GameMaster, Welcome to BC Forums!
My internet plan, I think, is the up to 6mbps DSL plan from AT&T. It's more like 5mbps, last I checked from Speedtest.net.
This in itself isn't unusual, many customers seldom, if ever, gets their advertised speeds. That's why in the fine print of the subscription level, it's often referred to as "up to" 6Mbps, a few customers may get that speed in times of less demand, such as around 2AM, but it's quite normal to receive speeds of 4-5Mbps during the day & possibly less during extreme peak usage times.
AT&T is a heavily used ISP, in part because they're one of the leading wireless broadband companies in the nation. And though you may not be on that type of plan, the AT&T network all falls back on the same infrastructure. If more wireless capacity is needed for "premium" customers, they're going to pull it from residential areas, or any sources not running at 100% available bandwidth. This takes place in the background.
This "insecure equipment" you're describing, is this the property of AT&T? I ask because you've stated calling them to ask about firmware updates, in general, ISP's doesn't assist with these (well, not for free anyway), unless it's their equipment. If that's the case, it's rather surprising they're furnishing such equipment for residential use. Normally a monthly fee is charged for modems/routers, so you'd be well within your rights to demand an up to date & secure model.
Last time I used plain old WPA-PSK was a long time ago, like close to 8-9 years. WPA2-PSK has been mandatory on new wi-fi devices (bearing the name) since March 13, 2006. Certification began 18 months before that, in September 2004.
Anyone within range with most any LInux OS whom needs a quick wi-fi connection, the WPA standard leaves an open invitation to target. All it takes is one 100% legit networking manager package added to a Linux distro, listed in the Software Manager & these old school networks basically becomes public ones (not legally), but in real world use. WPA2 offers Advanced Encryption Standard, which is far more secure than TKIP offered on WPA, which I recall being 90's standard.
You may be better off with another ISP, if this is the equipment they furnish & charge you for.
Edited by cat1092, 10 July 2014 - 01:09 AM.