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New Router w/ Verizon FIOS - Best Setup Option?

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#1 vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 19:06

So I picked up a new Netgear AC1900 Router as I had some Amazon gift card and it was their daily deal of the day this past Wednesday.

The Nighthawk R7000 to be exact.

 

It looks like I have some more options as to how to setup a second router than I previously realized. So I am wondering what people think is the better approach.

 

First and most important thing to keep in mind is Verizon forces their Actiontec modem/router on people, so that is why I even have to go through all of these hoops. The good news is however I do have a direct Cat 5 connection from the ONT, so I have some options.

 

So these are the 2 different options I have settled on based on all of the various options that can be found here.

 

Option #1 - Secondary LAN-to-LAN 
Can I use my wireless or an extra router along with the Verizon provided router?
 
LAN-to-LAN connection between Actiontec and user router. User router becomes a switch. WAN connection and firewall not used in user router. LAN DHCP server should be disabled in the user router.
 
Instructions are detailed in this FAQ: »Verizon Online FiOS FAQ »Can I use my wireless or an extra router along with the Verizon provided router?
 
PRO:
  • Easy. 
  • Avoids double-NATing. Port Forwards are configured in the Actiontec only. 
  • Good choice, if all you need is to connect your 802.11n router as a Wireless Access Point (WAP). 
  • VZ support for Actiontec. 
  • All current STB functionality supported. Guide, VOD, widgets, Remote DVR, On Screen Caller ID. 
CON:
  • Still subject to small NAT table in early (GEN1) Actiontecs. Does not apply to the Westell's larger NAT table.
 
 
#2 - Primary LAN-to-WAN 
 
Cat5 from ONT to user router. LAN port on user router to WAN port on Actiontec per FAQ here
 
PRO:
  • Easy. FSC can switch WAN connection from coax to cat5 remotely. 
  • NAT limited by primary router, not Actiontec. 
  • VOD, guide data and widgets supported.
CON:
  • Configuration not supported by VZ. May have to reconnect Actiontec to ONT (via cat5) as primary router for support. 
  • Does not support media sharing on PCs connected to primary router. 
  • Does not support remote access to DVR, on-screen caller id or VZ's CPE management interface (see note #3 above).
 
I am leaning towards Option #2 as that is clearly the option that gives me the most control, and I am also not sure how much if any advance control I will lose in my new router if it is setup as just a WAP in #1, but as you can see, that also means I lose some functionality that I am paying for, mainly on-screen caller id and even more important, remote access to my DVR. I do not use remote access all that much, but it is nice to have.
 
So I guess my main question for BudMan, I mean everyone LOL, is what way do they recommend? Is the first option really that much worse?
 
Keep in mind I do not do all that anything special with my network really. I am not remoting in from outside locations, I do not have any servers to the outside world. I really just need good speeds on my LAN and a reliable Wirless Network at home.
 
Truly TIA. The router should be there when I get home in about 3 hours, so this is going to be my Friday night project.
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Best Answer Roger H. , 10 January 2014 - 22:19

Definitely option 2. This way your TVs still get connection but your router is the one to handle IP addressing for internet. Go to the full post



#2 Roger H.

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 22:19   Best Answer

Definitely option 2. This way your TVs still get connection but your router is the one to handle IP addressing for internet.

#3 +snaphat (Myles Landwehr)

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 22:27

Option 1 renders having your own router completely pointless because you are losing all of the features of the router. Might as well have a switch at that point because the router is acting as a dumb switch. Why buy a router at all if it is going to use it as AP only?



#4 OP vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 23:00

Option 1 renders having your own router completely pointless because you are losing all of the features of the router. Might as well have a switch at that point because the router is acting as a dumb switch. Why buy a router at all if it is going to use it as AP only?

Would'nt one reason to purchase a different router and use it in AP mode be the fact that the overall connection and range and frequencies it supports is infinitely better than the router that FIOS provides?
 

And I said I realize Option #2 is clearly the better option, the reason I started the thread is I am not a networking expert, so I was asking if some routers could in fact be in AP yet still keep their advanced settings. Apparently they cannot. 

Thanks for the not condescending response.  :rolleyes:

And just curious, do they make such a thing as a standalone Wireless Switch? Meaning a switch that can broadcast an SSID just on it's own on all the frequencies, etc?

 

Thanks Shotta (I believe that is you at least LOL)

 

 



#5 +snaphat (Myles Landwehr)

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 23:04

Would'nt one reason to purchase a different router and use it in AP mode be the fact that the overall connection and range and frequencies it supports is infinitely better than the router that FIOS provides?
 

