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Motorola Introduces Home Cable Modem/Router 168

Anonymous Coward writes: "Check this out! Motorola has a cable modem that also supports Ethernet, USB AND HomePNA! The modem doubles as a NAT, firewall and dhcp server -- Awesome!" Cable modems aren't new, but it seems that both service providers and manufacturers are finally catching the idea that TOS agreements are not about to head off the wave of home networking. Products like this will make the idea of households paying per-connection fees even more laughable.
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Motorola Introduces Home Cable Modem/Router

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  • I want one! One important question would be whether the modem requires Moto's own service or whether other cable service providers will allow use of this modem in their service. It would suck to only be able to get this kinda thing in certain areas.
  • by aaronsb ( 138360 )
    What does TOS stand for?
  • Terms Of Service
  • Terms of Service. Many cable providers make you agree not to use NAT on their system.
  • The bastards at cablevision went ahead and wired all of NY state, but didn't bother with Bergen County nj 25 minutes outside of nyc.......
  • by rdl ( 4744 ) <> on Friday March 10, 2000 @02:51PM (#1211090) Homepage
    Hopefully motorola will ship these with
    no system-wide default (or easily guessable)
    passwords, and with spoofing protection outbound.

    The trend toward faster and faster network
    connections sold as "appliances" puts a lot more
    responsibility on the manufacturer to make sure
    default configurations are suitable for users,
    and won't contribute to DDoS, etc.
  • I would love to have this new modem!! It would free up a decent computer that I have been using for NAT and DHCP.
    But what about the cable providers? They love to charge extra for additional IP addresses. It doesn't seem like they would like this too much.
    Also, will this new modem be compatible with all of the current HFC cable services? If so, can you choose to use this with your internet access like you can with you TV converter? The guys from Comcast who came to install our modem and line told us we had to use the RCA or the Motorola that they provide.
  • by Christopher Cashell ( 2517 ) on Friday March 10, 2000 @02:53PM (#1211093) Homepage Journal
    It generally works with any Cable modem or DSL service that connects to a PC via Ethernet. LinkSys also makes one of these, and you can find information here. [] It includes a 4 port switch, NAT, firewall, etc.

    I do installations for a local Cable Modem company here, and we've been playing with the LinkSys model for the past few days. They run around $200US and work pretty well.

    Basically, it has one 10BaseT port to connect to the Internet Service (Cable Modem or DSL) and 4 ports to connect to the computers on the Local network. Setup is almost nil, and performance is impressive.

    I have a feeling we'll see more companies making these very soon.
  • I think cable modem service TOS should be less servers? what about playing network quake or halflife? With this new device, what about running your own http/ftp/ssh/telnet servers? Service in Lewisville, TX by @Home really sucks, probaly because of the service techs or the service itself.
  • I have a DSL "modem" that uses NAT. It's kind of nice that I can hook up multiple computers to the internet at home, but I run into other problems. It is a pain trying to log onto IRC because identd does not get through. Also, I can't really run any kind of server at home and expect it to work because NAT won't let anything through, and I think even if I tinkered with the tables in the modem, the IP address to the outside world is dynamic. I think with, if I want to have a static IP and all that, I will have to order business-level service ($$$) instead of home luser service.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm posting this as a service, so you can get it even if the site gets slashdotted. Enjoy :)

    Thursday March 9, 3:23 pm Eastern Time
    Company Press Release
    SOURCE: Motorola Inc.
    Motorola Receives CableLabs(R) Certification(TM) on Its DM 100 and PL 100 Cable Modems - The Motorola PL 100 Multi-User Modem Becomes the Industry's First Certified Modem to Offer a HomePNA Network Gateway
    Recognition Also Marks the Third and Fourth Cablelabs Certifications For Motorola, Further Demonstrating Its Leadership in Providing DOCSIS-Based Modems
    HORSHAM, Pa., March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT - news) Broadband Communications Sector today announced that Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs®) has certified two additional Motorola DOCSIS modems -- the Motorola cable modem DM 100 and the PL 100 multi-user cable modem. The PL 100 certification marks the first CableLabs® Certified(TM) home-networking modem.

    The DM 100 and PL 100 also become the third and fourth Motorola cable modems to receive CableLabs® Certification(TM). CableLabs certified the Motorola SURFboard SB2100 cable modem in May 1999 and Motorola's DOCSIS 1.1- based SB3100 in December 1999.

    CableLabs Certification means that the DM 100 and PL 100 modems have completed an extensive series of interoperability tests. It also recognizes the modems' compliance with Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) 1.0-based headends and operation support systems (OSS) equipment.

    ``CableLabs is very pleased to certify Motorola's latest DOCSIS cable modems -- the DM 100 and the PL 100, our first home-networking modem. We value Motorola's commitment to our interoperable cable modem initiative and look forward to working with them on developing a new interoperable network that will help to drive industry-wide cable modem deployment,'' said Dr. Richard R. Green, CableLabs President and CEO.

    ``Motorola is pleased to have obtained two additional DOCSIS 1.0 certifications from CableLabs and the DOCSIS certification board. And we're proud to be delivering the industry's first CableLabs Certified home- networking modem -- the Motorola PL 100,'' said Dan Moloney, Senior VP and General Manager of Motorola's IP Network Systems business unit. ``These important certifications further validate our ongoing commitment to developing high-performance broadband equipment for the cable industry.''

    About the DM 100

    The Motorola cable modem DM 100 delivers stable and reliable transmission in addition to interoperability, based on years of refinement in hybrid fiber coax (HFC) data engineering and field-proven experience. The DM 100 receives 64/256 QAM signals from the Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS) (supporting throughputs up to 40 Mbps) and transmits QPSK/16 QAM signals upstream (supporting throughputs up to 10 Mbps). With approvals from Microsoft® Windows® Hardware Qualification Labs (WHQL) and the USB Organization, the DM 100 also offers superior ease of use and plug-and-play installation.

    According to the industry analyst firm Kinetic Strategies, the number of North American cable modem users is predicted to grow from 1.8 million in 1999 to 15.9 million in 2003. The availability of a DOCSIS cable modem that employs a USB interface is expected to facilitate the broad-based consumer adoption of cable modems.

    About the PL 100

    The Motorola PL 100 multi-user cable modem provides DOCSIS capability along with the ease of Internet sharing and home-area networking over ordinary telephone wire. The modem provides broadband Internet access over hybrid fiber coax (HFC) and distributes it to multiple devices in the home through Ethernet, USB, and Home Phone Networking Alliance (HomePNA) ports, which can be active simultaneously. This capability gives the user maximum flexibility in installation and set-up. Internet sharing is enabled through a Motorola- developed Network Address Translation (NAT) and DHCP server, which reside in the modem. The modem's software also delivers enhanced security with a firewall.

