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DaDrgon

join:2007-01-20
Garland, TX

How-to: make ActionTec MI424-WR a network bridge

After searching all over the web for definitive information about making the ActionTec MI424-WR as a network bridge, I was unable to find any. I've experienced hell trying to make the Actiontec a bridge and after finding some loose information on making a router of your choice (a thread here and a thread at the techimo forums stated that you needed to release your router IP first before doing anything else), I was able to get everything to work.

Why make the MI424-WR a bridge?
•New FiOS installations now connect you using the MoCA system from the ONT, not ethernet, thus preventing you from directly connecting a router of your choice to the ONT (some of you may say that the ethernet jack at the ONT is still there and you could run an ethernet cable to it, but it will NOT work because the ONT was not configured for ethernet connectivity during initial install by verizon).
•As part of the new FiOS installations, you are given an ActionTec MI424-WR router
•The MI424-WR is a pretty decent router (is powerful, has lots of features, and is quite flexible), however the major issue with it at the moment is the puny NAT table (only 1kb in size). The NAT table is easily overflowed just by running a single bittorrent or in some cases, playing games. When the NAT table is overflowed, you will get the "No IP for NAT - connections may fail" error logged in your MI424-WR's security log. During this time, you will unable to browse, ping, or connect to anything until you wait about 3 minutes. This problem seems to be widespread with this router, regardless of which firmware release is used. No one has been able to produce a workaround for this issue and neither Actiontec or Verizon has acknowledged this issue officially. This problem makes your FiOS connection next to useless. While your overall throughput may drop when using a store bought consumer grade router, your actual usability may increase. I personally would take this trade off over NAT errors any day.
•Instead of paying at least $100 to fix something that's not your fault (buying a MoCA to ethernet bridge), make the MI424-WR as a bridge and use a router of your choice!

This is what you will need to do:
1) Connect your computer to the MI424-WR using an ethernet connection if you have not done so
2) Open your web browser and type in 192.168.1.1 in the URL and press "enter"
3) The default username and password for the MI424-WR is "admin" and "password, however verizon techs tend to change the password to "password1". If neither works, you will need to do a hard reset on the router (hold down the reset pinhole with a paperclip for about 10 seconds). If you did a hard reset, you may not be able to reconnect to the ONT due to a configuration issue with the default router settings (I will explain how to get it working as you keep reading).
4) Once you are logged in, go ahead and reset the router to the default settings if you have done numerous customizations in the past, otherwise don't worry about it. To reset the config to defaults, click on "Advanced" at the top, then click yes in the confirmation box. You will then see "Restore Defaults" at the lower left side of the screen (under the red toolbox icon). The router will now reboot itself. Remember that the username and password resets itself to the ActionTec default of "admin" and "password". It's a good idea to change the password after this is all done of course.
5) Go ahead and log back into the router if you have "Restore Defaults", otherwise just click on "My Network" at the top of the screen. Once you are there, click on "Network Connections" at the menu on the left.
6) You should now see a list of interfaces that exist in the router. To see them all, click on the "Advanced" button below that list.
7) Now you will need to do this very important step. you will need to release your MI424-WR's IP from the ONT or you will NOT be able to have your new router DHCP an IP for itself!. To do this, click on the "Broadband Connection (Coax)" from the connection list. Then click on the "Settings" button at the bottom. You will now see a bunch of settings for this interface. Make sure the "Privacy" option is enabled (if you have reset your MI424-WR to defaults earlier, it maybe disabled. Not having this setting enabled will cause the connection to the ONT to fail!). You can click on the "Release" button if an IP address is currently assigned to the MI424-WR. Click the "Release" button and immediately change the "Internet Protocol" option to "No IP Address" (default setting is "Obtain an IP Address Automatically"). Click on "Apply" afterwards, then "Yes" (if there's a confirmation message), then "Apply" again.
8) Now you will need to turn the MI424-WR into a bridge. In the connection list, click on "Network (Home/Office)", then click on the "Settings" button. You will see a list of interfaces under "Bridge". Check the box next to the "Broadband Connection (Coax)", then check the box under the STP column. Click on "Apply" afterwards, then "Yew" (if there's a confirmation message), then "Apply" again.
9) Since the MI424-WR will no longer be used for routing, go ahead and disable its wireless interface also. Click on "Wireless Access Point" in the interface list and then click on "Disable". You can also disable this in the "Wireless Settings" section.
10) Just in case the MI424-WR will do something wacky, I disabled the built-in firewall also. Click on "Firewall Settings" and then select "Minimum", then click on "Apply".
11) Verify that the MI424-WR no longer has a connection to the internet by looking at the status information in "Main". It should have a red light and say it's on PPPOE right now. The MI424-WR should still have a connection to the ONT. You can check this by going back into "My Network", then "Network Connections", then clicking on the "Full Status" button at the bottom of the list. "Broadband Connection (Coax)". Should say it's connected still.
12) Next, disconnect all computers from the MI424-WR. Setup the router of your choice (for me, I'm using a Linksys WRT54G v4 running dd-wrt). Make sure your new router's IP address is something different from 192.168.1.1 or it will conflict! Your new router should now DHCP an IP from verizon without any problems.

