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The following information is for users who have seen the various bridging threads and/or the FAQs about using their own router and wondered which of these various configurations they should choose.
References to the Actiontec router apply to all models of the Actiontec and to the Westell 9100EM, unless specified otherwise.
    • Options 1 through 3 leave the Actiontec as primary router and the added (user) router as secondary.
    • Options 4 through 7 replace the Actiontec with a different primary router. The Actiontec becomes secondary.
    • Options 9 and 10 set the user router as primary, and replaces the Actiontec with a MOCA bridge for coax data.
Summary:
Feature \ Option 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Cat5 WAN to ONT Y Y Y N N Y Y Y Y N
Coax WAN to ONT Y Y Y Y Y N N N N Y
VZ support for configuration Y Y Y N N N N N N N
Double NAT'ed Y Y N N N *1 N N N N
Small NAT table issue (Actiontec Rev. A-D only) Y Y Y N N N N N N N
FiOS-TV (VOD and Guide) supported Y Y Y na Y Y Y Y Y Y
MediaShare software supported Y2 Y2 Y na Y N Y N Y N
Remote access to DVR Y Y Y na N3 N3 N3 Y N3 N
On-screen caller-id Y Y Y na N3 N3 N3 Y N3 N
Usable with Actiontec Rev. A-F Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Usable with Westell 9100EM Y Y Y Y N4 Y Y Y Y Y


Notes:
    • 1) STBs are double NAT'ed, but not an issue.
    • 2) Only for PC's connected directly to the Actiontec.
    • 3) Verizon does not officially support remote (web) access to the DVR or on-screen caller-id with a non-VZ router as primary. See option #8 for support of Remote DVR and On Screen CID.
    • 4) To date, no one has had success getting this configuration working with the Westell 9100EM. If someone is able to get this working, please post the exact steps you followed, so this FAQ can be updated.


Options 1, 2 and 3 can be used with either a coax or cat5 connection to the ONT.
1. Secondary (LAN-to-WAN)
Simply plug the secondary (user) router into a LAN port on the Actiontec. User router must be configured for a different subnet than the Actiontec. The WAN port on the user router must also be set to use either a static IP address on the Actiontec subnet, or obtain its WAN address via DHCP.
    PRO:
      • Simplest. VZ recommended solution.
      • No configuration changes required in the Actiontec.
      • Supported by VZ. i.e. No changes to Actiontec config needed when calling for support.
      • No cabling changes.
      • Can be used with either a coax or cat5 connection to the ONT.
      • All current STB functionality supported. Guide, VOD, widgets, Remote DVR, On Screen Caller ID.
    CON:
      • Secondary (user) router is double NAT'ed.
      • No VZ support for secondary (user) router.
      • Still subject to small NAT table in the Actiontec.
      • Any port forwarding will need to be configured on both routers.
      • PCs connected to one router won't be visible to PCs connected to the other router.
2. Secondary DMZ
Similar to #1, with secondary router as a DMZ address in the Actiontec. User router must be configured for a different subnet than the Actiontec. The WAN port on the user router must also be set to use either a static IP address on the Actiontec subnet, or obtain its WAN address via DHCP.
    PRO:
      • Simple config change to create DMZ address for secondary (user) router.
      • Eliminates need to configure port forwarding in both routers. Port Forwards are configured in secondary (user) router only.
      • No cabling changes.
      • Can be used with either a coax or cat5 connection to the ONT.
      • All current STB functionality supported. Guide, VOD, widgets, Remote DVR, On Screen Caller ID.
    CON:
      • Secondary (user) router is double NAT'ed.
      • Still subject to small NAT table in the Actiontec.

    Note: One member reports success with a secondary router in the DMZ of the Actiontec, while others report an improvement but not problem resolution. See this thread for more details. »Steam on a router in the Actiontec DMZ

3. Secondary LAN-to-LAN
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.

Options 4 and 5 are for users with an existing coax WAN connection between the Actiontec and the ONT.

4. Internet Only Bridge
Bridging the Actiontec passes all WAN traffic through, making the user's router primary. Follow the bridging thread here: »How-to: make ActionTec MI424-WR a network bridge
    PRO:
      • Bypasses the small NAT table in the Actiontec. NAT limited by primary router, not Actiontec.
      • No cabling changes.
      • Supports VZ's CPE management interface.
    CON:
      • Moderate difficulty to setup.
      • Not supported by VZ. May require a HARD reset of the Actiontec to restore to factory defaults for support.
      • Internet only. No VOD or guide data for STBs.
      • Switch ports on Actiontec not available as LAN ports.
5. Double Bridge
Bridging the Actiontec passes all WAN traffic through, making the user's router primary. Another internal bridge passes data from the user's primary router to the coax LAN for STB data.
See note #4 above regarding the Westell 9100EM.
The following instructions are for Actiontec revisions (A-F). »Re: MI424WR-GEN2 Rev E Configuration Thread
Rev. I. »How-to: Make Actiontec MI424WR Revision I (Rev.I) a Network
Click for full size
Click to enlarge