And I said I realize Option #2 is clearly the better option, the reason I started the thread is I am not a networking expert, so I was asking if some routers could in fact be in AP yet still keep their advanced settings. Apparently they cannot. 

Thanks for the not condescending response.  :rolleyes:

And just curious, do they make such a thing as a standalone Wireless Switch? Meaning a switch that can broadcast an SSID just on it's own on all the frequencies, etc?

 

Thanks Shotta (I believe that is you at least LOL)

 

They do make wireless APs that you just plug into an Ethernet port like a normal wired switch. They are useful if you have a large area where you need to deploy wifi to (e.g. an entire building). For configuration, typically the AP would get its own IP and you can configure it that way so it isn't exactly just a switch.



#6 OP vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 16:57

I set it up doing Option #2. Went smooth as a baby's behind. (Y)

 

This is my WiFi connection not doing anything at all, default settings.

New_NETGEAR.jpg

Speedtest is 80/35, so everything is in order there.

 

So once I go in and tweak some additional settings, should be able to get everything even more tight.

 

So just a few notes for people who may find this via Google. At least what made things easiest for myself.

 

Once everything is set up, your new router and the Actiontec Router need to be on different subnets. The instructions basically say to leave the Actiontec on 192.168.1.x. I chose not to do that as I already had set up a bunch of static IP's on the devices on my network that also use that Subnet. So I made the Actiontec's subnet 192.168.2.x and let my new NETGEAR Router take the 192.168.1.x so everything that was already set up on my network prior to doing this continued as they normally would. Saved me the headache of changing a bunch of settings on a bunch of devices.

 

So to change your Actiontec's Subnet, you need to:

 

  1. Login to the router
  2. Click on MY NETWORK icon
  3. Select Network Connections on the left.
  4. Select Network (Home/Office) from the list.
  5. Click on SETTINGS at the bottom.
  6. Enter the IP ADDRESS you want the Actiontec to have on your LAN.
  7. Click APPLY.
  8. Click APPLY again.
 
I found those instructions here, on the 4th reply. 

Just be aware, you will need to change your subnet in 3 different fields, and then click Apply. Just keep in mind once you are on your main subnet from the NETGEAR, you will not be able to access the Actiontec unless you plug into it (assuming you disable the wireless on it as instructed). Also it goes without saying, but is important to highlight for those who may not know, anything you plug into your actiontec will not be on the same network as anything you plug into your new Router.

 

So hopefully me starting this thread may help somehow out in the future.

I no longer have on screen caller ID or remote DVR Management, but everything else such as the Guide and On-Demand work as they normally would, and it could be my imagination but they even seem a tad more responsive.

 

I have finally broken free of the Actiontec Verizon supplies!!!



#7 +snaphat (Myles Landwehr)

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 21:52

I apologize for my earlier response: I should have been far more cordial than I was in that post.



#8 OP vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 23:05

I apologize for my earlier response: I should have been far more cordial than I was in that post.

Apology accepted. Definitely. (Y)
That is awesome of you to take the time to do, so no hard feelings.

As I said, I do not know all that much about networking at the end of the day.

I know enough to be dangerous as they say, but just the fact that I had my previous router in AP mode means I do not know all that much, I can totally admit that. I honestly just discovered the other day I even had the option not to set it up that way, I just always thought that was my only option since I had FIOS. Truth be told It always bothered me I could not enable the advanced options of my last router because it was setup in AP, but I lived with it as it did everything I needed it to do pretty decent even without those options.

I now cannot help but think all the drop off issues I was having with it were related to the fact it was set up as an AP, but Google led me to some forum threads where I read a decent amount of people were having similar issues, especially with Mac devices for some reason, which is what I was also experiencing. 

Doing this today I did understand it all and it was much easier than I anticipated, but the reason I even started the thread to get confirmation is I was hesitant as it was something I had never done and I also did not want to screw anything up, especially since my wife made it point to let me know that on Saturday she had to work from home in the afternoon and in order to do so she has to VPN in. I knew I was either going to attempt everything last night or this (Saturday) morning, and it did wind up being this morning as I was just wiped out when I got home from work last night. So I was under additional pressure of not even having the option of being offline a few hours because if I did screw something up. My wife had to do some real important work related stuff, and she actually never works on the weekend, this was an absolute first. So I really just wanted to get a second set of eyes on my plan to see if I was choosing the right option and/or to find out if the AP route was really not a good one. Even though I already knew setting it up as an AP was not preferred, I thought maybe there was no reason to think that way.

