Why is the Home Internet Gateway functionality crippled?

  • 10 May 2023
  • 2 replies


I have Arcadyan KVD21, and while I am thoroughly impressed with the speeds from the device on the T-Mobile 5G network, I am disgusted by the lack of any ability to properly manage & (more importantly) secure this device.

This trade between speed and security is insulting and offensive to me as a technologically adept Security professional, and exacerbated by the fact that T-Mobile continues to fail when tasked with protecting user account PII data.

The inability to perform certain key functions completely disappoints me. Below are the primary issues and concerns, which *MUST* be resolved to keep me as a customer:

  • Cannot perform setup / administrative tasks via wired interface. Current (internal) web interface only offers a “basic” informational portal. 
  • Cannot completely disable (turn off) WiFi, (likely due to the above).
  • What (few) administrative tasks that are available, requires: download & installation of a worthless “mobile app”, which also requires the device be connected to the local WiFi network.
  • Current administrative functions are limited to 3 tasks, changing the: administrative password, WiFi password, or name of the WiFi SSID.
  • T-Mobile Internet app loses any/all functionality beyond the local network. If the gateway is connected to the internet, and the device with the app is as well, then there should be no valid reason to require “local” access, especially if the next point is true… As this prevents a parental/guardian authority from managing the device while traveling or outside the home (at work).
  • T-Mobile app does not permit multiple instances of the app to be logged in with the same account/credentials. (per T-Mobile technical rep)

What absolutely perplexes me is that many (if not all) of these points DID NOT EXIST when I reviewed an early device around one (1) year ago… So why “cripple” the functionality?!?

2 replies

Actually, I was hoping to be able to control much more, too.  

But, my previous provider’s modem (which is still connected) gives me 6 panels and 36 subpanels of info and controls.  Most of that I don’t use or care about.  but some I do care about:

  • Abiity to change IP addresses in the LAN: address of the modem, and allowable IPs in the LAN.  I generally don’t use 192.168. for a bit more security.
  • ability to turn on/off DHCP, and the IPs that it assigns, so nobody who breaks in can guess my LAN IPs
  • firewall, so I can cut off kinds of access I want to keep out
  • ability to disable wifi, so only the ethernet cable connections are usable and nobody can hack in from outside my apt
  • ability to ping and traceroute, for testing
  • system & security log for the modem
  • save settings in a file

I get it that you don’t want people to tinker around and break stuff, but you do have a Reset button on the back in case we screw up too badly.

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This has been discussed a lot (and I mean a lot!) on this forum and on Reddit, and the short answer is that T-Mobile has decided (unfortunately, imo) on crippling end-user customization of the gateway settings.  

They are aware that many people don’t like this and would like a lot more control, but that’s just not the business model they want to follow. My old DSL service allowed me lots of control, and as a networking guy in my day job, I took full advantage of it.  But for me, I traded off that control for cheaper, faster internet.

At the rate that T-Mo is adding new home internet customers, I don’t think they see the need to change their business model. This has the unfortunate effect of leaving many users without the functionality they would like/need. T-Mo seems OK with the “we’re not the solution for everybody” approach.

In addition, even with the reduced functionality of the gateways, their tech support staff seem to be having a hard time helping people solve the problems they encounter. If they allowed a much more heterogenous gateway setup environment, I think tech support would have an even harder time helping people. Just my opinion.