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Comcast is going to turn people's Houston routers into public WIFI hotspots

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#46 rafter109

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 22:08

This story is being sensationalized quite a bit.

 

First, lets clarify what router is being used for the public hotspot service - Comcast is doing this primarly with the Arris TG862 which is a Cable Modem/Telephony Gateway/Wireless-N router all in one, and to be specific, they are only doing it to units that are leased from Comcast as they legally cannot make modifications to your equipment without consent.

 

Second, Comcast has set up these units so that they will be using not only a separate wifi channel than what you have your wlan configured for, it will also be using separate docsis channels so that it will have minimal, if any impact on subscriber services.

 

Finally, Comcast has confirmed that subscribers can opt-out at any time by contacting support.

 

It should be noted that if you have your own router and want it attached to the TG862 or similar equipment, you should have already contaced Comcast to have support place the gateway into bridge mode and disable the wifi to eliminate interferance and configuration issues.

 

Not saying that I agree with what Comcast is doing, but people are making a much bigger deal out of this than what it really is. If you don't already have your own router, go buy one and have Comcast put your gateway into bridge mode and call it a day. You will probably find that the wifi on a dedicated router works much better anyway and likely to have fewer potential security holes.




#47 vetneufuse

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 23:17

And the ability of the node to handle traffic helps the router CPU and memory management how ?

 

did you read the part where I said they handled that at the hardware level already?...


The fact that they have remote access would concern me the most!

Why? they already remote manage your cable modem, it's been part of the DOCSIS standard forever... they already have complete control over the modem firmware and settings via TFTP



#48 Brian M.

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 23:22

I really don't see why this is an issue - BT do a similar thing over here. In return for having it turned on, you can access everybody else's open network.

 

If you don't like it, you can turn it off. If it's using a different wifi channel and different docsis channel, then it won't have any effect on your own network's performance. Ultimately, if a modem/router combo can handle gigabit switching on the LAN side, an extra docsis channel and a TINY amount of extra traffic will be no big deal.



#49 +Martog

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 23:37

I think the thing that concerns me most would be WiFi channel crowding, especially lets say in an apartment complex where people will already have WiFi, lets just even more channels being used, shall we?



#50 Praetor

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 23:38

they just want to setup a Fon type of wide WiFi; it's good because: 

- it's secure to the free wifi subscriber and instantly makes several thousand home routers into a gigantic public hot spot.

- it's secure to the home router owner because this is a separate VLAN; there is no whatsoever communications between the two, no hogs on bandwidth and no problems with data caps.

 

We have this with the Zon (now NOS) operator; they use the Fon@Zon and everywhere i go there is a public hotspot with free wifi (it's free for the operator subscriber too).



#51 T3X4S

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 23:38

DELETE



#52 HawkMan

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 23:43

did you read the part where I said they handled that at the hardware level already?...

 

 

And again a router can't magically handle an insane amount of active and incomplete connections. No amount hardware in a regular router can handle that. Its not about data throughput. High volume da with few connections is one thing, but just low data traffic over hundreds to thousands of connections will cripple even the fastest home router.



#53 +Audien

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 00:06

And again a router can't magically handle an insane amount of active and incomplete connections. No amount hardware in a regular router can handle that. Its not about data throughput. High volume da with few connections is one thing, but just low data traffic over hundreds to thousands of connections will cripple even the fastest home router.

 

Where are you pulling this hundreds of thousands of connections number from?  I can guess...



#54 Krome

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 00:10

Dam Comcast.  I will be moving to Verizon FiOS soon you hear me!!!?



#55 HawkMan

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 00:24

Where are you pulling this hundreds of thousands of connections number from?  I can guess...

 

Default uTorrent settings.



#56 vetneufuse

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 01:08

And again a router can't magically handle an insane amount of active and incomplete connections. No amount hardware in a regular router can handle that. Its not about data throughput. High volume da with few connections is one thing, but just low data traffic over hundreds to thousands of connections will cripple even the fastest home router.

and yet the Comcast gateway limits max concurrent WAN side sessions to..... well 4,096... and the hardware is able to handle 32,768 simultaneous sessions ... they are limiting the router end of it on purpose to prevent this issue, like I've already said, they handled it on the hardware end.

 

if you think the session count is too low, you tell them to put it in bridge mode and get your own router basically



#57 The_Observer

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 01:14

did you read the part where I said they handled that at the hardware level already?...


Why? they already remote manage your cable modem, it's been part of the DOCSIS standard forever... they already have complete control over the modem firmware and settings via TFTP

 

Sorry here in nz our ISP dont have remote access to our stuff. (as far as i know)



#58 vetneufuse

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 01:19

Sorry here in nz our ISP dont have remote access to our stuff. (as far as i know)

 

If you are on a cable modem system (CMTS), DOCSIS or EuroDOCSIS, they have remote access to your modem or gateway that's how they program them to work on their networks and manage their firmware... this is universal world wide on DOCSIS based networks



#59 Raa

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 01:38

There was a discussion that Telstra would do the same thing in Australia too...