The only way to access the MI424-WR after this setup is to directly connect a computer to it (via ethernet) and using a static 192.168.1.* IP address. It will no longer DHCP an IP to you. You will also notice that the "Internet" light (may look like a map globe) on the router will now be lit orange and blink red. This is normal. The MI424-WR control panel will also perpetually say you're not connected to the internet. That too is normal.

You will know everything is working when you see your new router getting an IP from verizon.



nycdave
Premium,MVM
join:1999-11-16
Melville, NY
kudos:16
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

"New FiOS installations now connect you using the MoCA system from the ONT, not ethernet, thus preventing you from directly connecting a router of your choice to the ONT (some of you may say that the ethernet jack at the ONT is still there and you could run an ethernet cable to it, but it will NOT work because the ONT was not configured for ethernet connectivity during initial install by verizon)."

Not quite true. The customer can always ask the installer to switch the ONT to use the ethernet jack instead of MoCA. MoCA over coax (WAN coax on the Actiontec) would only be required if there is no way to run CAT5 from the ONT to the router...



HarleyYac
Lee
Premium
join:2001-10-13
Allendale, NJ
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Verizon Online DSL
·Optimum Online

Click for full size
Click for full size
Click for full size
Hi,
I need clarification. U had FIOS for over a year with the Older ONT. I ALWAYS had CAT5 hooked up and STILL DO. I am using the Actiontec also.
If you check the Screen shot it is a Bridge over Wan.
Lee


HarleyYac
Lee
Premium
join:2001-10-13
Allendale, NJ
kudos:2

BTW I have my Linksys DOUBLE NAT WRT54GS and use it for Wireless. ActionTec Wireless is disabled.
This is completely untouched from VZ EXCEPT the wireless being turned OFF on the AT unit


DaDrgon

join:2007-01-20
Garland, TX

1 edit
reply to nycdave

said by nycdave:

"New FiOS installations now connect you using the MoCA system from the ONT, not ethernet, thus preventing you from directly connecting a router of your choice to the ONT (some of you may say that the ethernet jack at the ONT is still there and you could run an ethernet cable to it, but it will NOT work because the ONT was not configured for ethernet connectivity during initial install by verizon)."

Not quite true. The customer can always ask the installer to switch the ONT to use the ethernet jack instead of MoCA. MoCA over coax (WAN coax on the Actiontec) would only be required if there is no way to run CAT5 from the ONT to the router...
yes you can request ethernet be used, however at the time of order placement and provisioning, they automatically put you on coax regardless of whether you're getting TV or not. However, since there's quite a few people out there like me who are on coax, they will have to turn the actiontec into a bridge. I was going to have them put my install on ethernet but the techs told me that they will put me on coax anyway when I decide to get fios TV (which I plan to do so in the next few years) hence why I had them just put me on coax. Little did I know at the time that I'd run into this problem.

For those who have ethernet setups, just be glad you have it like that!

DaDrgon

join:2007-01-20
Garland, TX
reply to HarleyYac

said by HarleyYac:

Hi,
I need clarification. U had FIOS for over a year with the Older ONT. I ALWAYS had CAT5 hooked up and STILL DO. I am using the Actiontec also.
If you check the Screen shot it is a Bridge over Wan.
Lee
I actually got my fios installed a few days ago, so I'm using the newest ONT. It still has an ethernet jack but it's unused (I was told that you can't use both coax and ethernet at the same time or it gets screwy, which makes sense). The difference with my install than yours is mine is a true DHCP connection, it does not use PPPOE.

