB6141-DOCSIS/dp/B00AJHDZSI

 

****I purchased this white SB6141 over the black SB6141 for one main reason. If you do your research you will notice that the Black SB6141 are only issued to ISP's from Motorola. Meaning, if you purchase a black model from Amazon (or any store), you are purchasing a used or refurbished product (they also ship in ordinary brown cardboard boxes). The only consumer model of the SB6141 is the white model which ships in traditional packaging. The white model is THE ONLY model that comes with a warranty from Motorola. I know this because I called Motorola twice and spoke to two (2) different reps who said the same thing; "Black boxes are for ISP's and do not have a warranty while the white boxes are for consumers and come with a warranty". Further complicating matters is that the black SB6141's usually have old firmware on them because they were generally made a few years ago. White SB6141 have newer or the newest firmware because they are shipping directly from the manufacturer. Your ISP may or may not flash customer owned modems to the newest firmware. If you purchase the Black model, you might be purchasing a 3 year old modem with no chance of upgrading it (also remember that you cannot flash your own modem's firmware).

Do yourself a favor and research this white consumer model over the black ISP model before you pull the trigger.

http://www.amazon.com/ARRIS-Motorola-SurfBoard-SB6141-DOCSIS/dp/B00AJHDZSI

Scroll to bottom of page for this notification. 


Edited by mainer21, 13 July 2014 - 10:21 AM.


#14 Queen-Evie

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 10:55 AM

Just for the record I hate Comcast and there idea of equipment charges. And I am glad that you are getting your own modem. Make sure they don't charge you.


That's the reason I added the suggestion to save the box, the receipt and all documentation that YOU own the modem. It's the rule rather than the exception that Comcast will at some point charge you modem rental for a customer owned modem and them insisting it is one of theirs.

Yes, you do have to be very careful if purchasing a modem from Amazon, Ebay and similar sites. You could possibly end up with a Comcast owned modem which was not returned or stolen.

#15 Winterland

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 09:25 AM

Well, by the time I read all these last couple of posts, my black SB 6121 modem was already on the way.   *rats*

 

 

I can tell you that I just now opened the box and double checked, I did order the Retail Version and this thing is clean. I guess they're probably good at cleaning these things up. Thankfully I have not even tore the label that indicated I've accepted their Terms of Use, so I'm boxing it up and sending it back.

 

Going to order the White SB 6141.

 

 

This process has been way more complicated that I would have liked but I wanted to say to everyone who has taken time to get me up to speed, "thank you, thank you, thank you."

 

Probably be a week or so before I get everything sent back and the new unit sent to me, but I'll give the updates as I get 'em.

 

Winterland


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