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Comcast High Speed Internet Service  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Tue Jan 23rd, 2007 11:29 am
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nickfixit
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Hi guys,

I'm looking to take the jump to a high speed Internet connection. I'm looking at Comcast because I currently have their TV digital cable service.

It seems that if you have the cable service you only need to install the modem and software at your end. Somehow they can send both services over the same cable. They say on their web site that you can do it yourself with a self install kit. I guess you have to install a network card in your computer and install the software.

What are the pitfalls of making this change? This stuff never goes as advertised. I can usually handle the technical stuff, but I'm not looking to start a big headache project.

If anyone has any experience with Comcast, I would love to hear the details.

Thanks,

Nick 

Last edited on Tue Jan 23rd, 2007 11:40 am by nickfixit



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 Posted: Tue Jan 23rd, 2007 02:13 pm
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AccApp
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My old boss had DSL through Ver***** and I would often hear, "We're getting FAXes because the internet is down." They would send someone over later in the day or the next day and get him right back up to speed. Probably happened three times a month.

Long story short, I was apparently receiving the benefits of Comcast High-Speed internet assuming my tenant was paying for it when in fact he was not. This went on for almost two years. It finally went out one day and I called tech support. They said the account had never been provisioned. When my tenant moved out and I regained control of the cable bill (much harder than it should have been) I got the High Speed Internet. Set it up in about two hours and it has worked practically flawlessly for three years now. About once a week I have to cut power to the modem and router and reboot my PC but with the amount of "uh, just some .jpeg files?" I download it seems about fair. And it is wicked fast.

Bonus: When you start your own business (hint, hint) you can then write off your whole cable bill as a legitimate business expense.



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 Posted: Tue Jan 23rd, 2007 06:50 pm
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Trying to help
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Had Comcast for 4 years in Tennessee and Charter here in Georgia the last 3.  No problems and it sure is fast.  I run it with a Netgear wireless router and the whole house is set.  Both kids computers work in there rooms, wife uses her laptop in any room of the house to log on to applianceguruwidow.com and all is well!     

Last edited on Tue Jan 23rd, 2007 09:15 pm by Trying to help



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 Posted: Tue Jan 23rd, 2007 08:47 pm
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Mad Mac
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Been on Adelphia (now Time Warner) cable internet since September '03, works well. There's an excellent forum on Comcast Internet at

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/comcast

with lots of tips and help at hand. I self-installed mine, very straightforward process. Bear in mind that any amplifiers/splitters between your modem and the point of entry into your home will need to be bi-directional.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 24th, 2007 05:18 am
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AccApp
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Another plus, when I call tech support they are in Canada and speak real good English. Plus, I believe them when they say their names are "Mike" or "Jane".



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 Posted: Sun Jan 28th, 2007 09:34 am
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mnygren
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Nick-
It should work very good and it is pretty straight forward to setup.  They should provide a coax splitter so you can hook up the cable box and modem at the same time.  You then connect a network cable between the modem and your computer.   Your pc may have a built in ethernet port already.  What is the make / manufacturer of your pc? What operating system are you running?

Mind you that this setup will provide minimal security and places the security details to the software setup on your computer.  A more secure setup would place a router / firewall between your cable modem and your pc.  Linksys and Netgear are 2 popular home consumer brands.

How are you currently connecting to the internet?
mcn

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 Posted: Sun Jan 28th, 2007 01:08 pm
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nickfixit
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I'm running Windows XP ver 5.1 on a Dell XPS T600r. I'm using a dial up modem connection, and I would have to install a network card.

More security sounds good. What does a router/firewall component do? I thought firewalls were software systems.

I have growing kids and I have cable boxes/lines all over the house. Eventually I'll want them on their own computers. Would the need for adding users in the near future change my equipment needs?

What would a wireless network involve?

I'm a pretty technical guy, but I'm hesitant to start a big messy project. Anything involving Microsoft is going to be harder than they make it sound.

Plug-and-Play my ass!

Thanks,

Nick



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 Posted: Sun Jan 28th, 2007 03:32 pm
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AccApp
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nickfixit wrote:
What would a wireless network involve?

My wireless router cost like $50 with a $20 rebate. Very easy to setup, I have my desktop wired right into the router with a LAN cable, the Tivo, the laptop and as many as 4 nintendo DS's running just fine off the wireless and at least one neighbor who says it works great on his laptop (I need to have it wide open for the DS, I have yet to notice any sluggishness).

Plug-and-Play my ass!

SO not interested in that.



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 Posted: Mon Jan 29th, 2007 12:35 am
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mnygren
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nickfixit wrote:I'm running Windows XP ver 5.1 on a Dell XPS T600r. I'm using a dial up modem connection, and I would have to install a network card.

More security sounds good. What does a router/firewall component do? I thought firewalls were software systems. 
Routers/firewalls can be either software based or hardware based.  For your scenario, with multiple pc's (or nodes) I recommend hardware based for a few reasons. 

