Recently, some friends asked me about installing a wireless router on their network.  The need was to get an Xbox 360 connected to Xbox Live.  My friend currently uses a cable connection through Brighthouse Networks, and after doing some research via Google, I was shocked to find time-after-time in multiple areas, Brighthouse Networks is trying to charge an outrageous $14.95 per month for what it calls Home Networking.  For what this charge is for, I am not sure.

Really, what else could this monthly fee be for besides extra revenue?  I say that because you can hook up your own router without paying an extra monthly fee for free.  It is not like Brighthouse Networks is providing any additional network feature for a monthly fee that works out to be nearly $180 a year for nothing.  There is no network magic here.

Brighthouse Networks discourages users from setting up their own home network by not allowing a router to use a different IP address, but you can easily work around this by cloning the address via your router.   A great write up can be found here.

Most routers have this cloning capability, and doing a Google search on configuring a router to clone a MAC address will steer you in the right direction.  As to hardware, I would recommend the LinkSys wireless WRT series, especially as they are compatible with Xbox Live service, and it provides you with both a wired and wireless solution.

And why isn’t the FCC monitoring stuff like this?  I cannot be the first person to write about a ghost fee that has no added network value, but yet a huge company like Brighthouse Networks can get away with charging customers for nothing?  If you’re already sharing your cable internet connection with your entire neighborhood, why are they trying to charge you for sharing a connection in your house?

If you are considering hooking up a router to a BrightHouse Networks internet connection, don’t pay an additional monthly fee to have a home network.  Do some research on your own, or contact Bakersfield Computer today to discuss your needs.

UPDATE: It doesn’t appear MAC cloning is an issue anymore when adding a wireless router.  However, there should still not be any fee associated with setting up your own wireless network.

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