The Sound You Hear

Well, THAT sound is the fireworks being shot off up on the hill by knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, pinhead excuses for human beings who apparently think the “EXTREME FIRE DANGER” warnings (not to mention the dozen-plus active brush fires in SoCal) are for everyone else. I know that the LAPD is probably stretched thin, but couldn’t we spare one officer to make sure these clowns end up sitting in a cell someplace until at least the 5th?

But the OTHER sound you hear is the wailing of the war drivers who can no longer mooch off of our wi-fi. (Note for the record – I have absolutely NO reason to believe that any of our neighbors are actually are doing this. They all are lovely people.)

We’ve been having more and more serious and more frequent issues with our internet connection for the last two weeks or so. Today I was able to take care of the problem. Our cable modem was years and years old and finally failing. It was relatively simple to swap it for a newer one at the cable company office. They also said that our connection speeds would increase significantly. (That would be a sweet byproduct of this upgrade!)

It turns out that our new modem has built-in, dual channel wi-fi. We had been using a separate wi-fi router before, but it hasn’t had any security on it for a while. It used to – I set it up when I first installed it. But some time in the last year or so it got reset and I got lazy and never put the security back in place.

The good news is that our cable company is now giving out modems with the security protocols enabled by default. To log in, there’s a thirteen-digit, random, alphanumeric password printed on a label on the bottom of the unit.

The bad news is that they don’t bother to tell you this or give you anything that might even vaguely resemble an instruction sheet or manual. God knows how the average lay person figures out how to log in, let alone change the security settings on the equipment. But when it comes to tech, I’m not the average lay person.

After googling for the model’s user’s manual, I figured out how to log in (without calling customer service!) and found the built-in utility for updating modem settings to be better than average and quite easy to use. I first figured out how to change the SSIDs to “WeLoveTheStarsTooFondly” and “ToBeFearfulOfTheNight.” (There are two because of the dual-speed access.) I changed the passwords, then changed the password and username to log onto the modem.

As a side note, does anyone want to guess how many of these modems in the greater LA area have the username still set at “admin” and the password still set at “password”? I’m thinking that greater than 50% is a sucker bet, and I wouldn’t necessarily bet against it being greater than 75%.

But here at Castle Willett we’re tight now. A good, secure set of passwords, solid security protocols activated, and the hardware firewall set to kill, not stun.

If we find our yard tee-pee’d tomorrow morning I suspect it will be from some frustrated war drivers.

The thought makes me smile.


Filed under Castle Willett, Computers, Fireworks

4 responses to “The Sound You Hear

  1. I’d bet it would be nearer 90%, but then your average LA household may be more tech-savvy than the rest of the western world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The 13 digit number’s standard in Europe!

    Liked by 1 person

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