Sunday, March 7, 2010

Verizon FiOS and an Apple Airport Extreme Network Working Together


[Editor's Note: This blog post is one of our most popular and it has prompted many excellent questions from interested readers. Please take the time to read through the comments at the end of this posting as the additional information may be very useful in your own efforts.]


Patience does have its rewards. After waiting years for Verizon's FiOS ("Fiber Optic Service") to become available in our area, we have recently been able to finally rid ourselves of various combinations of DSL ("Digital Subscriber Line"), cable, and satellite television services. Our FiOS service has been installed for several weeks; long enough for me to declare it a far superior television and Internet service than anything we have used in the past.


Internet speeds have been amazingly fast and rock-solid, especially when compared to the time-of-day variability we experienced with cable. We subscribe to Verizon's 25/15 Internet service, which is supposed to provide approximately 25 Mbps download and 15 Mbps upload speeds. According to the results from Speedtest.net, our actual speeds over the past few months have been closer to 25.94 Mbps download and 14.16 Mbps upload. That's close enough to advertised for me, and incredibly faster than what was supposed to be provided by the Comcast Blast service previously installed (16 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload advertised speeds... but rarely, if ever, achieved).


The FiOS 25/15 service includes the use of an Actiontec MI424WR wireless broadband router. The use of this router is not optional. This device is the fiber modem (actually, coax cable from the fiber interface outside of the house to the modem inside of the house) and it is required to manage the distribution of the FiOS television signal to the set-top boxes at your location. The router has four (4) Ethernet outputs as well as Wi-Fi capability. However, the wireless function of the router is not needed if you prefer to use another device to provide a Wi-Fi access point.


We use an Apple Airport Extreme base station in our home to provide wireless Internet access for notebook computers and other devices (i.e. Nintendo Wii, iPod Touch, iPhone and AppleTV). The Apple wireless network is extended throughout the house and is also used for wireless access to physically distributed printers via a WDS ("Wireless Distribution System") configuration using a pair of Apple Airport Express devices.


With no desire to give-up the Apple wireless network, we chose to ignore the wireless capability of the FiOS router. That can be done simply enough by just connecting the Ethernet input of the Airport Extreme to one of the MI424WR's Ethernet outputs. That by itself will have you up and running as soon as the FiOS service has been activated, although it does not address the potential wireless interference between the Airport Extreme and the MI424WR or the assignment of your network's IP ("Internet Protocol") addresses to the 192.168.1.xxx range used by the MI424WR by default.

We found that deactivating the MI424WR's wireless capability and reassigning the network IP addresses to Apple's familiar 10.0.1.xxx range was easy enough, but admittedly a bit confusing if you are not familiar with changing router attributes. With the following instructions, anyone should be able to complete this task in just a few minutes time. It's as simple as 1-2-3.


1) Log-in to the MI424WR router as the administrator.

Using a computer that is connected to the local network, direct your web browser to the MI424WR's default administrator log-on screen at http://192.168.1.1

The default User Name is admin and the Password is typically either password or password1 (depending upon the Verizon technician that set-up the device).

This will bring you to the overview screen. Don't be overwhelmed by all of the information that is displayed. You do not need to be concerned with it to make the following changes.


2) Deactivate the MI424WR's Wi-Fi radio.

Click on the Wireless Settings icon in the banner menu, then click on Basic Security Settings from the vertical menu on the left-hand side of the page. This will display the Basic Security Settings dialog.


In the first section of the Basic Security Settings dialog, you have the choice of turning the wireless radio on or off. Click on the Off button and scroll to the bottom of the page and select Apply.

This will disable the wireless access point and prevent the MI424WR's Wi-Fi radio from interfering with the Apple Airport Extreme's signal.


3) Change the network's IP addresses to the 10.0.1.xxx range.

Click on the My Network icon in the banner menu, then click on Network Connections from the vertical menu on the left-hand side of the page. This will display the Network Connections dialog.

Click the active hyperlink for Network (Home/Office) at the top of the table in the Network Connections dialog. This will display the Network (Home/Office) Properties dialog. Click on the Settings button at the bottom on this dialog. This will display a more detailed Network (Home/Office) dialog.


Change the IP Address of the router to your choice (e.g. 10.0.1.1), and change the Start IP Address and End IP Address to your choices (e.g. 10.0.1.2 and 10.0.1.254 respectively). Do not change any other entries in this dialog. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Apply.

Click on Logout from the vertical menu on the left-hand side of the page to exit the router administration session.




If you ever need to access the router's administrator application again, you will need to use the router address you assigned in the steps above (e.g. http://10.0.1.1).

After you have finished making these changes and logged-out of the administrator session, you will need to reboot all of the devices connected to your Apple wireless network and to the MI424WR, including the set-top boxes. This step is required to make certain that the correct IP addresses are assigned to each of the devices.


That's it! After following these steps, your Verizon FiOS service will work flawlessly with your Apple wireless network; there will be no wireless interference from the MI424WR Wi-Fi access point and your network IP addresses will be reassigned to the familiar 10.0.1.xxx range.

178 comments:

  1. One of Verizon's test neighborhoods in Spotsy for FiOS was one neighborhood east of where I live - literally six houses away - but I'm still waiting for it to become available at my house. Every now and then I get a mailed notification saying its finally available, then I call for installation and am told its not available but they will mail me when it is.

    I'm still on Comcast and its okay though I'd rather be on fiber.

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  2. Thanks for writing these great instructions! Couple of things: 1. When I pulled up the Airport Utility, it noticed the double NAT problem and wanted me to re-configure the Extreme as a bridge, which I did. 2. A bonus is that I now have 6 available ports for my home wired network (3 from the VZ router, and 3 from the Extreme).

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  3. Thanks very much for the effort to post these instructions. Two questions:

    Does this configuration allow for continued use of Video On Demand and On-Screen menus from FIOS on STB's/tv's?

    Is the procedure for extending the network with Airport Express modems changed?

    Be well,

    David

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  4. In response to DHBuckley - This network configuration does not impact the use of FiOS Video on demand or the operation of the Set-Top Boxes (STBs). As noted at the end of the blog post, you *must* reboot all of the devices connected to your Apple wireless network and to the MI424WR, including the set-top boxes. This step is required to make certain that the correct IP addresses are assigned to each of the devices. This step will make certain that all functionality will work correctly.

    There is no change in how you may configure your Airport Extreme and Airport Express devices to extend the network, or to create a WDS configuration.

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  5. Thanks. Very good instructions but just a couple of questions. If you setup your AirPort as a bridge, and turn off the Mi424WR wireless option, does it matter if your wireless devices receive the 10.0 range of addresses? I am trying to understand if you lose functionality by not using the 10.0 addresses.

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  6. Good question. You do not need to use the 10.0 range of addresses to use the Airport devices with the FiOS router. In most cases that is simply a matter of preference. In general, the Microsoft Windows world has used the 192.0 range, while the Mac OS X world has used the 10.0 range. However, there are instances where a specific range of addresses are required on a local network, and in that case these instructions may be useful.

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  7. I have followed the instructions above and everything seems to be working fine, except for one thing. Only the ports on the airport basestation will work for hardwired connections. Using the available ones on the Actionstec router wont assign an IP address - it comes instantly when connecting to the airport (which is configured in bridge mode).

    Any thoughts?

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  8. Ken,

    Been going crazy trying to determine if I should by an airport extreme and the best way to connect it to FIOS service. Thanks for the article.

    However, I still have not purchased the Airport Extreme. Can you tell me how the range and signal throughput is on the extreme? I know there are a lot of variables but just wonder if its worth buying.

    Thanks mikevio

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  9. Mikevio, My experience with the Airport Extreme has been very positive. The range is reasonable when positioned in a central location in our home. We do use an Airport Express in combination with the AE for a WDS network (e.g. extended network) to help address a weak point at the farthest reach. Overall, much better than any other brand we have tried.

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  10. Anonymous (re: dead router ports), I cannot think of a reason that the Actiontec ports would not function in this configuration. I am not aware of a setting on the Actiontec to disable them, but a look around the configuration screens would be my first step. Did they work correctly before incorporating the Aiport Extreme? It very well may be a hardware issue. I have heard of problems from mixing Cat-5 and Cat-5e cables. That could be something else to look into. Could be that the Actiontec does not like the cable you are using.

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  11. Update on "dead router ports".

    I managed to get my Panasonic G20 tv's internet connection working with the Actiontec as well as my PS3.

    However, my media center (win xp based) and my IP phone box will not work with the Actiontec, but works instantly and flawlessly with the Airport Extreme.

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  12. Anonymous (re: dead router ports), Definitely sounds like a Cat-5 / Cat-5e compatibility issue. Devices that follow different standards can be frustrating! Good luck.

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  13. I'm working on getting my old Airport Extreme with my new FiOS service. I started by just plugging my AEBS into the Actiontec router, and my Airport utility is reporting the double NAT issue. Did you setup the AEBS in bridge mode or not? Thanks!

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  14. Steve: Yes! My AE is set to have Connection Sharing "Off" (Bridge Mode). That way it distributes addresses from the FiOS router, which is why I established the specific set of IP addresses on the Actiontec. Good luck!