    Home area networking is enabled with HomePNA technology. The PL 100's built-in HomePNA 2.0 interface allows data to move at up to 10 million bits per second (Mpbs) over ordinary household telephone wire, without interfering with normal telephone operation. HomePNA connectivity and Motorola's configuration software provide a fully functioning network. In addition to sharing Internet access and e-mail, users can share printers, scanners and other devices; exchange data files; and play interactive games.

    The DM 100 and PL 100 are part of Motorola's industry-leading line of cable modems. Other modems in the line include the CyberSUFR and CyberSUFR Wave CDLP modems, the AL 200 wireless multi-user modem, and the SURFboard family of DOCSIS-based RF-return cable modems.

    Released by CableLabs in March 1997, DOCSIS calls for the interoperability of cable modems and associated networks manufactured by different suppliers. Interoperability speeds time to market by reducing risk for equipment purchasers and consumers and creates economies of scale for broadband network operators by creating multiple product sources.

    Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT - news) is a global leader in providing integrated communications solutions and embedded electronic solutions. These include:

    Software-enhanced wireless telephone, two-way radio, messaging and satellite communications products and systems, as well as networking and Internet-access products, for consumers, network operators, and commercial, government and industrial customers.
    Digital and analog systems and set-top terminals for broadband cable television operators.
    Embedded semiconductor solutions for customers in the networking and computing, transportation, wireless communications and imaging and entertainment industries.
    Embedded electronic systems for automotive, communications, imaging, manufacturing systems, computer, consumer and industrial markets.
    Sales in 1999 were $30.9 billion.

    For more information, visit us on the Web at

    Motorola® is a registered trademark of Motorola Inc.

    The terms ``CableLabs Certified'' or ``Certified by CableLabs'' are certification marks of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. and cannot be used without authorization of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc.

    Microsoft and Windows are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

    All other product or company names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

    SOURCE: Motorola Inc.

  • by OA ( 65410 ) on Friday March 10, 2000 @03:03PM (#1211099) Homepage
    If service vender provide NAT/Firewall box with service as an integrated portion of DSL/Cable connection box, they can block connection to some port claiming to protect consumer by preconfiguring these box.

    Result will be no server function accesible from outside. No more personal web server, ssh into your home machine, etc.

    I would rather my Linux do those functions in my way.

  • by emufreak ( 83564 )
    My FlowPoint 144 DSL router does NAT and firewall already. And to that person who's having trouble with identd: enable access on port 113 and use fakeident (search for it on freshmeat).
  • This seems like a sweet development, but I've got SNET ADSL service hooked up to a SpeedStream 5660 ADSL "modem"/router that claims to have DHCP, NAT, etc etc hooked up.

    However, I have not been able to access its features to get it set up for home newtorking. I think this is related to the special trip the phone company people took to my house in order to "configure" the box before I could touch it.

    Anyone had any luck setting up real home networking in this kind of environment? Will these same problems plague the new cool stuff coming out of Motorola?

    Want to work at Transmeta? Priceline?

  • USB has a throughput of 12mbps. The modem, however, can theoretically DL at 40 mbps. For most people, however, it is clipped to something along the lines of 5 mbps or so, thus USB is not the bottleneck.
  • This is all fine and dandy, but what I want to know is COST? How many body parts do I have to remove to get one of these things? Will it work in replace of my Terayon modem for @Home service? etc. etc. etc.
  • I currently have a Motorola CYBERSUFR cable modem with a Linux box attached doing masquerading and firewalling for my home LAN, and have had nothing but praise for it (and had heard about something like this coming out). &nbsp But my concern deals with putting a router in a box like this... &nbsp who will be expected to maintain it? &nbsp The ISP? &nbsp I can't picture Joe Q. User trying to configure a router box if it loses it's little mind. &nbsp And imagine the average user base of a cable modem provider (thousands) and the number of staff to try to support them and some new router box (very few).

    I also have concern regarding the amount of DDoS that could occur when you put something like that out there... &nbsp Imagine what a cracker could do to this thing....

  • are out there.. Linksys has the EtherFast DSL/Cable Router which has a built in 10/100 switch, does NAT, DHCP, port forwarding and can login to PPPoE for about $150 =befsr41

    Netgear has a similar product, the RT311 311
  • Nortel Networks has already been pushing this envelope with their 1 meg modem []. Nice to see the rest of the market frantically trying to play catchup before Nortel finally blows them all away with fibre to your door. They're already the leading supplier of optical gigabit networks, and the ONLY company selling terabit networks. These modems are pretty piddly.
  • The reason for the TOS is a good reason and even though I don't like it, I agree with it.
    I subscribe to cable service and I share the bandwidth with my close neighbors and surrounding neighborhoods. If someone was running http/ftp/smtp servers and hosting shell accounts which generate enough traffic to slow service for everyone else, the rest of us don't get what we pay for. Although our contract entitles us to unlimited bandwidth, it does say we cannot use so much as to degrade performance for other users. Small home networks of 4-6 computers don't generate this kind of traffic unless everyone in the house is downloading or hosting huge games.
    If you want to host your own website, ftp and mail, they do provide a service called Cable @Work. This is for small businesses expecting higher than average traffic.
    A short while back, a few people who ignored these rules ruined it for the rest of us. They were running http and ftp and now our upstream bandwidth is no longer unlimited, but capped at 128kbps.
    I hope this helps you see it from the point of view of "the other users".
  • 3Com is in the process of finalizing a "Dual Link" modem that does VPN, PPPoE, Bridging, NAT, USB/Ethernet bridging, and some very cool other features.... it has console access (at least in betas... i bet they will keep it)

    You get full control via console or you can access it remotely... it has a built in web config console too.

    It kicks my Alcatel 1000 ADSL modem's butt.... I definately recommend waiting for 3Com to release these things publically.

    Its awsome to bridge USB and Ethernet networks ... now I don't need to go buy a NIC for my laptop :)
  • by DerMarlboro ( 64469 ) on Friday March 10, 2000 @03:18PM (#1211112)
    They also make you say you won't hook up a second TV without paying for it in those terms-of-service agreements. That's insane. They're providing a signal. I say what you do with that signal is your business as long as you don't sell or share it with a household that isn't paying for it. Would they have me pay extra if a friend of mine comes over to watch TV? He's not paying for it, but he's watching it.

