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Cloning MAC address

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by Elling, Sep 2, 2006.

  1. Elling

    Elling LI Guru Member

    Hi everybody,

    I will be getting cable broadband in about a month (still on dialup now) so I am doing some homework on wireless routers. I just have 1 PC (tower) but I may add a laptop in a year or so. I was looking into the Buffalo G54 wireless router but a reviewer at Amazon said that it did not support MAC address cloning (the reviewer went on to purchase a D-Link router).

    I am now considering the Linksys WRT54GL but I would like to know if it can clone my MAC address, if necessary.

    Thanks for looking and sorry if this has been covered before...
  2. Thibor

    Thibor Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    it can, yes
  3. Elling

    Elling LI Guru Member

    Thank you. I'll probably be back in a month or so with more questions.:unsure:
  4. Esquire

    Esquire Mesquire Staff Member Member

    Both Linksys and Buffalo routers support MAC Address Cloning - the aforementioned reviewer simply didn't know where to look on a Buffalo firmware.
  5. Elling

    Elling LI Guru Member

    Interesting. This is quoted from his review -

    "I bought this router for my new apartment thinking I'd use something better in the future. I'm sure the turbo g works fine because the computers I had on the network were able to communicate within the LAN, but this item is not compatible with my cable company's setup and WAN is unaccessible.

    "I subscribe to Comcast in the SF bay area and new service comes with an Arris telephony modem. Apparently, with Comcast and this modem, Comcast requires you to use the MAC address associated with the modem they lease to you.

    "After hooking this unit up, you realize that the unit knows only to report the MAC address associated with this router. The conflict lies in that Comcast does not recognize this new MAC address. Calling Comcast will get you confused customer service reps that won't change the MAC address associated with the account. Calling Buffalo will get you a knowledgable rep, but can only tell you to ask Comcast to change their MAC address on file.

    "Now, since I had to get wireless set up for this place immediately, I went to Circuit City to buy a standard D-Link g router. The D-Link router knows how to clone the MAC address of the modem for the router so that Comcast does not get confused.

    "Before buying this unit, check with your cable internet ISP to make sure they can change MAC addresses if you want to be able to use it for world wide web. It seems to have special features for logging onto DSL, but I personally have not tried.

    "This compatibility issue made me conclude that it's definitely a 1-star modem, especially since D-Link recognizes the same problem and has a built in feature to accomodate. Aside from that, the 1-star rating also reflects the 3 hrs wasted on tech support and another hour wasted on going to Circuit City to buy the new router and to go to UPS to return this thing to Amazon."
  6. Esquire

    Esquire Mesquire Staff Member Member

    Nothing of interest to me unfortunately.

    Based on only one reviewer's comment on one unit.... obviously he hadn't a clue - and to say that the Buffalo rep was *knowledgable* while having fared no better than to push the blame on to Comcast was evident enough of that for me.

    Buffalo routers do have MAC Address Cloning, even on their ancient WBR2-B11 802.11b router - I have configured this feature on over 10 Buffalo routers to date (wired and wireless).

    Here's the MAC Address Cloning function on a WHR-HP-G54 or WHR-G54S

  7. Elling

    Elling LI Guru Member

    Sorry for boring you :wink: (couldn't find a "tongue-in-cheek" smiley). I really do appreciate your advice. If nothing else, I found this forum thru Amazon via a Linksys WRT54GL review. :biggrin:
  8. Toxic

    Toxic Administrator Staff Member

    well we are here to help the ones that need it!

    btw welcome to the site
  9. Elling

    Elling LI Guru Member

    Thanks for the welcome.

    Funny, the thing that got me interested in Buffalo routers was a post at Virtual Dr (a great forum site, btw) saying that a "Linksys router kept dropping [his] wired connection with no explanation." I am glad that I started researching this subject early and doubly glad to have found this forum. This looks like exactly the place to be for my router needs and questions.

    Do you think that the WRT54GL would be the best for me? I realise that this is obviously a Linksys-biased forum but how does Linksys compare with other brands? I looked at a comparison chart at Tom's Networking and the WRT54GL seems to come in mid-pack (or lower, for Total Simultaneous Throughput). Am I making too much of these numbers? Should I get a "draft n" router or will that just give me more headaches?
  10. Toxic

    Toxic Administrator Staff Member

    tbh Tomsnetworking has not taken into consideation of 3rd party firmwares, which give enormous signal boost over default routers.

    for instance, and i ahev only picked thinbor15c as a well known 3rd party firmware, it gives these extra features above when the WRT54GL has already.

    * Adjustment of transmit power of wireless LAN
    * Antenna selection
    * 14 wireless channels
    * 'Boot wait' protection (increase the time slot for uploading firmware via the boot loader)
    * Increased Port Forwarding & Triggering fields
    * Increased QoS Device & Application fields
    * Increased Access Restrictions Policies & Blocked Services fields
    * Command Shell
    * TELNET Daemon (access to shell)
    * Startup & Firewall scripts
    * Uptime and load average
    * Reboot button at 'Management' page
    * Additional filters to proxy, Java applet, ActiveX, cookies, port scans and P2P (blocks BitTorrent, Kazaa, WinMX, eDonkey, DC and Gnucleus)
    * WDS and Wireless Bridge (WET) capabilities
    * Static DHCP leases
    * Local domain names
    * Programmable SES button (wireless on/off button or run a custom script)
    * UPnP page to view and delete UPnP mappings
    * Site survey page to view other networks in your neighborhood
    * Secure Shell server (SSHD)
    * Wake-on-LAN from GUI (from qwerty)
    * Port redirection
    * P2P-specific QoS
    * Additional DDNS services
    * Raw print server for USB printers (HyperWRT Thibor SL only)
    * Bugs from the stock firmware fixed
    * Plus other improvements

    now other 3rd party developers give more features again, and tbh the WRT54GL is a very good router.