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  15. Ken:
    First a HUGE thank you for being the only source I found that addresses this problem with the Verizon Actiontec router, airport express and macs. I followed your instructions for the 10.0.1.1 and now I seem to be having a new problem...On my PowerBook G4 and my old (and soon to be retired) Quicksilver 867 Tower, the internet has been very intermittent. I still get all green lights and systems working in the settings on these macs AND my iPhone and girlfriends' new MacBook Pro are always seamlessly online. Are there any additional settings or whatnot to adjust for these machines? Please try not to get too technical on me! And again, huge huge thanks!!! -adam

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  16. Adam: I cannot think of one specific reason why the older PowerBook G4 and Quicksilver tower are experiencing issues. It is likely that the MacBook Pro and iPhone are connecting via 802.11n while the older devices are connecting via 802.11a, b, or g. N does provide a faster, more reliable connection and the older devices do not support the newer protocol.

    It's very possible that you may be experiencing interference on the current wireless channel as well. If you live in an area where there is competing Wi-Fi traffic (e.g. local businesses or neighbors) you may want to try setting the channel on your Airport Extreme to a specific channel instead of accepting the default.

    Most devices default to channel 6. You may want to try using a channel at one of the two extremes, either 1 or 11, to see if the performance is better. You can read more about that at this link...
    http://compnetworking.about.com/od/wifihomenetworking/qt/wifichannel.htm

    Good luck!

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  17. Thanks for sharing these instructions. One thing that confused me in the beginning was that once I connected the airport to the fios router I got a dialog box suggesting to bridge the two and set the IP of the airport to be that of the fios router, which I did. Then in the instructions I set the IP address of the fios router to 10.0.1.1 which was then misaligned and I had no connection. I then manually changed the Airport ip back to 10.0.1.1 and voila, I was back in business.

    And not only back in business, but back with a bang:-) Immediately I felt like the internet was suddenly noticeably faster. My Fios was supposed to deliver 25/15mps, but speed tests showed more like 20/10, which I felt was a bit of a disappointment, and I considered calling Verizon about it. After the switch to the Airport Extreme I am now getting 30/20, which is even better than expected:-)

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  18. In addition to my previous comment, it took me a while to log into the fios router, the password used on mine is the serial number of the device - not "password" or "password1". My Fios was installed about 3 weeks ago.

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  19. Thanks for the help on this Ken! Worked like a charm and reblogged to share the experience.

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  20. I followed the instructions and I have connectivity, but at considerably lower speeds than the Actiontec alone. Before the AEBS was installed I was getting about 15-20 down, now I get 1-5 (!). What could I have done wrong?

    Using Mac Book Pro and iPhone to test speeds...

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  21. CTV: I have not heard of anyone else experiencing the slower speed result like you describe. My own installation provides the same speeds regardless of which router is used. Certainly, the problem should not be a result of the configuration changes. I suspect an issue with your AEBS. Try replacing the ethernet cable that you are using to connect the ActionTec to the AEBS, and check for other wireless conflicts (i.e. change the channel that the AEBS uses, etc.). Good luck.

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  22. Ken - I am in the process of setting up my AE with the FIOS router.

    Should I switch the set-up on the FIOS router before installing the AE?

    Also, the start-up screen in the Apple installation Utility asks me if I want to 'create a new network', 'join an existing network', or 'replace an existing network'.

    Which one should I choose? Thanks!

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  23. Andre: If this is a new AE installation, I would recommend that you get the AE set-up as you would like before switching over from the FiOS router.

    You should select to "Create a New Network" on the AE, as you will be relying on the AE to provide your local network. It will be a "bridge" to the FiOS router, which will then simply be a gateway to the Verizon fiber network.

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  24. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You! After hours of phone calls and a number of Verizon reps, your blog succeeded in doing what they could not. Thanks for sharing your knowledge! It is much appreciated.

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  25. Wow I just ran into this situation tonight. Is it really worth connecting an AE to the FIOS router? Increased performance?

    Thanks

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  26. @Anonymous: The Apple Airport Extreme / Time Capsule / Express allows the use of features not available with the FiOS router, such as creating a WDS ("Wireless Distribution System") network, and having remote USB printers or hard drives. I also believe that there are performance benefits for the Apple devices that access the network, including Apple TV, due to the native Apple File Protocol file sharing; most other routers only provide Microsoft Windows' SMB file sharing.

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  27. I have my TV, Phone, & Internet service with Verizon. I am currently using the standard Verizon Wireless Router "Actiontec M1424WR." I am ordering the Apple Airport Extreme to improve the wireless internet speed of 3.011 mps on my brand new I7 27inch Desktop computer. It is impossibly slow. My Dell Computer is hardwired on a lower floor to the Verizon router and is currently running perfectly at 43.33mps. Since I will be bridging the 2 routers and folowing your steps, does this mean I should hard wire the Dell computer to the Airport Extreme now or do I leave it alone? Do I use the installation disks for the airport extreme on my Mac (The device using the wireless) and also the Dell( Using the hardwire)? I also have a Xbox 360 airport and an Ipod Touch. Do I change those to connect with the airport extreme also?


    Thank you for your help!

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  28. Help I need somebody!
    This is exactly what I want to do - but I can't get past the login screen.
    It will not accept admin or the password varieties - what can I do, as this is the very first step.
    Thank you!

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  29. Anonymous: As mentioned by a previous visitor...

    "The password used on mine is the serial number of the device - not 'password' or 'password1'."

    If all else fails, you can press and hold the reset button on the FiOS router for 10-15 seconds. It will perform a hard reset of the device and when accessed via your web browser, it will request that you establish a new administrator password.

    Good luck!

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  30. Anonymous:

    I would recommend that you leave your existing Dell hardwired to the FiOS Router. There is no reason to change that.

    You only need to use the Airport installation disks on the Mac. The Dell will simply be assigned a new IP once you make the changes to the FiOS router set-up.

    Since you will be disabling the wireless radio on the FiOS router, all of your other wireless devices (i.e. Xbox and iPod) will need to be set-up to access the new wireless network that you create with the Airport Extreme.

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  31. Dear Ken,

    These instructions have gotten me 90% of the way there. I've changed the FIOS router settings as you recommended (including changing the router address to 10.0.1.1), put the AE in Bridge mode as you suggested in the comments. However, when I try to "apply" the changes at the AE, I get the message:

    Correct the problem before updating this AirPort wireless device:
    Router address
    The router address you have entered is not compatible with your WAN IP address.

    It then gives me a box to insert a new IP address. None seem to work.

    What should I do?

    Also, since the FIOS router is 10.0.1.1, should the AE be something else?

    Thanks.

    Best,
    Gus

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  32. Thank you for the comment Gus.

    I've configured the TCP/IP settings of the AE as follows...

    Configure IPv4: Manually
    IP Address: 10.0.1.2
    Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
    Router Address: 10.0.1.1
    DNS Server(s): [Your choice here. I happen to use the OpenDNS service.]
    Domain Name: [Blank]

    This should resolve the warning message that you are receiving when you attempt to apply your other changes.

    Good luck!

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  33. Hi Ken,

    I recently bought an airport extreme and followed your instructions . However, when I turn off the wireless setting OFF and click apply for step 2, I cannot anymore access my wireless internet connection. What did I do wrong? I cannot proceed to step 3 to change IP addresses.

    Thanks

    Ian G.

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  34. Ian,

    You must be directly connected to the FiOS router via an Ethernet cable when making these changes, and not accessing the device through the wireless radio.

    That is a good practice whenever you are making admin changes to a router... connect via Ethernet just in case there is a radio malfunction or interference that may prevent you from saving your changes.

    Good luck!

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  35. wonderful - very helpful. Will be trying this next week as FIOS arrives - and I've used AEBS for years and LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Far superior to any of the other modems I've tried.

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  36. I was just wondering if it was worth replacing my FIOS wireless router with an apple express base station?

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  37. Anonymous: For me and several others, the answer is easy... YES! Especially if you have several different Apple devices on your wireless network (i.e. Macbooks, iPods, iPads, AppleTV, TimeCapsule, etc.). If you primarily use Windows-based devices, you will likely not see much of a performance difference.

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  38. What is the importance of changing the network's iP address?

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  39. Anonymous: As provided to a previous question in the comments above. You do not need to use the 10.0 range of addresses to use the Airport devices with the FiOS router. In most cases that is simply a matter of preference. In general, the Microsoft Windows world has used the 192.0 range, while the Mac OS X world has used the 10.0 range. However, there are instances where a specific range of IP addresses are required on a local network, and in that case these instructions may be useful.

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  40. Verizon gave me a Westell router which is slightly different from the one mentioned above. I followed the steps to change the IP address and I'm stuck where you mention to click on the settings tab. I'm unable to locate the settings tab.

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  41. Anonymous: The instructions that we have provided are specific to the structure of the administrative menu of the Actiontec router. We have not seen the menu structure used by the Westall router, so we cannot comment on how these instructions would differ. Sorry that we cannot be of greater assistance.

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  42. I noticed you discuss in one of the comments putting the AEBS in a Bridge mode....the directions above don't mention anything about this. I don't understand. Is this another step I need to do?

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  43. Anonymous: Since the FiOS router is providing the primary connection to the Internet, the Airport simply needs to provide a "bridge" between the wireless clients and the FiOS router. This setting is made using the AirPort Utility app. Select your Airport device and choose to manually configure. Under the Internet settings, look for the drop-down box for Connection Sharing. Here you will find the option to place the Airport connection "off", or in Bridge Mode. If the Airport is configured to Share an IP Address, or Distribute a Range of IP Addresses, you will receive a warning about an IP conflict from the Airport Utility.