    There's some more money to be made! Don't worry about pissing off your customers. Just shake 'em down for some more dough.

    Same thing with internet access. You're paying for a pipeline through which you can move data. You only get so much bandwidth. Whose business is it what you do with that bandwidth; whether one machine uses it, or if its split between two, or three, or fifty machines.

    If the cable companies had any kind of sense at all, they would be trying to cater to our needs as much as possible. High-bandwidth access is going to be a very, very, very big business, and they should try to garner a loyal following, rather than annoying and extorting customers.
  • While Motorola's efforts are commendable, I just can't trust my home network to a "burned-in-the-rom" solution. There's too much going on with the script kiddies and their "splotz" - I need a solution I can adapt over time.

    Personally my money is on Coyote Linux []. It runs on a cheap 486 and is easy to configure!
  • This product isn't all that new of an idea. Similar products by Cisco and Lucent/Ascend are already available for xDSL. The cable connection does offer a new twist to the home users, however, it will depend on the rules of the cable company as to which functions the users will be allowed to set. Something else to remember is that the average home user will not be able to pull this device out of the box and provision it. Although a web based interface may help, it will be the jobs of the truck roll comany to configure it, and how knowlegable their tech are (not very) will determine the security of the connection. This may open up opportunities for technical savy folks like us /.ers to make a couple of extra bucks on the side by doing security checks on these connections, and making changes as needed. As for NAT and firewall services, I would venture to say that these will be locked out by the provider, so that you do have to pay for each computer connected to it. But that is just my $0.02. -MerkuryZ
  • I forgot to mention that the 3Com "HomeConnect Dual Link" modem uses the Alcatel chipset, ensuring that your compatible with most ISPs doing DSL....

    Often negotiated speeds on my DSL line are 1Mbit downstream and 640K upstream, not bad for how far I am from the CO.

    Also, get static IP#s.... don't let your ISP put you on PPPoE or some other weak crap like that. PPPoE is not worth the time and there is absolutely no point to it!

  • Umm, have you checked out Netopia? $500 gets you a SDSL R7100 router which does NAT, Firewalling, DHCP, BootP... They also have these things for IDSL(Sucks) and ADSL. Mine has two WAN ports, meaning I could get 3MB for the cost of two lines. DSL doesn't have the uptime a T1 had. Telcos don't dispatch for DSL outages until weekdays, and even then response is REALLY slow.
    Only thing is that Netopias use this whole Menu based deal which is crap compared to a Cisco. If you're really cool you can get a R7100 CSU DSU to hook up to your Cosco via V.35 adapter and even use DSL as a cheap backup line for your T1.
  • See if your router has a reset button hiding somewhere on it. Mine (a FlowPoint DSL router) has a round unlabeled hole with a button inset inside the box; you can press it with a paperclip, just like the Mac's emergency floppy eject method. It won't be documented in the "quick start" guide -- I had to dig through the router's PDF documentation that was buried on the install CD. You turn on the router, then press the reset button for several seconds until you get the test light to flash a few times and turn orange. For the next 10 minutes it enables you to use the router's serial number as a password instead of whatever your telco/provider set it to be. You can then telnet into the router, set the password to something you like, and reconfigure the port mapping. It's quick, and a fairly satisfying thing to do. I had gotten sick of waiting for my provider's usually inept tech support (and yes, I am paying business $$ for my home connection!), who had also not told me what they had set the router's password to after doing my initial portmap. My house + my network + my router = my password + my control. :-)
  • Nortel DSL = 1 Meg = ONE megaBIT ~ 125 KB/s max

    Cable = (usual tech figure, sometimes more?) 4 Mbit~ 500 KB/s max

    Now, the fact is that in some areas DSL will give much closer to max much more often, but still, know your figures!


  • There must be a million different protocols/standards for cable modems -- how the hell will this thing work? Would it even be compliant with the cable company's TOS?

    Besides, my Cisco 675 DSL router already does most of this... :b


  • I think you've missed the main point of this particular product; it integrates the cable modem in the same box (and possibly administrative package) as the router and/or NAT gateway. Lots of companies make little NAT boxes with DHCP, etc. and I can set up a lovely free equivalent on an old 386 with FreeBSD in ten minutes, but it still has to connect to another box (the cable modem or DSL DTU) via an ethernet (preferably a physically separate one). This saves that step (and power connection and fan and cords) but it potentially gives cable companies a way to market NAT, which may not be good news to /. types.

  • I'll try to clarify on my previous post:

    What I said is that by including NAT services into the modem, people will only have to pay for one IP. Cable providers love to charge extra for those extra IP's and won't like it when people decide to use the integrated NAT features of the mdoem. It will also free up the box that I use for NAT and DHCP.

    Sorry if it was unclear before.

  • The last thing I want is a behind-the-firewall 10 Mbps network link on my phone line going outside the house.

    Who needs a Tempest box to tap you when your whole net is on your phone line?
  • Since IPv6 is a way off, and people seem to have trouble setting things up properly, the providers will begin to embrace these types of modems. Right now, the only modem that has general approval is from Cisco, and it costs about $1,000. Great box, does it all, and runs IOS to boot (work on your CCNE at home). There have been cases where people set up servers wrong and become DHCP servers for an entire town (and everyone gets configured to have the idiot's server as the default gateway -what a mess). Here's a nice, easy to configure, remote admin. solution. Can't wait.

  • We use one in our office for the LAN (on Bell Atlantic) it has built in firewall, NAT, dhcp configuration, virtual server set up, etc., etc. The UGate 3000 is the CNET editors choice. You can find UGate's info page here []. It is truly a great product.

    And if you don't believe me check out the forums on [], which also has help for those of you struggling with DSL provider policies.

  • I have a Cisco 675 ADSL router, and with the more consumer-oriented ISPs (e.g. USWest) they are shipped in routing mode, with a DHCP client (for the WAN), DHCP server (for the LAN), and NAT turned on.

    They tell you to plug it into you computer (with the included NIC and crossover cable) or into a hub with a bunch of computers. If you are using Wintel, that's all you need to do (there is no maintenance).

    You need to know how to use telnet and know that the router picks as its address to fsck with stuff.

    They're also reluctant to give you a static IP (which is why I'm switching)...

    The "prosumer" (gawd I hate that word) ISPs will make you switch your router to bridging mode, so that it simulates having your LAN plugged into a big fat hub with everyone else's DSL connection. In that case there is some assembly required (I'll be using an OpenBSD firewall/NAT/web server box as soon as USWest switches over the connection).