On another note, I did not have to clone the MAC address on my linksys either

On the 3rd screenshot, it will always say "bridge" under the "Network (Home/Office)" column because it is bridging the ethernet, coax (not broadband coax), and wireless interfaces... it does not indicate on that particular screen which interfaces are being bridged, you have to actually go into the "Network (Home/Office)" settings to actually find out which interfaces are bridged

ctbarker32

join:2002-08-18
Kensington, MD
reply to DaDrgon

said by DaDrgon:

•The MI424-WR is a pretty decent router (is powerful, has lots of features, and is quite flexible), however the major issue with it at the moment is the puny NAT table (only 1kb in size). The NAT table is easily overflowed just by running a single bittorrent or in some cases, playing games. When the NAT table is overflowed, you will get the "No IP for NAT - connections may fail" error logged in your MI424-WR's security log. During this time, you will unable to browse, ping, or connect to anything until you wait about 3 minutes.
I'm a pretty heavy bittorrent user and have never experienced this log entry or behavior before? I have had a few questions about the Actiontec's behavior but mostly related to its Wi-Fi perfomance which I have largely correct ed by purchasing a Hawking HSB-2 antenna booster.

As I read many posts, it would appear the Actiontec Router is a bit of black hole when it comes to understanding its behavior and performance. It's unfortunate that there is no single entity that can be a resource for resolving problems. Right now one seems to get shuttled back and forth between Verizon and Actiontec tech support with no one really taking responsibility. That would be okay if the Actiontec Router was non-essential and you could just use your own router but if go for the "full monty" Fios package including TV then your stuck with the Actiontec. For the moment, I've made peace with the product but I wish support could be more proactive.

-CB


HarleyYac
Lee
Premium
join:2001-10-13
Allendale, NJ
kudos:2

1 edit
reply to DaDrgon

Hi,
So there isn't a Cat 5 cable plugged INTO your Actiontec ETHERNET WAN?



smajchrz

join:2003-10-11
Chantilly, VA
reply to DaDrgon

said by DaDrgon:

I was going to have them put my install on ethernet but the techs told me that they will put me on coax anyway when I decide to get fios TV (which I plan to do so in the next few years) hence why I had them just put me on coax. Little did I know at the time that I'd run into this problem.
This makes no sense at all.

said by DaDrgon:

[I actually got my fios installed a few days ago, so I'm using the newest ONT. It still has an ethernet jack but it's unused (I was told that you can't use both coax and ethernet at the same time or it gets screwy, which makes sense).
Ok, someone is feeding you some bad information and really does not know what they are talking about. Al TV/data installs up until now have had TV coming in over the coax port and data/guide/VOD coming in over the ethernet port. If you are suggesting that the newer ONTs have issues utilizing both ports at the same time it is either a bug or, huge design flaw or misinformation. My money is on misinformation.


nycdave
Premium,MVM
join:1999-11-16
Melville, NY
kudos:16
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

The 612 ONT has MoCA (on the CATV f-connector) and ethernet interfaces. The installer can choose which port to send the data across, but the ONT CANNOT support both interfaces at the same time - it is MoCA or ethernet..That is the way the ONT is designed, it is not a flaw.


rmrper

join:2006-06-13
Wylie, TX

nycdave, are you saying the new 612 cannot have ethernet just for data, and coax only for tv? Meaning, if my normal ONT died and I was given a 612 to replace it, I'd be forced to use coax only since I have TV service? If so, that's a major strike against FIOS in my opinion. I have the Actiontec just as a switch with my WRT54G in front right now. The Actiontec will not play nice with ATT CallVantage, and I had issues getting my Xbox 360 to work as well. I would hate to be forced to use the Actiontec as the primary router, so much so that I would consider dropping TV service if it meant I could keep Ethernet to the ONT.


DaDrgon

join:2007-01-20
Garland, TX
reply to HarleyYac

said by HarleyYac:

Hi,
So there isn't a Cat 5 cable plugged INTO your Actiontec ETHERNET WAN?
correct

DaDrgon

join:2007-01-20
Garland, TX
reply to nycdave

said by nycdave:

The 612 ONT has MoCA (on the CATV f-connector) and ethernet interfaces. The installer can choose which port to send the data across, but the ONT CANNOT support both interfaces at the same time - it is MoCA or ethernet..That is the way the ONT is designed, it is not a flaw.
that's pretty much what I've found out


smajchrz

join:2003-10-11
Chantilly, VA
reply to nycdave

said by nycdave:

The 612 ONT has MoCA (on the CATV f-connector) and ethernet interfaces. The installer can choose which port to send the data across, but the ONT CANNOT support both interfaces at the same time - it is MoCA or ethernet..That is the way the ONT is designed, it is not a flaw.
If you are truly indicating that if one has a 612 with data and TV service they must use the f-connector, then I see that as quite inflexible and a step backwards. It may have been designed that way intentionally, but that is still a glaring design flaw as far as I am concerned.


nycdave
Premium,MVM
join:1999-11-16
Melville, NY
kudos:16
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to rmrper

said by rmrper:

nycdave, are you saying the new 612 cannot have ethernet just for data, and coax only for tv? Meaning, if my normal ONT died and I was given a 612 to replace it, I'd be forced to use coax only since I have TV service? If so, that's a major strike against FIOS in my opinion. I have the Actiontec just as a switch with my WRT54G in front right now. The Actiontec will not play nice with ATT CallVantage, and I had issues getting my Xbox 360 to work as well. I would hate to be forced to use the Actiontec as the primary router, so much so that I would consider dropping TV service if it meant I could keep Ethernet to the ONT.
No, that is not what I am saying. I am trying to explain that the 612 is designed for more flexibility. If a customer only has existing coax, then FiOS data can be sent through the coax along with FiOS TV (CAT5 would not have to be run). If CAT5 is already present, then FiOS data can be sent through the ethernet jack on the ONT (and FiOS TV would still use the coax). But, the ONT's MoCA and the ONT's ethernet cannot be used at the same time to send data to the router. The ONT only supports 1 WAN data 'path' at a time. If a customer wants to use their own router, then the ethernet output would have to be used on the 612. If that customer also has FiOS TV, the video is still using the coax (but the MoCA LAN network would have to be generated either by the Actiontec, or a Moto NIM100 inside the home).


nycdave
Premium,MVM
join:1999-11-16
Melville, NY
kudos:16
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to smajchrz

said by smajchrz:

said by nycdave:

The 612 ONT has MoCA (on the CATV f-connector) and ethernet interfaces. The installer can choose which port to send the data across, but the ONT CANNOT support both interfaces at the same time - it is MoCA or ethernet..That is the way the ONT is designed, it is not a flaw.
If you are truly indicating that if one has a 612 with data and TV service they must use the f-connector, then I see that as quite inflexible and a step backwards. It may have been designed that way intentionally, but that is still a glaring design flaw as far as I am concerned.
How do you figure? I never said they must use the coax for both data and video. Please re-read the previous posts.


smajchrz

join:2003-10-11
Chantilly, VA

said by nycdave:

...the ONT CANNOT support both interfaces at the same time...
When I read this bit it appeared that you were suggesting that only one port could be active at a time, period. It did not appear that you were referring only to MOCA.

Your reply to rmrper clarified this statement and we are now on the same page.

rmrper

join:2006-06-13
Wylie, TX
reply to nycdave

nycdave, Thanks for the clarification!


fred_p

join:2003-12-26
Plano, TX
reply to DaDrgon

If you get FiOS TV, the STBs will need a MoCA data path through the router for Guide / VOD; your suggested configuration will prevent that.

Bottom line: If you don't want to use the Actiontec, you really should have Verizon enable ethernet to the router.


DaDrgon

join:2007-01-20
Garland, TX

oh well... it's not like either way will let me have fios tv at this point... only downside with this setup now is just an extra box wasting space rather than a direct ethernet connection to the linksys had I made them set me up using ethernet

NOW, if sometime in the future they fix the actiontec NAT problem, I won't hessitate to go back to it so that I can get TV... but right now I don't care about the TV service... I'm perfectly indulged by the stupid fast speeds right now


warlockd

join:2002-07-08
Arlington, TX
reply to DaDrgon

Just had the installer set up this last Friday in Plano, TX. He told me point blank that they were not allowed to enable the Ethernet jack as well as telling me that you can't have TV and the Ethernet port on at the same time.

He seemed knowledgeable about the install, but he might of not known about the underlying technologies.

This also could be more because of Auction Tech's contract with Verison. Maybe it’s more political than technical.

PS - Thanks for the FAQ! My bridge is set up and MonoWall is working much better than the AuctionTech:)



NAM
Premium
join:2004-09-09
West Grove, PA

1 edit

said by warlockd:

Just had the installer set up this last Friday in Plano, TX. He told me point blank that they were not allowed to enable the Ethernet jack as well as telling me that you can't have TV and the Ethernet port on at the same time.