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  44. i have set up my AEBS with the actiontec router as instructed on this article. thanks a million. it works 99%. one minor issue is that my xbox360 console does not detect the airport when i try to connect it. It has detected that AEBS when i had cable service, as well as detecting the actiontec router when verizon installed fios. it is not a range issue, my macbook pro, air, and iPhone have no problems connecting to the network and these devices are all in the same room. Any suggestions?

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  45. Jeff: This is apparently a known issue between Xbox and the Airport Extreme, and depends upon the age of your Xbox equipment (check Google). It seems to be an issue with Microsoft and Apple's interpretation of the 803.1n protocol, as 803.1b/g apparently works without a hitch, but reverting to 803.1b/g doesn't do anything good for your MacBook Pro , Air, and iPhone connection.

    Some Xbox users with the latest version of the hardware report that the devices play together nicely.

    Our Xbox does not have the wireless adapter, so I am repurposing an old Linksys router as a Wi-Fi adapter for the Xbox; that works well.

    Sorry that we don't have more information to help you.

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  46. Jeff: I just re-read your comment and realize that you said the Xbox and Airport played nice together before you had FiOS. I am not aware of anything related to this use of the FiOS router and the AEBS that would cause that connection to no longer work. Our only change to the AEBS is to place it in bridge mode, which has absolutely nothing to do with it's wireless settings or capabilities.

    I would check your Xbox network settings to make certain that it is looking to automatically connect to the AEBS (and not use a hard-coded IP address that was previously set-up for the FiOS router). Or conversely, you can set-up a dedicated IP address between the AEBS and the Xbox to avoid any conflicts.

    My apologies for not reading your first message more carefully.

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  47. I had FIOS installed yesterday and I was all ready to follow your helpful steps—but AirPort Utility did it for me. It detected a "problem" with my new dual-band AirPort Extreme and suggested I change the settings to bridge mode (and helpfully checked the radio button for me). All I had to do was click OK and wait for the restart. I might yet disable the router's wireless, but only if I have problems first. Thanks again!

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  48. Just Some Guy: Glad that it worked so well for you. For what it's worth, I would highly recommend that you disable the radio in the FiOS router if you are not going to use it. Two Wi-Fi access points operating in such close proximity are certain to interfere with each other, even if you don't believe that the reduced performance is noticeable. At the least, you should consider changing the channels that the two use to be at the opposite ends of the available range.

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  49. Hi Ken, great instructions. Planning on buying an AEBS as my MacBook Pro keeps losing connection to my Actiontec FIOS router and it is very frustrating. No problems with my iPad, but the MacBook pro just doesn't like the FIOS router. I think I can follow this as the instructions are great, but I want to make sure... The wireless access becomes controlled by the AEBS, so is that where you set up WPA2 security and can I just match my existing SSID and password that I currently use? Also, by re-starting all devices, do you mean you actually have to unplug all STB's so they reconnect?

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  50. Brian: Good questions!

    Once you connect the AEBS and make the configuration changes, it becomes the only wireless radio used. Therefore, the SSID and WPA security key must be established on the AEBS. The SSID and WEP / WPA on the FiOS router will become irrelevant.

    You may find that your set-top boxes work just fine after the changes. However, should some of their features not work as you expect, just power-down and power-up. You can simply unplug them from AC power if that is easiest for you.

    The AEBS should resolve your MacBook Pro wireless connection. Ours is rock solid!

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  51. Will do, thanks. One more thing: Enabling bridge mode disables the ability to have a guest network, which I learned today when my sister-in-law dropped in.

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    Replies
    1. Same thing happened to me. Does anyone have a fix for this?

      Delete
    2. Unfortunately, operating the Airport Extreme in Bridge Mode disables the Guest Network feature (as it should to avoid the potential DHCP conflict). However, there is a possible workaround...

      Do not disable the radio on the ActionTEC router, and use this second access point to provide a wireless Guest Network! You can change the name of the ActionTEC network (we use our normal SSID appended with "Guest") and secure it with WEP as desired.

      To minimize interference with the Airport Express wireless signal, make certain that the two networks are using different channels, preferably with a wide separation (i.e. Channel 1 and 11).

      I have used my ActionTEC in this manner, and have not experienced any problems. I only enable the ActionTEC radio when I know there is a need for the Guest Network. Otherwise I keep it turned off as an extra layer of security.

      I hope that this helps.

      Delete
  52. I successfully set up my airport extreme base station without any problems and I did not change the range. The only problem I experience is that Netflix viewed through both apple TV (2nd generation) and WII occasionally freezes. I run speed tests and I notice that the speed fluctuates. All software is updated on the devices.

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  53. Anonymous: I cannot think of one specific reason why the Apple TV and Wii may be experiencing speed issues. It is very possible that you may be experiencing interference on the current wireless channel. Did you disable the radio on the FiOS router? If you live in an area where there is competing Wi-Fi traffic (e.g. local businesses or neighbors) you may want to try setting the channel on your Airport Extreme to a specific channel instead of accepting the default.

    Most devices default to channel 6. You may want to try using a channel at one of the two extremes, either 1 or 11, to see if the performance is better. You can read more about that at this link...
    http://compnetworking.about.com/od/wifihomenetworking/qt/wifichannel.htm

    Good luck!

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  54. Hey thanks for the great info! I set up my Airport Extreme with the Fios router just fine. Now I am trying to set up another Extreme to extend the network and I am having some problems. Firstly, my main reason to do this is to connect to this 2nd router via ethernet with a g5 tower that has a damaged airport antenna/port... So I've trying setting up this 2nd router under both auto and manual setup. Automatic setup seems to get stuck on "configuring main base station for WDS" and I've played around the manual settings to no avail. I have selected to participate in a WDS network, and have the "WDS Mode" as "WDS remote" with the Airport ID of my main base station enter under "WDS Main." What sort of connection sharing should I be using and what other setting associated with it? Thanks!!

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  55. Andrew: I'm a little confused on what you are trying to achieve. Using WDS to extend the network provides your wireless signal to another part of your home / office. However, it sounds like you are trying to use the Airport Extreme to provide wireless connectivity to your G5 tower. Based on my understanding, you can't do both. Your second Airport Extreme can either extend the network through WDS (i.e. another Wi-Fi base station), or be the wireless adapter for the G5 (i.e. a Wi-Fi client); take your pick.

    It's possible that I don't completely understand the capabilities of the Airport Extreme. If anyone knows how to make the device perform both functions, I welcome their input.

    To use the Airport Extreme as a wireless adapter, you want to select the wireless mode of "Join a wireless network", and then simply enter the wireless network name. Then you should be able to provide your G5 with network access from the Airport Extreme's ethernet connection.

    Good luck!

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  56. Ken, Verizon should have you on retainer for your support on this topic! Curious if your set up is with Ethernet to the ActionTec, or Coax. I have Coax and have read that bridge mode will not work in this scenario and you need Ethernet from the ONT (box on side of the house where FIOS terminates)

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  57. Anonymous: My installation happens to be coax between the ONT and ActionTec. Bridge mode is how the Apple Airport Extreme is operated, and has absolutely nothing to do with the FiOS equipment. I don't understand how the connection between the ONT and ActionTec could ever make a difference when it comes to the application of the Airport Extreme.

    p.s. - Verizon still hasn't paid me...

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  58. Hi Ken, thanks so much for this, though I admit I am still a bit in over my head. I am trying to set up an Apple Extreme as my main router, while keeping the ActionTec as a bridge. I have a NAS that I want to use wirelessly for file sharing purposes on top of this, and am quite lost as to what the optimal config should be. Any ideas?

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  59. These are the best instructions I can find on this subject...thank you so much Ken

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  60. Ken, You rock! Worked first try. Thank you.

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  61. Bryan: It should not be too difficult to achieve your desired result. However, you have it backwards. The ActionTec must be the router, since it communicates to the FiOS network. This is not optional.

    The Airport Extreme is then set-up to be a bridge, and it provides the wireless network in your home / office as well as offering several additional ethernet connections.

    You don't mention if the NAS has wireless capabilities. If it does, it can then be a client of the Airport Extreme. If the NAS requires an ethernet connection, you can simply locate it near the Airport Extreme. If it must be remote, you can use a device like the Airport Express to provide wireless connectivity to the Airport Extreme.

    I hope that this information helps.

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  62. Ken,

    Thanks a million. Although the Verizon admin site has changed a bit I was able to work around it and managed to do something I had been trying for do for almost a year. Keep up the good advice!

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  63. Ken --

    After reading your instructions and all of the posted responses, I decided to give it a go. I tried it yesterday, but with no luck. I'd like to try again, but I have two questions: Do the settings for my Airport Express have to be in place first, including being set to Bridge Mode, before I make the changes on the Verizon site? And, does the IP address in my Airport Utility setting need to be the same as the one I assign on the Verizon site? For instance, 10.0.1.1 for both?
    Thanks in advance.

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  64. Laurence: First step is to connect your computer directly to the FiOS router with an Ethernet cable. Make all of the changes to your FiOS router, which includes setting the IP address for the router (see Step 3). After the FiOS router is set-up correctly and you have confirmed Internet access, disconnect your computer from the FiOS router and connect the router to the Apple Airport device via Ethernet cable. Connect to your Airport device and change the device to operate in Bridge Mode. That is the only change necessary on the Airport... since it is operating as a bridge to the FiOS router, there are no IP addresses to set... in Step 3 you have already told the FiOS router to use a range of IP addresses with the Apple device.

    I hope that this additional clarification helps.

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  65. Hi kEN
    Thank you thank you , you are a life saver !
    i have 2 other airports than i want to connect to the 1 that is bridged to the Fios router , just for streaming music from itunes. How do i set that up ?

