Am I being cheated or is it a fair price??

I am in a city of about 45,000 people. There are 4 isp companies. I pay $70.00 per month for 12/6. It has been ultra reliable for one year. There is no limit on the amount of data I can use. At present I have just installed a video surveillance cam system. It works great. However, in order for me  to be able to view the system on my Android OR from any remote internet capable sight I MUST have the ability to pass two port numbers that at present my isp does not implement or use. They had an instant flat answer of "you need a VLAN" installed at a monthly charge from $70. I pay now up to $120. To me, that sounds sky high for only needing TWO PORTS to pass through. Am I being unreasonable and is there a good reason for a VLAN? Another friend told me I simply need a Static IP address at something substantially lower than the additional $50. per month. I do NOT mind paying whatever something costs IF it is a fair price, but I hate being ripped off. Please give me backup information that I could present to the ISP owner that would  either reassure me that the extra $50. per month is fair OR the reasons that  I could present to him to support the fact that he might ACCIDENTALLY be charging  me excessively. I am 100% open to either scenario....just need the facts. Note: The ISP I am with is hooked up via a wireless link to one their sites 1/2 mile from me.
Need -a- ClueRESEARCHERAsked:
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Bryant SchaperCommented:
VLAN would not help you, or at lest not from what I am seeing, plus it is free on your end, besides hardware that supports it.

So to clarify what you are needing, and I dont even think you need additional static IP addresses.

you have an IP from your ISP, call it 10.0.0.1 and it is publicly accessible I assume?  If not we have problems, but if it is you want to pass port 20001 and 20002 through it to an internal device, correct?  This is just on your router/firewall called port forwarding.
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Steven CarnahanNetwork ManagerCommented:
If the public IP is not a static IP then you will either need to ask the ISP to provide you with a static address or work with a dynamic IP program such as DynDNS.  The ISP may charge you for the static address or may not offer it at all.  My provider will not give to residential.  

After you chose from the above then you need to follow what Bryant has said about the port forwarding.
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Bryant SchaperCommented:
yes, correct forgot dyndns, good point
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Need -a- ClueRESEARCHERAuthor Commented:
Hi Experts! Thanks for the quick feedback. I hope you can follow my meaning because I don't know much about this. I DO know what has been tried. There are two ports that must be capable of being forwarded from my router to the video system. The router is a Linksys WRT1900AC. I have been to single port forwarding many times trying suggestions from several experts. So far, nothing has worked. I get "port not reachable" or similar. I am able to view all the cams on my local wifi or Ethernet and even my Android when it has wifi turned on. However a very important facet of this whole "Mini Project" is to have the capability of viewing remotely. I am at a disadvantage in this city because if the ISP doesn't care for your request or your company, you are just booted. So far, I have skirted the issue of the high cost but have told them that I do need to have the give me this capability. I know that I do not have a static IP. They wanted to sell me that last YEAR when I began this saga. The cost was $15.00 more  a month. If that would accomplish my goal then I would go for it in a flash.

One Expert recommended a site called "www.noip.com" as I remember. Others advised me to beware of that site and similar sites due to privacy issues. They were not specific. I will add that NOTHING being videoed would be of ANY interest to anyone at all. Only for security and safety reasons.

What is your opinion of the noip site? It is free or nearly free. Would that work for me? And, if privacy of my video transmissions is of no concern to me, should I still be concerned with "other" harm that might befall my computer. ( Sort of sounds like a shrink would be of assistance here as well as a Computer Expert. :) )  

I am fully willing to answer any other questions that might lead to a solution.

Your advice is VERY much appreciated!
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I don't see how VLAN's would benefit you at all unless they have some really backward way of configuring things.  One of the main reasons to get a static IP is to run your own services - web site, email, ftp site, etc.  IF they are offering static IP for $15, that's very reasonable.  I would EXPECT that once you had a static IP you could forward whatever ports you want.  (I would check your ISP's settings thought - for me, web and smtp forwarding is STILL blocked on static IP UNLESS I log in to my ISP and enable them.
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Natty GregIn Theory (IT)Commented:
Well two things 70 is reasonable for unlimited data, can you change the port on which your security system run on.