He seemed knowledgeable about the install, but he might of not known about the underlying technologies.

This also could be more because of Auction Tech's contract with Verison. Maybe it’s more political than technical.

PS - Thanks for the FAQ! My bridge is set up and MonoWall is working much better than the AuctionTech:)
Not true. As a tech, when I install a 612 ONT, I always have the choice to use MoCA (coax) or Ethernet (cat5e).

If tv is being installed as well as data, and the customer wants ethernet, you simply run coax and cat5e to the actiontec.



NAM
Premium
join:2004-09-09
West Grove, PA

The cat5e feeds the wan side of the router, and the coax feeds the MoCA LAN, so the STB's can get VOD and program guide.

(just to be clear)



NAM
Premium
join:2004-09-09
West Grove, PA

612 ONT using ethernet for data and providing TV via coax



nycdave
Premium,MVM
join:1999-11-16
Melville, NY
kudos:16
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to warlockd

said by warlockd:

Just had the installer set up this last Friday in Plano, TX. He told me point blank that they were not allowed to enable the Ethernet jack as well as telling me that you can't have TV and the Ethernet port on at the same time.

He seemed knowledgeable about the install, but he might of not known about the underlying technologies.

This also could be more because of Auction Tech's contract with Verison. Maybe it’s more political than technical.

PS - Thanks for the FAQ! My bridge is set up and MonoWall is working much better than the AuctionTech:)
That tech is obviously misinformed. That 'rule' is non-existent...MoCA-enabled ONT's are being rolled out to allow more efficient installs, depending on the customer's specific wiring requirements.


NAM
Premium
join:2004-09-09
West Grove, PA

said by nycdave See Profile
[/bquote :


That tech is obviously misinformed. That 'rule' is non-existent...MoCA-enabled ONT's are being rolled out to allow more efficient installs, depending on the customer's specific wiring requirements.
Exactly...

dumbness

join:2002-11-20
Woodside, NY
reply to DaDrgon

Is the actiontec really that bad? I just had fios installed yesterday and my roomate and I are both running multiple BT downloads at remarkably high speeds with no noticeable effect on speeds of normal browsing or even other downloading.

Is it possible this has been fixed with newer firmware? I'm also curious if maybe the problem is only on the wireless side of the router? I'm using a netgear 824 router with very solid wireless solely as a switch and an access point, and it was much easier to just hang it off of the actiontec as opposed to trying to shoehorn it in between the ONT and the actiontec, or use the actiontec as a MoCA bridge. This also is the only option for us poor chaps who didn't have the foresight to ask our techs to run an ethernet cable from the ont at the install time.

I guess it's all a matter of personal preference, but so far I've actually been impressed with the actiontec router for being so solid. I guess it had better be solid as a cinder block for being the size of one. Maybe in a while i'll find out I hate it but for now the ugly bugger seems to be performing admirably.

In a related question: Does anyone know if it would be possible, and how much verizon would charge for turning on the ethernet on the ONT if I ran cat6 to it myself?


DaDrgon

join:2007-01-20
Garland, TX

the actiontec itself is a decent router, it's just that the firmware is buggy (NAT tables too small like I said).... you were probably lucky with your setup, but it wasn't for me

I'm using the latest release firmware (.120), tried all sorts of settings on my PC and settings on the actiontec and it just kept flaking out on me... my research have found that gamers on a different forum had problems maintaining a connection to "steam"... it's not the issue of data/bandwidth overloading the router, it's an issue of too many TCP/IP connections which happens on intensive applications such as p2p downloads, gaming, etc

I do not use wireless for any of my computers but I seriously doubt it plays any role in making the actiontec flake out or not because it should all get routed through the same NAT table, especially since you have a netgear behind the actiontec which means the actiontec will think that its passing data through the ethernet interfaces and not the wireless (on the actiontec)


dumbness

join:2002-11-20
Woodside, NY
reply to DaDrgon

I'm getting a lot of these errors in the log:

NAT Error : connection pool is full. No connection created

Is this related to the tiny nat table you're talking about?


Nafets3

join:2003-08-20
reply to DaDrgon

DaDrgon, you made my day!!!

I just got hooked up with FIOS today, via Cat5E connection/DHCP, and I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to work it without the Actiontec router. I followed your directions up to and including #8, unplugged the connection from the MI424-WR and plugged it directly to my PC. Works like a charm.

Many thanks on your great guide...