Complaints: Qwest Can’t Get Wireless Working Because Macs Are “Practically An Obsolete System”

November 6, 2007 at 9:19 am Leave a comment

Complaints: Qwest Can’t Get Wireless Working Because Macs Are “Practically An Obsolete System”

Okay- as an IT professional, I have to say this: NEVER use the install disk provided by Qwest, Comcast, or anyone else to configure a broadband modem/router, period. Take a few minutes to actually READ the manual for the router/modem you got and configure it yourself using its Web interface. If they didn’t provide you with a manual- download it from the Internet. If you use the install CD- it is almost guaranteed to F*CK up your computer’s network settings. If you do this with a work laptop- it guarantees your company’s IT department, or at least help desk staff, will loath you for many years to come.

ALL broadband modems/routers have a Web interface, and they aren’t all that hard to configure from scratch.

Generally it goes like this:

Plug your computer into the router using a crossover cable or via a hub or switch.
(Most, by default, won’t allow you to configure via wireless.)
Set your computer’s IP address to: 192.168.0.2
(If you don’t know how to do this- you probably shouldn’t be using the Internet anyway.)
Browse to: 192.168.0.1
Use the spiffy Web interface to enable DHCP.
If the ISP sent you a “PPP” username and password- enter them in the username and password boxes.
Hit [Save Settings].
Change your computer’s IP address back to DHCP.
Enjoy broadband Internet.

If you are doing wireless- you will also need to set a system ID (or at least make a note of the default one). By default- most will be fully enabled with 802.11B&G, and possibly A as well. Please, please, please CHANGE the system ID once you have made sure you can connect. Also PLEASE enable WPA security, unless you really want your tech-savvy neighbor or someone parked on the street to sniff your network and get all your unencrypted passwords.

Using the “Install CD” provided by an ISP is akin to installing an AOL CD, which should be a hanging offense. If you need technical support, and the idiot on the other end of the line can’t help you manually configure your broadband box- call back and get someone with a brain, or ask for a manager. The Web interface for THEIR box is independent of any OS you are running on your computer. Trying to cop-out and say they won’t support it because you are running OS-X or Linux or FreeBSD or whatever is BS. If you can access the Web using a browser- you can configure your modem/router. Just tell them flat-out you don’t want their software screwing with your computer’s setup, and you will cancel their service and demand a full refund of any setup charges if they won’t help you.

My experience with Qwest is their DSL modem requires a PPP username and password, but they don’t actually send it to you. Their “Install Disk” uses a numeric code that they send you to look it up online. All you have to do is call them up and tell them you need the username and password. After they verify your identity- they will give it to you. I just told them flat-out that I run Linux (another “Obsolete” system as far as they are concerned) and even if I ran Windows- I would sooner have a root canal than install MSN, which is part of their “Install Disk”. Comcast does something similar as I recall from several years ago.

So, once again:

You should NEVER need to install software on your computer to configure a broadband modem/router, PERIOD.

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Entry filed under: Apple, Crapware, General, Hardware, Linux, Web, Wireless Networking.

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