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@Home Cable for Newbies

Unrestricted cable offers a bandwidth of 125K/sec upload, and at least 1.5 Mb/sec download. I never did find out its max download speed. You also get a relatively set IP address (semi dynamic). To check your IP in Win9x simply go to the start menu, click "run" and type "winipcfg" (no quotations). Use the pulldown bar to switch from the PPP adapter to your Ethernet card that the cable people installed in your computer (probably 3Com). Click on more info if you like. It tells you your IP address, which will start with 24.xx.xxx.xxx. This number is retained for long periods of time. Note the date that it lists your lease on this IP. It gives you a lease date and a lease expiry date. If your IP does change, its gonna happen when your computer is off and the lease expiry date goes by, but usually the lease expiry date has no effect on your IP. You can either use this IP to advertise your ftp if you have one set up, or if you like do a DNS on this number using netlab or some such and find out your computer's name and give that out to people. But your best bet is to follow the instructions below. But remember this IP is basically married to your netcard. Having a stable IP is good and bad. Its good because you can give this IP to people who have firewalls or restrictions on their ftp servers and only allow certain IP's to log in. It's bad because it makes it much easier for people to tell who's been bugging them. It also reads like a target to some hackers, who hang out in IRC waiting for unsuspecting cable users to login so they can send nasty Trojans and exploit you bandwidth. (I once got a few hundred emails asking me to unsubscribe people from my porn mailing list. Sheesh! At 125K upstream you sure can send a lot of emails fast, and if the Trojan script kiddy does it right, the poor cable user never even knows his computer is doing it.) Solution? Get a firewall!! Anything to make it a little harder to be hacked. Personally, I like to keep everything I need saved on floppies or CD's. If I even suspect I've been hacked I format immediately. (And NEVER save your ICQ dB in the case of a hack... that might be how they did it. Instead export your ICQ personal address book to a floppy instead. Yeah you have to reauthorize, but you at least you'll be sure you're clean.) As for the installation disk they give you, throw it out. That @home browser crap they install slows everything down. The drivers they supply for the netcards are old. Even if you like the @home browser, at least turn off the browser proxy they give you. To do that, check the tutorial on proxies. Should be near the top. It is very slow and confuses the browsers when using keywords in the address bar. Find out what your netcard is by checking at the back of the booklet they give you. Go to the manufacturer's website and download the latest netcard drivers and put them on floppies. It should only take one floppy to fit a netcard driver, unless you get sucked into downloading that NIC utility disk as well. You have no need of that. All you need to get the full glory of cable is any computer, from a 486 25Mhz or up, and any Ethernet card with proper drivers. You don't need Windows, or a CD-ROM, or lots of ram, or Pentium class or anything else. Just a MB, chip (any chip), HD and a netcard. The reason they want you to have better equipment is because people with 486's used to call for service support too often, so they upped the requirements. You don't need the @home browser to activate things like email or webspace either. It's all available through their website, although the links to the places are a little tricky. Setup your email in your browser the same way you would with any new ISP account. All the proper info is at the back of the pamphlet they give you. I don't even let the guy touch my computer anymore. I just tell him to set up the cable line, give me the netcard and go away. They always get antsy about it, but a few kicks in the butt, (actually I usually give the addy 1

to this website to them) gets them out the door. Like I want some @home cable guy screwing with ANY of my computers. I don't even let my old roommate pawnmaster do that. The only people allowed to touch any of my computers are the ones who hack their way in, and the minute I detect them. Fdisk, format and reinstall, baby. If I suspect it was one of those three letter people, (like IAD or BSC or whatever, I'll even go so far as to low level format. ooohhh.. gives me a couple hours to catch up on reading Maximum PC). Get a new netcard for every time you get a new account or move. Tell them you lost/broke the old one or it's still packed away somewhere or got lost in the move. If they gave you a PCI one last time, get an ISA one this time (for using in a 486 as a cable signal server to set up a home network). They get the best netcards and are actually worth a fair amount and they always have a few hanging around in the truck. Most cable installers hand them out like candy. Other special notes about cable is that if you use IRC, you either have to use a proxy and a server that allows proxies, (see tutorial on IRC) or you have to use the network's dedicated cable server. For Dalnet, I think it's irc.home.net. The problem with that being 1) everyone knows you're on cable when you login, making you a hacker target. 2) the @home IRC servers suffer netsplits from the rest of the network CONSTANTLY.. It can get quite aggravating. Websites you frequent will get to know who you are. No longer are you USER10051@sprint.com. Now they can trace back to exactly your account on the @home network. Once again, use a proxy for your browser, but NOT the @home proxy. Use one of the ones you get following the instructions on the proxy tutorial for http proxies.

Webhosting
Sure, host a site from home. Only if you set up a home network behind the cable line and dedicate on of the computers to JUST webhosting. It can support a UBB with about max 200-300 members before it starts crapping out. It can support any home start up business, providing you aren't starting with a BANG. Remember to get a dynamic address as described below though.