    With any luck those that don't know what they're doing won't need to.

  • I wish we would stop call these "modems". It's a router, not a modem. Modem == "Modulator Demodulator", and there is nothing being modulated (i.e., converted into sound) over a cable connection.


  • The bastards at cablevision went ahead and wired all of NY state, but didn't bother with Bergen County nj 25 minutes outside of nyc.......


    I have (sort of) the same problem here in Passaic County... I haven't heard of any kind of service for us either. :(

    The only kind of high speed service I've heard about around here is Bell-Atlantic's InfoDSL service.


  • Motorola's device is neat because it combines the whole kit & caboodle. If you're not into that there are a few other possibilities:

    It's cool to see that the solutions go from only hardware to mostly software.
  • uh, maybe i missed something, but....

    These boxes are sold to the consumer usually, and come with some very intuitive interfaces (check netopia, linksys, webramp). So, you can set your OWN port access and ssh stuff. It's just an easier interface, without 400 boxes between you and the connection. Every millisecond counts...
  • This is probably true; but for the majority of the population it may be a good idea.
    I don't think that these are exactly targeted at a common /.er. I know I would never consider doing my network that way! I love knowing about each piece of equipment, and how it's configured in my network, because it's fun for me. My parents, however, are soon moving to Middle_Of_Nowhere Minnesota and as soon (haha) as cable internet is available, they will want it, they will want it safe and easy.

    How did this get moderated up?
  • If you are using Wintel, that's all you need to do (there is no maintenance).

    ;-) &nbsp Now I don't know nuthin' about Motorola's EPROMs but I do know some 3COMs that tend to lose their little minds (as I noted previously) meaning that all that stuff programmed into them (routing paths, helpers, etc) go bye bye. &nbsp Meaning maintenance. &nbsp Plus router software versions change constantly, so you need to keep that updated AND it would be prudent that all your router boxes on the same net have the same software version. &nbsp Add to all this the fact that there is a severe shortage of WAN "experts" amongst the ISPs and I can see big problems ahead if this thing gets out there en masse.

    Because of stuff like configuration wipes that can occur, I miss having routers with some kind of floppy or even flash card (although you introduce the possibility of a "mechanical" failure as opposed to having a memory-based configuration).

    And I still have the concern about DDoSing because other than having those zombie Linux boxes out there, the latest DDoS attacks were magnified by misconfigured routers.

  • I don't know about the *BSD's, but on linux I used oidentd to handle ident requests behind a masqueraded connection.

    Oh, and as far as setting up a server on one of the boxes behind my masq box, I just use ipmasqadm. It suports port forwarding and the like. For instance, I run a q3 and ftp server on my main linux machine behind my masq box. Hope this helps.
  • I already share a cable connection (without my provider's knowledge or consent) with three other machines. I am using a little card-deck sized box from UMAX []. I bought their Ugate Plus [] and had no problems setting it up at all. I have been using it since August of '99. It does DHCP, but allows static addesses too. It also acts as a firewall. The only other thing you need is a hub in order to plug all the other machines into. This is a solution I definitely recommend.

    By the way, I did not need any extra IPs from my cable provider, as this thing subnets the one IP that your provider gives you.
  • Umm.. what is NAT?

    Do you think Hemmingway would have written so many novels if his typewriter had been capable of Open GL hardware-accelerated 3-D graphics?
  • by Cyan I.C. ( 161700 ) on Friday March 10, 2000 @04:06PM (#1211148) Homepage
    While this appears to be a nice product on the surface a number of issues remain both with the modem/router and with cable i-net access. As already mentioned if the nat's ports are non user configurable then what good is the nat to an advanced user? Particularly if it blocks functionality that some of us would prefer to have. The other major issue is cable access itself. A standard cable modem runs to a node which usually consists of a t1. In theory that node serves 10 customers who all have good bandwidth. A number of issues crop up here. A t1 costs approx 600-1000 a month, less for the isp, each cable user pays around 40-50 a month, which means that cable access on the surface means they are operating at a loss on a month to month basis. This means that to break a profit they need to overload their nodes which really hurts the user's access. Since the nodes run on an atm cloud style system, if one node gets overloaded and traffic spreads to other nodes, you can overload a whole network of these things. A buddy of mine was pinging 3000 minimum outside his node as a result of a total clusterfsck of his area. As if @home gives a damn, they just kept pullin in more customers. Back to topic, a nice modem cant fix the isps load issues, cable is still insecure and the bandwidth aint guaranteed, a fancy nat and router cant fix that.
  • Hey, overkill never hurt anybody :)

    But seriously, you are right.
  • Would they be happier if I just DL'd the max 15GB of pr0n every month, but ran no servers?

    Actually, they probably would be happier. I'm sure that they designate tons of download bandwidth to you, and then restrict the upload so that they can use the bandwidth for other income (ie web/ftp hosting).

  • USB never reaches close to 12 Mbit/sec (theoretical max). For tiny portables with only a USB link, this might be nice. No modem accessory required. For instance, the Palm. Use this USB connector [] to sync with your desktop & get on the 'Net at (relatively) high speeds. You can be certain USB will become standard on portables of all stripes, so it is a semi-useful feature. Then again, why not place an ethernet port on the little tikes.
  • I *think* that is the whole point of being Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) compliant.. so that they will work with any cable data system that is DOCSIS.. but I don't know that for sure. I wonder if TW/RR will be providing these as part of their rentals.. since it is against their TOS in most markets to run a NAT. (not that I know of anyone that lets that stop them..)
  • There is a caveat if you are a quake player.

    I recently bought a Linksys 4 port dsl/cable router/switch and I'm very happy with it overall. The only problem that I've had so far is that connecting multiple clients from behind the router to a quake server on the internet drops the connection of both computers. Apparently quake sees that 2 clients are connecting from the same IP (as the NAT server makes it look like both are from the same location) and get's messed up. It seems like there has to be a 1 to 1 correlation between quake clients and IP numbers as seen by the server. From what I've heard, Unreal Tournament doesn't suffer from this limitation and allows multiple clients to connect from the same IP.

    If anyone knows a way around this, let me know!
  • I'm beta-testing a Linux-based (the ColdFire uC port) NAT firewall/router/DHCP server in a box the size of a network hub (no disk, no fan; high MTBF maketh glad.) It's called a NETtel and it's made by a small company in Australia called Moreton Bay ( I am quite impressed with this device (one of these appeared on Slashdot a few months ago; one of their engineers tacked a DAC onto it and turned it into an MP3 player -- a neat hack.)