At the end of the day I am no doubt much happier I did take the time to go with Option #2, it truly did go as smooth as it could go, and so far everything is so much smoother on my network it is awesome.

I took the time to share my story behind things to show that sometimes even though it may appear people do not need help as they have already answered their own question in their thread and it already may appear they know what they should do, there are legitimate other reasons behind them seeking some additional guidance. I knew I should do Option #2, I knew how to do Option #2, but I wanted to have that extra reassurance as I prefer to be as thorough as I can be when I do something, especially if it is something I have never done.

Thanks again. As I said, no hard feelings.



#9 +snaphat (Myles Landwehr)

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 23:39

Apology accepted. Definitely. (Y)
That is awesome of you to take the time to do, so no hard feelings.

As I said, I do not know all that much about networking at the end of the day.

I know enough to be dangerous as they say, but just the fact that I had my previous router in AP mode means I do not know all that much, I can totally admit that. I honestly just discovered the other day I even had the option not to set it up that way, I just always thought that was my only option since I had FIOS. Truth be told It always bothered me I could not enable the advanced options of my last router because it was setup in AP, but I lived with it as it did everything I needed it to do pretty decent even without those options.

I now cannot help but think all the drop off issues I was having with it were related to the fact it was set up as an AP, but Google led me to some forum threads where I read a decent amount of people were having similar issues, especially with Mac devices for some reason, which is what I was also experiencing. 

Doing this today I did understand it all and it was much easier than I anticipated, but the reason I even started the thread to get confirmation is I was hesitant as it was something I had never done and I also did not want to screw anything up, especially since my wife made it point to let me know that on Saturday she had to work from home in the afternoon and in order to do so she has to VPN in. I knew I was either going to attempt everything last night or this (Saturday) morning, and it did wind up being this morning as I was just wiped out when I got home from work last night. So I was under additional pressure of not even having the option of being offline a few hours because if I did screw something up. My wife had to do some real important work related stuff, and she actually never works on the weekend, this was an absolute first. So I really just wanted to get a second set of eyes on my plan to see if I was choosing the right option and/or to find out if the AP route was really not a good one. Even though I already knew setting it up as an AP was not preferred, I thought maybe there was no reason to think that way.

At the end of the day I am no doubt much happier I did take the time to go with Option #2, it truly did go as smooth as it could go, and so far everything is so much smoother on my network it is awesome.

I took the time to share my story behind things to show that sometimes even though it may appear people do not need help as they have already answered their own question in their thread and it already may appear they know what they should do, there are legitimate other reasons behind them seeking some additional guidance. I knew I should do Option #2, I knew how to do Option #2, but I wanted to have that extra reassurance as I prefer to be as thorough as I can be when I do something, especially if it is something I have never done.

Thanks again. As I said, no hard feelings.

I think you are actually lucky that you can do option #2. When I had Verizon, I was stuck with coax for WAN because the ONT is in my basement and the router was 3 floors up and of course my place isn't wired for Ethernet. I ended up ditching my own router completely (WNDR3700 at the time) during my time with them. It turned out the wireless antenna eventually became defective on my own router anyway and I had to buy a replacement when I finally switched off of them back in the October. 



#10 +BudMan

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 18:14

So how is this not just a double NAT?

What IP does your new router get on its wan -- is this a rfc1918 address, does your ONT do nat?

If your new router has a rfc1918 address on its wan, then your something in front of it ONT? is still doing NAT - so your mention of the small nat table, is that the ONT or the actiontec?

Sounds like you just put your new router in a DMZ (all ports forwarded setup) on your isp device.. Unless I missed somewhere where your new router gets public IP on its WAN?

If it gets a public IP on its wan, then there is no reason why you could not share private space where your lan of your actiiontec and your new router where both on say 192.168.1.0/24 Unless the actiontec nats to your dvs and such - and this setup just puts the actiontec behind a double nat because your connecting its wan to your new routers lan.

I looked on the FAQ and see the drawing - but myabe I missed it, it didn't see to spell out what IP your new router gets.. Is it public?

#11 Roger H.

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 19:14

The ASUS in Option 2 will get IPs and all that from the Verizon. The Actiontech in this case is only used for MOCA purposes so that the STBs can get a signal over normal COAX line to deliver picture to the TVs and those boxes don't care, just as long as they can connect to the ONT. All IP addressing is done via the ASUS so while it is double NAT if he ever connected to the ActionTech router via WLAN or LAN, connecting directly the the ASUS will be just like normal which was part of the point.