Vlans have absolutely nothing to do with what you're trying to do you are being duped.
All ports are to be open by your isp with the exception of known malicious ports. Ask them y those ports are blocked and based on the answer, take your business elsewhere.

you do not need static ip, dyndns works just fine for you to remote in.
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Need -a- ClueRESEARCHERAuthor Commented:
I just purchased dyndns. I have not got the slightest clue on how to use what I purchased. Their site takes you round and round and answers very little. I guess I will have to wait until they phone me, if ever. Fingers crossed. Need sleep. Thanks all
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Don JohnstonInstructorCommented:
As others have said, a VLAN (by itself) isn't going to solve this.

The biggest question at this point is: what type of address are you receiving from your ISP?  Is it public or private?  How you get it (DHCP or static) does not matter.  Or put another way, Does the WAN interface (or outside interface) on your Linksys have an IP address that begins with any of these:

10.x.x.x
172.16.x.x
192.168.x.x

If it doesn't, then this is easy to fix.

If it does, then it's going to be a bit more involved.
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Jan SpringerCommented:
It sounds as if the ISP is filtering on inbound (to you) traffic and doesn't want to put a hole in the filter to allow your traffic in.

It's ridiculous.  A Vlan and new subnet is nothing to config and should not involve a monthly charge -- maybe a reasonable one-time setup fee but that's it.
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giltjrCommented:
As the others have posted, a VLAN will do nothing for you.

Is your ISP a local only, or is it a regional/national provider?  If it is regional/national can you post their name.  Somebody here might know what they do or do not do.

Ask your current ISP if they are filtering traffic to you.  If they are, ask them what TCP/UDP ports they allow inbound to you.

A static IP address would be nice, that way you always know what IP address to go to, but if you signup for a dynamic DNS (DDNS) service the static IP address would not be necessary. I think the avg. charge for a static IP address is about $20.  I'm not sure about DDNS servcies, I've see free to $5 for basic.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
4 ISP's is 2 more than most US Cities have

Multiple port forwarding


HOW TO SET UP PORT FORWARDING FOR A RANGE OF PORTS
Some applications require forwarding to a range of ports.
Example
: You want to set up your computer so you can use BitTorrent, a popular
peer-to-peer file sharing application. BitTorrent uses port 6881
by default. If that port is busy, the requesting BitTorrent client tries the next port in sequence. The most common configuration for home routers with a single BitTorrent computer is to set up port forwarding using a range of ports starting with 6881
and ending with port 6889. To set up port range forwarding, do the following:
• Log in to Linksys Smart Wi-Fi. (See “How to connect to Linksys Smart Wi-Fi” on
page 7.)
• Set up a DHCP reservation for the IP address of the computer on which you installed the software. (See “How to set up the DHCP server on your router” on
page 27.) In this example, the IP address of the desktop computer with BitTorrent
installed is  192.168.1.140. • Under Router Settings , click Security. • Click the Apps and Gaming tab. • Click Port Range Forwarding . The Port Range Forwarding screen opens. • Click Add a new Port Range Forwarding. • In the Application name field, enter a descriptive name. • In the Start ~ End Port fields, enter the range or ports. In this example, the range is “6881 – 6889”.
• Select TCP as the protocol. • In the Device IP# field, enter the last 3 digits of the IP address of the device running the software. The rest of the IP address fields already completed. In this example, you would enter “140”.  • Select Enabled , then click Save
. If you don’t want to use port range forwarding but want to keep the information in the table, deselect the checkbox
http://downloads.linksys.com/downloads/userguide/1224701614608/MAN_WRT1900AC_8820-01897_RevA00_EN_FR-CA_Comprehensive.pdf
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Need -a- ClueRESEARCHERAuthor Commented:
I just tried www.noip.com. They are telling me that the difficulty I am experiencing is in my switch or router. First is the Linksys WRT1900AC, that does have port forwarding. Then it goes to a Ubiquity switch. Then to a "commercial" switch. I just found out that  the Ubiquiti switch does NOT support port forwarding. So, I am trying to utilize the new commercial switch that may or may not support forwarding.