    The NETtel is small, VERY user-configurable via built-in HTTP interface (no hidden Big Brother shit here), resists my attempts to hack into it from the 'Net, and works really well in general. 'Tis worth checking out.

    (And NO, I do NOT get anything out of saying this; I genuinely LIKE the gadget, and I hope they do well with it.)
  • Wow, it took Motorola that long to get one of those certified. Cisco has had thier Ubr9x4 with 4 ethernet ports and up to 2 phone jacks. The inside has 8Mb ram and the box runs Cisco's Router OS. These cable modems are basically office routers and switches, and cable modems.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    What options are available for getting around them? When will cable companies realize that TOS agreements aren't going to stop ppl from running Napster or iMesh or any other service? I'm not saying we should be getting more than we pay for but...why the hell are they forcing asymetric service on us? If there is the backbone bandwidth to suppport 500KBps downloads, why the hell do they cap uploads at 16Kbps? There seem to be two major cable modem brands...the Lantastic Surfboard (ugh) and the Motorola Cybersurfer (double ugh). I've seen several people passing around a file that updates the BIOS on the Lantastic brand to remove the cap (upload speeds from 50Kbps to 100Kpbs) but so far nothing from the Motorola side. I've noticed that all Motorola cable modes have a serial port on the it possible to dial or telnet into this connection via modem or serial connection to reach a configuration menu?
  • by gharikumar ( 87910 ) on Friday March 10, 2000 @05:13PM (#1211169)
    I'm the engineer who wrote the HPNA
    driver for this box. The way it work is... the
    user is not expected to do anything to configure
    it. Configuration is done by the cable operator
    through SNMP.

    This is quite a cool product, if I do say so myself.
    The NAT and DHCP can be turned off, if necessary, so that the cable company can sell
    stuff as an add-on if they so choose.

    The advantage of this hub is that it does away
    with the necessity to string a coax cable from
    the cable modem (which usually sits near the TV
    in the living room) to the computer (which usually
    sits in the bedroom, upstairs etc.) Now, the cable
    guy can merely plug the cable modem into the
    nearest phone jack in the living room, plug
    the computers' HPNA card into the nearest
    phone jack and bingo! instant home network.

    A lot of vendors have PCI HPNA cards. I believe
    linux drivers are being worked on as well.

    Also, HPNA uses a different frequency range
    from G.Lite, so you could potentially have
    ADSL and HPNA signals on the same phone

    BTW, we have also a USB version of this
    hub, and a wireless version is on the way!
    We are also planning to build many more
    cool features into this box that I cannot
    talk about right now.

    Hari. (

  • Most CPE devices use something similar to hash codes, used in ascend CPE, to determine which services are available, such as firewall, nat, etc. Also, different security levels would permit lock out of certain features, such as a admin account with access to all services, and customer access, with the ability to modify setting such as port forwarding, and DCHP configurations. Unfortunately, the passwords users choose will probably be easily guessed or obtained via social engineering (Hi, the is Joe Administrator from you cable modem provider) I think that the implmentation of these devices needs to be carefully controlled, to avoid serious problems in system hijacking
  • Does anyone know of any external DSL or Cable modems that hook in via a serial connection or internal ones that are compatible with Linux? If they exist, then you can build your own firewall box.

    At home, I use an ISDN line hooked into a 3Com ImpactIQ going into an old PC running Linux. I've got a custom kernel on it, ipmasq, ipchains, and the like. Beats the hell out of the ISDN router I got from my employer. It's infinitely more flexible and I can actually understand how to configure it (anyone ever try and configure a Pipeline 75? Ewwwww!)

    I think most of you are being too hard on Mot and company. Yeah, these devices are somewhat more simplistic than what we can do ourselves, but most people don't have our level of knowledge. And let's face it, no security solution is going to be perfect. By rolling our own, we cetainly have the best chance at protecting ourselves.

    Here's an idea for a consumer-grade device: how about a device that can be updated with new security fixes automatically? Obviously, the companies would sell a subscription to this service. Look, ma, a new revenue stream!

    -- PhoneBoy
  • Not if you've got a laptop that you bring between home and another place with dhcp. Then you don't have to change settings each time you move.
  • Sorry, Tim, but modulation in the context of
    communication engineering does not necessarily
    involve conversion into sound. Modulation
    refers to the process of converting points
    of the signal constellation into analog
    waveforms suitable for transmission over
    a channel. It just so happens that for analog
    modems, the signal is audible.

    Believe me, there is plenty of modulation and
    demodulation taking place inside a cable


  • I guess the discussion is coming to a point whether we are no longer discussing Motorola's product, as stated in the article itself, but to the option the user does to the service being provided to him. You see, it's pretty much like somebody else told in the main thread: we are paying for the signal. What scares me is when we have money talking louder than quality of service. When we talk about high-speed connections, we want freedom too. I mean, what if I just connect a DSL machine to another machine thru another ethernet card and don't let it get nothing from the Internet, but still be able to get files I got from the Internet with that machine? Will that bypass the ToS? I guess so. It's time to stop with stupid commercial contracts obligating you to not do what you want to with things you've already paid for. I have heard true rumors that the new Brazilian DSL company named Speedy [] is limiting the number of TCP connections you can make at the same time! What is that? The same thing about a Cable Modem ISP, called Virtua [], which is charging for bandwidth (you get 1GB/MONTH with the standard access plan). Come on, give us a break.
    Carlos Laviola

  • WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING? Cable NEVER gets 4Mbit with most ISPs. Plus, if they're cheap, you get a downgrade at a T1, to 1.5mbit. Even with a T3 (we're talking local cable company), thats 11 people to saturate it.
  • The cable modem protocols have been
    standardized. The standard is called
    DOCSIS (Data Over Cable System Interface
    Specification). The Motorola product featured
    in the article has just been certified
    by CableLabs.

  • Hi,

    FYI, the Motorola product featured in the article
    can do HPNA/USB/Ethernet bridging as well.


  • Hmmm. Actually, I think you're right. First of all, I was lazy in my terms. I should have said "conversion to an analog signal" rather than "convert to sound".

    Second of all, a cable connection really isn't a "pure" digital signal like ISDN or DSL, it actually is an analog signal, so you're right, "modem" is correct.

    Sorry 'bout that.

    I think I was originally annoyed when I heard the term "ISDN modem", and the annoyance kind of bleed into "cable modem". :)


  • Please don't hate me because I'm beautiful. You can be beautiful, too [].


