Should you get your cable/DSL modem from your carrier?

In the course of working wiht many customers, we have found that a high percentage of them purchase their modem from their carrier. This is not surprising, given the ease of doing this. Otherwise, yoiu need to go to a store and find one that is compatible.

From a security perspective however, I would suggest that there are good reasons to do your own thing.  Consider the following:

 

  • Carrier-supplied modems are often more expensive than those you purchase yourself.

  • Carriers use custom modem firmware, which does not keep pace with security updates released by the actual manufacturer.

  • Carrier modems may have features you don't want.  As I pointed out in a prior blog, Comcast-supplied modems offer public wifi service to Comcast customers.  To make matters worse, they often publish your name and address on their list of public hotspots, just the sort of information a hacker can use to attack your network.

 

Customer-purchased modems are not for everyone.  Self-purchased modems often require some configuration, and you must make sure to select a model approved by your carriers.  We think the benefit is worth the trouble, but you need to decide for yourself the best course for your business.

 

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