When your pc connects to the internet, via dialup or dsl/cable, your service provider assigns it an IP address.  That address is unique to your machine for the duration of the connection and is considered a public address.  That means anyone on the internet can see it, similar to having your phone # published in the phone book.  If yiou want to get multiple pc/nodes (a node being Tivo, a DS or any internet capable device) hooked up to the internet, you have to get more IP addresses from the provider, and they are not free. 

The work around the single public IP address is using a router with firewall capabilities.  The router get's assigned the public IP address to the internet and then assignes a private IP address to your computer, and you can have multiple nodes, all with their own private IP addresses.   This inherently provides protection as your pc is no longer using a public address and the router "Routes" the information to the correct node requesting it. 

The firewall provides additional protection as such.  Each program that your pc/node uses to access the internet communicates through what is called ports.  I consider these similar to post office boxes.  For example, web browsers use port 80 to send and receive information.  Other programs use other ports.  Each port allows access to your machine.  The trick is to have only the ports open that need to be open, otherwise malicious programs (viruses) can scan your pc for open ports and then attack them.  (in a nutshell). 

I have growing kids and I have cable boxes/lines all over the house. Eventually I'll want them on their own computers. Would the need for adding users in the near future change my equipment needs?

What would a wireless network involve?
Wireless is great, but has it's drawbacks as well.  It eliminates having to hard wire your nodes to the router (great) but the signal may not cover your entire house.  It also is broadcast (hence wireless) so there are security concerns there, but those can be addressed also.   You would need to have a wireless network card installed in all nodes wishing to connect wirelessly and then ecrpytion enabled on the router with authentication so only the nodes you want to conect can. 

Additionally, hardwired is always faster than wireless, no matter what the marketing machines claim.  But coming from dialup, it's relative



I'm a pretty technical guy, but I'm hesitant to start a big messy project. Anything involving Microsoft is going to be harder than they make it sound.

Plug-and-Play my ass!

Thanks,

Nick
My suggestion would be to start with either a linksys or netgear router/firewall that has wireless capabilities but also has at least a 4-port switch (not the same type of software ports I mentioned earlier).  That way you can get a hardwired first, make sure you have everything running right, and then venture into the wireless world. 

Here's a link I found from Linksys on their latest promo...
http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satellite?c=L_Promotion_C2&childpagename=US%2FLayout&cid=1163896122217&pagename=Linksys%2FCommon%2FVisitorWrapper

I hope I didn't overwhelm you, but I wanted to provide some background info so you could understand what functions the different components provided.

mcn

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 Posted: Tue Jan 30th, 2007 09:51 pm
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Keinokuorma
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In a nutshell, the most versatile minimum of stuff would be a cable/dsl modem with internal router and firewall, and a network interface per every node to be connected. If you need more nodes than there are ports in the router, you need switches.

Carefully consider the pros and cons between wired and wireless. I would stay away from wireless, if possible. It will take a hell of a mess of wiring to become cost-effective to replace with wireless. You can later on acquire an access point to be wired to your router if you need the feature. Wired LAN will be almost foolproof to set up and work with, almost impossible for neighbors to eavesdrop or exploit. Which cannot be said about wireless.

If you need to set up a couple clusters of nodes in different areas of the home, you don't have to wire everything from the central point. You can run one wire from modem to switch, or switch to switch, and branch where needed. Conventional 100Mbps will be plenty to share. If you only need two or a few computers away from the central point, but close to each other, consider using a four-pair cable to run two 10Mbps lines (2 pairs each). That will still be plenty per node.

If you get DSL, and you keep the plain old telephone service, please use the filter supplied. If not supplied, get one. More important than reducing some noise on the POTS, it protects your phone form the high peak voltage used for DSL. I've personally run into a few situations where the customer subscribed to DSL and had their phone go dead in a week after delivery. Each time, adding the filter and getting a new phone has solved the prolem.



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 Posted: Sun Mar 4th, 2007 12:30 am
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nickfixit
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Well...

I decided to make the jump to high speed. I just ordered the Comcast High Speed service and the self install kit.

I don't want to go wireless, so I guess I need a good router. Any advice on brands or features. I see you can get a router with firewall, is this a good idea?

I'll also need a network card for my computer. I'm open to suggestions on this too. I'm using Window XP, so I hope the new card would be easily installed and configured. 

Any advice will be welcome

Thanks,

Nick



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 Posted: Sun Mar 4th, 2007 10:40 am
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Keinokuorma
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Cannot say sure for brands for modems or routers (I use Zyxel and TeleWell here). Router with firewall is a good choice, lately there haven't even been many consumer units around without both included.

Anyway, a NAT style router will give plenty of protection with the firewall disabled too. Computers in your LAN will be allocated private area IP addresses in the style of 192.168.0.X where X is between 1 and 254. One of the X values is reserved as the router private IP that will work as your LAN gateway address.

It definitely isn't a good idea to put a computer on a direct public address - various vermin are packed right around and rushing in. A software firewall could be used, but I dislike them because they sometimes take up a lot of system resources and often need complicated configuration.

