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Disabling Verizon Redirects

A customer called me up recently and said she’d had a power outage and her Internet didn’t work any more.  This particular customer is hearing impaired and has a telephone that will show her captions as the person she’s talking to is speaking.  It works by way of an Internet connection.  She needed help right away.

When I got there, she explained that she had been on the phone with Verizon for something like 4 hours that day and finally called me.  Why she didn’t call right away, I don’t know.  Anyway, I ran through my battery of tests and everything seemed to be configured correctly, Netgear router, Westell 6100 modem and Windows XP were communicating correctly.  I could ping my office computers by IP address, but when I used pinged them using the domain name I would get some other IP address  And, when I tried to get on a web site I would be redirected to Verizon to “authenticate”.  Verizon had hijacked the connection.

I exhausted what I could do.  Nothing was wrong.  I called Verizon and got a tech on the phone.  He started to run through his spiel and I cut him off and told him what problem I was having in terms that he knew, that I knew what, what I was doing.  He then immediately asked me to log in to the modem and type in this URL:

http://192.168.1.1/verizon/redirect.htm

I did that and was greeted with a warning that this was a “Verizon Only” page and that I had to be authorized to access it.  Also on the page was a single button that said “Disable”.  The tech asked me to click on that button and the connectivity was restored.

Apparently when the power goes out on the modem for a long enough time, the bit on this redirect is switched back to deny access until authenticated.  The tech that my customer didn’t get this during her four hour ordeal with the previous Verizon tech.  She is certainly capable of typing in a URL, but the previous tech had her install all the Verizon crap like toolbars  in Firefox and IE during the troubleshooting process.  Complete unnecessary and the first thing I uninstalled when I got there.

Why post this?  I had not come across this particular problem before so it’s mostly for a reminder to me.  But also, to save you time and money.  If you have Verizon Internet service and have a power outage and suddenly find yourself locked out of the Internet, give the above URL a visit and save yourself a couple hours of headaches.

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