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Actiontech router and Windows Media Center on Win8

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LeoZ
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Registered: ‎04-07-2013

Actiontech router and Windows Media Center on Win8

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While waiting for Verizon to solve their network problems and actually get light to the ONT, they left the actiontech router in my house, so I took sometime to get to know it. 

It's definitelly something I don't want or need in my network. It's not a bad router if you didn't have a business class product from before (actually it is pretty much the best you can get short of going to hardware firewall routers in the class of Zyxel, Watchguard and some high end, business class, Dells, Ciscos and Netgears).

Well... needless to say, I am running such a router (a Watchguard XTM-26W) and have security subscriptions with them to protect my network. In addition, it offers functionality and discrete access controls otherwise impossible with consumer grade products.

Now, back to the basic subject: I noticed something ominous and wonder if anyone else has noticed it too. I run my TV service through a machine that uses a Ceton 4-HD PCI-E tuner card with a multistream cablecard. It is installed on top of Windows 8 Pro, 64 bit and I use Windows Media Center as my core TV interface (guide and all). The machine is set to go to sleep by itself if no activity (and TV it's the only thing designed and intended to do and the only thong it does) is detected on the tuner for 5 minutes. This works flawlesly  and always did while on Comcast service.

Now, the problem: you put the Actiontech router in the network (regardless of whether it's before or after the firewall gateway) and the machine fails to go to sleep. The router introduces some dort of chatter in the networkk that keeps the HDD active and the computer alive in perpetuity. Did anyone notice anything similar? What is your experience with this?

Obviously, I have no intent to keep the Actiontech router in the network under such conditions. For what I know, it is illegal in fact to put out products that send unsolicited traffic through one's network. Not to mention that it is a security risk. Might Verizon re-consider their insistence on deciding what routers to support and what don't or simply drop all support for all the routers since none is ever really needed? They only have the job to deliver a public IP to my equipment and I should be left alone otherwise (according to FCC). Which they otherwise fail to do by putting a piece of equipment that is theirs in the way and mandating that I use it, since 192.168.x.x is NOT a public IP, according to Internet Council.

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Smith6612
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Posts: 7,562
Registered: ‎12-15-2010

Re: Actiontech router and Windows Media Center on Win8

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If you run Wireshark or a similar packet analyzer through your connection, you'll likely find that what you're seeing is a bunch of ARP traffic. In DSL land with the Verizon Gatways, it's the "My Network" map refreshing that tends to cause that to happen. In that case you may want to see if you can disable some "Wake On..." settings for your Media Center's network adapter, or you can disable the network map completely in the ActionTec if doing so is still possible.

 

Just some food for thought 🙂

LeoZ
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Registered: ‎04-07-2013

Re: Actiontech router and Windows Media Center on Win8

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I have not used Wireshark  yet to identify the nature of traffic. I know it's coming from the router simply because it's the only device that causes such behaviour when inserted in the network. I do not have yet Verizon service and when I would they tell me that it's not DSL over fiber (not sure how much that's true since I wonder, what is it then?). I'm still on Comcast since Verizon could not hook me up due to some problems they have at their end. So, the Verizon router (Actiontech) does that regardless of whether it's before or after the security gateway. 

I could try dsiabling the LAN activity wake up on the Media Server, but that defeats the purpose of my setup since I use XBoxes as MCE's (media center extenters) to carry the signal to other TV's in my house. For them to work, they need to be able to wake up the media center machine/server remotely and they do that, as of now, via LAN. So... it's not quite an option since no, I do not want that machine working at all times and I want to keep my setup just as it is.

Thanks for the thoughts concerning disabling mapping in the router. In fact I'll put in a support request with Actiontech to see what they have to say about this and I'll throw that out there too.

 

Smith6612
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Posts: 7,562
Registered: ‎12-15-2010

Re: Actiontech router and Windows Media Center on Win8

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Sounds like a plan to me. I was just pointing out things from the DSL side of things (with the ActionTec DSL Gateways since they do the same thing, along with the Westell gateways) for some consideration. I'm placing bets though on the Network Map being to blame.

prisaz
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Posts: 6,820
Registered: ‎08-23-2008

Re: Actiontech router and Windows Media Center on Win8

Message 5 of 7
(903 Views)

One item you may wish to consider is a homegroup with IPv6. That can generate a lot of traffic. I have not seen anything generated from the router, except for broadcast or multicast traffic from MOCA if you have it enabled, or have Motorola STBs. I have also seen the Echo extenders cause broadcast or multicast traffic.

 

I have two Cetoncorp InfiniTV PCIe tuner cards for a total of eight tuners in a PC running Win 7 Ultimate on a FX4100 Quad core CPU with 16 GB of RAM, and a WD 1TB SATA - 6 Video Drive. I have not seen the CPU cores max out.

 

If you have no Verizon TV hardware, there is no need to use their router. But at that point, if you have trouble and do not have their hardware up front, do not look for support, because they have no way to do tests, like they can with the Actiontec online. Mine is Linux IP-Cop sitting behind their Actiontec, since I decided to add one Verizon STB back to the network. The gateway shown, is my Linux IP-COP, the Actiontec is not shown outside of my firewall. If not for the one Verizon STB, I would not need the Actiontec router.