Almost any type of RJ45 Ethernet adapter will work in your favor. If your PC is from 2003 or later it is likely that it has an onboard adapter, and no expansion card is needed for that. On windows XP, little or no configuration is usually required, but some newer card brands will require their own driver software. RealTek 81xx family chipset based cards are fine and mostly work right off after installation.

If you decide to bring home an older computer to be joined to the network, and it has got an RJ45 jack for network connection, make sure it is an Ethernet adapter and not IBM Token Ring. These two systems aren't compatible, even though many businesses have used their old TR wiring as 10mbps Ethernet. There were still plenty TR based businesses around a few years ago, and some may still exist. So, if acquiring used computers from auctions etc, even some quite new equipment can occasionally still have TR cards installed.

Last edited on Sun Mar 4th, 2007 10:46 am by Keinokuorma



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 Posted: Sat Mar 10th, 2007 07:43 pm
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nickfixit
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It looks like I made it into the fast lane. It sure beats dial-up, I usually only got 28.8 speed.

Now I need to make it work with a router.

Update to follow..

Nick



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 Posted: Sat Mar 10th, 2007 10:05 pm
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Keinokuorma
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Getting router to work should be no big deal... run a standard 4 pair RJ45 cable from the WAN port to the modem, then similar cables from LAN ports to computers... if you need more LAN ports, wire switches to one or more ports. Most of the consumer market NAT routers are preconfigured and will work straight off.

Some cable internet services will bind their service to one MAC address per customer... that is, each network node has a very unique MAC address. You may need to make the router WAN side assume the MAC address of the network card that you first used. Anyway this is explained in the router instructions, and doesn't take long to set up. Maybe you don't need to do it at all.



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 Posted: Sun Mar 11th, 2007 12:49 pm
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nickfixit
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Looks like I've got the router working correctly, this high speed is really nice.

Any advice on security methods or products?

Nick



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 Posted: Sun Mar 11th, 2007 07:02 pm
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Keinokuorma
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If you have WinXP on each machine, enable the internal firewall on each... That together with NAT has proven to be a fairly good protection. Lots depends on the web browser and email client... the Mozilla programs are lighter, more stable, and otherwise safer than the original MS programs.

It appears that AVG from http://free.grisoft.com/ is currently one of the best virus killers... the free version is free forever in personal use.

For anti-spyware I might recommend AdAware from http://www.lavasoft.de/ or perhaps XoftSpy from http://paretologic.com/ but it's not free.

If you want to have a better software firewall, you could try ZoneAlarm from http://www.zonealarm.com/ although I know many people who don't like it. Tiny Software has released Tiny Personal Firewall 2 as sort of abandonware - haven't found it lately for download, but I've got a copy. It's free for personal use, more configurable than ZA and most people have found that it gives less hassle.



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 Posted: Tue Mar 13th, 2007 08:37 am
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nickfixit
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I've got AVG 7.5 Professional and Lavasofts Ad-Aware SE. I got them when I upgraded to Windows XP, and had my computer in the shop for repairs. The repair shop people recommended both products. They seem to work just fine.

In the past, I had used Norton Utilities exclusively. It was a HUGE program, and it NEVER caught any virus, even though I made constant updates and paid to keep everything current.

Is it good practice to shut the computer off when not in use? I'll assume it's not possible to have a security problem if the machine is shut off.

Nick



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 Posted: Tue Mar 13th, 2007 01:10 pm
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I have AVG Pro here at the business and AVG free at the house....Roadrunner Cable both places..so always on internet...both running Windows XP so have the Windows firewall running on both.....leave both on 24/7 unless know in advance there is a storm possible with lightning in the area...have not had any problems, yet....RR does seem to catch the nasties befrore they are downloaded and cleans them up first also..



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 Posted: Tue Mar 13th, 2007 05:33 pm
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Shutting off when not in use is of course the ultimate protection, as well as the ultimate way to save energy... although the firewall and router together with a run-time heuristic guard (like on AVG) are mostly good... then, we can never consider a computer with internet access 100% safe.

Make sure that the Windows network file sharing is turned off, or enabled ONLY on the drives and folders that you want to share with other computers on your subnet.

I too dislike Norton and Norman AV/Security packs... they take up lots of resources, like you said they nevercatch anything new, and although recently the newer ones have been easier to uninstall, up to 2004 they were a pain in the back.

Back here I also never install the Sonera or Elisa Internet Security packs if the computer is older than 2003, unless the owner insists I do it whatever the result. Both software are just made by F-Secure, tagged with Sonera or Elisa brands... and they take up lots os resources, leave much residue after uninstalling, and never catch anything new either. Sad to say this about software made in my own country, but it's my humble opinion based on years of experience.

Last edited on Wed Mar 14th, 2007 08:33 am by Keinokuorma



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 Posted: Tue Sep 18th, 2007 12:04 am
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THis is an old thread but - Did you get it all working?
I've been wireless for 3 years and have  had no problems at all.  If you live in a urban area, youo can usually pick up  many other networks, everyone has them.
Security - AD-Aware, Spybot, and AVG.   Also I leave windows' firewall on.  It'll interfere with Zonealarm sometimes if you choose it over AVG.

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