[olug] Windstream DSL and a Sagemcom 1704

Dan Linder dan at linder.org
Fri Jan 21 14:39:57 UTC 2011

I spent the evening at my parents house and finally got it up and running.

I brought along my laptop with Linux on it so I could have a clean
environment just in case.

When I plugged in, I got the standard DHCP settings (IP, netmask, default
gateway, and DNS servers).  The firewall/modem/gateway is also configured to
be a DNS server and all IP information looked correct.

Dad was able to browse to a lot of his "normal" sites, but he couldn't
connect to any HTTPS sites (eg he could surf to www.google.com and do
searches, but logging into his GMail account would timeout waiting for the
login screen).

After a lot more testing, I fired up Wireshark to see what was going on.  My
laptop had received the single DNS server and any DNS query I sent to it was
not getting resolved.  Specifically, Wireshark was seeing the DNS query go
to the router, and the router was sending an "ICMP - Port unreachable"
response.  An nmap of the router confirmed that it was not
listening/responding on the DNS port (port 53).  When I setup my laptop to
use an external DNS, everything worked just fine.

In all, I think the Sagemcom 1704 looks to be a very powerful device.  It
offers what appears to be a true firewall, with NAT, QOS, NTP, and other
DSL-specific features (TV over DSL?).  Unfortunately, the DHCP server it
provides will ONLY hand out it's LAN-side IP address for the DNS server, and
there was no way to log if packets were getting dropped or rejected by it's
internal firewall (we tried setting up a firewall rule to allow port 53
access to the FW, but that didn't help).

Sadly, it looks like this Sagemcom device was improperly setup from the
get-go, and with Windstream not testing it after install then charging to
diagnose the problem, I can't recommend them very well.

As someone else said earlier, too bad there aren't more choices for us...


On Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 22:21, Dan Staehr <staehrmedia at neb.rr.com> wrote:

> Good luck dealing with Windstream tech support....its deplorable. I have
> several customers that have had problems with Windstream. I've only worked
> with their Speedstream modem (junk) and have wondered how the Sagemcom 1704
> was.
> I look forward to your report.
> Dan Staehr
> Staehr Media Services
> Lincoln, NE
> On 01/19/2011 8:29 PM, Dan Linder wrote:
>> Anyone here have Windstream DSL in their home?  My dad just upgraded to
>> their 7Mbit earlier this week (Tuesday?), and while he was going through
>> the
>> first initial setup of the DSL modem, their system went down.  (The
>> installer/technician that was out there at the time said it was a problem
>> on
>> their end and to try again tomorrow...)  Anyway, the current state of the
>> device is that the PCs on the LAN are getting 192.168.254.X addresses from
>> the DSL on the Sagemcom modem/firewall, but when we get on to the router
>> and
>> run the "diagnostics" tests, it's failing on the "DSL" and "Internet"
>> tests.
>> > From these results, I *know* it's a problem on their end, but when my
>> dad
>> called in earlier this afternoon and they transferred him up to the
>> "advanced support team" (after the first lady didn't know what an a DNS
>> server IP address was), the advanced team said that he had to agree to 6
>> months of their higher rate plan to get support!
>> Questions:
>>  1: Is the support really that way with Windstream?  (Once we get on to
>> the
>> Internet, we'll be self-sufficient...)
>>  2: Anyone know of a way to truly perform a hard-reset so the modem will
>> let
>> him re-start the initial setup?  (It looks like it thinks it's
>> configured...)
>> Dan
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