The pros and cons of your ISP managing your router

When you take out an Internet package with an ISP, they usually provide you with a router to connect to your ADSL modem or fibre CPE.

In many cases, the ISP then provides the customer with their Internet access login details and leaves the rest to them.

While this provides users with the freedom to set up their own network, it can leave less-knowledgeable users without sufficient protection.

These users may not change the default login details for their router’s management portal and use unsecure passwords for their Wi-Fi connections.

One solution to this problem is an ISP-managed router, where the service provider sets up and remotely manages a customer’s router for them.

This can have drawbacks too, however.

Wi-Fi problems

A reader recently contacted MyBroadband about an issue he experienced with his ISP-managed fibre modem.

The user’s fibre is managed by ATEC and he does not have the option to select another ISP, as ATEC manages a number of integrated services in the complex he lives in.

Shortly after setting up two Wi-Fi SSIDs on his managed router – one for main users and one for guests – he noticed changes had been made to his Wi-Fi security settings.

The password on his Guest SSID had been removed and security was set to none, and the router administration portal login credentials had also been reset to their defaults.

He contacted ATEC, informing them of the issue, and was told that the company was upgrading router firmware. An agent had forgotten to change the Wi-Fi details back after completing the upgrade.

Advantages

MyBroadband spoke to ATEC about the issue experienced by this user to determine how widespread the issue was.

The company stated that the issue did not affect all routers, adding that the user was provided with incorrect information when he contacted the company’s support team.

“The call centre agent that dealt with the complaint provided incorrect information to the client and has subsequently been disciplined,” said ATEC.

ATEC explained that the managed router system it offers allows for easier remote support and a better user experience for less-knowledgeable customers.

“A large portion of our subscriber base is the elderly and providing a managed solution assists in providing remote support and does not require client intervention,” said ATEC.

While ATEC clients are unable to decline these managed router services, there are ways they can have exclusive control over their home network.

“[Customers] are welcome to connect their own router behind ours, thereby achieving that goal of LAN management.”

Now read: One company shows how free Wi-Fi in South Africa should be done

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The pros and cons of your ISP managing your router