    PRO:
      • Bypasses the small NAT table in the Actiontec. NAT limited by primary router, not Actiontec.
      • VOD and guide data supported.
      • No cabling changes.
      • Supports VZ's CPE management interface.
    CON:
      • Moderate difficulty to setup.
      • Unsupported by VZ. May require a HARD reset of the Actiontec to restore to factory defaults.
      • Not all configuration information saved to config file. Some bridging information lost on a power fail.
      • Switch ports on Actiontec not available as LAN ports.
      • Does not support remote access to DVR or on-screen caller id (see note #3 above).


Options 6 - 9 are for users with a cat5 WAN connection to the ONT. These options replace the Actiontec with a different primary router and relegate the Actiontec to servicing only the STBs. Option 8 replaces the Actiontec with a NIM-100 to provide coax LAN data. If you currently have a coax WAN connection and want to switch to a cat5 WAN connection, instructions for switching are here: »Verizon Online FiOS FAQ »Replacing the Actiontec (part 1): Coax to Ethernet Keep in mind that when using a third-party router, that it must be capable of supporting the high throughput of your FIOS internet connection and if you have FiOS-TV, the additional bandwidth of Video-On-Demand (VOD). Many older routers can not support these higher bandwidth requirements.

6. Primary LAN-to-WAN
Cat5 from ONT to user router. LAN port on user router to WAN port on Actiontec per FAQ here: »Verizon Online FiOS FAQ »Replacing the Actiontec (part 3): WAN-to-LAN keeps Guide and VOD (easier)
    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).
7. Primary LAN-to-LAN
Cat5 from ONT to user router. LAN port on user router to LAN port on Actiontec per FAQ here: »Verizon Online FiOS FAQ »Replacing the Actiontec (part 4): LAN-to-LAN keeps VZ MediaManager
    PRO:
      • Easy. FSC can switch WAN connection from coax to cat5 remotely.
      • NAT limited by primary router, not Actiontec.
      • Media sharing PCs connected to primary router supported.
    CON:
      • Configuration not supported by VZ. May have to reconnect Actiontec to ONT (via cat5) as primary router for support.
      • Does not support remote access to DVR, on-screen caller id or VZ's CPE management interface (see note #3 above).
8. "Three router"
Cat5 from ONT to user router. Actiontec provides MOCA LAN. Extra router makes secondary actiontec "think" it is primary. »Verizon Online FiOS FAQ »Can I use my own router as primary and keep remote DVR
This is the only configuration which allows a third-party router as primary and keeps Remove DVR and on-screen caller id.
    PRO:
      • NAT limited by primary router, not Actiontec.
      • All current STB functionality supported. Guide, VOD, widgets, Remote DVR, On Screen Caller ID.
    CON:
      • Configuration not supported by VZ. May have to reconnect Actiontec to ONT (via cat5) as primary router for support.
      •Media Manager not supported
      • Most complex of all the configurations.
9. Primary with MoCA LAN Bridge
In options 6 and 7 above, a NIM-100 or other MOCA bridge can be used instead of the Actiontec to provide the MOCA LAN bridge needed by the STBs. A NIM-100 supports MOCA LAN only. It can not be used between a router and the ONT. A list of available MOCA Bridges can be found here: »Verizon Online FiOS FAQ »What is a MOCA Bridge?
    PRO:
      • Can eliminate Actiontec completely.
      • Smaller, simpler device. Less power consumption.
    CON:
      • Additional unit to purchase.
      • Does not support remote access to DVR, on-screen caller id or VZ's CPE management interface (see note #3 above).

10. MoCA WAN Bridge
A MOCA bridge is used between the ONT and the user router.
How to use a MOCA WAN bridge

    PRO:
      • Can eliminate Actiontec completely.
      • Smaller, simpler device. Less power consumption.
    CON:
      • Additional unit to purchase.
      • Does not support remote access to DVR, on-screen caller id or VZ's CPE management interface (see note #3 above).
Note: The description of this option only includes connecting the user router to the ONT via the MOCA bridge. If FIOS-TV is involved, then a MOCA LAN connection is still required for the STBS. Options 6, 7 or 9 can be used in addition for the MOCA LAN connection.

This FAQ was edited to add option 3. Posts dated 12/28/08 or earlier making references to options 3 through 7 are now referring to options 4 through 8.



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last modified: 2014-03-09 10:31:15