  • by sesquiped ( 40687 ) on Friday March 10, 2000 @06:38PM (#1211186)
    I have a cable modem and a local network, with three user nodes. This new modem would be great for a simple shared connection, but what if I want more? I want an IMAP mail server so that I can get saved mail from any of the three computers. I want an http server to use netscape roaming access, so I can get my bookmarks and preferences anywhere. I want a samba server to keep documents centralized and make backups easy. I want port forwarding to make servers on internal nodes visible.

    All those features make home network much easier for the users (just ask my parents :) ), but you can't do any of that with this simple modem. You need a server. Load linux on it, enable ip masquerading, named, and then configure to taste. I admit that most people wouldn't be able to set up all these features. My setup is not for everyone. I just don't want people to think this is the ultimate tool for a home network. Also, I'm predicting that people are going to want far more bandwidth than HomePNA can ever provide. I mean 100BaseT, for decent quality video between two points. If you do it yourself, with NICs, cat5, and a switch (yes, a switch. they're amazingly cheap these days, so buy one.), you'll have much more room for expansion in the future.

    In case you're wondering, my server is a $100 compaq from It's running RH6.1. No keyboard, mouse, or monitor. I get mail for all four family members with fetchmail, and serve it with imapd. It's a nice combination, and very easy to set up. All three clients run netscape mail under various windows versions. Roaming access for netscape is possible with some creative tweaks to apache. It's a _very_ nice feature. Use it. Other services: sendmail (for fetchmail and mailman mailing lists), apache, ssh, samba, ftp. If you're smart, you'll run a dhcp server too.
  • The only way I could see to do it (from a technological point of view) would be to monitor the source ports for outgoing connections. Win9x starts numbering ports at some low number, possibly 1024 (I haven't done that much research). Most NAT software remaps those ports to somewhere above 60000. If they start watching your port numbers, they can tell when you're not using plain old win9x. Of course, this would also detect those subversive alternative operating systems, like linux. Then again, based on some of the horror stores I've heard about cable ISP's, I would not be surprised if they suspended a linux users account for suspected NAT use, even if he wasn't using it :)
  • Even better and easier for motorolla: forbid "admin" connections from the outside world by default...

    Just a thought.

  • I have the Speedstream 5660 also. To switch it
    from bridge mode to router mode (DHCP/NAPT, etc)
    Do the following:

    Open a web browser and browse to the box, usually If you're using linux and don't have a network defined change your ip to or add an aliased ip. Once open, click
    VPI/VCI under configuration summary. Write down
    your VPI and VCI #. Now click on Change to router mode. Choose router and reboot the router.
    Once it comes back up click on Advanced Setup and
    Configure Virtual Connection. Enter the VPI and VCI, choose 1483 Bridged as a type, enter your IP
    and netmask and choose LLC as a multiplexing method. It may want you to reboot, if so do so.
    Now click on IP Routing and RIP Configuration, then configure IP gateway, enter that and you
    should be done. To allow certain services such
    as telnet/ssh/ftp/http through the firewall click
    on Network Address Port Translation (NAPT) Configure NAPT servers and enter the protocol, service, and your local area net IP address (such as Also, enable DHCP on your localmachine. If you need more help email me at
  • It is a pain trying to log onto IRC because identd does not get through.

    Check out this ident proxy [].
    I use it on my firewall/nat machine and it works great to allow irc connections from masq'd machines...
  • You're correct that a lot of upload caps are lower than they need to be, but it's not so much that the company wants to limit you from serving files. Cable modem data networks are simply asymmetrical by design. AFAIK (and that's not much :) a large part of the problem is that all of those other passively-connected nodes in your neighbourhood spread out to form a tree that effectively concentrates noise in the upstream direction. Data coming downstream only picks up the noise on the way to your house, not everyone else's. The result is that 1Mb/s is about the maximum upstream speed even on a sparsely-populated loop where the downstream could be four or five times as high.

    The cable company hereabouts actually does allow "servers", both in the TOS and in that they don't filter the ports for well-known services, but the upload cap is still there, because it's apparently fundamental to cable topologies. Companies that enforce much lower caps are probably doing so mostly much out of paranoia, because they don't know and haven't tested how much data can actually go upstream, and they don't want to find out by seeing service disrupted one fine day. You may be able to raise the cap from your end, but I would have thought you'd have to configure the cable head for that; your end is usually a slave component of the bridge. Even if you do, it may not raise the effective throughput as much as you'd think, kind of like what happens when you force a 56k modem to stay connected faster than it wants to (with commensurately higher error rates).

    ADSL is similarly asymmetrical for other technical (cost-reducing) reasons as much as administrative ones (check the price against traditional [S]DSL technologies from your telco).

  • I've had a cable modem for almost 2 years and know a shitload of people around Michigan using one. Here are some facts I have come to know as a result of this and other circumstances: (All numbers refer to bits)

    1. Motorola's modems theoretical top speed is around 33 mbps, but even that is limited to 10 mbps ethernet interface.

    2. I have NEVER hit faster than 1.6-1.8 mbps.

    3. I have a REALLY REALY GOOD connection. Most people I know almost never hit 1 mbps.

    4. A guy I worked with was told directly by one the senior managers of Mediaone that for the for foreseeable future, even though the local loops can probably handle around 7 mbps, they are capping it around 1-2 mbps.

    But most of all, let's use common sense. Since that kind of bandwidth would be useless without a serious backbone upgrade for Mediaone and others I don't see why anyone would care. Think of this if you will as the first generation cell phones. I don't think it mattered that much which bulky Motorola phone you got for free from your cell phone company ten years ago, they all ended up in the garbage pretty soon anyway.
  • by Bob-K ( 29692 ) on Friday March 10, 2000 @08:16PM (#1211199)
    Well, every Internet connection is a shared connection; the fact that cable modems share a local loop as well as an upstream connection is pretty irrelevant. The cable company can build a bottleneck in the local loop, or they can build it in their routers. It's just a case of where they decide to spend their money.

    I used MediaOne when I lived in Massachusetts, and was pretty impressed the way they handled it. They used DHCP, which allowed them to limit the number of modems sharing a loop. But even during the fast growth, you only got renumbered two or three times a year. You could choose your own host name, you could run servers with 384K upstream bandwidth. People would get somebody to host DNS, and they'd run web servers, mail servers, ftp, private NNTP servers, just about everything, and with MediaOne's full blessing.

