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Q. I have TV service with Verizon MediaManager software on my PC. Can I replace the Actiontec completely?
A. No. The STBs and DVRs need internet connectivity to display the Program Guide and Video On Demand. Also, the Actiontec or a MOCA Bridge is needed for the MediaManager software to function. That system needs to have the PC and the DVR on the same segment of network. In other words, the MediaManager traffic cannot cross the WAN boundary. So if you have MediaManager, use this LAN-to-LAN connection method.
With LAN-to-LAN, the only purpose for the Actiontec is to connect the Actiontec's coax LAN (which provides data to the STB/DVR) to your primary router’s ethernet LAN port. The coax cable remains connected to the Actiontec for the STB LAN data, the Actiontec WAN port will not be used. For a simpler implementation, wireless connections will be made to your primary router. The Actiontec's wireless will be disabled.
Ok, so you’ve verified your broadband data connection on the Actiontec is Ethernet in Replacing the Actiontec (part 1): Coax to Ethernet. and you’ve chosen your new primary router based on performance specifications that match your service and what you want to do with it.
Q. Ok, I'm ready. What do I do?
A. Short version: Change PC connection to static, remove power to all devices connected to coax LAN, delete Actiontec's DHCP assignments, change DHCP range to start at 192.168.1.3, disable DHCP, change Actiontec IP to static 192.168.1.2, turn off wireless (maybe), enable Remote Administration, release the WAN IP, power off Actiontec. Connect ethernet from ONT to WAN port on replacement router, turn it on, verify internet connectivity. Connect Actiontec LAN port to LAN port on replacement router, turn Actiontec on, and verify internet connectivity. Verify STBs and DVRs have data path to the internet. Tada! All done!
Longer version: Follow these steps.
At various points in this procedure, you will need to verify certain router settings and connections. It is suggested you do this from a computer wired to the router. There are a number of problems that are related to wireless use, and you want to tackle those problems after you know you're running properly wired.
Exposure to current LAN-side malware can be minimized by changing your router password to something you've chosen. You did do that already, didn't you? Don't use easy to guess passwords.
These instructions work on a Rev. A Actiontec with firmware version 220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168, and are likely identical for later models.
1. Change the IP address of the PC connected to the Actiontec to a static IP address.
For Windows, goto network settings and change the TCPIP settings of network interface card settings from Get Address Automatically, to Use This Address. For other operating systems, refer to your operating system documentation.
Make a note of your DNS server addresses. You will need these when you change your PC settings to use a static IP address. Devices on the coax LAN may pick up the Actiontec-served address even if the new router handles DHCP. The extra step here will make it easier to clean up the old addresses. I chose 192.168.1.48, subnet 255.255.255.0, gateway 192.168.1.1.
2. Remove power to all the devices on the coax LAN. Shut down all the ethernet LAN devices except the PC you are configuring with.
3. Delete all the Actiontec's DHCP assignments. While logged in to the Actiontec, click on Advanced icon, click on IP Address Distribution link, click on Connection List, then delete each item in the list until there are none remaining. It will take a few seconds on each one then the list will refresh.
4. Change the Actiontec's DHCP range to start at 192.168.1.3 even though it seems counterintuitive. Click on My Network icon, click Network Connections menu item, click on Network (Home/Office) link, click on settings button. Scroll down to IP Address Distribution, and set Start IP Address to 192.168.1.3, then click Apply. Status message appears, then click Apply again.
5. Disable DHCP. While in Network (Home/Office) status, click Settings button, select IP Address Distribution to Disabled, then click Apply. Status message appears, then click Apply again.
6. Change Actiontec IP to static 192.168.1.2 While in Network (Home/Office) status, click Settings button, change Internet Protocol drop-down to "Use the Following IP Address". Enter IP Address as 192.168.1.2, and Subnet Mask as 255.255.255.0 then click Apply. Status message appears, then click Apply again. You will need to log in again to the Actiontec router at the new IP 192.168.1.2.
7. Turn off Wireless on the Actiontec if you intend to access only through your replacement router. Otherwise, set the same SSID, security and password on both routers, but set both routers on different wireless channels. Your wireless device will use the stronger signal of the two. (If you have questions about other wireless configurations, post them in the »Verizon Fiber Optics forum). To turn off the Actiontec wireless, click on Wireless Settings icon, then click Basic Wireless Settings menu item. Click the button in item 1 to turn off radio, then scroll down and click Apply.
8. If you choose to do so for convenience, allow Remote Administration on the Actiontec. Click on Advanced icon, click Yes to allow changes, click on Remote Administration item, check Using Primary Http Port 80 under Allow Incoming Access to Wireless Broadband Router.
Afterward, you will be able to login to the Actiontec while connected on the LAN side of your primary router. If you do not allow Remote Administration, you would need to connect to a LAN port on the Actiontec before logging in to it.
9. Important: Release the WAN IP on the Actiontec before turning it off. Click on My Network icon, then select Network Connections item. Click on Broadband Connection (Ethernet) in the table to see the properties for your WAN port. Write down the MAC address for the ethernet WAN port, you may need it later. Scroll down and click Settings. Click the Release button and your internet light on the Actiontec will go orange.
10. Power off the Actiontec.
11. Unplug the ethernet from the Actiontec WAN port and plug it in to the WAN port on your new router. Connect your PC to a LAN port on your new router, turn it on and reboot your PC. When the router settles down, verify its status lights, including internet connectivity.
In the rare circumstance you do not get internet, you may have a MAC bound IP. You can call FSC and ask them to break the lease, or you can leave the router powered off for 2 hours then try again, or you can clone the Actiontec router MAC address into your new one.
12. Log in to your new router to verify and change any settings. Make sure you change your router password off the default value. While terminology for your new router may vary, you want to ensure its LAN network IP is 192.168.1.1 and the DHCP Server settings has the gateway address set to 192.168.1.1, subnet 255.255.255.0. Also set it to distribute DHCP addresses in the range from 192.168.1.100 to 192.168.1.199. You can use the lower addresses for static IPs. Reboot router and PC if you made any changes.
13. Your new router should indicate internet connectivity. Start your browser, verify internet connectivity by browsing to your default page: www.dslreports.com of course.
Run a speed test. If you have already tweaked your PC, you should be getting everything you asked for. That's why I had you connect wired. Keep it simple before you go more complicated.
14. Connect a LAN port of the Actiontec to a LAN port of your new router. Connect your PC to a LAN port on the Actiontec. Power on the Actiontec. When all the router lights settle down, you should see Power and the ethernet LAN lights for your PC and the primary router. Internet, coax WAN, Ethernet WAN, Coax LAN and Wireless lights are off. The main configuration page will display a warning: "STOP: Check Broadband Connection". This is okay, since the WAN connection is not being used. Any previously set values associated with Broadband Connection will not apply since your new primary router is controlling DHCP and DNS. Verify internet connectivity by browsing to dslreports. You should be able to run a speed test, and get the same results you had with your primary router.
15. So far, so good? Turn on one STB. Let it boot up and settle down. Coax LAN light on the Actiontec should light up to indicate a Coax LAN connection. Give enough time for the STB to connect to data. Remember that video from the ONT will not be affected by the router changes. Verify the data gets there by changing a channel to see the program data, or press Guide to show the program guide, or press Widgets or On Demand. Any of these actions with normal results will verify your system is getting data to the STB. You can also verify the IP address on the STB. On a QIP-2500, select Menu on the Remote Control, scroll down to Settings, click OK, then scroll down to System Info.
Repeat step 15 until all TV devices are on and working. You may be able to see some, but it is not certain you will see all the device names in My Network on the Actiontec. Since the Actiontec is not administering the DHCP, you may only see the IP addresses, and it may take a little while before they become visible. The way to tell the connection is working is to see the results of the data request.
You will be setup like this: ONT -(cat5)-> your router -(cat5)-> Actiontec -(coax)-> STB
Hurray!!! Mission accomplished.
At any point that you need to reset devices, power up from the WAN inward. Example: if the STBs do not connect, power them off, then power off the router, then power up the router and when it has settled down, power up the STB. Likewise, if the router cannot get an internet connection, turn it off, reboot the ONT, then when it's settled down, power on the router. I have not had any problems with this setup. The only thing that the Actiontec is doing is feeding data to the STBs and DVRs. If you have a device on the coax LAN that needs a port-forwarding rule, follow instructions for your new router to reserve the IP address. After a power failure, the power-up sequence of devices may result in the device getting a different address than previous. By reserving an IP address for a particular device identified by MAC address, the port forward rule you set up will not be affected.
Do these steps, then connect your PC to your router. You can change the PC back to using a DHCP dynamic address if you wish. You can leave the Actiontec alone, or connect devices to the remaining LAN ports. If you allowed Remote Administration, you can monitor and administer it by logging in to 192.168.1.2. Remember the WAN port is not used. We did not disable it but it is not connected. Traffic Monitoring and Bandwidth Monitoring results will be affected because they monitor WAN data.
The Actiontec at this point is now on the LAN side of your primary router acting as a bridge from your router's ethernet to the coax. You have now entered the world of non-standard installation. VZ tech support may say it's not a supported installation. That's fine, now you know where to get assistance. This forum has been my first stop for a long time.
If, at any time, you want to go back to a standard installation, log in to the Actiontec and reset it back to its factory default then power it off. Release the IP address from your primary router then power it off. Connect the Actiontec WAN to the ONT cat5, power it on and you're back to a standard installation. VZ will support that.
With thanks to More Fiber for assistance.
There is currently an issue with the configuration in this FAQ. When the users router is configured as the primary router, remote access to the DVR from the Verizon TV Central web site does not work. So far, it appears the Actiontec router must be primary for the remote access feature. The latest status on this problem is posted in this thread: »FIOS TV Central website access with Non AT Router?
Please use the feedback link below only to suggest improvements to this FAQ. If you have questions about this FAQ, please post them in the »Verizon Fiber Optics forum.