Verizon FIOS ActionTec -> WRT54G -> Internet

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by LanceDiamond, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. LanceDiamond

    LanceDiamond Limp Gawd

    Oct 11, 2005
    I am confused and hope someone can help me to understand what is going on. Let me start by saying that everything is actually working - I just don't really understand why and it's not working in the way I expected.

    I have Verizon FIOS Internet & TV. As part of the service, they provide a router with a coax connection on it. This connection is necessary for some of the TV services (Video on Demand, some of the program guide.) I'd been using their router, an older Actiontec, and it dropped dead - wouldn't power on any longer.

    In order to get back up temporarily, I pulled a Linksys WRT54G out of the closet and set it up in place of the Verizon provided router. Once I remembered to configure it as PPoE with any random username/password, it worked fine. Meanwhile, Verizon got another Actiontec on the way to me. While I was without the Actiontec, I couldn't use any Video on Demand services on my set top boxes as expected.

    Using the old Linksys for just a day, I remembered how much I liked the Linksys routers. I never did like the Actiontec router - the web interface is awful and you don't have tons of 3rd party tweakable firmwares to play with like you do on the Linksys. Because of this I decided when the Actiontec arrived, I'd try connecting the WAN port on the Actiontec to one of the LAN ports on the Linksys and see if that worked. My thinking was that the Linksys would just hand the Actiontec an IP address via DHCP and the Actiontec could then get to the Internet and do whatever it needed to do for the set top box stuff.

    My configuration is: Actiontec WAN->Linksys LAN->Linksys WAN->Box on outside of house

    What I do not understand is how/why the Actiontec is actually getting a "real" IP address - it's got a 173.x.x.x address - it did not get that address from the Linksys. It seems to be using PPoE to go through the Linksys directly to the Verizon CO (or whatever you call what is past the box on the outside of my house) and get an IP address. My Linksys is also using PPoE to go to (I assume) the same place and get an IP address. Each device has it's own different 173.x.x.x address and everything works just fine.

    I had expected that I could configure the Actiontec to get an address via DHCP instead of PPoE and have the Linksys hand it an address - I tried that but it didn't work. When I was messing around with the Actiontec, one thing I did do was change the IP range it was using to 192.168.2.x instead of 192.168.1.x since the Linksys was using that range. Once I did that, the PPoE magic happened and everything just worked.

    I don't really see any downside to this assumning Verizon doesn't care that I happen to have two IP addresses. I am not sure how I'd know if they care - I guess at some point they'd let me know or something.

    Sooo can anyone explain to me why it's working this way? How can the Actiontec not even have an IP address assigned from the Linksys yet make it all the way past/through the Linksys to the Verizon CO to get a real IP address??

    Edit: To clarify, when I was messing with the Actiontec, I had to plug a laptop into one of the LAN ports on it. I can't seem to get to it's interface in any way unless I do that which is fine with me, like I said I don't like its interface anyway.
  2. boatasiaus

    boatasiaus Limp Gawd

    Aug 23, 2006
    It was a bit tough following you, but here are some general comments

    1. Take a look at DSL Reports Replacing the Actiontec router for a how to. Tons of info there as to set up your own router, maintaining VOD for TV, etc I have done this dozens of times; it works well and is realtively easy...

    2. The reason the Actiontec has an external IP is because you went Linksys LAN -> Actiontec WAN. If you went Linksys LAN -> Actiontec LAN, you would only have (1) external IP, but your VOD would not work.

    3. Did you turn off DHCP on the Actiontec? If not you are double NATting which is not a good idea.

    I think that covers your basic questions. If you need more, or I misread, post back
  3. LanceDiamond

    LanceDiamond Limp Gawd

    Oct 11, 2005
    Thanks! I will check out that link.

    As far as DHCP on the Actiontec, I have nothing attached to the LAN side of the Actiontec and removed its wireless antenna. My thought setting it up this way is that the Actiontec can sit there and do its thing for the VOD and I can just ignore it - and that does seem to be what is happening now.

    WRT your answer #2 - thought it'd be possible to have the Linksys treat the Actiontec's WAN port like any other device needing an IP address and Internet access - that is, hand it an IP address via DHCP and provide it Internet access. That isn't exactly what has happened I guess because of the PPoE from the Actiontec just going right through the Linksys?

    Edit: I read through the link - that's pretty much what I did. The only differences are that I changed the address range on the Actiontec, not the Linksys. Also, my FiOS is setup PPoE - not sure why or how I wound up a PPoE account but I definitely am - Verizon confirmed this and I think at one point I may have asked if I could be switched to DHCP and they couldn't or wouldn't do it.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009
  4. rays87turbo

    rays87turbo [H]Lite

    Apr 23, 2008
    I'm running a similar setup. I have the coax wan connected to the actiontec, and one lan port connected to the WAN port on my IPCop box, and another lan port connected to my switch.

    I connected the green network port (internal LAN) on the IPCop box to my switch.

    IPCop is able to get a DHCP address from Verizon, and all the STBs are able to get IPs from IPCop. My wireless access point and wired machines all connect to my switch, and everything runs through IPCop, and the Actiontec sits there in the middle, just letting everything pass through.