FTPing
Here's where the fun is. Start downloading 8 files at a time. Watch the speed. Whizzz. Fill your HD in less than a day. Go buy a burner to make use of it all. Uploading. What? Only 20 K/s upload to the site? Screw that! Start multiple sessions. As I said, the cumulative total upload speed for unrestricted cable should be around 120K/s. I have heard its around 20-40K/sec for capped cable. This means about 1 1/2 Hrs to upload a full CD of compressed data. Their webspace is usually about 5 or 10 MB's that they will host for you. It is not .com-able. It is checked regularly for content. Don't bother arguing with them. They have strict rules and conditions. I have used it before as an image host, but it's way too slow. Better off to get a free space somewhere else.

Email
Be very, very careful of attachments. They allow up to 5 MB of email at any given time. DON'T set your browser to check for email every X minutes. For some reason it's been seizing a lot of computers lately because the email server often goes down, due to its incredible bizzyness. Check it manually every now and then. Its actually a very fast email server and can be checked even if you aren't using the @home network (i.e.: checking your @home email account from work or even with hotmail will work, if the settings are correct and the mail fits within hotmail criteria (2mb or less))

Problems
They are working on the @home network constantly. They are pretty good about giving you warnings about interruption in service. Here's how to diagnose problems with Cable. 1) look at the modem lights. Are they blinking? If they blink at a repetitive flash, i.e.: flash...flash...flash... or are flashing red, then the problem is the @home network. Unplug your cable modem, turn off your computer and wait ten minutes. Plug the modem back in, turn your computer back on and see if the flashing stops. No go? Call tech support and find out what the @#&*$ is going on. Red blinking means the network is dead dead. Check you cable attachment to the modem. Green flashing means the modem is attached to the network, but can't find anything. Often unplugging you cable modem (both power and cable) when the computer is off and plugging it in again later takes care of this. This is not the kind of occasional blink flash blink blink flash you get when you are watching the lights when you ARE attached. In that case the ONLINE green light stays on and the send/receive lights are the ones blinking. 2) the online light is on, but you aren't going anywhere. The problem is within your computer. This may mean you need a reboot, or to remove all your network items in the network control panel and reboot and reinstall them, or at worst reinstall windows, or even format because you got hacked. Try this. Try splicing the TV signal off your cable modem line. Does it work? It used to in my area, until I told everyone in the city about it and they fixed the problem. Now we only get 13 channels off the @home cable. Nevertheless, I have NEVER paid double (TV and @Home) for both services. $80/month. Sheesh! Pretty soon all TV will broadcast over the Internet anyway.

Dealing with @HOME IAD (Internet Abuse Division)


@Home regularly scans their own customers looking for anonymous ftps on port 21. So if you do set up an ftp, try and use a higher port. like anything over 10000. If they find an anonymous FTP port 21 and it has warez or porn or even mp3's they will probably download some for "evidence" and delete the rest and email you from their IAD department. Noone there admits that they have deleters, but I know of two who legally scan their own network, and are applying for the same position right now, heh heh. They also keep records of bandwidth usage. They told 3

me not to run a radio station (shoutcast) 24/7. The way it was explained to me though was to break into the bandwidth slowly. Try to keep it under 10 gigs the first month and work your way up slowly, capping at about 70gigs/month. The company will get used to you, and may actually cap you at certain times, but 70 gigs for 40 Bucks a month isn't bad. If you ever get called about your usage tell them anything; you're running a quake server, you're running shoutcast, you're developing a video game with some friends and you are exchanging the movie clips, you are broadcasting live porn to your T1 server which relays it out to your customers (be careful with that one, it implies you are a business, which costs more and is capped), or that you don't know anything about bandwidth, but your computer sure got slow ever since you installed napster. Anything but warez. Just remember, the Internet abuse division of @home is pretty on the ball about phoning people for complaints. At the same time a few people who don't have cable have realized this, and now try and get you in crap with the IAD (internet abuse division) for their own purposes, so IAD is getting more lenient and is giving the customer the benefit of the doubt if their story is good enough. Admit nothing. If they call you about uploading to places you shouldn't be or doing anything that can be considered a DOS (denial of service) attack, the best story is to say that you run multiple machines in the house. Since @home wants an extra $20/month for every additional IP you use, you network all the machines through one using a wingate. This implies that someone else could have logged into your wingate and used your bandwidth and IP to upload to the server using their own files. @Home will tell you to start logging all wingate activity and enable password security on your wingate. Thank them for their patience. It is also good practice to keep the subseven Trojan handy. If you get a call from @home IAD then infect yourself, run the Cleaner and get a screenshot of the cleaner having found the Trojan. Do this by hitting the "print screen" button when the cleaner is showing the scan results, then open MSpaint and paste. Send the screenshot in an email to IAD and they will believe you. Don't use all the excuses at once. Use a lame one first time like. "I don't know what my roommate was doing on the computer, but he moved out today anyway. What is it he's supposedly done?" You get three strikes, but I have managed to extend it to six or seven before using the right sequence of excuses. It got to the point where IAD and I were known to each other (it was my roommate's account. I never DID get him booted, and they used to call me "the roommate". "Hello? This is **** communications Internet abuse division. Is 'the roommate' there?" heh heh. It was for everything from scanning, to uploading, to ping bombing (still one of my favorite, to make a phoneliner have to disconnect. 125K/sec no delay pings, seize any 56K right up, heh heh. They call it 56K, but we all know the fastest they can respond to pings is at a blazing 4.2K upstream speed. :p) Basically anything that could be called DOS (denial of service). Hell, I even once actually hacked the security on an ftp (don't bother, its not worth it) and forgot to use the proxy in the ftp client. DOH!! I should have been booted for that one. I had to use the Subseven Trojan excuse. Phew. I even turned it on them and started bitching about how ever since I got cable it's been one attack or another on my machine, so now I have to remember to unplug the cable when I go out and have to switch to phoneline to use IRC. Blah, blah, blah,.. And can I please have a new IP, and why is @home security so terrible? Well they didn't give me the new IP, but they did leave me alone, no warnings. Typically you get 3 strikes with @home. First one is a slap on the wrist warning. Second one is a one-week suspension (they credit the bill for the week off). Third time they get mad. Don't scan much unless you do it through a proxy. I went through 5 days straight before they said anything. I started at 1.0.0.0 and only got as far as 79.0.0.0 or something like that. They 4

