I made those examples up. But they sound impressive and complicated.

Unless you want something insanely complicated, like double firewalls with bypass security protection or hidden MAC addresses with IP subnet masks that allow you to assign different network functions to individual ports while running a VNC that you can access when you’re on the road, there’s really no need for you to PAY someone to “install” an internet network in your home. I’ve always suspected it was something of a rip-off, especially considering how much most cable companies will charge people to set up wireless networks.

Anyway. D.’s internet service is through Comcast and I guess he had the Comcast guy do everything, except he wasn’t home when the technician did his magic. As a result, D. has never had the password to his network, but the technician had it so that D.’s Macbook automatically connected (through the stored password), so this was an inconvenience, but not really a noticeable one. For D.

Then he got a roommate at the end of July. D. always *meant* to call Comcast to get this issue resolved (via having another technician come back out and re-do everything, except while D. was actually home), but as to date, it still hasn’t happened. So his roommate hasn’t been able to access the internet. For over a month.

Enter me. D. went to do a tour of the West Wing this afternoon, and I was sitting on the couch eating candied pecans and watching Tropical Storm Hanna infiltrate D.C. when D.’s roommate came out of his room. He had to edit some papers and needed the internet for it, and of course D. had volunteered use of *his* computer, but his roommate was kind of resigned about resorting to that. At which point I looked at the wireless router sitting underneath the cable box and said, you know, all you’d really have to do is reset the router to its factory settings and then re-establish the network with a new SSID and password.

Being such a considerate and unimposing person, D.’s roommate said no, no, it’s okay, I don’t want to risk something going wrong.

NOT being such a considerate and unimposing person, I insisted it would be a piece of cake and we’d even be doing D. a favor this way (by not having to deal with Comcast) and threw a pencil at him and told him to hit the reset button on the router.

The router reset. I connected D.’s Macbook to the router via ethernet and tried to access the gateway page. User ID: admin, password: password. Because that’s what the Netgear defaults are.

And: access denied. By the fifth time and the third reset, I was convinced that there was something wrong with either the keyboard or my literacy. D.’s roommate was starting to panic, but I persevered– it wasn’t like I’d *broken* anything, and worst-case scenario, D. would just have to call Comcast when he got home and get the gateway login information from them. He might be annoyed about it, but it wouldn’t be anything a cookie accompanied by Big Eyes wouldn’t pacify.

Either way. I’ve mentioned before? That I have ridiculously amazing search engine skills? And yeah, those skills totally pulled through. Turns out Comcast reconfigures the defaults for their Netgear routers, so in case you, too, were thinking of resetting someone else’s Comcast-branded Netgear router (D.’s is a CG814WG), the gateway address is, the default user login is “comcast” and the default password is “1234”.

In short, I’m writing this from *my* computer on the floor of D.’s living room. He hasn’t come back yet, but I’ve been celebrating myself with Cookies & Cream Haagen-Dazs ever since the success and now D.’s roommate can check his email from his own bedroom. It’s been a pretty awesome afternoon.


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