Bypassing Verizon FIOS Actiontec router and using your own router instead

Verizon loans you the Actiontec router when they come over to install the FIOS service at your home. It is an excellent router in all respects except for one flaw.  The router contains a very small (1K) NAT table which can quickly get full if there is a sufficient number of simultaneous connections and cause your Internet to choke for a few minutes.

Fortunately, there is a way to “bypass” the Actiontec router by turning it into a network bridge to your wireless home router (such as D-link or Linksys) and directly use your router for the Internet connection.  The tricky part is that you still need the Actiontec router in this picture because it is responsible to communicate the TV channels guide/schedule to your DVRs.

The short summary of the solution is to create two bridges and use DHCP relay:

Create a bridge from Broadband Connection(Coax) to Home Network (your router which will get the pubic IP from Verizon and is the DHCP Server for the network, including the DVRs)

Create a bridge from Broadband Ethernet to Coax and set it up to use DHCP relay (so your router can assign IP addresses to the DVRs and enable them to download the Guide information).

Below are the step-by-step instructions (taken from this link).

Configuration of your cables and the secondary router (D-link or Linksys).

Coax -> Actiontec -> Actiontec:Ethernet connection1 -> 2ND Router Internet Port (WAN Connection)

2ND Router:Ethernet port 1 -> Actiontec:WAN (Internet)ethernet port.

Sounds redundant but your second router is the new DHCP server and the Actiontec uses the DHCP server to give itself an internal ip address and allow Internet connection for your DVRs.

One computer plugged directly into your Actiontec Ethernet port 2

Steps to be taken on the Actiontec router:

1) Press and hold the reset button on the back of your router for 15 seconds.

2) Connect to your router (at http://192.168.1.1) and put in your new password.

3) Click on My Network on the top. Then click on Network connections on the left side.

4) Click on Broadband Connection (Coax) -> Then click on Settings

5) Under DHCP Lease, select RELEASE, Then immediately after select No IP Address under Internet protocol.

6) Select Apply.

7) Click on My Network on the top. Then click on Network connections on the left side.

8) Select Home Network -> The select Settings.

9) Under Bridge Section, Check the Broadband Connection(Coax) box and Check the STP Box on the right as well.

10) Uncheck the Coax and Wireless Connections and associated STP boxes.

11) Disable the DHCP Server under IP Distribution.

12) Click Apply and Click Apply again.

13) Click on My Network on the top. Then click on Network connections on the left side.

14) Click Add at the bottom right.

15) Select Network Bridge -> Next -> Select Add a New bridge -> Next -> Check Broadband Ethernet and Coax. Uncheck Wireless. -> Click Next.

16) Check Edit the Newly Created Connection and click on Finish

17) Change DNS Server to Obtain DNS Server Address Automatically

18) Under IP Distribution select DHCP Relay

19) Click apply

20) Click on My Network on the top. Then click on Network connections on the left side.

21) Click on Advanced button at the bottom.

22) Click on the Edit button to the right of Broadband Connection (Ethernet)

23) Click on Enable

24) Click on apply

25) Click on Wireless icon at the top

26) Select Basic Security Settings and turn Wireless OFF.

27) Click apply.

28) Click on Firewall Settings -> Click Yes -> Select Minimal Settings -> Click apply -> select yes

29) Restart your 2ND router and then restart your TV/DVRs. Your 2ND router should now have a public IP address. It may take up to 20 minutes for the TV guide information to be updated on the DVRs.

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  • James

    Hey Jared just wanted to thank you for posting this. Solved all the issues I was having with my FIOS connection.

  • http://jaredlog.com Jared Evans

    It's always great when you find a post that compresses all the information into a single page :-)

  • Gene

    You don't need the actiontec at all use a motorola nim-100 for coax to ethernet connection and then your own firewall or router instead. Have them install this in the first place and there's no issue otherwise you might have to get it after the fact.

  • Ashish

    Hi Jared,
    Just saw this post and that made me believe that you will be able to help my case as well. I too have this actiontec router which i got from Verizon when i was using their service. Now i have moved to a new place and using time warner. But they did not provide a wireless router and i am wondering if i can use this verizon router as a normal wireless router with this new connections. I tried to reset the router, but its not transmitting the wireless internet. Looks like this is still configured for the coex and not for WAN input. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.

  • http://jaredlog.com Jared Evans

    I believe you are supposed to return the Actiontec router to Verizon when you are terminate your contract with them.

    Time Warner should have given you a cable modem. Turn off Actiontec and do a hard reset on TW modem. Turn TW modem on, wait a bit, then plug Actiontec WAN port (white port on the back) to the cable modem.

    Make sure Actiontec itself is set to attempt to DHCP an address from TW and also is acting as a DHCP server for your wireless devices.

  • jok

    hi

  • RTravis

    Jared,
    Helpful step by step approach, everything seemed to work and took….but my Linksys router never received an WAN IP address. Reset it, still no address and tried to do static address with known address from Actiontec setup…no work.
    Thoughts? My FIOS WAN connection is thru Coax.

  • http://jaredlog.com Jared Evans

    You have to release the IP address from Actiontec.