    And when you think about it, why is upstream bandwidth any different than downstream? Everything that goes out of a server has to go into a computer somewhere else. Connections have two ends, the bandwidth is no more precious on one end than the other.
  • Well, I have Rogers/Wave (Rogers=local cable monopoly;) cable in sunny Toronto ;-) and my experience has been that the bottleneck clearly isn't at my end. The average HTTP server gives me ~40 Kbytes, trailers ~90, really nice sites ~100. My current record holder is at about 140 kbytes, which works out to c. 1120 kbits (ah, but one megabit is actually 1024 kbits, forget this in my original post), so a little above DSL.

    On their website Rogers/Wave have some blurb about their architecture which is overly abstruse and reassuringly vague. visit [] for their take.

    As far as the actual box goes, both Rogers and the manufacturer, Terayon, are deliberately vague. Rogers seem to imply that the limitation was the 10mbit ethernet connector card... But they used a 100mbit one... (Rogers are a particularly unimpressive breed of monopoly. I won't hazard my TOS and your patience by narrating my experiences with them, but they were positively Heller-esque at times). My 4mbit figure is taken from various books on networking in general I've read, and seems to be generally accepted as a baseline (at least for non-tech purposes). And I did mention that Cable varies quite significantly.

    Really, if anyone was smoking crack it was the guy who made sweeping comments about specific 1mbit technology implementations when everyone knows there are a) a few impl.s and b) other (xDSL, cable, etc.) techs. about. No worries, though. :)

  • Hawking has a router [] with a lowest street of $150, with a $50 rebate, making it $100 after rebate .

    Computers4sure has it for $150.
    non-afilliate link []
    affillate link []
    Not quite the deal of a 4 port switch, but hell, it's $100 with a web interface and telnet.

  • All signals are analog. All signals that carry information are modulated in some fashion. The simplest modulation is on-off keying. For example, 2.6V-5VT is defined as "1" and below 2.4V is "0". That's probably what your thinking of as "pure digital" but, aside from *short* range copper and fiber, nothing is on-off-keyed.

    The modulation ISDN uses called 2b1q
    ADSL uses DMT. DMT is pretty complex. It envolves sending data across multiple sinusoidal subcariers. It looks nothing like a square wave.

  • Exactly what I am saying, but I appologize that I cannot provide any links to this topic, since all beta materials that I have are under a NDA and I cannot reveal more information.

    USB acting as a 12 mbit NIC? Yeppo! :)

  • Cable companies have a hard time actually capping connections on their end, usually this is done via the modem's config. ADSL is not like that though. Most ADSL networks have the ATM link limitted to a certain ammount of bandwidth. You cannot just flash a modem to upgrade it's speed with ADSL (unless its not a capped service).

    With the 3Com Dual Link modem (basically the same thing as what Motorola is now saying they are going to offer) there is a console and telnet ability... If you want a real "hackable" modem, I'd recommend the 3Com dual link.

    The 3Com dual link is VERY VERY VERY configurable via the console, you just have to know what your doing. It handles multiple ATM links also.

  • Sprint/Earthlink has a policy for it's DSL subscribers, which I have refused to follow and I make it very clear to any Sprint techs that I do not believe in it.

    If they see any kind of network in the home, they will not do the install, unless it is a business account. If they come on site for maintenance or something and notice a network, they terminate service.

    Sprint / Earthlink suck pretty bad in terms of what they allow customers to do. Plus it appears like some areas they force all connections going out to a port 80 to filter through their proxy/caching servers is one of those I believe. (Anyone want to root it? :)

  • Not if you have a lot of boxes, or you have a laptop that travels between home and work.
  • I've never heard the 4mbps used, but you are surely mistaken about the 10 vs 100mbps. 10 mbps reffers to the ethernet port of the modem itself. No matter what you connect to it, even a gigabit card if you got one, will go over 10 mbps.

    Furthermore, almost all modems in use today are compliant to fairly similar specs, so modems are not that far apart. The robustness of the backend architecture effects your experience, the technology itself is similar.

    Third, ADSL. If relatively few people are on your local circuit, cable modem beats the pants off ADSL. They are about twice the fast on upload AND download. The upload on ADSL is extremely limited. Most importantly though I had the misfortune of finishing a botched install of ADSL for my best friend's parents. Having worked in the field I consider myself fairly proficient in this kind of thing, but it even took me more than 6 hours to do what 2 telco technicians couldn't over a whole day. Until that is solved I think ADSL is pretty much useless in on the free market.
  • Are you talking about Quake 3 or the first one? My roommate and I play Quake 3 on the same server all the time through our single IP. No special configuration required.
  • I realy dont understand why computer geeks dont see that these appliances are good for even them.

    When was the last time that you met an electrical engineer who rewired his house with a 'better' power system than 120vRMS (ok, Im in NA) with a dedicated ground? Ill tell you when: never.

    In this case the people who this is targated at are more likely to (unknownly) have Win9x file and print shares open to the world than need to ssh home. All things consitered, I would solve that problem at the source by not doing that by default, but the idea of 'big brother' helping the vast majority of the population by blocking that port will make my life easier: "Why are there random things being printed to my printer?" "Why is my drive full of porn?"

    And netpliances are not just for the home: today I was at a conference and Compaq was showing off one of there internet caching appliances. It just sits there happily in 3U of rack space with a drive for the OS and logging, cache compleatly in RAM, and a floppy drive for rappid config cloning (open shipping box, mount in rack, insert disk, power on :"ooh, I have a disk" churn churn churn "done, config'd"). Config from a web browser (point it to 10.x.x.x:unusual - non routable). Benchmarked (yes: lies, dam lies..) ad something like 20x Squid. It just works. Its Insanly Great.

    Now its a bit pricy ($15k), but that only 10months of T1 access where I am, and it has all your big server things like hot swappable/plugable drives, redundant PSs etc etc. and its targeted at huge businesses, so prehaps not.

    My point is, things are compleatly different now: Boxes that just sit there and do what there told, and are rock solid, and dont require administrative intervention are the new world.

  • I actually agree with you in many points. Yes, well configured default settings of these NAT/firewall will benefit everyone including me. Current product seems to come fully configurable condition and looks attractive.

    It won't be too long before these large DSL/cable venders get an idea to use these products for their advantage. If I were teleco/cable service vender exec, I sure will like this kind of nasty scheme. This is my worry.

    Another nasty idea is limit access speed or total accumulated bandwidth to restrict large continuous use of bandwidth.

    As long as DSL/cable connect box do not get too smart, this will not happen.

    When I subscribed DSL, pacbell gave me STATIC IP, but new subscribers are getting dynamic IP unless they pay premium. I bet static IP should involves less software and easier to maintain for teleco too.

