Xfinity and Helm

Last Saturday I noticed my Helm was blinking yellow (offline). I went through the troubleshooting steps, but no success. I was able to place the Helm on a separate router and it came back online. I was puzzled as to why it worked on the router but not my ISP cable modem. Finally, I contacted Helm Support.

Helm was great. They tried a plethora of ideas including applying new firmware. We still weren’t getting anywhere. I sent data logs, but still nothing. Just more yellow LED blinking.

I did some homework and found out that Xfinity released a new xFi Modem security update last week. This new security update closed all my in/outbound ports and would not allow me to reopen the ports I needed. I sent this info to Helm Support and we both agreed it was Xfinity.

I gave Comcast a call and they said there was no way to rollback the firmware on my xFi cable modem. This turned out to be useless info, because I never asked to rollback firmware. I ended the call in frustration. Not satisfied with this info, I called back and got in touch with their tech support again. The person I spoke with explained there was a way to turn off the security, but it’s buried in the xFi app, but he didn’t remember where. I was relieved to find this out.

In the xFi app go to the More tab > My services > xFi advanced security > toggle the switch to disable. Open proper ports if needed. Wait a minute and the Helm will be back online.

Hopefully, no one else has to go through this. Needless to say, I’m looking for a compatible DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem. Maybe I will just get the modem and look into WiFi 6 router, since they’re backwards compatible. If anyone has any suggestions please leave them below. Thanks!

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The Motorola MB8600 Cable modem is highly regarded. Router/access point is more complicated. Keep it simple or go more deluxe? Having a router and then access point(s) has advantages. I use pfsense for my router, a Cisco POE switch and Unifi for access points. It all depends on what you need to cover your space.

Wired always wins out over wireless, every time. Is this an opportunity to rethink your network?

That cable modem is $160 on Amazon. Ouch! Looks like all the 3.1 modems are pricey.

Thanks! I’ll check it out. Everyone I’ve talked to claim Netgear is the best, but we’ll see. I think the one you posted cost less than everything else I’ve looked at. That’s a plus.

Do you own this cable modem? If so what are the speeds. I currently have gigabit speeds (1000 / 40).

I don’t. My brother does (and he has Comcast, not sure what speeds) and he says it just works. I have a POS Arris with buffer bloat issues. I had to do limiters on my router to solve that issue. I have 200/20 service with Spectrum. I have been looking at replacing it and that Motorola kept popping up.

Netgear CM1200, CM1100 have multiple 1gb ports. I guess you could bond those together. Having more than one public IP is business class service only. The CM1000, single 1gb, is $148 on Amazon.

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Nice. Well I have some things to think about. Some of my friends recommended this one, linked below. It is all in one DOCSIS 3.1 modem and router. The only thing is if I go with the 7800, I will not be able to get a WiFi 6 router. I guess your pick is the most logical if I want a AX router. Thanks again

NETGEAR Nighthawk Cable Modem WiFi Router Combo (C7800) - Compatible with Cable Providers Including Xfinity by Comcast, Cox, Spectrum | Cable Plans Up to 2 Gigabits | AC3200 WiFi Speed | DOCSIS 3.1 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SHK2241/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_HsPjEbFBVWZT8

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I think Ubiquity has a WiFi 6 router in their amplify lineup. I use their UniFi line for my whole stack (minus modem) and I love it!

@johnVonTrapp
I will take another look at the Ubiquiti - AmpliFi system. Thanks. Last time I looked they only had the AC router not AX router, but maybe they have released it by now. If you think of anything else please let me know. Thanks again!

Hi @MZY

I’m curious what Xfinity modem you were using with Helm. I have an XB6 and have had no difficulty with Helm. Personally, I was excited to learn about the now “free” xFi Advantage Security feature [1]. It was previously a premium paid service. I actually continue to use the Xfinity modem because of this security service. More to the point, since the xFi Security rollout, I am quite happy with my setup. I can see blocked hacker attempts on my Helm from other countries. I was totally blind to this before.

[1] https://corporate.comcast.com/press/releases/comcast-now-includes-xfinity-digital-feature-free-with-xfi

@jonto

This is the same info I was receiving from Xfinity. I reported it to @helm_community (Helm Support) and they said this was normal. The exact response I received from them was:

“The alerts that you forwarded to us are for the port forwarding that you’ve setup to enable the Helm Files service. This is not abnormal.”

In other words xFi security feature is tracking those data points. Those IP’s are foreign to Xfinity so they mark the comings and goings as malicious. After several days of these reports, Xfinity eventually blocked my port forwards, forcing my Helm offline.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, with your Helm offline, you may want to consider the steps above to get your Helm back online.

I wrote this original post, (26 days ago) the same day I turned the xFi security feature off. I haven’t had any issues since. If I ever experience any other Xfinity issues, I will communicate with Helm Support then post results here.

@jonto

FYI - I’m still using the original cable modem from Xfinity. I have yet to find what I’m looking for in a aftermarket modem. I will post here if I find what I’m looking for. This will of course be after I’ve run substantial tests.