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Re: Insight Broadband


As far as I know, InsightBB's internet service is fairly consistent over
the coverage area.  Getting this to work with linux though, is not a
difficult thing to do at all but indeed there is a trick to it.
I'm not sure what sort of networking background you have, but I will try
to give you an "efficient" explanation.

As far as the cablemodem goes, it's simply an Ethernet bridge connected
to a smarter-than-average Layer 2 network.  When you have a device (ex:
a computer with a NIC) plugged into it, it of course has a unique MAC
address right? Well, this is what insight uses for security of some
degree.  They have a DHCP server that knows which of these MAC addresses
are authorized, and which are not.  For the ones that are authorized, a
public IP is assigned, along with the relevant gateway.  For the
unauthorized devices, a private, non-routeable IP in addition to a
pseudo-gateway type thing.  When you try to go to any website using a
private IP on insight's network, you are redirected invariably to
http://sas.r31.insightbb.com , which is a webserver that takes your 
your 16-digit Insightbb.com account number and 12-digit registration
code, and allows you to register the MAC address you're using.  They
then tell you to reboot, because in windows, this will force a dhcp
renew request, which will in turn result in receiving a public ip.
More information is available on the "Device Change" process at 
http://help.insightbb.com/account/device_change.html .

Please note though, that I have not tried this myself, as I am not an
insight customer, and this theory of operation is something I just
thought up after helping a few friends get their unix-like operating
systems working with insight.  Presumably though, your plan of action is
as follows:

1. Connect the Linux machine to the cablemodem.
2. Run `dhcpcd eth0` to get a private IP on insight's network. (this is
assuming that eth0 is the NIC connected to the cablemodem.
3. Fire up a browser (the newest version of Firebird is really nice have
you tried it? ;-P) and go to http://sas.r31.insightbb.com
4. Run around your house screaming until you find your account number
and registration code.
5. Enter in this information and click "Submit"
6. On the next screen, click replace to replace your old device's mac
address (the windows box) with a new one (of the linux box)
7. On the website I'm getting this information from,
http://help.insightbb.com/account/device_change.html it looks as if you
may have to give it a name, though since you are REPLACING, that may not
be the case.
8. Now the website says you have to reboot, which we all know is bull,
run `dhcpcd -k eth0` to release the current ip address and `dhcpcd -n
eth0` to renew the dhcp lease (and get a new, working IP address).
9. As you've probably discovered already, you get some very speedy 3
megabit per second downloads on insight, try not to get busted by the

Oh by the way, a little "gotcha" I've heard a few people mention.
Supposedly, this device registration site uses Active-X controls or
something.  If it seems to be not working in the browser of your choice,
you may end up borrowing the NIC out of the linux box, putting it in
your Windows machine only to do device registration in the worse excuse
for a browser ever, IE.  After you're done, simply put the NIC back into
the Linux machine and use dhcpcd.  Another solution would be (provided
the Linux box was to be a router) get iptables and masquerading working
real fast (hah) and just use IE on the windows box through the Linux
router just as you will be after it's working.  Or, if you're really
into it for some fun, try getting IE working under the latest build of

I again remind everyone that I haven't tried this, I've had a long day,
and I'm exhausted.  Feel free to correct me anything about this that may
be wrong. (I realize that the previous statement is dangerous on a
mailing list)


On Wed, 2003-08-13 at 14:28, Chad Fendt wrote:
> Hello,  I have recently moved to IL and am trying to
> get my cable internet setup with InsightBB.  They seem
> to not be very Linux friendly.  Does anyone on the list
> have experience setting up a Linux box on the InsightBB
> network?  Right now I have a Windows machine using the
> cable modem, but I would like to eventually setup
> a router/firewall and allow the two machines to share the
> connection.
> Thanks for any help, 
> - chad
> ______________________________________________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free, easy-to-use web site design software
Bill Fehring <luci@billfehring.com>

bigbadbil @ irc.nullirc.net/#null

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