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Road Runner keeps cutting off my service whenever I place a router between the cable box and my PCs.

Posted on 2003-11-23
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Last Modified: 2011-09-20
I have three PCs in my home.   One is for my grandkids use, one is my personally owned computer, and the other is my laptop that I carry to and from work.   There has never been a time where more than one computer is used at a time, so it's not like I'm hogging bandwidth.    Is there any way to keep them from seeing the router and thus suspending my service until I disconnect it?  It's a major pain in the neck to unhook one and rehook another.    

Also, is this common to all cable/broadband/DSL providers?  If not, I'm willing to change.  If you know of companies that don't do this, please provide me with names.  


Thanks.
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Question by:jjax
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10 Comments
 
LVL 79

Expert Comment

by:lrmoore
ID: 9806649
Very common issue. Providers will reserve a DHCP address based on MAC address. Your router should have a MAC address "clone" tab. Simply put the mac address of the PC that is/was connected to the cable modem, and viola'
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Expert Comment

by:TooKoolKris
ID: 9806964
Most of these routers will reset the MAC if you power them down as well. Once it has powered up and seen what MAC is connected to it that will be the only one it will allow through the router to the Internet. If you hook up another router from that it will receive the communication with the DSL or Cable modem and then you can plug that into a switch or hub and have as many pcs on it as you like with the use of NAT and private addressing. I have 6 computers in the house and they can all use the same DSL connection at the same time 3 of them are wireless as well.
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durindil earned 500 total points
ID: 9810093
Most providers DO NOT do this.  If you are stuck with Road Runner, then you could get a cheap compter with two network cards in it and build a Linux router, which mean you would no longer have a MAC address from a router manufacturer.  It is not as simple as plugging in a nice Linksys or Dlink router, but works if you have a provider such as Road Runner and can not switch to anyone else.
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Expert Comment

by:TooKoolKris
ID: 9810428
Well I know for a fact that Adelphia & Charter ARE this way so say what you will.
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Expert Comment

by:durindil
ID: 9815297
Adelphia here in Maryland doesn't do it, but it would not surprise me at all.  Comcast also doesn't do it here, and I haven't heard of any DSL providers that do it.  Either way, if you need more help configuring NAT, or want to build a Linux router, let us know and we can help some more.

The only other thing I can think of, is if someone makes a DSL/Cable router that has a PC manufacturer's MAC address.  There is no way they can shut down all of those.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:dorkestra
ID: 9835230
Sorry to get sidetracked but I gotta set TooKoolKris straight.  I do level II support for Charter Pipeline and I promise you that our policy on routers in terms of residential customers is that we allow the use of routers but don't support hardware that we don't supply.  I've never heard of us killing a customer's modem because they had a router.  Nowadays I'd say about 50% of our customers have them.  So at the most if a customer calls in for help and they're using a router, one of our techs may ask them to disconnect it temporarily for troubleshooting purposes.  In terms of our business customers, we provide, administrate, and troubleshoot the routers connectivity. Below is a link to Charter's acceptable use policy. It says nothing about home networking.  The only the only thing close is the disclaimer about excessive bandwidth,  and I can tell you that any modem on our system can only go as fast as the tftp configuration file tells it it can, and as long as they're getting that file from us like they're supposed to they shouldn't have to worry about "excessive bandwidth"  So say what you will. ;)

http://www.charter.com/products/internet/aup.asp
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:dorkestra
ID: 9835318
Back to business.  If your isp doesn't allow you to use a router and is killing your modem you basically have two choices as has already been posted by yourself and others.  You can try to spoof the mac address of your router and trick them, or find a different isp.  Finding a different isp is probably a more permanant resolution and "should" involve fewer complications.  And hey... what better way to communicate your feelings than a hallmark card to the pocket book.  And don't be afraid to let them know why you're cancelling.  Companies stuck with expired policies will learn to evolve or die.  Here's a link to search for broadband isp's in your area:

http://www.dslreports.com/search

If you need info on how to change the mac address on your router, or you're  wondering what the @#^$ we're talking about post accordingly and let us know what kind of router you have and the model number and we should be able to give you pretty good instructions.
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