Ubee cable modem for Comcast/Xfinity

Posted on 2011-04-27
Last Modified: 2013-12-24
When I troubleshoot Comcast business internet services I usually call support 2 or 3 times until I get a technician that's familiar with my issue.  That technique hasn't worked for me with residential service.  The telephone reps in residential accounts are either (1) not trained beyond the script or (2) forced to stay on script despite what they know.  I spoke to three different techs who didn't recognize the term "Network Address Translation."  I offered to give a primer.

I originally configured my neighbor's residence with Comcast's RCA cable modem into a Linksys WAP.  I'm certain that Comcast/Xfinity randomly changed their service to this account, providing a type of DHCP that the RCA could not consistently interpret; service worked for less than a minute after a power cycle.  One technician eventually admitted to me that the service was "in limbo" and "needed to be patched".

This was frustrating.  My neighbor had no service for about a week.

The replacement modem came in the mail, a Ubee, maybe 3.0.  It passes the public DHCP straight to the device on the other side.  The public IP worked with a laptop, but the Linksys couldn't get an address.

I'm useless if you take away IP technology, gateways, and such.  My troubleshooting tools are out the window.  I don't know how to talk to the box.  Apparently Comcast techs don't either.  They can tell me that the box is on.  They can't tell me if a user is connected; ie: no routing table.

I've been browsing a Comcast support forum and other sites.  Complaints are pretty varied and often focus on game consoles.  I'm looking for one page that explains this awful technology, and perhaps gives me ways to troubleshoot it, and setup a NAT device.
Question by:kengreg
    LVL 82

    Accepted Solution

    Comcast in my experience is set up so that you can't talk to the box.  At one time about 5 years ago, I could get the username and password to get into the old Linksys modem/wireless-routers.  When I called a couple of months ago, nobody at Comcast could tell me what it was.  They did swap out the old gear for the current modem and Netgear wireless router.

    The current modems and Netgear routers for home use in this area are set up so that the Comcast servers recognize what is connected and only allow the connection that you have signed up for.  If you have signed up for the wireless router, you have to connect thru it to get your connection up and running.

    I have one customer that has a Linksys wireless router that works ok unless the Comcast service goes down.  Then I have to bypass the Linksys and connect directly to the modem to restart the service.

    Author Closing Comment

    Yes, one of the Comcast/Xfinity phone reps mentioned their Netgear WAP.  I'm not a big fan of proprietary hardware, but it does put the burden on them; that's a good thing.   I think it was offered free of charge under his contract.

    I'm hearing that any device will get DHCP from the Ubee.

    It's rare for a WAN-side NIC to die or get corrupted in the Linksys WRT54G, but that's the only solution I'm left with.  It isn't doing anything; I'll try to retrieve it.  I'll see if it can connect to another ISP's router.

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