The best way to start this is probably with a little background about my home network …
I’ve had FiOS for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been using the craptastic Actiontec sad-excuse-for-a-router for about the same amount of time. About 6 months or so ago, I began to realize that with the proliferation of Kindles, laptops, phones and iPods in my house that my network was simply at full capacity. So, I upgraded my service to one of their super fast plans and emptied out my wallet at the same time.
A few days after that, I installed a TP-Link TL-WA801ND Wireless N AccessPoint to segregate some of the devices off of the Actiontec wifi – primarily all the wireless devices my kids use to watch Minecraft videos 24/7 on their Kindle’s. This worked to a certain extent.
It soon became obvious that even that setup was not enough, the Actiontec router is just too slow to handle the number of devices in my home. I decided that I would figure out how to bypass it entirely with a new router.
At this point, you might ask me, “Hey, why don’t you just pay to upgrade to the fancy new FiOS router?” Well, that would be because my plan is better and even their new hardware is total shit.
Without wasting anytime I consulted with my nerd friends (Samba) and bought the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 (R7000).
Now, an important detail to share before I continue with the tutorial is that my FiOS setup is actually using both the COAX (for the TV’s) and the ethernet WAN port for the actual network. The ethernet bit is important. To completely bypass the Actiontec router, you absolutely have to have this configuration. There’s just no way around it. You can setup the actiontec router as a bridge or whatever, but at the end of the day it is still in the way of you getting out to the internet and it WILL continue to slow you down.
Lastly, I managed to set this up through trial and error. The first bit about putting your new router first on the ethernet line from the ONT box is easy, but you still need the Actiontec router plugged into the network for your set top boxes to have internet access. I found this out the hard way when my STB’s started bitching about no network access. The setup I have now only uses the Actiontec for the STBs and it is not routing any other network traffic.
In order to get yourself setup like this (if you aren’t already), you have to do two things …
- Run a CAT-6 cable from your FiOS ONT box to wherever you’re going to put your new router.
- Call Verizon and politely ask them to activate the enternet port on your ONT box. Read this post here for a bit more information on how to do this.
Now, I’ll assume at this point that you’ve given Verizon your first born child and a sloppy wet blowjob to enable the ethernet port on your ONT.
On with the tutorial …
- Ensure that the computer you are going to work from is physically plugged into the Actiontec router.
- Log into your Actiontec router from your web browser (usually http://192.168.1.1).
- Reset the router to default settings to clear out any custom settings you may have added – such as port forwarding, DMZ hosts, etc.
- Turn off the wireless AP on the Actiontec router.
- Write down the MAC address of the Actiontec router.
- Reboot the router.
- Reconnect to the router and verify that everything is reset to default and that the wireless AP is no longer active and broadcasting.
- Release the DHCP lease from the router.
- Immediately power off the router.
- Unplug the ethernet cable from the WAN port on the Actiontec router and plug it into the WAN port on your new router.
- Plug your computer into the new router in any of the LAN ports.
- Power on the new router.
- After a few moments, you should re-establish a connection to Verizon from the router and from your computer to the router. (This is effectively the part that “should just fucking work” – If not, you’ll need to clone the Actiontec MAC address to your new router.)
- Log into your new router.
- Change the default password (duh).
- If necessary, change the router MAC address now.
- Make sure that it is set to obtain DHCP automatically.
- Assuming your previous subnet was 192.168.1.x, you will need to set a different subnet on the new router. Something like 192.168.2.x would be fine.
- Reboot your fancy new router after changing the subnet.
- Check the IP of your computer to make sure that the subnet change worked properly, you should have an IP address starting with 192.168.2.x
- Verify that you have internet access by visiting a few websites or whatever. If you don’t have internet access, you did something wrong, start over.
- Go unplug all of your set top boxes. Yes, UNPLUG them.
- Connect a CAT6 cable from any of the LAN ports on your new router into the WAN port on the Actiontec router. This step is critical if you still want your set top boxes to function properly. They need network access for updates, VOD, etc.
- Now, power on the Actiontec router. Once it boots up, you should have green status lights on for: WAN Ethernet, LAN Coax and Internet. If not, you did something wrong. Start over.
- Plug in your set top boxes one a time, power them on and verify that the boot up, run through the useless initial setup and function properly.
That’s it. You’ve now completely bypassed that pile of frothy-dog-shit Actiontec router with something better (I hope). Your last step is to now go into your fancy ass new router and setup any custom settings, configure the wireless access points, etc.
When you’re done, your network device configuration should look like the image below …