mostly got mad at me for scanning the 24.0.0.0's. Duh.. Scanning my own ISP. Talk about a Darwin Awards candidate.

Changing Your IP
Ok now say you did something to piss someone off and they know your IP. Since you are on cable, you're sunk right? If they are motivated, you'll never get a break, right? Wrong! Cable IP's DO change. Rarely, but they DO. There are a few ways you can do it yourself. Don't bother phoning @home. They can do it under certain special circumstances, but they almost never do. 1) Go to the start menu, click run and type in winipcfg. Change the pulldown bar to your Ethernet card and click "more info" and then click "Release all". Now turn off you computer and unplug your cable modem for a few days. What happens is that your IP is married to you Ethernet card. When you click "release all" your leased IP gets thrown back into the pool of IP's and, if you are lucky, someone else who is either new to @home, or has a new computer, will end up with your number. It's best to do this on weekdays when lots of new people get signed up. When you finally do get back online you will have a new IP, hopefully. The odds of this working depend on the amount of time your computer is off and the number of new accounts signed up in your "node". 2) Do the same as above, but while you are offline, change your Ethernet card. You don't HAVE to use a 3Com. any decent standard NIC card will do. This has worked for me before, but only when I remembered to "release all" first. You don't have to be offline for 5 days or whatever, just make sure your cable modem is unplugged for the hour or so while you install and configure the new Ethernet card. 3) This never failed to work for me. I thought it up while testing some computers I was fixing and noticed that the IP's on each one were different. Ok take the Ethernet lead from your cable modem, plug it into the infeed of any Ethernet hub. Connect TWO computers to the hub. Fire them both up. Your main computer retains the old IP. The new computer (in my case an old 486 with a used NIC compatible Ethernet card) has a brand new number. If you leave them like this for a week, @home will bill you for the second IP. Turn everything off, switch the Ethernet card in the computers and when you fire up your main computer again (switching drivers of course) BANGO! New IP. Sure it's a hassle, but its a lot easier that what @home has to do to get you a new IP. They have to kill your old account and sign you up to a brand new one while making paperwork of what they are doing and why... It's also a hell of a lot better than turning you computer off for days on end in the HOPES of changing your IP. I have no doubt there are better methods. One method I always wanted to try but never got around to was to flash my netcard's firmware. See if I could change its name, or if changing its default resources would help. If anyone (especially you @home employees) can add to this, please do. Post in the discussion board, or email Jefe or I a follow up tutorial.

Dynamic IP's
If you change your IP then how is everyone gonna find your serv-u? I get update letters from friends all the time whose addys have changed. Well you shouldn't have advertised your IP in the first place. Dynip.com will give you any addy you wish, e.g. www.BiZftp.dynip.com which will remain constant no matter whether your cable number changes or not. It works for phoneliners too. But it is only a 30-Day free trial, and I don't trust the crack for it as it communicates with the head office everytime. Best to pay the $25 yearly fee. Or better yet, go get one of those www.BiZftp.dyn.ml.org addys from. They are free and also give you a constant addy. Again, these are a MUST for anyone trying to make a phoneline ftp server. @Home currently does not support '.com' hosting on their webspace or on your home computer. Now to get Jefe to write a tutorial on ADSL since I'm the newbie now... heh heh Here's some essential cablemodem links people have sent me and ones I've come across on my own, including one on how to set up a decent home network using up only one IP and avoiding the extra charges for additional IP usage. http://www.speedconnect.com http://navasgrp.home.att.net/tech/ http://www.speedguide.net/