    Why? Answer is to discurage Server use which geeks like me will love to have.

    Get the picture?
  • The solution seems obvious enough to me.
  • now all i need is for cable to be laid in my area....=(
  • Thanks for the info! If I could moderate you, I'd moderate you up because I'm probably going to pick one of these up this weekend.

  • The bottom line on Cable Companies is this: they are still the same "content-providers" they were when all they offered was TV. This is their mindset- you pay a little, we give you some entertainment interspersed with commercials; you pay more, we give you better quality entertainment without the commercials; you pay even more, we give you current movies/events are scheduled intervals; you pay through the nose and we might be able to give you entertainment on demand. This is their business model and it's proven to work.

    They don't get this "internet thing". They don't understand home-based web publishing. They don't want to know about home-based *nix servers. They want you to pay for the services _they_ provide. It's not about you.

    The cable companies are providing you with cheap, fast, shared access- and probably doing so at a loss- because they want all of your other entertainment dollars. End of story.

    It's going to be the phone companies (ILECs, CLECs, etc.) who fill the niche for SOHO and power-users. Why? Because their tried and true business model is based upon providing service, not content. They bring in a line, they charge you for the time. Pretty simple and they're not interested in who you call or what you do.

    And, just to piss everyone off, we're going to see a lot more metered usage-based charges for service. It's inevitable. There will be three tiers of service: home- flat-rate unmetered but probably restricted, only limited by the number of people they can get signed on, will be bandwidth starved during peak hours; small office- which will allocate minimum bandwidth guarantees but will cost a higher flat rate and/or have per/mb metered usage fees for high volume use; business- negotiated minimum/maximum, service fees/service guarantees, metered usage fees. Get used to it.
  • ADSL is pretty much useless in on the free market
    Uh, why is it useless?
    I have Bell/Stinkpatico's ADSL with the NORTEL 1 Meg Modem, and the only thing I had to do on my end was plug the thing into the wall and my Mac and install the PPPoE software!
    As for Cable Modems, think about availability: Rogers has no clear time as to when they're getting around to providing access in my neighbourhood, whereas Bell ADSL was available throughout *most* of Toronto in December 1998.

  • The same thing about a Cable Modem ISP, called Virtua, which is charging for bandwidth (you get 1GB/MONTH with the standard access plan). Come on, give us a break.

    It's a normal situation where high speed lines are not common. If you try to buy a leased line in Russia you will be billed per gigabyte. ~70% of our ISPs do that. What's the problem?

  • My (limited, obviously) understanding of "modulation" was encoding information onto a carrier wave, which I thought wasn't necessary for ISDN (or for that matter, ADSL, but I was less sure there).

    This Modem FAQ List [] mentions under ISDN, "With ISDN, you won't need a modem since no modulation or demodulation will be necessary. You will need an ISDN adapter instead."

    All signals are analog.

    Well, maybe, but I think there is a difference between "analog electronics" and "digital electronics".


  • The U-Gate 3000 has been powering my home connection for a long time now. My 6 PCs all have shared access through 10/100 Ethernet. DHCP, NAT and other services work too.
  • Check out The 2e-500 and 2e500h will work behind cable and dsl modems.
  • "Sigh... All I want...full-time connection, static IP, primary/secondary DNS, MX, about US$50-US$60/month."

    I work for a CM provider and we do all that you want at reasonable prices. DNS/MX w/static..$50 setup and $10 per month on top of your other services. Basic cable modem service is going to run you $40 per month.
    We run our network a bit differently from others around the US. We give you dedicated bandwidth and have built the network so that you are *not* competing with your neighbors for bandwidth.
    We also give you a per month GB limit. Exceed it and it costs you $20 per GB. Great for those MP3 and pr0n junkies.
    Joe Average User gets 256/64 with 5gb of data transfer for $39.99. Add $10 and upgrade your speed to 512/128 but the data transfer stays the same.
    Want more GBs? $100 gets you 768/192 w/10gb, $300 is 1024/256 w/17gb.
    Wanna run a game server? Go ahead.
    Wanna run a http/ftp server? Go ahead.
    Wanna have more than one machine hooked up? Go ahead.
    You can have up to 8 using our DHCP server to assign IPs. You're already paying for the what you want with it. Our pricing is the same for consumers as it is for business when dealing with the cable modem products.
    The only catch with all this? You have to move to Alaska.

    I'm not sure the Motorola product will be compatable with our current network. I'm thinking not. We're working with Com21 on a similar CM/FW unit.
    Kaz, the cable modem queen
  • by ThoBr ( 20759 )
    SO!! My cable modem does not.. that is the point. Or were you just trying to get an early post?
  • Someone sounds bitter. ;)
  • I never said it did. However, the main problem is the USB has much lower overhead than ethernet. USB is just a connecter on the PCI bus. It has no real protocol to speak of. Ethernet, however, has to go through (usually) TCP/IP (great for flexibility, crappy for speed) then all the other stuff in the OSI model. Thus ethernet is impractical for a machine with a 16MHz proc. Also, USB probably hits a higher average than 10mbps ethernet
  • Not plugging it in doesn't help if it's integrated with the modem and there's only one plug.
  • Another one is at []

  • Am I the only person who starts thinking about how network topologies actually work when he reads stuff like this?

    I'm sorry ... but for the last several months I've read just one too many "cable modems are shared bandwidth" pieces of ... ;-)

    If you have 1000 modems dialing into a very expensive piece of equipment that turns them all into one digital fibre signal connected to the routers (scenario A), you have shared bandwidth.

    If you have a few dozen cable modems interconnected and then connected to a group router (scenario B), you have shared bandwidth.

    If you have a few dozen ADSL connections directly into a large switching router (scenario C), you still have shared bandwidth.

    What's the difference? Well, its possible in A and C to not have other machines physically connected to each other, not that this has a lot to do with security, seeing as the other solutions often aren't properly configured (and encryption is the "right way" to secure your data).

    All the scenarios have one (or more) major pipes to the rest of the Internet and several smaller pipes to the clients. If an ADSL supplier has 100 clients at 1 megabit each and only bought 10 megabits of bandwidth (ISPs never buy full bandwidth if they want to stay in business), the bandwidth is, at peak hours, limited to that 10 megabits over all the customers who are using their connections simultaneously.

    If the cable modem company puts a limited number of cable modems on any given area router and purchases enough bandwidth, they're set to be just as fast as can be, no matter how many people are online.

    The issue is network topology and configuration, not inherent design issues with ADSL, ISDN, Cable, or whatever.

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears