Netgear AC1900

How to bypass the FiOS router entirely.

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 …

  1. Run a CAT-6 cable from your FiOS ONT box to wherever you’re going to put your new router.
  2. 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 …

  1. Ensure that the computer you are going to work from is physically plugged into the Actiontec router.
  2. Log into your Actiontec router from your web browser (usually http://192.168.1.1).
  3. Reset the router to default settings to clear out any custom settings you may have added – such as port forwarding, DMZ hosts, etc.
  4. Turn off the wireless AP on the Actiontec router.
  5. Write down the MAC address of the Actiontec router.
  6. Reboot the router.
  7. Reconnect to the router and verify that everything is reset to default and that the wireless AP is no longer active and broadcasting.
  8. Release the DHCP lease from the router.
  9. Immediately power off the router.
  10. Unplug the ethernet cable from the WAN port on the Actiontec router and plug it into the WAN port on your new router.
  11. Plug your computer into the new router in any of the LAN ports.
  12. Power on the new router.
  13. 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.)
  14. Log into your new router.
  15. Change the default password (duh).
  16. If necessary, change the router MAC address now.
  17. Make sure that it is set to obtain DHCP automatically.
  18. 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.
  19. Reboot your fancy new router after changing the subnet.
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. Go unplug all of your set top boxes.  Yes, UNPLUG them.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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 …

FiOS Bypass Diagram
FiOS Bypass Diagram

Pickles

The Associates Press tech geek, web bastard and general jackass.

This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  David Rothrock 4 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #910

    Scott Chapman
    Participant

    Did you need to connect the actiontec using the WAN port? Or could you have assigned static IP address to it and done LAN <-> LAN between routers?

    I ask because I suspect that in order to do all the fancy FiOS quantum stuff (caller ID, FiOS mobile, yada yada) everything needs to be on the same network.

    #911

    Dustin Berger
    Participant

    I read your article and found it very useful for preliminary research of completely removing a Verizon FiOS gateway from my network entirely. I was successful!

    First let me explain my services I have with Verizon. I have a Double Play package with TV and FiOS internet 100/100. I did not always have this level of speed but I recently upgraded from 50/25. When I did this Verizon required a new ONT install and installation of Cat6 to be run from my ONT to where I have my equipment. Previously I only had an RC6 install from the ONT.

    The current setup done by a Verizon FiOS installation technician on 01 JUNE 2016 is cable TV over RC6 and internet services over Cat6. Both mediums are active from the ONT. I previously did not think this was possible. The terminate in my living room at a dual coaxial and Ethernet wall plate. The Ethernet is plugged into the FiOS gateway WAN port. The coaxial cable is connected to a two way splitter with two outputs. One output goes to the Set Top Box (STB) and the other to the coaxial connection on the FiOS gateway.

    I asked the install tech if the STB would connect to the router via Ethernet for Video On Demand and guide/widget services and he said it still uses a coaxial connection. I did not think he was being truthful as I did not understand how the STB was communicating with the FiOS gateway through the Verizon provided coaxial splitter but he was correct and it does register on the FiOS gateway with an IP address.

    I have been curios of why they say their services will not work without their equipment, a FiOS router/gateway, essentially it’s just a router with a coaxial port for incoming WAN connection or in my case an extra coaxial port so the STB can communicate with the gateway.

    I recently found a piece of equipment from none other than Actiontec that takes Ethernet and turns it into coaxial (http://www.actiontec.com/338.html). This allows you to turn your homes existing coaxial lines into a wired network. I thought to myself there is no reason that would not take the signal from the output of the splitter and turn it into an Ethernet signal. I risked the $73 and ordered one from Amazon.

    Now the ultimate goal was to completely remove the FiOS gateway and utilize my Netgear Nighthawk R7000. To make sure this was possible the Actiontec adapter had to successfully turn the coaxial signal to Ethernet and register an IP on the FiOS gateway. I connected the adapter and plugged it into the FiOS gateway. I waited for the status lights on the adapter to go green and by the time I logged into the FiOS gateway it had registered the STB. I then confirmed VOD and guide/widget functionality and all were successful.

    From there I performed the final test that you mostly confirmed in your entry that the R7000 will serve as a primary router and host DHCP functions and did a DHCP release and configured my R7000 without a FiOS gateway on the network. I am happy to say this was successful. I have proved that a FiOS gateway is not required to use Verizon FiOS services both TV and internet. I would also go as far to say those with only a coaxial setup may be able to use the Actiontec adapter and remove the FiOS gateway.

    I will be talking to Verizon very soon to ask them why they are forcing consumers to purchase their proprietary equipment when there is third party equipment that will work on their network. Even when multiple representatives tell me otherwise. I would need some help to confirm but I believe there might be an FCC violation here with regards to the use of third party equipment by the consumer.

    #913

    Pickles
    Keymaster

    ** Massively delayed response **

    Go re-read step 23, you need to use the WAN port on the Actiontec router.

    #914

    Family Folan
    Participant

    On Step 18, I am not sure what you mean by a subnet. Are you simply saying that you just need to change the IP address of the new router to something like: 192.168.2.x ?

    #915

    David Rothrock
    Participant

    Worked without any issues. I am using a Ubiquiti Gateway Router. I still have the VZ router on for the MOCA traffic, but I am going to swap it out with an older VZ router that they left with me when I moved. Hopefully it will still work and then I don’t have to buy a MOCA bridge and can return the new Quantum Router and save 10 bucks a month. P.S. the Ubiquti Gateway device is amazing, even has VOIP setup builtin and the ability to have 4 Wifi networks associated with multiple VLANs. Lastly, it has Deep Packet Inspection, so you can see exactly who goes where and when; even to the point of the apps they use to contact servers on the Internet. I feel bad for my son as he gets older. Big Daddy will be watching what he is doing. LOL

    Great article. Thank you for taking the time to get it out there. It helped with my final hiccup on getting onDemand working again.

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.