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Charter Internet and Networking Basic Information

This article answers some of the most commonly asked internet related questions. You may choose one select a topic or question or scroll through all of the questions/responses to gain a better understanding of Charter Internet services.



USB and USB Connections

Universal serial bus (USB) is a technology allowing you to connect many different devices, such as cable modems, speakers, a mouse, joysticks, etc., to your computer quickly and easily.

  • A USB-compatible device simply plugs into a USB port on your computer – it's not necessary to open your computer or use an internal expansion slot.
  • USB also allows for "hot swap" – meaning you can unplug one device, and plug in another device into the same port without turning your computer off and back on.
  • At least one USB port is found on most computers sold today.
  • If all your USB ports are currently being used with other devices, you can add capacity through a USB hub that plugs into your computer's USB port and provides additional USB ports.
  • Although a USB can be used to connect your cable modem to your computer, using an ethernet connection is preferable to using a USB connection.
    • A USB ethernet adapter works the same as an ethernet Network Interface Card (NIC), but because it's USB-compatible, it just plugs into your computer's USB port.

IP address

  • Every computer connected to the Internet has a unique IP address.
  • Computers connected to the Internet must speak the Internet language called Internet Protocol (IP) – so each computer needs an identity, which is called an Internet Protocol (IP) address.
  • Similar to your telephone number or street address, your IP address is automatically captured when any communications link is made over the Internet, including visiting Web pages, sending or receiving email, or using a chat room.
  • Every computer, whether it is functioning as a Web site, is used to surf the Web, is a mail server, or is used for any other function, has an IP address so it can communicate across the Internet.
  • The format of an IP address is a 32-bit numeric address written as 4 numbers separated by periods.
    • An example of an IP address could be: 23.692.122.24.
    • An IP address' 4 sets of numbers are used in different ways to identify a particular network and host.
    • The Domain Name System (DNS) is the system where the IP addresses are converted into names.
    • When a user enters www.charter.com into a browser, a hidden process converts that name into the IP address, allowing the user to connect to the proper Web site.
  • On many networks, the IP address is always the same; this is a static IP address. On other networks, a random IP address is assigned each time a computer connects to the network; this is a dynamic IP address.
  • Charter Communications® users are provided a dynamic IP address. Static IP addresses are available for Charter Business customers.

Network Interface Card

A Network Interface Card (NIC) - also called a network adapter - allows your computer to connect to a network wirelessly or through an ethernet jack.

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Home Networking

Home Network

A home network connects two or more computers together with network interface cards and a network line, and enables the computers to have file and print sharing capabilities.

About Home Networking

If you choose to use a router with your cable modem, please be aware of the following two parameters:

  • The cable modem must be plugged into the router's WAN port.
  • The router must be configured to work with a DHCP network.
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Support For Microsoft Products

Microsoft recently announced that Windows 98, 98 Second Edition, and Millennium (ME) have reached the end of the manufacturer's product support life cycle. With this announcement, Charter Communications must change the support parameters we offer to our customers.

This is effective immediately. Charter will provide limited support to Charter customers using these operating systems. Charter cable modems will continue to operate with these operating systems; however, Microsoft will no longer provide Windows updates and ongoing vendor support, such as Security Hot Fixes, updates, and drivers.

If a Charter customer using Windows 98, 98 Second Edition, or Millennium (ME) requests troubleshooting, then Charter's Customer Care support will be limited to verifying cable modem connectivity.

Charter will continue to fully support our products on Microsoft XP, 2000 and above, and encourage our customers to upgrade to a supported operating system.

Internet Explorer For Mac No Longer Available

In June 2003, the Microsoft Macintosh Business Unit announced that Internet Explorer for Mac would undergo no further development, and support would cease in 2005. In accordance with published support lifecycle policies, Microsoft ended support for Internet Explorer for Mac on December 31, 2005, and is not providing any further security or performance updates.

Accordingly, as of January 31, 2006, Internet Explorer for the Mac is no longer available for download from Microsoft. It is recommended that Macintosh users migrate to more recent Web-browsing technologies such as Apple's Safari. Mac OS 9.0.4 or newer

RIAA and MPAA Subpoenas

The following article contains frequently asked questions about RIAA and MPAA subpoenas, file sharing, and copyright infringement.