 

I have seen the VMS-1100 Server with seven tuners, that Verizon is scheduling for release at some point soon, and those with the IP STBs are really nice. I checked them out at the CES 2013 in Vegas. Cool devices, and much smaller than a PC.

 

But for now, this is what I have, on my Gigabit LAN, with Ultimate HD and Quantum 150/65.

 

One warning if you have an Echo extender, or any other product of Cetoncorp's with a VERY fragile connector, DON'T break it. The Echo power socket, surface mounted pulled loose very easily from the PC board, and I was told it was abuse, and they could ship a refurbished one for $100 plus shipping. Plus throw the $179 or $200 locally, device you bought in the trash! 

 

Also with Windows 8 there are issues where you can't dedicate a tuner as a network device for another Media Center PC to use over the network. The two MCE-PCs are using 1 tuner each out of the eight over the network. That lets me record one channel, or current content in the buffer, pause and resume. I am sticking with Windows 7 for now, The Echo shows as unknown.

 

Network-4-7-2013.JPG

 

 

 

 

LeoZ
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Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-07-2013

Re: Actiontech router and Windows Media Center on Win8

Message 6 of 7
(818 Views)

Actiontec responded to my inquiry. See below.

It turns out it's another Verizon problem...

"Honestly no idea what would cause the chatter on the network to prevent sleep\stand-by to function.

Verizon would have to review the issue and see what in the code programming would cause this."

 

prisaz
Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 6,820
Registered: ‎08-23-2008

Re: Actiontech router and Windows Media Center on Win8

Message 7 of 7
(780 Views)

@LeoZ wrote:

Actiontec responded to my inquiry. See below.

It turns out it's another Verizon problem...

"Honestly no idea what would cause the chatter on the network to prevent sleep\stand-by to function.

Verizon would have to review the issue and see what in the code programming would cause this."

 


Stop the chatter. Put your Media Center hardware behind another firewall. Like I said mine is Linux IP-COP, which constanty drops these trash packets from the single STB I have on the MOCA COAX.

All from the Verizon network router. Almost like a broadcast storm!Smiley Mad

 

This is a Motorola STB, My Cisco had two real IP addresses asigned by DHCP, and they did not do this. I turned in all my STB hardware and ordered a single STB, and was sent Motorola when I had been using Cisco.

 

wan-1 in into my Linux box and lan-1 is out of it. Then all my harware which includes Media Center PCs are gigabit switches, not exposed to this. I guess you could use another router and not a Linux PC. This STB is going back soon.

 

 

TimeChainIfaceProtoSourceSrc PortMAC AddressDestinationDst Port
22:53:42RED DROPwan-1UDP
169.254.1.135
2130200:25:f1:3d:d9:37
255.255.255.255
21302
22:53:31RED DROPwan-1UDP
169.254.1.135
2130200:25:f1:3d:d9:37
255.255.255.255
21302
22:53:22RED DROPwan-1IGMP
192.168.1.1
-00:7f:28:5c:07:1b
224.0.0.1
-
22:53:21RED DROPwan-1UDP
169.254.1.135
2130200:25:f1:3d:d9:37
255.255.255.255
21302
22:53:11RED DROPwan-1UDP
169.254.1.135
2130200:25:f1:3d:d9:37
255.255.255.255
21302
22:53:01RED DROPwan-1UDP
169.254.1.135
2130200:25:f1:3d:d9:37
255.255.255.255
21302
22:52:51RED DROPwan-1UDP
169.254.1.135
2130200:25:f1:3d:d9:37
255.255.255.255
21302
22:52:41RED DROPwan-1UDP
169.254.1.135
2130200:25:f1:3d:d9:37
255.255.255.255
21302
22:52:31RED DROPwan-1UDP
169.254.1.135
2130200:25:f1:3d:d9:37
255.255.255.255
21302
22:52:21RED DROPwan-1UDP
169.254.1.135
2130200:25:f1:3d:d9:37
255.255.255.255
21302
22:52:11RED DROPwan-1UDP
169.254.1.135
2130200:25:f1:3d:d9:37
255.255.255.255
21302
22:52:01RED DROPwan-1UDP
169.254.1.135
2130200:25:f1:3d:d9:37
255.255.255.255
21302
22:51:51RED DROPwan-1UDP
169.254.1.135
2130200:25:f1:3d:d9:37
255.255.255.255
21302
22:51:41RED DROPwan-1UDP
169.254.1.135
2130200:25:f1:3d:d9:37
255.255.255.255
21302
22:51:31RED DROPwan-1UDP
169.254.1.135
2130200:25:f1:3d:d9:37
255.255.255.255
21302
22:51:21RED DROPwan-1UDP
169.254.1.135
2130200:25:f1:3d:d9:37
255.255.255.255
21302
22:51:17RED DROPwan-1IGMP
192.168.1.1
-00:7f:28:5c:07:1b
224.0.0.1
-
22:51:11RED DROPwan-1UDP
169.254.1.135
2130200:25:f1:3d:d9:37
255.255.255.255
21302
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