    DraftN PreN and The finalised N (2008) will all give problems. I would recommend a WRT54GL over any of the DraftN's to date as that have a solid reputation.

    A Brief comparison of features from a few £rd party firmwares is here:

  11. Elling

    Elling LI Guru Member

    Thank you for your comprehensive answer. I do realise that the Tom's Networking Hardware Router Chart is a comparison of bone-stock routers and that 3rd party FW was not taken into consideration.

    Is there a good comparison chart that will list the differences between the WRT54GL / GS / GX? I'm not too worried about adding 3rd party FW but, for me, I want to not have to spend a lot of time fine-tuning it.
  12. Esquire

    Esquire Mesquire Staff Member Member

    Some Buffalo routers also support custom firmware, but Linksys products has better user support on this subject. Speaking from experience of buying and setting up various Linksys and Buffalo devices over the past 10 years, I have yet to see a faulty Linksys unit pass through my hands but have seen just one bad Buffalo - not enough to diminish my recommendation on either brand though, and it doesn't mean their products are perfect - they all exhibit some minor quirks one way or another.

    You shouldn't generalize too much on a particular brand based on one person's negative review. Nothing is perfect - it's not uncommon for people to end up buying a faulty unit (regardless of brand). However, it does make one wonders what stringent quality control they have at the factory.
  13. Esquire

    Esquire Mesquire Staff Member Member

  14. Elling

    Elling LI Guru Member

    TBH, I am not generalising on any particular brand. I read what the reviewer had to say about Buffalo at Amazon and thought it was odd (okay, I should've researched it a bit more before my OP here) so that is why I came here. After reading what you have to say about Buffalo (a brand that I had not previously heard of) I can assure you that my opinion of them is firmly "neutral". Not bad, not outstanding. I simply have had no experience with Buffalo products so I am attempting to glean as much objective information as possible.
  15. Elling

    Elling LI Guru Member

    Is the WRT54GS with SpeedBooster worth approx. $15 over the GL? Will I lose anything in terms of being able to add 3rd party firm/hard-ware? What about the GX/GX2/GX4 line with SRXxxx? Are they recommended (ie worth the extra $$)?
  16. Esquire

    Esquire Mesquire Staff Member Member

    No really, just go with the WRT54GL as recommended by Toxic. SpeedBooster (High Speed in Buffalo terms) works only if you have an AfterBurner (the technology behind SpeedBooster) capable adapter, otherwise the network connection operates at standard 802.11g/54M speeds.

    If you want ease of configuration, WPA2, QoS, VPN passthrough, etc., go with a Linksys. If you want static DHCP out of the box, go with a Buffalo (though 3rd party firmware on a WRT54GL will also support this)
  17. Elling

    Elling LI Guru Member

    OK. One last question: Do I really even need a wireless router at all straightaway? I just have the 1 computer now so, other than a strong(er) firewall what will the router do for me? Please answer with a minimum of acronyms and kindly bear in mind that I am very new to this topic (but eager to learn). Thank you.
  18. Esquire

    Esquire Mesquire Staff Member Member

    Well, the answer is yes and no, depending on preferences on issues such as security, connection, etc.

    For instance, if your computer is running a security application that includes a software firewall, such as Norton Personal Firewall bundled in the Norton Internet Security, and you have faith in the product in providing good protection when online, then you don't need a router or its firewall for the added protection. The firewall in the router provides inbound protection regardless of the state of the software security application - good or bad or none - it pays dividend to be safer than be sorry.

    Another possibly good reason for adding a router now is when the user subscribes to a DSL broadband connection. Some ISP like the one I subscribe to provide a DSL connection using PPPoE and without going into details, it can take up to 2 minutes for Windows to detect the modem connection on boot because it isn't a valid network (during which time the computer can behave as if it has crashed). Having a router that connects to the modem by its own PPPoE avoids this problem so the computer finishes boot sooner.

    Then again, the difference between a wireless router and a wired one is basically the wireless network capability (other features will depend on the router in question) and there is no added or better protection given by a wireless router in general. In fact, because of how the wireless network exposes to the neighbourhood, a wireless router is potentially less secure if not configured correctly for security.

    It is not always possible to avoid technical acronyms and jargons, since this is stricly speaking a technology and hardware you are trying to implement, so the more chances you get to expose to them the better and given the opportunity to learn something new online when presents itself, you can pick it up at your own pace.
  19. Elling

    Elling LI Guru Member

    I understand that the use of technical acronyms and jargons cannot at times be avoided but when Toxic started talking about 3rd party firmware (list) I couldn't help feeling overwhelmed. I am fairly sure that that feeling will lessen over time, when I implement a router.

    Perhaps DSLReports.com has given me the answer to my "ultimate" question -

    Thank you all again for your time and assistance. I will be back when I purchase a Linksys router.

    BTW, my firewall is Sygate Personal, AV is NOD32, and I use ProcessGuard (free) so I am fairly confident with that "suite".

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