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Contributor
Daye
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎06-11-2011

Routers and Xfinity Security

[ Edited ]

Passing along some information learned from a recent install of Xfinity Home Security. 
Since the Home Security doesn't have a forum of its own yet, figured this would be a
good spot to post the info.

 

Xfinity Home Security requires that you have a router on site in order to function. 
DHCP will also need to be running so the Head Unit can aquire an IP address. Once
aquired, ( and if your Router is capable of it ) you can then fix a Static IP to
the device based on its MAC address. As far as I know, the head unit does not support
a self configured static address.  It is running DHCP to look for an assigned one.
You will also need to know how to open and forward the ports on your router.

 

Which ports you ask ?  Initially this was unknown, so after getting the device on my
local network and the router giving out the IP, I fired up NMAP and ran a scan on the
unit.  Port 80 ( of course ) is your target port and you'll need to poke a hole in
the router firewall to allow for it.  ( Or throw it out on the DMZ ) Otherwise the
monitoring station can't see it, and your remote access capabilities will be
non-existent.

 

The head unit is a wireless access point for the sensors, so position it somewhere
centralized for better coverage.  The head unit is broadcasting an SSID but it
appears to be secured with WPA level encryption ( vs WEP ) so I'm satisfied on
that end. Triggers are sent via your internet connection to the monitoring station. 
If internet is down for whatever reason, a cellular backup is standard in the head
unit.  So cutting the cable line or killing house power will do you little good to
make access any easier.

 

The service seems to be working as expected.  Remote access to the head unit via
PC and / or smart phone ( I use an Iphone ) to arm, disarm and check the system. 
Triggers and events can be setup to send email and / or text messages to multiple
recipients via the web interface.

 

Overall, I'm satisfied with the service.  A few things I consider minor cons to be
aware of:

1) Xfinity needs to advertise the fact that you need a router with an available ethernet
port to work.  You can probably throw a wireless adapter on it and put it anywhere, but
I prefer a hard line for something like this. If your parents / kids / family / friends
order this service and are not network savy, you'll probably need to be on site when
they have the device installed.

 

2) Xfinity needs to advertise what port needs to be opened up on the router for the head
unit. Port 80. Yeah this means every scanner on the planet is gonna key on it and bombard
it trying to gain access.

My attempts to hit it shows it asks for a 16-digit install key.  Don't know if it has any
lockout timers for failures as I haven't tested it yet.

 

3) The extra sensors are horrendously expensive. $170 for an extra motion sensor is awfully
high.  The addition of a positionable mount for the motion sensors would be a welcomed piece
of hardware as it will allow for better mounting / positioning of the motion sensors which,
in turn, will allow for better coverage of the site.

 

4) Xfinity needs to advertise the customer is required to obtain an Alarm Operators Permit.
These are relatively cheap ( $25 first year, $15 yearly renewal afterwards ) but you MUST
have one. City Hall is the place to go for these.

 

And there you have it.  Install price is $200 and the monthly fee for the preferred package
is $39.95.

Security Expert
LoPhatPhuud
Posts: 2,829
Registered: ‎11-01-2005

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

[ Edited ]

Thanks for the information and please keep us informed of your experience(s) as time goes by.



"Once I talked to the inmates of an insane asylum in Hartford. I have talked to idiots a thousand times, but only once to the insane..."
Mark Twain

Microsoft MVP, Consumer Security, 2005-2014
Connection Expert
JamesR
Posts: 6,429
Registered: ‎09-29-2007

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

Escalated to the Admin for the need to create a new Forum for this new service.  Hopefully this thread will start the new board if they decide to create it.

Administrator
ComcastLarry
Posts: 2,063
Registered: ‎05-04-2011

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

Thank you for the feeback. We have talked about adding new forums and that was one of them. We are still discussing this option.

