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Tip if router won't connect properly to cable modem: Clone the MAC address

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I just wanted to post a quick tip that i discovered yesterday.

My Internet Service Provider is being bought out by another company and it seems they are doing some behind the scenes work on their end.  My internet connection started acting up and then suddenly completely stopped yesterday.

After 30 minutes on the phone with tech support the conclusion was that something was wrong with the router. When i got off the phone I was left with one pc connected directly to the cable modem and my router completely out of the loop; tech support told me to contact router company for a replacement router.

Of course i never believe anything tech support people say, so i did some experimenting.

The router was not retrieving an ip address for some reason.

What i tried, which worked instantly, is to go to the router settings and CLONE the MAC address of my pc.

So i guess for some reason they were blocking my router from getting an IP from the network, and this tricked it. I'm sure the experts here could provide a better explanation, but I thought i would post it just as something to try if you have a similar problem.

It's pretty typical for cable providers to do MAC magic, also here in .dk as well. I think the reason is that they want to try and limit you to only having one PC connected at a time... with one provider a friend used some years ago, I think they even stated that explicitly, and if you plugged in another computer, you'd get directed to a "tie connection to new MAC" page whenever you tried surfing the net.

Fortunately, with a router capable of MAC-cloning, you can usually avoid that crap.

Aye, this if common where I am too.

What I was told is that the ISP is more than happy to diagnose connection problems for a computer, but because of the wide variety and configuration options for home routers, they just aren't interested in giving that level of support.

So, as you have discovered, clone the mac for the PC the ISP expects to see, and then settle down to some wide ranging readin' 'n' 'sperimentin' with your router ;)

Yes, I used to have to notify my cable internet provider if I were changing routers as they had it hardcoded to only work with my mac address.  I think that's changed by now with Comcast but I still have the clone in there.

wonderful tip! :-* luckily i remembered mouser's tip when changing router yesterday at the work-place. the ISP tech support's suggestion was to reboot the router and try again.


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