Book Review: Heads You Win

Hathway, docsis modem and captive portal

I have been using Hathway cable modem for my internet and it has served my needs well.  The downtime is less, their call center is reachable and their plan rates are decent.

Recently, Hathway introduced new Fibre Broadband Plans for Home Users in Bangalore (and elsewhere).  This plan gives a speed of 50 Mbps (small "b").   The rates looked decent.  Hathway folks came to our apartment and gave a demo.  

The temptation to upgrade was too hard to resist.  There was a non-refundable New Plan Activation charge of Rs.562/- (Rs.500 + tax).

I called up the Call center and was asked to send an email to the billing department.   I got a call from them. They asked me to pay the relevant charges online and let them know.  This I did and the next day, had a person from Hathway come over.

The modem had to be changed to support the "high speed". The new modem - which uses docsis technology was a black one with Hathway logo embossed.   It is Skyworth's CM4100 model and not listed in Skyworth website (maybe only OEM).

I use a Netgear WRT54G Router for wi-fi.  Now, this is a pretty old router model. It worked with the modem, but provided only 20 Mbps wi-fi speed.   I was ok with the speed for now, considering my usage.

So far so good.  Until the day after the installation.

Both the modem and router were "working".   Our devices showed that they were connected to the wi-fi.  However, you visit a site, and the browser just timed out!

Now, Hathway uses captive portal technique to force users to re-authenticate periodically (I think every 12 hours though I have not able to figure out the pattern).   Hathway modems do not support PPPoE method of authentication, which is the typical mode of connectivity between modem and router.   So, the router is configured for dynamic IP address.

For whatever reason,  the router was not getting an address from the modem and defaulted to DHCP auto-configuration.  Essentially, there was no internet access.  

This had not happened with the previous modem (though configured identically).   The only thing that had changed was the modem!

I called Hathway support and tried to explain the problem.  I think the service agent understood it (as I suspect others may be having it too). 

I asked about Hathway advertisement saying, "no authentication required"

He said it would need static IP - which wasn't a bad idea, except that it costed an additional Rs.100/- (+ tax) a month! 

"Ok, can I change the modem configuration to fix the problem?" asked I.

Would you believe it, the modem did not have a web based management screen (unlike the previous modem).   No, it was not possible to change.

"We see your modem is online, Sir", said the service agent. 
"I will reset your modem and it should work", he added.

"That may solve it this time, but how about the next?" asked I. He had no answer. 

As it is, the captive portal authentication screen does not show up in our android device.  Luckily, it does in the iOS ones and laptop. Now, add the router issue and you can imagine my frustration.

Looking at the forum discussions, I see some Hathway users have got static IP address (probably for free).   I also see a mention that the upgradation fee is waived you are a customer for more than a year (which I am).  These are both disturbing to read.

After some trial and error, I have found a workaround for the problem.  Any time you see the problem, restart the router.  Yes, just restart the router.  You get the captive authentication screen on your browser and then you are on.   Of course, it is only for non-android devices.   Hopefully it helps others who have a similar issue.

Let me also talk to the guy who takes care of Hathway in our area.


  1. Should work on Android devices also.

    Try this on your Android device. Save it as a bookmark.

  2. But trust me, I'm not happy with them

  3. I am satisfied Hathway Internet Service

  4. You can install this android app which does auto authentication

    and you can find more about same app on windows and linux from same developer at

  5. Buy GSM, GPRS, 3G and 4G industrial modems for machine-to-machine and IoT applications


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