Thank You


-ComcastLarry-
Contributor
hockeyamd
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-26-2011

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

I got my home security installed about 2 months ago. They installed from the modem a netgear n150 and from the netgear is my Apple Airport Extreme.

 

With just moving into this house, I have not had time to figure out why we would get slow downs and spotty reception. 

 

So today I reset my Apple Airport Extreme to flush the settings and start over. Upon reseting it only wants to me do Bridge since netgear is in charge.  In Bridge mode everything works great but I do no like using Bridge mode since I lose a lot of features and control

 

Problem one is that the Apple Airport Extreme will not let me do dchp since the Netgear is handling that. I prefer to do my own since there are so many deivices in my house that use the network that I would like to assign them.

 

Problem two is if I do have to use the netgear as my router I was never supplied a user name and password for the netgear. The defualt names on the bottom do not let me login.

Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

I'm not sure why the AEBS won't let you enable DHCP. You just need to ensure that the address range on the WAN side is different from the LAN side. If netgear and AE both default to using 192.168.1.x, you'll need to change one of them.

Contributor
hockeyamd
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-26-2011

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

It is telling me I have a double nat so I should turn on bridge mode. I wish I could login to the netgear to turn off dchp

Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

There's nothing wrong with double NAT, it's normal when you have routers connected in series. It complicates things, so if you don't need both routers in routing mode it would be simpler to put one in bridged mode.

 

Turning off DHCP on the netgear wouldn't help. You use NAT whether or not you enable DHCP.

Contributor
hockeyamd
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-26-2011

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

Why would double Nat cause such a big slow down that I do not have if I do not do double nat?

Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

Routers work because they translate your local private IP address to the WAN IP address of the router for all outgoing requests using a process called NAT (Network Address Translation).  If you have two routers hooked together, you have to go through one NAT layer and then go through another one.  NAT takes processing power and time, and it's not something you want to do twice normally.  It will work in most cases, but why slow yourself down and add complexity to your network when you don't need it or gain anything from it?

Contributor
hockeyamd
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-26-2011

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

Thank You for explaining NAT.

 

I understand now why I was slowing down.

 

I wish Xfinity security would have told me about this.

 

I am sure I am not going the last person to have this problem since they do not let us use the router that they supply.

Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

If the routers are working properly, the overhead of NAT should be almost negligible. If you're seeing a noticeable slowdown, there's a problem with one of the routers.

New Visitor
Borman
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-03-2012

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

Thanks Daye for excellent information.

 

I’m considering getting Xfinity home security system.

My concern is that head unit runs on port 80. I host a website and if I install the head unit as is, I will have a conflict.

Is there a way to force head unit (Xfinity home security service) to use another port?

 

One more thing.

Are sensors from other systems like ADT compatible with Xfinity home security head unit?

 

Thanks

 

Borman

Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

I don't know the answers to your specific questions (my guess is you can't change the port), but you shouldn't be hosting a web site on a residential Comcast account.

Contributor
SirAaron
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎04-13-2012

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

I had a Comcast person come out to my house yesterday.  He wasn't very helpful.  First, Comcast Home Security doesn't do consults so you can only schedule a install time.  So I had a 12-5pm window.  On top of that, I had to make sure I receive their phone call 2 hours before the appt time or they cancel your appt.  So some guy shows up at two minutes to 5PM.  Ok, so that stuff is kinda beside the point, but more importantly He has no data on the equipment available and can't give me specifics about how the "head unit" works.  I'm told they will install a piece of equipment between my modem and my router.  He says he has a tough time with Apple routers because they have to be set in bridge mode.

 

Ok, so immediately I'm thinking they are going to install a second router which will effectively make my router a mere bridge, something that's unacceptable to me.  I want to control the router, DNS settings, etc.   Not that I don't think it can't be done on whatever router they'll install...but I have a much better router and want to use it.

 

Does anybody know what Comcast home security installs and whether it is possible to simply connect their router to yours rather than yours to theirs?  Or whether the devices themselves can simply be added to your existing wireless network?

