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I did a quick search for this and didn't find results, so I'm thinking its just as bizarre as I thought.

MY internet went down last night, and after 20 minutes of unstable it was back. But out of curiosity I decided to login in to my router and take a look, and perhaps force a reboot if necessary. When I tried, it told me the credentials were invalid (even though I was in there last week), and after numerous attempts, I sent an email to my ISP admin.

He wrote me back saying he had accessed my home router remotely to do some updates and he had changed the user/pw because "there really isn’t much in there that anyone would need to change other than myself".

I pointed out that he has taken away my ability to allow/disallow firewall programs, use port forwarding and manage my network, essentially. I have not gotten an answer or resolution yet.

Anyone else heard of an ISP locking you out of your own router? Could it be because its their equipment? This is a home network we're talking about. A little AirOS router for my family, not the broadband router at the tower.

I realize its his router and he can do whatever he pleases, but is this something you've seen or dealt with before?


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Over the years I have experienced this many times here in Norway. The companies do this for all kinds of reasons I guess. On top of my head I am thinking: Protecting the end users from "hurting" them selves. Protecting their equipment from miss configuration or just economic reasons like getting you to pay for the added functionality. – Mogget Apr 8 '13 at 17:15
on our routers we use a custom firmware so even if you reset it we are still in control - not sure about his. – dashboard Apr 8 '13 at 17:23
Can you factory reset the router and then use a default username/password? – j_bombay Apr 8 '13 at 18:12
He warned me in the email that if I did that I would lose my internet connection. – tamtam44 Apr 8 '13 at 19:14
Who owns the router? I own ours, and our ISP would be in deep yogurt if he messed with it. (He doesn't have the password anyway.) – Daniel R Hicks Apr 8 '13 at 20:23
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Depending on the ISP, AT&T in america Allows some configurations but not much, Comcast doesn't supply the router, etc.. If you want full control ask what modems works with your ISP and buy that and the router and throw out the rental. You offer the service, not the equipment. That's my motto.

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Thanks! I think I will consider that, simply because I do use certain features that only router access can provide, like port forwarding – tamtam44 Apr 8 '13 at 19:17

As a isp we do the same thing with UBNT air routers - this is because people (most people) dont know anything about routers and just make a mess of things when they do try to change any settings - and yes we do own the routers, even if you paid money for it.

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So long as you have service with that ISP, they are not required to provide you access to any devices (modem/router) that they sent in order to provide service to you. As a note, if you had access, you would be financially responsible for any changes in the router that disrupted your services. If you need to make any updates to the router, you are welcome to call into your ISPs support line and they will be able to make any non-service affecting changes for you. – MaQleod Apr 8 '13 at 18:26
Thanks for the insight. He wrote back and said that its a new policy to deny access to the router settings for all clients and gave me the "take it or leave it" answer. – tamtam44 Apr 8 '13 at 19:15

Cincinnati Bell set my new router up like this. The only way to get it unlocked was to call premium support at $14.95 a month to have them unlock it. I feel your frustration. I spent two months battling and even filing complaints with the BBB and State Attorney General office. Bottom line, no one cares - take the advice of someone above, find out which routers work with your ISP - ditch the rental and set yours up the way you want.

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I would contact your ISP. First off, its not "his" router, it is the ISPs. It is not "his" decision to do anything, there may be company policy, but if that were the case it would most likely would have been set before it shipped.

It sounds to me that the tech overstepped his bounds, or was at the very least rude and condescending. If it were me, I would file a complaint and ask for the official company policy on router access.

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It was the ISP owner that did this - not a tech, but I appreciate your answer. he basically told met to "take it or leave it". – tamtam44 Apr 8 '13 at 19:16

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