The following is an excerpt from an email that my isp sent to me:

Our static IP addresses as of right now are extremely limited.  We are not offering any new ones to our residential customers until we can acquire more from our supplier.
Your option is a VLAN
Programming set up - $125 (one time fee) Set up for a Static IP is the same.
Monthly charge - $25 (residential)

I am to have a conversation tomorrow with a tech at noip.com and he will try to find a workaround for this dilemma.

If any Expert out there has a MAGIC WAND I can borrow for a couple hours I'd love to have it. Contact me at 123 DreamOn Lane. :)

By the way, you guys and gals are the BEST!!! I sincerely appreciate the time and personal interest you have in finding solutions for me. THANKS!!
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Don JohnstonInstructorCommented:
I don't think I ever saw the answer as to what type of IP address you're getting from you ISP.  If it's private, port forwarding, dyndns and everything else isn't going to make any difference.
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giltjrCommented:
Can you send us what the first part of your IP address you have is?  This is the static address that your ISP has assigned you.  All we need is the digits up to the first period.

The only device that should need to support port forwarding is the device that as the static IP address provided by your ISP, assuming that address is a public IP address and not a private non-routable IP address.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
from a browser go to whatismyip.com and give us the first 3 i.e. 192.x.x.x it should not be in the range of  10.0.0.0 to 10.255.255.255. From 172.16.0.0 to 172.31.255.255. From 192.168.0.0 to 192.168.255.255. These are private non-routable addresses. You are a residential customer and as such your isp is limiting the ports you have available. At your router you should be able to set up a vpn (most routers have this capability.
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Need -a- ClueRESEARCHERAuthor Commented:
Let me answer each Expert's questions/comments:
DONJOHNSTON: I literally am fearful that if I ask too many questions (in the mind of the isp) that they will simply cancel me. At last check there are now only 2 reliable isp companies in town. I cancelled the first one after MANY promises made by them were not kept. So, I must tread gently. I did not ask them that question. I believe that maybe the information below will answer your question. I can view all my cameras locally by typing 192.168.1.xxx into the address bar.

GILTJR: I definitely do NOT have a static ip nor a vlan at this time. The cost the isp proposes to charge me seems like a ripoff. It may not be. I have not decided yet. However, it would be nice to do this without paying the isp for a vlan that all experts indicate is NOT necessary for my requirements.

DAVIDJOHNSON: It shows that my ip is 50.30.26.xx
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Jan SpringerCommented:
What I do when I need to reach some ports in a network that is not exposed to the world is to create an ssh tunnel to a server inside the network (and do port forwarding that way).

In your case, if you can create an ssh tunnel from your origination to an internal server that forwards port 80, you can then set up a SOCKS proxy in your browser using that alternate port and your internal address space.
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Don JohnstonInstructorCommented:
You don't have to ask anyone what your IP address is.  And it would appear that you know what your address is.

You have a public IP address.  This means that if you can't receive incoming traffic originating from the outside, your ISP is intentionally preventing it.  

I've never seen this type of... service before from a provider.  If this is truly the case, then (IMHO) your provider is just trying to increase your bill.  So in answer to your original question: Yes, your provider is trying to rip you off.
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Need -a- ClueRESEARCHERAuthor Commented:
Jan, Jan, Jan..... Knowledge wise on this subject you are obviously a 100. I am a 5-10. I am sure I could eventually become far more knowledgeable about this, but I seldom need this level of assistance. That said, I have no way to follow what you are suggesting to me. I never heard of an ssh tunnel or a socks proxy. (See what I mean? )

Just curious, is there a feature and/or ability for an Expert to accept money/Paypal for personalized phone consultation? I don't mind paying for expertise as long as it leads to a good solution. If there is such a possibility can you direct me to what the rules are for this service?
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Don JohnstonInstructorCommented:
If you click on the expert and go to their profile, you would see an "available for hire" link.DJ
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Steven CarnahanNetwork ManagerCommented:
Quick question:  Is the Linksys WRT1900AC directly connected to the line or is there another device (ISP supplied modem/router) in front of it?
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Need -a- ClueRESEARCHERAuthor Commented:
To ALL experts participating in this question. The member asking this question is in the hospital and has been for several days. I was asked to post this information so that the experts would not think they were being avoided. Thanks for your understanding.
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Jan SpringerCommented:
Oh geez.  Sorry to hear that.  Best wishes.
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