February 01, 2004

MAC address and cable modem

As my aunt is generously hosting me until I get a job and an appartment and that I need to use as well her internet cable connection, I run into a dilemna. I realized shortly that the RCA cable modem is using MAC address authentication, meaning that the damn thing will only work with the ethernet card plugged into her PC (a MAC address is hardware specific). Switching the connection between computers does not work and the reset button is simply ineffective.

Solution: Unplug the power from the cable modem.

After a few trials and errors it looks like it needs to be unplug for about 3h so that all condensators are discharged... I can then plug it into another PC. Very interesting but also very ineffective technique.

To make things easier, I bought what I thought was a router (next time I will take more than 5 sec. reading). I bought it a little bit too fast as it is in fact a simple 5-port switch that may work if there is not MAC address authentication...but in this case it does not work. Mmmm...damned

Then a sudden idea came to my mind...a good router/switch combo normally has a MAC address cloning feature to do just that. Ok what can I do here to make things easier...cloning the address. Yes...but by simply changing it on my netword card from Windows XP as it hopefully allows it (Fujitsu and Realtek I love you).

It works like a charm and I can now plug my laptop easily without ruining the configuration and having to wait hours. The 5-port switch is not very useful, but that will be for next time. I can probably find some use for it once I will have my appartment, though I expect to use WiFi.

Posted by stephane at February 1, 2004 11:53 PM