  • Chris

    I found this page by googleing. Thanks so much for putting the info on the page. Works like a charm. The actiontec was choking with 2 DVRs, 2 laptops, 2 desktops, 2 iphones, and a PS3 chugging away.

    Bridged with an N wireless router… much better performance wifi from Fios. I actually feel the benefit… where as before, only the one desktop that was plugged directly into the router was really blazing.

  • tonycomputer

    Jared, thank you for this process. I followed your directions assiduosly 3 times. Each time I got my Belkin N+ to broadcast to my TV, but I cannot get it to connect to the internet. I tried dynamic and static. In the case of the latter I tried the IP adress, subnet mask, default gateway, DNS server etc. from numbers that the actiontek used when it is in the verizon mode. I hate to give up on this as neither verizon or actiontec will give you a clue. Do you think that Verizon has somehow changed the firmware, etc. since you did this?

    Thanks for any help.

  • flipperoff

    Jared, Are you having the problem where you have to Enable the Broadband Ethernet connection when your Actiontec gets a power cycle? Mine will go disabled and I lose On Demand and Widgets until I go in are re-enable. Its a pain!

    I may try the NIM-100 and get rid of this bridge fiasco.

  • Senica Gonzalez

    Thank you so much!!! Worked perfectly and just what I needed.

  • dse_dse

    Thank you for the easy to follow steps. Unfortunately, I cannot get the Internet connection to come through my router. I have a couple questions:

    1) Does the computer permanently stay connected to the Actiontec as described above, or do I move the Ethernet cable to the router once setup? Can the router really pass back the DHCP assignment through Actiontec?

    2) What Internet connection setting do I need in the router? I assume Dynamic (assigned by ISP), and not static or PPPoE or Disabled.

    3) Do I need to do any MAC cloning?

    4) Is there anyway to find out what the IP address is off the Actiontec once I do this?

    5) Should my router be set to the IP range of 192.168.1.1 like the actiontec? It defaults to 2.1 (its a Microsoft).

    3)

  • None

    Thanks Jared, Just tried this and it worked out perfectly. Please let us know if you can get Fios RemoteDVR working with this configuration. AS

  • None

    Thanks Jared, Just tried this and it worked out perfectly. Please let us know if you can get Fios RemoteDVR working with this configuration. AS

  • Jeff

    Everything works well as a bridge, and I can watch live TV, but I cannot get remote DVR access or use set top box widgets. Any port forwarding that needs to be configured to make this happen?

  • PhatAlbert

    Hi Jared, This is the best write up I could find for bypassing the actiontek. All my internet seems to be working fine, however I have lost guide info on my DVR’s as they are not getting an IP address assigned to them. Checking the status on the actiontek the “Coax” connection under the bridge created in step 15 is “Down”.

    Did I miss something?
    Do you think setting the DHCP from relay to server on the added bridge would fix it?

  • Kbarry29

    Jared, thank you so much for this valuable information. I was flailing about with my Buffalo Tomato router. I followed your directions and it is working exactly how i needed it to. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kevin

    Jared does your setup unclude the DVR? Everything works great but I cannot use the remote DVR feature. Any ideas?

  • http://twitter.com/PumiceT Pumice T. Mendola

    Once this is done, can you still use the Actiontec as an additional switch / router, as well as use it as a wireless access point?

    I only want to do this so I can still use my WRT54G for port forwarding for Torrent and VNC connections. That seems to be a pain with the Actiontec, when compared to my WRT54G with DD-WRT firmware.

  • Jorge

    This guide definitely set me on the right track!! After you’ve bridged the Broadband Coax>Home Network and the Broadband Ethernet>Coax you have to edit the newly created bridge and set the DHCP relay manually. There’s a button that allows you to set an IP address. I simply set this to my Linksys IP address and my DVR was able to obtain all the correct network settings!!

  • Chris C

    Thank you! I had come across a few other methods which for me all lead to failure. These steps finally clearly got me to my goal of getting the fios router to just act as a bypass and let another device of my choice grab the public IP. I haven’t tested my cable boxes yet but I see that the actiontec is connected to the internet so i’m sure it’s fine.

  • Luis Rodriguez

    Or if you want better performance. Run a Cat5e or Cat 6 cable directly from the ONT to your personal router ethernet port. So now we are not going through the verizon router and losing speed from coax cable which is limited to 235Mbps on Verizon’s ONT. Now plug your Verizon Actiontec router port #1 into any port on your personal router. Now in the settings of the verizon router disable the DHCP server on both the broadband coax, and home/office network options. Bridge both connections together. Now call verizon cause your internet will not be working at this point. Ask them to provision your ONT to have the internet go through the WAN port instead of the Coax port. (Besure to leave the router coax cable plugged in when doing this). Now your internet is being routed to your router at a 1 or 10Gbps connection speed instead of the 235Mbps Coax forces you to. (Actual speeds may vary). Ask them to leave the MoCa enabled on the ONT. This will allow your set-box to still connect to actiontec using the exisiting coax in your walls instead of running a cable directly to it. Now your set-top box will have internet access, and all your devices connected to your router can enjoy increased bandwidth, and increase throughput.

  • Dgo

    quick question. My end router is a cisco 2651xm – fa0/0 is facing the fios bridged router – that interface is still set as DHCP client correct and NAT/PAT and so on right ?