Contributor
hockeyamd
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-26-2011

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

Xfinity security installs a cheap netgear router with all user access locked out. Yes it does fight with apple routers and Verizon network extenders. I had to plead with Comcast for another dynamic ip at additional cost so I could give the security it's own ip and my network. I have also have tried to add buiness Internet to my house but it is currently no allowed even if I pay for both residental and buiness. I regret ever getting the system installed. I can not wait till the contract is over. In addition the installer talked me into a camera. On my first bill I found out that was another 5 bucks a month and can not stop the charge or get a refund since security only has a 3 day buyers remorse clause.
Contributor
garlicka
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎05-23-2012

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

Hello

Just wanted to add to this thread - did anybody ever get the password for the netgear their suppiled, I have had a 2nd tech out at my house today and was informed that no one is allowed the password to logon to the netgear.

I understand the lock down but I can't do VPN since it is blocking it...soon as I take the Home Security Netgear Router away it works perfect.

 

They said to get me around the situtaition they might have to run a second line and give me a 2nd cable modem box and put the security on 1 box and my other stuff on another.....a bit extreme ...all I need is the password to logon the box so I can allow it.

 

 

Contributor
hockeyamd
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-26-2011

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

My work around was to request was another dynamic ip address for another 5 bucks a month

 

So my setup is this

 

dlink switch

from switch one ethernet cable to netgear secuirity

from switch one ethernet cable to my airport router

 

Each has its own ip so I do not have to deal with the security router.

 

I had to figure out this solution when my Verizon Network Extender decided it hated being behind the netgear security router. I plan on canceling the security as soon as my contract is up. 

Contributor
garlicka
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎05-23-2012

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

Thanks for that - I appreciate it.

 

I think what grinds on me at the moment is i paid $500 for installation since I got the Preimum package and for me to pay $5 extra a month because they can't figure out how to get into their own systems.

 

 

Contributor
garlicka
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎05-23-2012

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

Hi

Just wanted to say how I got my Home Security working with xfinity's Netgear N150 Router and my second router for VPN and all other things normal people need to do lol

 

I got the solution working - they don't like it but since they won't fix it I am using it.

 

I put my Router first in front of the Home Security Router and then rebooted the Touchscreen, I now can use all my VPN, my VOIP phone does not die now after 6 secs and I can remote into my security from the internet and view my cameras and set the alarm.

 

Hope that helps

Contributor
dfp42
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎07-10-2012

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

Tried this and networking-wise it works. But I was unable to reboot my touch screen - it responds to changes (doors opening, etc) but other than that none of the on-screen buttons, or the hard buttons, respond any more. How do I reboot this thing?

Visitor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-21-2007

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

Pull the power to it to reboot it. 

 

Mine is the older model where the touchscreen and the main unit are separated.  If it doesn't power down, it may have a battery backup inside the unit that will need to be disconnected / reconnected to fully power it off. 

 

My main brain has a battery backup that I have to pull about once / month to reboot the unit.  This is due to the cellular backup losing connection with the towers and it will not clear until you reboot it.  Since it has a battery backup, I have to pull it as well.  Pain in the . . . . . :smileylaugh:

 

 

New Visitor
dbdmora
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-23-2012

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

I am glad I found this thread thanks to Bing.com.  I was not able to RDC into my PC ever since they added the netgear router.  I followed the post above to put my Dlink router first then the netgear and now I am able to RDC.  I had call tech support and the lady didnt know what I was talking about.  She said I had to get a technician to come to my house and try to troubleshoot and that she could not promise if they would be a charge.  I am glad this worked because I am sure the tech wouldnt know what to do since they cannot get into the router.  Thanks guys!

New Visitor
Aplomado
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎06-12-2013

Re: Routers and Xfinity Security

This is a year old now, but I wanted to say thanks to garlicka. A simple kludge is appreceated when facing comcast support, the monolithic cluster-bleep.