    Thanx a million

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  66. Ken --

    Your clarification helped immensely, and I'm up and running! Noticed some speed increase, too. Nice. Many thanks for your help.

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  67. Anonymous: You can easily use additional Airport devices (Extreme, Express, etc.) to stream iTunes, connect printers via USB, or extend the range of your Access Point.

    There are three ways to achieve this. Remember that the primary Airport device, set-up as a bridge for the FiOS router, is still the wireless Access Point for your wi-fi network, so you can (1) use the additional Airport devices as slaves to the Access Point by setting their mode to "Join A Wireless Network", (2) use the additional Airport devices as part of a Wireless Distribution System ("WDS") by setting their mode to "Participate In A WDS Network", or (3) use multiple Airport devices in some combination of the two modes (that's the configuration that I am currently using on my wireless network). These mode settings are set in the Airport Utility.

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  68. This was very helpful, however i'm still having a problem with extending the network using airport express. Following your instruction exactly, i have successfully set up the airport extreme as the main wireless router in the house (having disabled the wifi on the fios router), but when i attempt to extend the network with the airport express on the other side of the house, airport utility says "network is not extendable", and requires me to either join the existing network, which at that location is a very weak signal, or create an entirely new network. I'm not sure where to go from here..any help would be great.

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  69. Zach: To extend the wireless network, you need to establish a Wireless Distribution System ("WDS").

    Using the Airport Utility app, select your main Airport Device (the one being used as the Bridge to the FiOS router). For Wireless Mode select Participate In A WDS Network. Then click on the WDS tab and for WDS Mode, select WDS Main. Enable Allow Wireless Clients. Click the Add (+) button and enter the AirPort ID for the remote Airport device, then click OK, and click Update.

    Using the Airport Utility app, select your remote Airport Device (the one being used to extend your network). For Wireless Mode select Participate In A WDS Network. Then click on the WDS tab and for WDS Mode, select WDS Remote. Enable Allow Wireless Clients. Enter the AirPort ID of the WDS Main, then click Update.

    That should do it!

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  70. Hello Ken. By the way this info from you is really helpful since you have succesfully got yours to work. Thanks for doing so. As far as my questions go I wanted to know if you setup your network to incorporate remote access to a USB Harddrive connected to the Airport Extreme. I would like to know how your setup includes thats device using the actiontec router modem and the AEBS. I have the same setup as you do but Im really having a hard time setting up remote access to my harddrive. Can you help me? thanks..

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  71. Mark G. - My wireless network doesn't normally use hard disks connected to the Airport Extreme via USB. However, your comment piqued my interest, so I gave it a shot. Here's how I got it to work.

    I connected a USB hard disk to the Airport Extreme that serves as my main access point; the AEBS that is directly connected to the ActionTEC router.

    Using the airport utility app, I selected Manual Setup, then the Disks icon at the top of the app window. Then select File Sharing, and check the radio button to "Enable file sharing." I chose to secure the shared disks with the Airport Extreme password. Finally, I clicked the Update button at the bottom of the app window.

    From a Apple notebook connected to the local wireless network, I opened Finder and expanded the "Shared" group in the left pane. The USB connected hard drive was displayed. Selecting the drive, I was able to connect and use the drive after providing my Airport Extreme password.

    From a Windows notebook connected to the local wireless network, I opened File Explorer and chose to Map a Network Drive. There I provided the server name, which is the IP address of the Airport Extreme base station (i.e. //10.0.1.2). I was prompted for a username and password. Upon providing that information, I was able to connect and use the drive from within the Windows operating system.

    All in all, the process was less painful than what I expected. I hope that this short message helps you to access your USB connected drive across the network.

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  72. Forgive me if I missed this in all the previous information, but I haven't had a chance to do a completely close read. I'm new to the FiOS world, old to the Mac one, and about to bring the two together within a day. My first thought was to bypass the Verizon WiFi and remain with the AirPort. My question is, does this have an affect on any Verizon services? Does it disrupt the ability to use On Demand functions, take advantage of the FiOS iPhone apps? Everything in the world seems so proprietary nowadays, so I'm just curious if wanting to keep iTunes streaming means losing something on the Verizon end, etc. Thanks!

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  73. Anonymous: Configuring your FiOS router to work with the Apple Airport devices does not impair the FiOS features in any way. It's important to note that this is not a "hack" or a change to the ActionTEC router's code; it's simply a change to the configuration to turn-off the FiOS router's radio and use the 10.0.x.x series of IP addresses.

    I can assure you that I can successfully use all of the FiOS features, including the great iPhone apps for the remote control and DVR without any problem.

    Have fun!

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  74. I have read and re-read all of your posts and am very comfortable about making the changes to the Actiontec router. Your assistance to the former posts are very clear and insightful. I thank you for that. The only issue/question that I have is as follows. My internet connection to the Actiontec router is via Ethernet and not the Coax cable. Does that impact any of your instructions. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

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  75. Anonymous: Good question. The type of connection between the Verizon Optical Network Terminal (ONT) on the side of your building and the router near your computer (i.e. Cat5 / ethernet or coaxial cable) does not make a difference for the configuration changes described in these instructions. Go for it!

    If you fear that you have made an error in the changes to the configuration, simply press and hold the small reset button on the back of the ActionTEC router for about 15 seconds and it will place the device back into its default configuration.

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  76. Would you happen to know how I could do this on my Windows 7 PC??? I have the same problem with the Verizon Actiontec router. Thanks!!
    Barbara

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  77. Barbara: Please explain what kind of problem you are experiencing and I will see if I can help you. If you are wanting to configure an Apple Airport device to work with a FiOS router for use with your Windows PC, the steps are exactly the same. It is not an Apple vs Windows issue.

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  78. Excellent blog. I wanted to double check one thing.... I thought I had read somewhere that the Verizon set top boxes only liked to use a 192.168.x.x range. Obviously you've switched to a 10.0.x.x range and everything works fine. I'm mainly concerned about the MENU functionality as we haven't started using On Demand. Do you also use multi-room viewing of DVR recorded shows, and does it work okay? All I need to do is cycle the set top boxes once the range is changed to 10.0.x.x on the Verizon router, correct?

    Thanks!

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  79. Woke up way to early and decided to "just do it". Followed your great instructions and got everything up and running, including set top boxes and all. AppleTV up and running as well. Thanks again for the great tutorial.

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  80. Chris C: Glad you jumped-in and made the change! As you can attest, the set-top boxes all work fine with the different address range. Good work!

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  81. Not Anonymous. Just can't login. :-) Name is Zane.

    Ken: First off, fantastic blog post. Helped a million. Couple questions... just had FIOS installed and they brought the new Cisco set-top boxes which apparently work off a different frequency than the Motorola boxes and are incompatible (as in you can't have both in your house). Any feedback yet on these or do you think this should cause any hiccups? Secondly, if I were to leave the ActionTec Router's radio on and manually set it to channel 11 and manually set the AEBS's radio to 1 would this help my wireless network to be more robust at all or would it just cause interference? Basically, does the actiontec's radio even do anything after you bridge the AEBS?

    Thanks a million--you rock!

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  82. Zane: Glad the blog post was helpful.

    Have no fear, the new Cisco STBs should not cause any issues with the changes you may want to make to the ActionTEC router configuration!

    Your wi-fi clients can only connect to one access point at a time; either the ActionTEC or the Airport device. Even if you were to name the networks the same, they are two separate wi-fi networks and would not operate cooperatively like an Apple WDS (wireless distribution system).

    Having both access points active in such close proximity will actually cause them to interfere with each other instead of making the wireless network more robust. Even if you choose channels at the two extremes... one is simply interference for the other.

    I recommend disabling the ActionTEC radio and relying on the Apple Airport for the wireless network. The Airport radio plays much nicer with Apple wi-fi clients.

    If your home / office is large, an Airport Express can be used to extend the network using the WDS feature.

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  83. Ken,

    I've read through a few of the posts on the subject...but not all, so I will apologize if this is a repeat question.

    I recently moved to a new area and Verizon was the only service available. I opted for them to install the wireless network. I like it. I was able to change the newtowrk name and password - no problem.

    I'd like to use my airport express to extend the existing wi-fi network off of the verizon router. We have an apartment over our garage, and the signal from the Verizon router doesn't reach that far.

    Can I use my AE to extend the Verizon wifi?

    Thanks

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  84. Anonymous: I do not know of a way to utilize an Apple airport device to extend the wireless network of another, non-Airport router. To make an extendable network, you would need to use two Apple Airport devices (take your pick of what model). Use one as the primary access point, configured to establish a Wireless Distribution System (WDS). The second Airport device would be the extension of the WDS. I have done this using an Airport Extreme as the WDS base station and an Airport Express as the extension. Good luck!

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  85. First off, what an amazing blog! Every post is incredibly helpful.

    I have one question. After following your instructions, can I leave the FIOS router in my basement and put my AEBS on my main floor, keeping it connected to the FIOS router through an Ethernet outlet. I'm trying to avoid putting the AEBS in my basement along with the FIOS router because the wireless signal will be too weak on the main floor. I can't move the FIOS router to the main floor because it's connected to the ONT and feeding Ethernet lines. And maybe it's just me, but I found extending my network with Airport Express in the past didn't work well. That's why I'm hoping to use AEBS on the main floor.

    I hope I explained myself clearly!

    Thanks!

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  86. Patrick: Thank you for the kind words!

