• Tasks for the weekend – July 24, 2021 – what’s your password?

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    [Youtube video here] Just the other day I was helping someone out with setting up a new laptop and they didn’t know what their wifi password was. Fort
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    Susan Bradley Patch Lady

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    • #2379755

      Thanks, Susan, for more good advice to the clueless. There are probably more out here than anyone would care to admit.

      In the video, you mentioned that you have your own router behind the ISP-provided router/modem. I am curious how you have this configured, and what advantages are available through your arrangement.

      Do you have active WiFi through both the ISP router and also WiFi on your own router? Or is the second router’s WiFi turned off, so that you just use it for Ethernet LAN connections?

      Is there a particularly good home configuration for separating insecure IoT devices from the computers to protect sensitive personal data?

    • #2379756

      what advantages are available through your arrangement

      Control over the router and updates to its software. ISP supplied routers are cheap cousins and may not have the latest security updates.

      If you buy your own router you can get one that has the features you need, like guest wifi access (restricts guests to internet only).

      Do you have active WiFi through both the ISP router and also WiFi on your own router?

      I turn the ISP wifi off and only use my router to provide wifi and ethernet access to my equipment.

      Is there a particularly good home configuration for separating insecure IoT devices

      A guest network is the best way. If you have your own router you can have more than one guest network, with your IoT devices on one and real guests on the other.

      cheers, Paul

      • #2379770

        Thanks, Paul.

        That’s the configuration I’ve been using. I never felt right about sharing the WiFi on the ISP modem/router.  And I’ve never found more than minimal WiFi performance from the ISP’s router.

        I do need to get on the guest network idea for IoT devices.

        At 3m53s into the video, though, Susan admits that sometimes she wants to use her ISP wifi directly, instead of the WiFi through her own router attached in front of it.

        I don’t understand what value there is to maintaining two WiFi networks on separate routers. Seems like just asking for interference between the two.

    • #2379796

      +1 to what Paul said about guest accounts.  All WiFi devices in our house go to the guest account and it’s also used by our daughters when they visit.  No sense in giving anyone access to your router.  Since we still have an active Verizon FIOS TV setup, we need to use the Verizon router which has a separate coax connection (I know there are ways to configure this with a 3rd party router but I’m a little too lazy to set up that configuration).

    • #2379808

      I don’t have an ISP-supplied modem.router because I couldn’t see any benefit in paying monthly rent on a sub-par device.  I also have a spare, which came in very handy when lightning zapped mine a couple weeks ago.

      Foregoing renting a router from the ISP and buying one is a money-saver that’s hard to pass up, plus you have your choice of features.  In the period of time that I’ve been with my ISP, I’ve bought my third router (thanks to a lightning strike).  Total cost for all three (I still have my spare) is less than what I would have paid in renting one.

      And there is the added bonus in that I didn’t have to wait (at the very least a day, more likely a couple of days) for an ISP tech to bring me a new router.  I just unplugged the dead one, plugged in my spare, called the ISP to activate it (it did take three calls to get what I needed explained), and I was back online.

      Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
      We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do to our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

      • #2379886

        In my case, I have always used ISP-supplied gear because of the cost of doing otherwise. The gear needed to connect to the service (DSL, cable internet, VOIP cable landline phone, some wireless internet thing whose technology name is unknown to me) has always been free (as in no additional cost) with the service.

        Sometimes it’s been a loan, other times it’s mine. I still have the original cable modem that I got with my first broadband internet some 17? years ago, and all of the DSL modem/routers I have ever used (three; one currently in use). The ISP never wanted them back when I was done using them.

        With the original cable provider, I changed my service from straight internet to internet and phone (land line over cable), and while they did not want the internet-only modem back, they did want the VOIP modem (with backup battery onboard) back when I moved out of their coverage area.

        The wireless internet thing whose name I do not know wanted the roof antenna and power over ethernet injector back when I cancelled their service and went to DSL,  but there was no rental there either (and as their equipment was highly specialized, sourcing it myself would not have been an option, so charging me to rent the gear I cannot get their service without would just be a sneaky way to pay more than the advertised price). That was the racket Ma Bell (telephone company) had back in the day in the US, and they were broken up by the US government for their trouble.

        I have always disabled the router portion of modem/routers and put them in transparent bridging mode, where the only part functional is the modem. I use my own router to provide the PPP credentials and handle actual routing, WAP, and DHCP.

        Incidentally, I only ever had one router or broadband modem fail… and that was when someone (not me!) spilled a drink on it back in the early 2000s. If the router fails, I have many, many more (not ideal, but serviceable until I can get something more ideal). If the ISP-supplied modem (that’s all it is to me) does fail, I can get someone out from the telco usually the next day, which is probably better than I could get a replacement if I had to order one (no way I’d be able to find something like that locally). And the replacement from the telco would be “free” again (aka built into the monthly price I already pay).


        Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
        XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/16GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon

    • #2380395

      So have you logged into your ISP’s web account or downloaded their app? What do you do regularly with it?

      My modem/router is ISP-provided, at no charge.

      At my provider’s ISP web account, there is a Device tab, with several links below: 1) one for System Information, where I can see the manufacturer, model number, serial number, software version, MAC address, first-time use, time since last reboot, and the current date; 2) one for Devices List, where I can see the attached devices and their IP address; 3) one for Status, where I can Restart. I usually check the software version.

      There is a Diagnostics tab, where I can Troubleshoot, run a Speed Test, Update the firmware, or Reset. I usually Update the firmware here.

      There is a Home Network tab, under which is a Wi-Fi link. This is where I can change the Wi-Fi password.

      Some of these tabs and most of the links under them require an access code to move forward.

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