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have issued subpoenas to Charter Communications for alleged copyright infringement by Charter customers.

As you may have heard in the news, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have begun serving subpoenas on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to get the names of Internet customers who are sharing music and movie files. Charter has received subpoenas for the names of a small number of its customers. Charter Communications has over 1.7 million high-speed data customers in the United States. So far, only a relatively small number of Charter customers have been the subject of subpoenas by the RIAA or MPAA (RIAA). However, both groups have publicly stated that they intend to issue more subpoenas in the future.

Whom do I contact if I have questions?

Contact Charter Communications Internet Security Department at 314-288-3111 or by email at corpabuse@charter.net.

Can I get in trouble for downloading music or movies off the Internet?

Yes, that is possible. Copyright holders for the movie and music industries believe that this practice violates their copyrights, and they have begun to file lawsuits against alleged file-sharers.

KaZaA and Gnutella are examples of what the RIAA focuses on as file-sharing programs. The music and movie industries believe that if you download music or movies from the Internet without paying for it, you are violating their copyright. Federal copyright statutes provide monetary penalties for the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted sound or video recordings.

What might happen?

The copyright holders have computer programs to help them identify the IP addresses (computer numbers) of Internet users who are exchanging music or movies. The copyright holder can then subpoena the user's ISP to request the name and address of the customer who was using that IP address at that time. Then the copyright holder may initiate legal action against the customer.

Will Charter give out my personal information to the record companies?

Charter Communications complies strictly with its Privacy Policy. Charter will only disclose customer information when required to by law. Charter will do its best to protect its legal rights and, to the extent it can do so, those of its customers in the proceedings through which it is resisting the subpoenas. In addition, if Charter must disclose a customer's identity to a copyright holder, we will attempt to notify our customer first. This will give the customer the opportunity to retain his or her own legal counsel and take whatever action, if any, the customer deems appropriate. Of course, Charter does not provide legal representation to individual customers, which would include those customers accused of illegal file sharing.

How do I know if Charter has received a subpoena requesting my name?

Charter will continue to attempt to notify any of its customers for whom it receives a subpoena.

If I receive a legal notice, what should I do next?

The first thing you should do is contact a lawyer. That will allow you to understand your legal rights and obligations in this situation. You may also want to discontinue using music and movie sharing over the Internet, to the extent you are doing so, and either remove the program from your computer or disable the file-sharing ability of the programs. For help on how to disable the file-sharing ability of programs that may be on your computer, please see the instruction sheets below.

The member studios of the MPAA are offering a free program to help computer users detect copies of movies, music, and file-sharing software on their computer. The program is available at Respectcopyrights.org.

If I receive a legal notice, is there anything I can do to stop the process?

Charter Communications recommends that you consult a lawyer. Your lawyer will be able to advise you as to your rights here.

If I receive a legal notice, does it mean that I must appear in court?

Your legal counsel can advise you of your rights.

How can I avoid being accused of copyright infringement?

The safest way to avoid copyright infringement is to discontinue using free music and movie sharing over the Internet and to either remove the programs from your computer or disable the file-sharing ability of the programs. However, if you have already engaged in such file sharing, it is at least a theoretical possibility that RIAA, MPAA, or some other organization may seek your identity, and may bring a suit against you for copyright infringement.

About the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was signed into law on October 28, 1998. Its intent is to protect copyright owners in a world of electronic file transfers.

Under the DMCA, copyright owners have the right to notify Charter if they believe that a Charter customer has infringed on the copyright owner's work(s). If Charter receives a notice from a copyright owner alleging a customer has committed copyright infringement, Charter will notify the customer of the alleged infringement. (No personal customer information is shared with the copyright owner unless required by law.)

If Charter receives more than one notice of copyright infringement on the customer's part, the customer may be deemed a "repeat copyright infringer." Charter reserves the right to terminate the accounts of repeat copyright infringers.

For additional information, please refer to the Acceptable Use Policy.


The links in this article may be to Internet sites maintained by third parties, no inference or assumption should be made and no representation may be implied that either Charter or its affiliated entities operates or controls in any way any information, products or services on these third party sites.

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