    Yes. You can leave the FiOS router in your basement near the ONT, and place the Ethernet connected AEBS anywhere you would like. That's the beauty of this idea... it provides great flexibility. Have fun!

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  87. Ken,
    Thanks for the Blog! I was able to successfully configure my Apple Extreme router with FIOS using your instructions and reading the comments on this page.

    For those who are interested in extending their Network to address remote areas of your house where the router's signal may be minimal, it is very easy to do.

    Here is the link to Apple's Airplay support page which has outstanding help files:
    http://www.apple.com/support/airport/

    Apple's support airport page should be used instead of searching on Google since many items out on the Internet are old and no longer correct.

    I got the Apple Extreme as my main Router connected to my cable modem and then I also got the Apple Express to extend the Network. The setup is very easy. On the main router - Airport Extreme, you check the box that says allow network to be extended. On the Airport Express you select the option to extend the Network and give it the name of your main router. These instructions are clearly explained on the Apple Airport support page.

    I have an All-season room connected to the back of my house which had spotty coverage. When I connected the Airport express extending my Network my Network performance dramatically improved.

    It should be mentioned that this post relates to the latest generation Airport Extreme and Express. The earlier versions had a more convoluted way to configure extending your Network.

    In their notes, Apple warns that extending your network this way will result in overhead and a slower network. I have not experienced this. I have about 10 wireless devices connected (computers, printers, drives, etc.) and it is robust and very fast.

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  88. Not surprisingly, your suggestion worked perfectly! I now have the FIOS router in the basement near the ONT, and an AEBS elsewhere plugged into an Ethernet outlet.

    I have one more question. My AEBS wireless signal does not reach the other wide of the house. So, can I use a second AEBS to extend the wireless network by plugging into a different Ethernet outlet? I know how to extend by joining a wireless network, but that's not an option because there is no wireless signal. I don't want to create a new wireless network because my mobile devices (laptop, phone) will have to keep switching back and forth between networks as I move between rooms. So, I'm hoping to have 2 AEBS transmitting the same wireless network by being plugged into Ethernet outlets.

    Hoping you can work more magic.

    Thanks!

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  89. Patrick: Unfortunately, you cannot establish two (or more) access points with the same credentials (i.e. network name and password).

    I understand that you don't have adequate signal strength in one area of your home. I had the same problem. What I did was locate the second AEBS in a room between the primary AEBS and the room where I needed signal. It's inconspicuously sitting on a shelf in a guest bedroom. The second AEBS was configured to "extend" the network. See previous comments in the list above for instructions on how to do that. Once the second AEBS was set-up, there was adequate signal strength in the far and away room where I needed it.

    Good luck!

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  90. Hi Ken,
    I'm getting FIOS today and trying to absorb all this because I do want to continue using my AE as Wifi source. If my AE is already setup with the Verizon IP and router addresses ( I have Verizon DSL now), is there any advantage to changing the addresses to 10.0.1.xxx format? If I decide to change address in AE to the Apple format, should I do that before or after FIOS install. From what you say above, I guess I can just pick whatever address I want (e.g. 10.0.1.1)
    Thanks!
    Bob

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  91. Bob: You do not need to use the 10.0 range of addresses to use the Airport devices with the FiOS router. In most cases that is simply a matter of preference. In general, the Microsoft Windows world has used the 192.0 range, while the Mac OS X world has used the 10.0 range. However, there are instances where a specific range of IP addresses are required on a local network, and in that case these instructions may be useful.

    As installed, the FiOS router is configured to be the main Access Point of your home / business network. It serves as both the modem and router in one device, unlike your Verizon DSL service which just provides the modem and you provided the AEBS as the router. With FiOS, the AEBS simply becomes a "bridge" to the range of IP addresses served by the FiOS router. Our instructions demonstrate the process to select what range of IP addresses are used by the FiOS router if that is so desired.

    If you choose to continue using the 192.0 range with your AEBS as the primary Wi-Fi device (which is just fine), you should at least disable the Wi-Fi radio on the FiOS router to avoid interference and signal degradation of your AEBS wireless network.

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  92. Ken. You are a magician. Thanks. Part of this is working like a charm, but I wonder about the loss of signal over distances. I set up an airport express as the main wireless source and had a second express 15 feet away. All was good. However, the signal on the second floor (also about 15 ft away from the second express and through a doorway) gets weak and lost when using FaceTime on our iPhones. Any suggestions? Also wondered whether the airport is operating as an "n" router or running as a "g" after you turn off the actiontec wireless?

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  93. David: Thank you for the compliments. They are appreciated.

    Last question first. Airport devices will operate as a/b/g/n devices depending upon their capability (i.e. older models are only a/b/g). This is independent of the FiOS ActionTEC router radio.

    In my installation, a newer Airport Extreme offers up "n", while an older Airport Express that is used to extend the same network is limited to "g". They still play nice together, and connecting devices don't care as long as they are both n or g capable.

    Regarding signal loss. You should not be having a problem with meaningful signal loss only 15 feet away from the Airport device.

    A couple of ideas here. First, I believe that your two Airport devices are much too close to each other. Your iPhone is likely confused on which Access Point to connect to. I recommend that you relocate the Airport extension to the second floor a bit further away from the main device. This will help create two distinct Wi-Fi zones in your home, and the iPhones should be much happier.

    Second, you may have radio interference from another device. Have you disabled the Wi-Fi radio in the ActionTEC router? Is there a microwave oven or other appliance nearby? Try moving your Airport just a couple of feet in another direction. Try more than one change and see if there are better results. Remember that a higher location near the center of the house is better (i.e on top of a cabinet or bookshelf).

    If the signal loss is still bad, you could be competing with other Wi-Fi devices in the neighborhood. Download and install a Wi-Fi sniffer tool such as iStumbler [http://istumbler.net/] or use a web based app like Meraki WiFi Stumbler [http://tools.meraki.com/stumbler]. These handy tools will show you a list of the local Wi-Fi Access Points, including attributes like their signal strength and channel. This also makes them very useful for the previous step where you are moving your Airport about to find the best location / greatest signal strength.

    Using the sniffer app, make a note of your network information in comparison to neighboring Access Points. If you share the same channel as another network with a strong signal, you should consider changing the channel in both of your Airport devices via the configuration app.

    Note that channel 6 is often used by default in many routers. For that reason, I chose to use channel 1 for my network; there are few neighboring Access Points using that channel in my area and as a result I have very little radio interference.

    Don't give up!

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  94. Hi Ken, extremely useful blog! You are always so patient and courteous with all the questions as well. Truly impressive.

    I'm actually writing from Hong Kong and would like to know if the extension of the main AEBS (one connected to the FiOS ActionTEC as a bridge) wireless network via subsequent Aiport Exresses and/or AEBSs would have any impact on speed. I ask this because of my own experience. With a direct ethernet cable connection, I get speed of around 300Mbps/300Mbps (the advertised speed), yet the AEBS network speed only tested around 150Mbps/150/Mbps maximum. Furthermore, when test is conducted on computer connected to the extended network (Airport Express 802.11n latest generation), maximum speed is only around 40Mbps/40Mbps. What am I doing wrong please?

    Thanks!
    Douglas

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  95. Douglas: Thank you for the kind words.

    Alas the shortcomings of wireless networking! The AEBS network tested at 150 Mbps because that is the highest rate capable for the IEEE 802.11n communications protocol. That's the best that you can do.

    AEBS devices, as all Wi-Fi devices, will dynamically scale their communications rate based upon signal quality. Your extended network is simply victim to the degradation of the wireless signal due to the distance between the two devices. You would most likely see the 40 Mbps speed improve as you move the device closer to the primary AEBS.

    Note that the Wireless Distribution System ("WDS") configuration used to extend the AEBS network also has a slight amount of overhead which will rob you of some speed.

    You might be able to fine tune the physical layout of your primary and secondary AEBS devices in order to improve upon the 40 Mbps speed. Try moving them a couple of feet one direction or another, and higher is always good. You may also try orienting the AEBS on a different axis (i.e. vertical versus horizontal) to see if there is a speed improvement.

    40 Mbps is still pretty awesome, but when you are used to having 300 Mbps wired speeds, I can understand the disappointment!

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  96. Wow, Ken! I've just stumbled on this blog and read over a year and a half of your phenomenal posts on this subject.

    For nearly 2 years, I've had great success with AEBS as my primary FiOS internet/wifi supplier. On the very first day I figured out that I could leave the coax joined to the Actiontec router, but connect the incoming Ethernet cable off the ONT directly to the WAN port of the AEBS for pure Apple wifi goodness.

    I then ran Ethernet from the AEBS to one of the Actiontec ethernet ports to support the video services, and extended my AEBS network with a second one in the far side of the house. I left the wifi radio in the Actiontec run all this time as it was, after all, a second wifi source (and I never considered the implications of interference that you mentioned earlier). Although it mostly was just a list in my Airport menu, occasionally I switched over to it for fun, even though it is a g router and my AEBSs are n.

    All was heaven. Until yesterday.

    Yesterday, we had a lightning strike nearby that knocked out our FiOS service. Not the hardware, since all my electronics were on surge suppressor/battery backup systems. Just the incoming signal. Verizon was here this morning to swap out the ONT outer box (talk about fast service!), and the tech suggested he had service calls to make for others in the neighborhood too, so I figured it was a widespread event.

    Everything works again, except for my internet config! Ethernet directly into the AEBS will no longer generate an IP. I have to use the default Actiontec router for Internet now and my AEBS is just sitting there, flashing amber.

