Modems/Gateways FAQs

For technical support and other issues, please contact your service provider directly.

What is a cable modem?
A cable modem is a device that provides high-speed access to the Internet through the cable TV network rather than the telephone network. The result is that web pages load much faster. You can upload and download files - even large files like photo images - 50 to 100 times faster than with ordinary dial-up modems.

Can my current Internet Service Provider support cable modem service?
It is unlikely that your current Internet Service Provider can support your cable modem. The majority of Internet Service Providers are not set-up to support high-speed cable modem service. You will need to contact you local cable service provider.

What if I don't subscribe to cable TV?
If cable TV is available in your area, data service may be made available without subscribing to cable TV service. Contact your local cable service provider for complete information on cable services, including high-speed Internet access.

What are the advantages of Cisco/Scientific Atlanta Cable Modems?
Cisco/Scientific Atlanta has a long tradition in the cable industry and truly understands cable networks and interactivity. Cable operators see the value in selecting the Cisco/Scientific Atlanta cable modem products because they know Cisco/Scientific Atlanta has the expertise to integrate cable modems and interactive services into today's increasingly sophisticated cable networks. In addition, the Cisco/Scientific Atlanta cable modem has the following advantages:

  • Your phone line stays free - The Cisco/Scientific Atlanta cable modem won't tie up your phone line - it's always connected. Your phone line stays free so there are no busy signals, disconnects, or "waiting to redial" messages.
  • Your cable line stays free - The Cisco/Scientific Atlanta cable modem won't tie up your cable line either - you can surf the web while every TV in your house is on. The two ports may allow you to use your Cisco/Scientific Atlanta cable modem with two computers simultaneously, depending your cable provider's policies. Or, with the addition of a router, you may connect the Cisco/Scientific Atlanta cable modem to as many as 32 different devices.
  • Power in a compact package - The Cisco/Scientific Atlanta cable modem is compact and flexible. It's just slightly larger than a videocassette and it can be placed either vertically or horizontally.
  • Easy to install - The Cisco/Scientific Atlanta cable modem requires only three connections - power, cable, and USB/Ethernet.
  • DOCSIS Certified - The Cisco/Scientific Atlanta cable modem is DOCSIS-certified. This assures interoperability with other DOCSIS-certified products and systems throughout the world.

What is DOCSIS technology?
DOCSIS stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications. DOCSIS is a cable industry standard for which CableLabs (a consortium of cable operators) defines the specifications for transmission of data over a cable network. The Cisco/Scientific Atlanta cable modem is DOCSIS certified which means it is compatible with other DOCSIS-certified products and systems throughout the world.

If I buy a new PC after I have the Cisco/Scientific Atlanta Cable Modem, will I need to acquire a new cable modem?
No. The Cisco/Scientific Atlanta cable modem has both USB and Ethernet ports which should support most PCs currently on the market.

What is included with the Cisco/Scientific Atlanta cable modem?
The Cisco/Scientific Atlanta cable modem ships with an Ethernet cable (CAT5/RJ-45), a USB cable (not included with all models), a power adapter with cord, and one CD-ROM containing the user's guide and USB drivers. Note: You will need an optional cable signal splitter if you want to connect a VCR, a Digital Home Communications Terminal (DHCT) or a set-top terminal, or a TV to the same cable connection as your cable modem.

What are the system requirements for the Scientific Atlanta cable modem?
Minimum system requirements for PCs:

  • PC with Pentium MMX 133 processor or greater
  • 32 MB of RAM
  • Netscape or Internet Explorer
  • CD-ROM drive

Minimum system requirements for Macintosh:

  • MAC OS 7.5
  • 32 MB of RAM

Minimum system requirements for Ethernet connection:

  • PC with Windows 95 OS (or later) with TCP/IP protocol installed, or a Macintosh computer with TCP/IP protocol installed
  • An active 10/100BaseT Ethernet network interface card (NIC) installed on our PC

Minimum system requirements for USB connection:

  • PC with Windows 98/98SE/ME/2000 or XP OS
  • A master USB port installed on your PC

Do I need a Cisco/Scientific Atlanta cable modem for each computer in the house? Can I just connect the cable modem and two computers to a hub?
The Cisco/Scientific Atlanta cable modem can support multiple users. However, you need to make sure you can get two IP addresses from your cable modem service provider (the cable provider may charge an additional cost). With the addition of a router, the Cisco/Scientific Atlanta DPX110 cable modem can support up to 32 devices.

How can I arrange for installation?
Professional installation from your cable service provider can usually be arranged. A professional installer ensures proper cable connection to the modem and to your PC, and ensures proper configuration of all hardware and software settings. Contact your cable service provider for more information about installation.

I bought a Cisco/Scientific Atlanta cable modem, connected all the cables myself, now how do I access the Internet?
Contact your local cable service provider. They will set up your account and provision your cable modem so that it is Internet-capable. Be prepared to verify the following information:

  • Does the cable service to your home support two-way, DOCSIS-compatible cable modem access? If your cable company does not provide two-way service, this modem will not be able to communicate with your cable service provider's Internet access service.
  • Do you have an active RF coaxial cable connection near your PC, and is it capable of two-way cable modem service? If your current cable input is not conveniently located near your PC, your cable service provider can install one.
  • Do you have an Internet access account? Your cable service provider will set up your Internet access account, and will become your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to enable you to send and receive email, access the World Wide Web, and other Internet services.
  • You must also give your cable service provider the serial number of your modem and the Media Access Control (MAC) address of the modem.

Can I switch between a notebook and PC using the same cable modem? Will there be a problem of obtaining a DHCP IP address?
Most cable modem service providers track you by the host name (computer name) and maybe host domain, so as long as you set that information the same in both the PC and the notebook you will be okay. If you are using one of the cable modem service providers that register your PC based on the MAC address of the Ethernet card in the PC, then you will have to call them and have them change that entry every time you switch between the two.

Can I use the cable, which is going from the side of my house to my cable modem, to watch TV, using a splitter? If this is possible, will it change the speed I receive? Will there be a problem of obtaining a DHCP IP address, if I self-install the cable modem?
Yes, it is possible and should not cause obvious degradation in speed if done correctly. It is highly recommend that your cable service provider installs the splitter. Some cable service providers encourage their subscribers to self-install the modem. The proper termination of the connectors is very important to the CATV network performance.

I accidentally disconnected the cable from my Cisco/Scientific Atlanta cable modem and it will not recognize the cable signal now that I have placed it back exactly the way it was. Why no solid green "status"?
The cable modem should come back on after a while, but it may take a while for it to scan through all possible cable channels. Also, you may want to power-cycle the modem after you connect it to the cable. Make sure the cable connector is tightly secured and the center pin is not damaged.

Should I plug the cable modem into the "X" port of an Ethernet hub, or into one of the regular ports?
If your cable modem works when connected directly to the PC, then when using the same cable, you should plug that cable into a "cross" port of the hub. There is normally a small "X" next to that port, or there may be a small switch to select crossed vs. straight. Use the PC LED on the cable modem and link LED on the hub to verify that the connection is correct.

How do I see my IP address?
If you are using Windows 95/98, the winipcfg command (ipconfig for WinNT/Win2000) will show you to IP address of the PC connected to the cable modem. Notice that even though you seem to get the same address each time, it may still be a dynamic address which may change in the future.

Why does the Cable LED on the cable modem blink even when there is no data being transferred on the PC? In fact, it blinks even when the PC is off. Is this normal, and why?
This is perfectly normal. There are few things going on in the background, whether the cable modem is in use or not, such as periodic ranging, software upgrade, etc.

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