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ZyXEL: "Routing table doesn't update when we change [to a] different remote IP" - Embarq's High Speed Internet [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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ZyXEL: "Routing table doesn't update when we change [to a] different remote IP" [Tuesday, 25 March 2008 @ 02:00]
Embarq's High Speed Internet

embarq

[cnst]
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Embarq appears to have had some major problems with their routing a few minutes ago (started at 05:19 GMT or 01:19 EDT on the 25th); it appears that the routing problems have now been resolved, and all dhcp addresses in the network were reassigned.

The interesting part about these reassignments is that somehow they break the routing table in some revisions of the authentic modems supplied by Embarq (for example, I have RAS version : V3.40(ACZ.1) |02/13/2006, Product Model : Prestige 660R-D1), where the modem effectively stops working, until you reboot it. This is absolutely unacceptable. ZyXEL knows about this problem (Routing table doesn’t update when we change different remote IP .(ENET ENCAP). is one of the Known Issues in the release notes of the latest firmware for P-660R-D1 from ftp.us.zyxel.com), and Embarq better know about it, too.

Yet on multiple occasions I've had to deal with this major inconvenience, and was not able to remotely access my systems back at home at the times I needed them most.

The most irritating instance of this was when I've upgraded from the 3.0Mbps to the 5.0Mbps package back in January 2008, by calling Embarq from Canada. I was told that the upgrade would be done the next day, and I confirmed that the service would not be interrupted, yet several minutes after my call my service was stalled for many hours, until someone was there to reboot the modem. (Interestingly, the modem did update my dyndns entry with the new ip address each time this reassignment occurred, and it does appear to respond to pings, but otherwise it remains disconnected from the internet until a subsequent reboot.)

At the same time, when this stuff happened, I tried calling Embarq's technical support. In the old days, I remember that one time Sprint even changed some of my private settings in my 645 without my permission, making some parts of my local network inoperable (they've removed an alias from my local interface). On the contrast, right now the technical representatives claim that they don't even have the right to reboot the modem!

Excuse me, but if your modems stop functioning after you change their ip-addresses, and require subsequent reboots, why must I live with the consequence of not being able to access my systems due to the fact that some internal policies were previously so disrespectful of privacy that now they were made so strict as to prohibit the representatives from having a basic functionality that is needed to preserve the functioning of the end points of the network?

This experience of mine is not based on a single ten minute call. I've called multiple times, on several occasions, each time I asked to speak with a supervisor, and spoke with someone claiming to be one, yet every time they have insisted that they currently do not have a way of remotely rebooting the modems. I've had quite a lengthy chat with someone who claimed that previously they indeed had the possibility of doing remote configuration changes and reboots, but due to privacy issues, such functionality was discontinued. On other occasion, when I was already familiar with the above ZyXEL's "known issue", I've tried mentioning it to the representative, of which he was somewhat sceptical and disbelieving.

Just to make it clear -- this post is not about me losing the ip address of my box. I use dyndns services, and my address is automatically updated in the dns every time it changes. I wanted to purchase a static ip feature at the original sign up of the service from Embarq, but the representatives in the local store were not familiar with the feature. After the signup, I also considered purchasing a static ip separately, however, there were no options to purchase it electronically, so I gave up. Moreover, the static ip feature doesn't provide a custom reverse dns record, so it is even less useful considering the trouble of getting it. If there would've been an option of getting multiple static ip addresses with custom reverse dns records, all of which could be ordered online, I'd go for it. This post is not about static ips, however, but about a technical problem with employed equipment that remains very visibly ignored.
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Comments:
From: embarq_lamontl
2008-03-26 04:38 pm (UTC)

ZyXEL: "Routing table doesn't update when we change [to a] different remote IP"

Hello Mr. Murenin,

This is a message from Lamont with Embarq Customer Support. We are working hard to reach out to our customers that are not completely satisfied with our service and striving to improve our service with your help. We have had the opportunity to research your issue, and would like to work with you to reach a satisfactory resolution.

I wanted to let you know that we do have firmware updates available for the modem. The updates can be downloaded from http://www.myembarq.com/contact_us.php. These updates, along with improving the modem function, give us the ability in most cases to remotely reboot the modem. This is a recent change and we may still require your authorization to complete the reboot.

Another, option is to bridge the modem and use a router that can be configured for your remote access. This would remove any restrictions that the modem may have and would reduce the need for a reboot.

If you have a business account you can purchase a package that would give you multiple static ip address and provide a custom reverse dns record. This option is the most expensive of the three that I have mentioned.

Please reply to the following email address with your phone number if you have any additional concerns about this issue. We strive for complete customer satisfaction and with your help we can improve our service. Thank you for using Embarq, your complete communications solution.

Lamont L.
Embarq Customer Support
SMNP.Lamont.l@embarq.com
For additional support please visit www.embarq.com/support or call 1-877-646-3282
Voice | Data | Internet | Wireless | Entertainment
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[User Picture]From: cnst
2008-03-26 08:37 pm (UTC)

Re: ZyXEL: "Routing table doesn't update when we change [to a] different remote IP"

Dear Lamont,

The "Modem Firmware Update" link on myembarq.com/contact_us.php links to some .exe file, and there are no links to any firmwares. Also, I cannot find any changelogs mentioning that the above "know issue" was indeed resolved. Could you please provide official links to the firmware files (no .exe files, please), together with the changelog, so that I would know if the problems that I am experiencing were indeed fixed? One of the reasons I'm asking for this is because the latest firmware for this hardware on the ZyXEL site still mentions that the above is a "known issue" even with their latest firmware.

Also, your statement about representatives having the possibility to reboot the modem with the new firmware (as opposed to the older one) goes in violation to my conversations with several representatives within the last few months earlier this year, which claimed that they (no longer) have any way of rebooting modems, without suggesting that a firmware update on my side may give them this opportunity. Could you please provide some formal documents allowing me to verify that it is indeed the limitation of the old firmware regarding remote reboots? My previous 645 on a previous contract was a much older modem, both hardware- and firmware- wise, yet it did allow Sprint to perform remote reboots and (unauthorised) setting changes.

C.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: embarq_lamontl
2008-03-28 02:50 pm (UTC)

Re: ZyXEL: "Routing table doesn't update when we change [to a] different remote IP"

Hello Mr. Murenin,

I had the opportunity to research your current firmware and modem. It appears the firmware that you have is from 2006. There have been several updates to the firmware that your modem has not received. The current modem that we offer is the EQ-660r unit with firmware ZyNOS F/W Version: V3.40(ACZ.8 )_upg. The issue that you are having has been resolved on the most recent modem and firmware. This correction was made on firmware written in mid-2007.

Unfortunately, I cannot send you documentation on our policies because that is considered proprietary information. With the older modem and firmware that you have we cannot remotely access your modem. This would explain why the representatives you spoke with were not able reboot for you. The .exe file is the tool that is used to automatically update the firmware in the modem. If you are not comfortable with using this, I can send you a new modem that is updated with the most recent firmware.

Please provide your phone number in an email if you would like me to send you a new modem. Thank you for using Embarq, your complete communications solution.

Lamont L.
Embarq Customer Support
SMNP.Lamont.l@embarq.com
For additional support please visit www.embarq.com/support or call 1-877-646-3282
Voice | Data | Internet | Wireless | Entertainment

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)