    So I guess I have to bite the bullet and follow your steps. Wish me luck!

    One thing is: I am not sure what the password is on the Actiontec. I assume this is different than the ESSID username/WEP key password combo I use to access it as a wifi connection, which I tried and doesn't work. Nor does the WEP key work with Admin. Is the SN the alphanumeric under the bar code?

    Thanks for your years of support on this one essential topic!

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  97. Professor Harry: Great idea to take the Ethernet directly from the ONT to the AEBS! However, many installations are like mine, place the ONT in a location that is far from convenient to the placement of the AEBS (i.e. in the darkest recess of my basement, far from where I'd like to originate my Wi-Fi signal).

    To access the ActionTEC menu, try using the User Name of "admin". The Password is typically either "password" or "password1" (depending upon the Verizon technician that set-up the device).

    If neither of those work, let me know.

    Have fun!

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  98. Thanks for your quick take on this, Ken.

    I tried the default passwords right away of course, but I must've changed them a couple of years ago and have forgotten. I plan to reset the ActionTEC tomorrow and I know the defaults will work then.

    For today, I just took ethernet from the WAN of the AEBS to the LAN of the ActionTEC and enabled the bridge mode. My 2 AEBSs came back to life. And a plus, my official 35/35 service is coming in at about 40/29 on wifi. Sweet.

    I plan to follow your steps on changing the IP to resolve potential conflicts, and it makes sense to turn off the ActionTEC's radio to eliminate any wifi interference, but this seems to work pretty well for now.

    Thanks for your insight!

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  99. Thanks for a great post, just what I was looking for. Unfortunately, now I am having the strangest problem: I can only connect to the internet via wifi--I cannot connect via a wired ethernet connection between my mac mini server and either the airport or the actiontech.

    This problem only affects my mac mini server... my macbook can connect to the internet via wireless or wired.

    The mini is, however, accessible on my home network. File sharing and even screen sharing works fine between my macbook (wifi) and the mini (wired to airport), and I can even access the actiontech router (at http://1.0.0.1.1) from the mini. I just can't get online.

    Any ideas? For now, I can just unplug the ethernet cable and use it wirelessly, but I'd like to run the mini wired for fastest speeds.

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  100. Blade: I cannot think of a reason that the Mac Mini cannot connect to the ActionTec or AE via Ethernet. I have heard of problems from mixing Cat-5 and Cat-5e cables. Have you tried using new / different cables between the Mac Mini and the other devices? It could be that the Mac Mini does not like the cable you are using.

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  101. Blade: I thought this information from Syscon Cable was interesting and may be helpful for your Ethernet connectivity issue...

    Both CAT-5 and CAT-5e have 100 ohm impedance and electrical characteristics supporting transmissions up to 100 MHz. The differences between CAT-5 and CAT-5e show in all aspects of performance: capacitance, frequency, resistance, attenuation, and NEXT. CAT-5e components were designed with high-speed gigabit Ethernet in mind. While CAT-5 components may function to some degree in a gigabit Ethernet, they perform below standard during high-data transfer scenarios. CAT-5e cables work with ATM and gigabit speed products. Simply, if you are using a 100Mbps switch, get CAT-5e cable instead of CAT-5.

    CAT-5e is formally called ANSI/TIA/EIA 568A-5 or simply Cat-5e (the e stands for 'enhanced'). CAT-5e is completely backward compatible with current CAT-5 equipment. The enhanced electrical performance of CAT-5e ensures that the cable will support applications that require additional bandwidth, such as gigabit Ethernet or analog video.

    [http://www.connectworld.net/syscon/support.htm]

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  102. Ken,

    Thanks for the informative post. You've certainly helped a lot of people. I'm literally about to go downstairs and start this process. I'm curious which device you're using to firewall your network: the VZ router, or the AE?

    I tried an iChat video call last night (running on the VZ WiFi) and audio failed. iChat reported that my network had important (to iChat) ports blocked.

    I'm going to try to disable the VZ router's firewall and use the AE's, since I know my AE's firewall is properly configured to the applications I use. I'll be curious to see if the AE can run a firewall in bridge mode... guess I'm about to find out.

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  103. Followup, live from the basement. My router's login credentials were not "admin" and "password". In my case, they were "admin" and the password was the router's serial number (which is on a sticket on the router). I found that out through this note on Verizon's troubleshooting site.

    Also, when I type the password, I get multiple dots for every character typed, which confused the heck out of me. But it still accepted my password fine.

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  104. Brian: Hope that the process has been going smooth for you.

    When you place the AE in bridge mode, you automatically disable the built-in firewall. However, the ActionTEC has a built-in firewall as well and it seems to be adequate.

    We use the default firewall settings on the ActionTEC and have not had any issues with external intrusion or with the use of our applications. iChat, FaceTime, Skype, GTalk, and Huddles (Google+) all work as intended.

    This support article from Apple may be helpful... http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1507

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  105. Hi Ken. Thanks so much for this. I followed all the steps and some of the guidance in the comments and everything is working great.

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  106. Hi Ken

    Unbelievable post...thank you!!! Are you familiar with the Actiontec ECB2200 MOCA Ethernet Coax Bridge? Would it be possible to completely remove the Fios router from the picture....install the ECB2200....then the AE? Or is the Fios router required for something I am not seeing?

    Thanks in advance.....Rick

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  107. Rick: It's my understanding that if your Verizon FiOS service includes Television, you must use the ActionTEC FiOS router connected by coax from the ONT. However, it's quite possible that the Ethernet Coax Bridge would work in non-TV FiOS applications. Unfortunately, I don't have access to the device to try.

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  108. I have the airport extreme 4 th Generation. I was thinking about upgrading to the 5 th generation. In your opinion do you think it's worth upgrading?

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  109. If you are having problems with the useful range provided by your 4th generation AE, an upgrade to the 5th generation AE may be worthwhile. The following article from AppleInsider when the 5th generation device was first introduced (June 23, 2011) provides a good overview that may help you make a decision... http://yag.me/mf

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  110. Im amazed at what Ive read here, you really know your stuff! Ive scoured through all the comments and I can't find anyone thats having the same issue as I am, maybe you could offer some insight.

    I just bought the Airport Extreme to replace the wifi router in my home to hopefully alleviate some streaming issues I'm having with movies from my iTunes library to my apple tv. I set it up as a bridge to the Actiontec and shut off the wifi radio on the Actiontec as you suggested. I didn't change the IP addresses because you said that was optional, I have a mix of mac & windows in the home and didn't want to complicate things anymore than I had to. (Everything I know about networking I just learned from this blog lol).

    The issue Im having is that my windows 7 desktop (connected to the new wifi network through a Belkin usb adapter) is only getting 1.5/0.5 Mbps on fios when everything else in the house (macbook air, iPhone, iPad) are getting 20/5 Mbps. I don't understand why its connecting but transferring data so slow. The usb adapter is wireless b/g/N compatible, and was getting about 16mbps before I switched to Airport. Range is not the issue. Its a small house and the macbook still gets 20mbps sitting on the same desk as the desktop. Any suggestions?

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  111. Anonymous: We're very glad to hear that this blog has been helpful to you.

    Although the Belkin USB Wi-Fi adapter is b/g/n capable, it sounds as though it is connecting to the Airport Extreme at "b" only.

    You did not mention how you are securing this wireless network. I believe that the Belkin adapter will only support WEP security. The Airport Extreme will only provide WEP security running in "b" mode, and uses WPA2 for "g" and "n" mode. If you have secured your wireless network using WEP, it's automatically limited the speed.

    Bottom line... it's likely an incompatibility issue between the Belkin adapter and the Airport Extreme. I do not believe that this is the case with the Cisco Linksys adapters and the Airport devices.

    If you decide to try a new adapter, keep the receipt until you confirm that it works at the wireless speeds that you expect.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  112. You hit the nail on the head again. After hours of phone calls to Apple, Microsoft, and Belkin, someone finally told me I need to switch from wpa2 to wep and I realized that I couldn't do that with N on the Airport.

    After a quick trip to Walmart I was online at 20Mbps again with the cisco lynksys ae2500 adapter. Unfortunately, the relief was short-lived. The Lynksys would completely disconnect whenever I tried to stream a media file to the Apple TV, and would have to be physically reset to get back online. After some googling I found that this is a common issue with that particular adapter and windows 7, perhaps a driver issue?

    Anyway, I am an impatient person, so after day two of this mess I snapped and ended up walking out of the Apple store with an iMac. My mother needs a new computer, she can have the pc, Ive had it with windows. My 'iHome' is now complete, haha. iMac, Macbook, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, Airport. It all 'just works' as Steve Jobs put it. Now all I need is a good home security system! Thanks for your help, great blog!

    ReplyDelete
  113. Great post, and glad you've stayed engaged to respond to all questions. I've noticed that using the AirPort Extreme in bridge mode disables the Guest Network feature (one of the primary reasons I bought it). If I choose "Share a Public IP" to restore the Guest feature, I receive a "Double NAT" warning, since the Verizon router is acting as a DHCP server as well as the AirPort. Apparently, this is something folks seem to advise against. Do you know the best way to restore Guest Networking using this Verizon router and AirPort Extreme setup?

    ReplyDelete
  114. Great blog....Verizon & Apple should take notes from you! In this scenario, "Great idea to take the Ethernet directly from the ONT to the AEBS! However, many installations are like mine, place the ONT in a location that is far from convenient to the placement of the AEBS", do I connect the COAX & Ethernet from the ONT simultaneously? Currently it's COAX - but I see in the ActionTec setup that this can be changed. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Anonymous - Unfortunately, operating the Airport Extreme in Bridge Mode disables the Guest Network feature (as it should to avoid the potential DHCP conflict). However, there is a possible workaround...

    Do not disable the radio on the ActionTEC router, and use this second access point to provide a wireless Guest Network! You can change the name of the ActionTEC network (we use our normal SSID appended with "Guest") and secure it with WEP as desired.

    To minimize interference with the Airport Express wireless signal, make certain that the two networks are using different channels, preferably with a wide separation (i.e. Channel 1 and 11).

    I have used my ActionTEC in this manner, and have not experienced any problems. I only enable the ActionTEC radio when I know there is a need for the Guest Network. Otherwise I keep it turned off as an extra layer of security.

    I hope that this helps.

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  116. Steelester - It is my understanding that if you use FiOS for your television programming as well as for Internet connectivity, the ActionTEC router MUST be connected via coax. Admittedly, we have never tested this (because our router and ONT are too far apart). If you would care to experiment and report back to us, the information may be useful to others.

    That information would lead us to believe that if you are using FiOS for Internet only, you can just use the Ethernet connection between the router and the ONT.

    We cannot imagine there being an advantage to connecting the router to the ONT using both the coax and Ethernet cable at the same time. The router already provides rated speeds using coax only... so it's not going to work any faster.

    Cheers!

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  117. Great blog and many great posts. Thanks. I have a question. I just purchase an express to extend the range of my network to the furthest reaches of my house (unfortunately, my FIOS and AEBS are upstairs in one corner of the house; the signal is spotty downstairs in the opposite corner of the house). Will the express amplify the signal it receives or just pass on the signal without amplification?

    ReplyDelete
  118. Hi there
    Thank you so much for this blog. Infact after seeing this blog, I went ahead and purchased the 5th gen Apple Airport Extreme base station to work with my existing Verizon/Actiontec router.
    My goal is to retain the Actiotec router for FIOS TV and a couple of wired connections and switch to the AEBs for all my wireless connections , to improve the performance and extend the range of my wifi network,especially in my basement and 2nd floor.
    However, after going through this process, I am disappointed with the signal strength and the throughput I am getting with AEBS. I am getting about 20Mbps near the router and it drops all the way down to 2Mbps in the basement and about 8Mbps in the 2nd floor, which is even worse
    than what I was getting before.

    Not sure what I am doing wrong, but your help is most appreciated here. This is what I did:

    - Disabled the wireless radio on the Actiontec router.
    - Did not change any IP address range ( as it seemed optional from your previous comments in this forum)
    - Confirmed all my wired connections/Internet is working fine with the Actiontec router.
    - Connected my Mac to the AEBS , powered it up and that kicked off the Airport utility
    - I chose to set it up as a new wireless network with its own network name/key/10.* ip range/Guest network etc.
    - It complained of no internet access. Connected the WAN port of AEBS to one of the LAN ports of the Actiontec router.
    - It detected the connection and gave me few options. I chose to 'extend the network' , retaining the same wireless network name, IP range as the Actiontec router. There was also an option to 'allow this network to be extended' which I enabled.
    - Also went into Internet settings, and turned OFF Connection Sharing(Bridge mode). It warned about not being able to use Guest network, which I ignored.
    - Saved the configuration and rebooted the router and all wireless devices.
    - Connections working fine…but the speed is sub-par for the wireless connections.

    Am I doing something wrong? Did I get a faulty AEBS or is this normal ? Should I be looking at Netgear WNDR4500 or additional Airport Expresss devices to extend my wireless range and boost the signal.

    Please help
    Thanks much

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  119. JJ - No matter the strength of the signal from your AEBS at the Airport Express location, the Airport Express will send / receive at full signal strength. Keep in mind that you do lose some speed by extending the network (overhead used by the protocol), but it's still quite adequate for most wireless networking purposes.

    I'd strive to place the Airport Extreme about two-thirds of the distance between the AEBS and where you will most often be located with your computer / wireless device. That should provide a sufficiently good connection between the AEBS and the Airport Express, while still providing you with a relatively strong wireless signal.

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  120. Anonymous - There may be a couple of settings that you used that are not correct, and there are a few things that you can do in an attempt to improve the AEBS signal strength.

    When using the AEBS as an access point with the ActionTEC router, it is its own unique network. You are not extending the ActionTEC network.

    So let's start with this...

    1) Connect the AEBS WAN port to one of the ActionTEC LAN ports using an Ethernet cable.

    2) In the AirPort Utility, under the AirPort / Wireless Tab, set the Wireless Mode as "Create a Wireless Network." Choose a name and apply security as desired. Do not select "Allow this network to be extended" since you are not using additional AirPort devices to create a Wireless Distribution System ("WDS").

    3) Under the Internet / Internet Connection tab, set the Connection Sharing as "Off (Bridge Mode)."

    The rest of the defaults should be adequate, and this should establish a wireless network served by your AEBS based upon the ActionTEC settings.

    Regarding signal strength...

    You may have radio interference from another device. Is there a microwave oven or other appliance nearby? Try moving your Airport just a couple of feet in another direction. Try rotating the axis of the AEBS from horizontal to vertical. Try more than one change and see if there are better results. Remember that a higher location near the center of the house is better (i.e on top of a cabinet or bookshelf).

    If the signal loss is still bad, you could be competing with other Wi-Fi devices in the neighborhood. Download and install a Wi-Fi sniffer tool such as iStumbler [http://istumbler.net/] or use a web based app like Meraki WiFi Stumbler [http://tools.meraki.com/stumbler]. These handy tools will show you a list of the local Wi-Fi Access Points, including attributes like their signal strength and channel. This also makes them very useful for the previous step where you are moving your AEBS about to find the best location / greatest signal strength.

    Using the sniffer app, make a note of your network information in comparison to neighboring Access Points. If you share the same channel as another network with a strong signal, you should consider changing the channel in your AEBS with the AirPort Utility.

    Note that channel 6 is often used by default in many routers. For that reason, I chose to use channel 1 for my network since there are few neighboring Access Points using that channel in my area and as a result I have very little radio interference.

    There may also be an issue with the Ethernet cable you are using to connect the ActionTEC router to the AEBS. Although regular CAT-5 components may work, they perform below standard during high-data transfer scenarios. With the 100Mbps speeds, I suggest that you make certain you are using a CAT-5e cable instead of CAT-5.

    I hope that some of these ideas help you.

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  121. Ken, please accept my thanks as well. I have one question that I think I saw answered but want to reconfirm. Using the setup that you so eloquently explained, the access control functions of the AEBS are disabled, is this correct? The VZ router's access control (Parental Controls) really suck and one is also warned that Parental Controls may severely affect the router's performance.

    I guess since we are using the AEBS as a bridge, not a router there will be no rule capability. I think I just answered my question. Is it possible to use the VZ router strictly as a modem?

    ReplyDelete
  122. Hi there! This is great information. Thanks for your responses. I'm experiencing the same difficulty in your response to Anonymous on December 6, 2011. My desktop running Windows xp SP3 (hooked up to actiontec)gets the 25/15 speed test. My Iphone isn't even close. 15/17 when close to AEBS and 1/1 when on other side of house. I've left the IP address as 198.192.xxx etc. My radio channels are 5ghz is 149 and 11 for 2.4ghz (default). I'm not sure what else I can do to increase the speed on all wireless gadgets in home. (i've followed your steps 1, 2, 3 (from Dec 6) exactly. I also typed in the meraki wifistumbler & 0 access points were found (if I did that correctly)There are many wifi networks in neighborhood. The reason for going from Actiontec to AEBS to begin with with to increase speed and range for all wireless gadgets. THE AEBS is near actiontec router (but disabled in wifi mode). Really can't move is anywhere else , except the floor on office which made the connection worse. One thing I just noticed is that on the AEBS utility it says I have no DNS Servers and AEBS may have trouble connecting to the interenet. Does that make a difference? Thanks again. Carolyn

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  123. I don't agree with tossing the super able apple extreme into dumb bridge mode. It wastes your only hope to serve true network usage in "enabled" homes.

    Fact 1- the fios router is a cheap 10$ network piece of trash.
    Fact 2- using Bridge mode on your extreme makes the fios router do all of the work which it can't handle for homes with many Internet capable devices by itself.

    I have two apple tv's, TiVo, sling box, 2 apple express', iPhones and laptops plus 2 Mac minis. The fios router has so little cache it chokes.

    Here is what I did for bliss-
    Connect extreme from its "Internet" port to port 1.
    Make note of the DNs entries the fios router uses.
    Set these in the extreme and set the ip of the extreme to the same subnet. Do not set to bridge mode. Set the distributed ip range for the extreme to a .200-250. Disable the dhcp on fios router and set the fios Ethernet connection to manual with an unused low ip like .2
    It is the same subnet as the extreme but you disable dhcp on fios side with a static router ip and a static ip for the extreme
    In the extreme you set the same static ip for itself as you defined in the fios for the Ethernet connection. When it asks you for router- use the ip you set the fios router to. Use the DNs entries in the extreme in this same window.

    I also set default route on fios to 0.0.0.0 mask 255x4 to be sure it would route the gateway.
    End all there are a few DNs entries to carry to extreme but never set it to bridge mode. Your network will be far more able and stable letting the extreme do the work. Lastly I disabled the fios wifi. It doesn't bother you to get things "connected" first. It does create lots of noise to the extreme though. Be sure to disable that.... For long term. I had major network issues even in Bridge mode until I tore into it forcing the extreme to do all the heavy work. I had to power restart all express' and apple tv to get the dhcp from extreme to refresh.

    Good luck- from the coalition to use apple extreme where it counts!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. miket-- do you have fios tv also?
      just wondering if this type of setup (which sounds preferable to me), will still allow the fios tv interactive crap etc to work. i thought the crappy fios router was a requirement for the tv? so either you're taking care of that somehow fancy that i'm not seeing, or you don't need to because you don't have their tv service which i do (unfortunately in times like this).

      Ken-- thank you for this thread and your advise. I've really been bothered by these issues. the fact that my whole network was purring along (albeit slowly) when i had DSL from a no name company was due to years of iteration and because i was able to use the DSL modem as just that-- a modem. I took care of everything else where it was appropriate to-- through all manner of airport devices, etc. now i have no control, and i hand everything over to Verizon... makes me feel very uncomfortable. As a result for the last month since I got Fios (phone, tv, and internoose), i've had wireless shut off on the verizon device as you suggest, and then instead of switching ip's and using Bridge mode i'm "Sharing a Public IP address", which works, but results in double NATs, and probably not very evenly distributed bandwidth. Further, I just discovered that (duh!) the dual nat will prevent iChat and lord knows what else from working properly. And please don't tell me I have to start punching holes again via that web interface. I use Apple gear so I don't have to do that crap! also folks, it is no longer the 90's!!! argh.

      Anyways, sorry for the rambling post. If miket has fios tv, there's hope for me yet. otherwise, Ken I will use your setup to the letter and enjoy every minute of it. :)

      i thank you both!!
      Oliver.

      Delete
    2. Stimu (01/17/2012) - It's my experience that to make FiOS TV work as intended, you must only have the ActionTEC router connected to the coax from the ONT and powered-up. The required process / information is communicated bidirectionally on the coax cable.

      Apparently, the TV settings are independent from how you configure the Internet capability. That would tell me that you could use the configuration described by miket and still have FiOS television service.

      Good luck!

      Delete
    3. woah!! But the cable boxes show up in the DHCP list on the ActionTEC! Does that mean that in your original instructions, for example, you no longer have to reset all the boxes? Just so I understand what you're saying...

      thanks again,
      Oliver.

      Delete
    4. Oliver (01/17/2012) - Good point, Oliver. In my haste to provide a timely response, I didn't stop to think about how the IP addresses for the FiOS clients would be assigned. Thank you for making me think twice about this circumstance!

      Disabling DHCP as suggested by miket would seem to be a problem if you have FiOS television, since I am not aware of a method to manually assign each client an IP address within the ActionTEC router. At least I don't see a way to do that. (Anyone else?)

      And, yes... You still must reboot the set-top boxes if you decide to change the IP range (i.e. use the 10.x.x.x range as discussed in my original instructions) so that the ActionTEC router can assign each client its new IP address.

      Delete
  124. Thanks for these helpful tips. I'm a bit confused as to why one can't just set up the airport extreme in bridge mode and leave the fios router alone and original ip addresses of the fios router as is? I have done this with my system (one fios router, one Airport extreme base station connected to the fios router via ethernet and two airport express units in other areas of the house).

    With this configuration and the extreme in bridge mode, I can still print to my printers connected to the different express units fine. However, I'm wondering if the network created by the extreme is conflicting with the fios router in some was as I cannot get airtunes to stream to the express units well at all. Am I setting myself up for problems down the road?

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  125. Unknown (12/21/11) - You are very welcome! My apologies for the delayed reply... the Holidays got in the way.

    My Apple Airport Extreme (Firmware Version 7.6) is in Bridge Mode, and the Access Control displays "MAC Address Access Control" with options for "Not Enabled", "Timed Access", and "RADIUS".

    I set-up the Timed Access for one of the computers on my wireless network by navigating to AEBS AirPort / Summary / Wireless Clients and selecting a MAC address from the list.

    Is this function not available on your AEBS?

    For additional "parental" control, I utilize a DNS service outside of that provided by Verizon. There are several options available, but I have selected OpenDNS. There are features available from OpenDNS that allow you to filter some types of websites. The DNS server is configured in the ActionTEC set-up. I'm not certain that it's necessary, but I have also included the OpenDNS servers in the AEBS Internet / TCP/IP screen.

    Bottom line - I believe that the AEBS can still provide Access Control in Bridge Mode. Please let me know if I am missing something.

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  126. Carolyn - You are very welcome! My apologies for the delayed reply... the Holidays got in the way.

    Your Wi-Fi signal strength is not related to the lack of a DNS entry. Your network is using the DNS server established in the ActionTEC configuration, so you should be good there.

    Wi-Fi signal strength is a tricky thing. That has been demonstrated by your experience with your iPhone as you watch the signal slowly degrade the further you get from the AEBS. Keep in mind that Wi-Fi range is limited; it's not like a cell phone signal. The approximate indoor range for IEEE 802.11 networks served by the AEBS are as follows: b - 125 feet, g - 125 feet, and n - 230 feet. These distances are entirely dependent upon the construction of your house and sources of interference.

    A couple of things to try.

    (1) You mention that there are other Wi-Fi networks in your neighborhood. Are you using a different channel than them? If you cannot determine what channel they are using, simply go through each one to see if your network performance improves. There are only eleven channels, so it doesn't take that long to conduct the test. Go to AEBS AirPort / Wireless and look for the Channel field. Start at "1", Click Update, and test your wireless speed. Change it to "2", Update, test, etc. Make a note of which channel provides the best performance.

    (2) Signal interference can often be resolved by a matter of inches. Try moving the AEBS just a few inches at a time in each possible direction. Test the signal after each position change. Generally, the higher and further away from other sources of signal, the better. Get a longer Ethernet cable (to connect the AEBS to the FiOS router) if that will help you locate the AEBS in a better location. Also try standing the AEBS on its edge (vertical orientation) instead of laying flat (horizontal orientation). You might be surprised at the results.

    Good luck!

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  127. miket - My apologies for the delayed reply... the Holidays got in the way.

    Thank you for providing an alternative method to using the AirPort Extreme with the FiOS router.

    Your set-up process makes sense, but I would suggest that it may be an intimidating process for some novice users. It would also seem that your wireless network requirements are a bit more robust than that of the average user. However, your set-up does provide a method that may be useful.

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  128. Anonymous (01/01/12) - You are very welcome! My apologies for the delayed reply... the Holidays got in the way.

    You are correct. You don't "have" to change anything in the FiOS configuration, you can simply use the AEBS in Bridge Mode.

    As explained in previous comments, you do not need to use the 10.0 range of addresses to use the Airport devices with the FiOS router. In most cases that is simply a matter of preference. In general, the Microsoft Windows world has used the 192.0 range, while the Mac OS X world has used the 10.0 range. However, there are instances where a specific range of IP addresses are required on a local network, and in that case these instructions may be useful.

    If you are pairing the AEBS with the FiOS router, you should at least disable the Wi-Fi radio on the FiOS router to avoid interference and signal degradation of your AEBS wireless network.

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  129. Your Blog is worth a billion bucks!! Quick question. I have FIOS on the way within the next week or so. Currently I have 2 wi-fi networks one for the upstairs and 1 downstairs. I have the Airport Extreme downstairs connected to my current cable provider's modem. I then have a Airport express upstairs connected to the extreme via ethernet and set up a second wireless network. Everything now is working perfectly. Will all this still work when fios comes in (via bridged mode)or do I have to plug via ethernet the airport express that I have upstairs to the FIOS router to keep my 2 different wireless networks going? (Yes I will be turning off the verzon fios radio).

    Max

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  130. Thank you so much for this description. Easy to understand and works like a charm. Others made it sounds very complicated or advised against combining the two.
    Everything worked perfect at the first try.
    Thanks again.

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  131. Max (01/07/2012) - Thank you for the kind words. I am heartened to know you found the information useful.

    Your configuration should be no problem. I believe that you have two options for how to achieve a similar set-up with the FiOS router.

    (1) Connect both AEBS devices to a router port on ActionTEC via Ethernet. Configure each AEBS to be in bridge mode and as a separate wireless network (i.e. unique Wireless Network Name).

    (2) Daisy chain the two AEBS devices via Ethernet (i.e. the AEBS WAN port is connected to the router port of the other). Configure each AEBS to be in bridge mode and as a separate wireless network (i.e. unique Wireless Network Name).

    If I understand what you are attempting to achieve, either of these two ideas should work. I would suggest that you make certain the two AEBS devices are configured to use a different channel, preferably a few channels apart.

    Please let me know how it works. I had never contemplated this configuration.

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  132. Florida (01/09/2012) - Your comment made my day. Glad that we could be helpful!

    ReplyDelete
  133. Ken - will try your original setup and see how it goes. I have a 5th gen Extreme and want to use both of the radios, 2.4 and 5.0 ghz. Once I set up how do I create a fast and slow side to take advantage of the device. I have iphones for slow and ipad and MBAir for fast. Thanks - Skip

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  134. Skip (01/10/2012) - In Airport Utility, navigate to AirPort / Wireless and look at the field for "Radio Mode".

    I believe that by default, the fifth generation AEBS device Radio Mode is set to Automatic, which is really "802.11n (802.11b/g compatible)". This mode provides both 2.4 GHz (802.11b/g/n) and 5 Ghz (802.11n).

    You can click on the drop-down box to select other modes: 802.11n only, 802.11b only, 802.11b/g compatible, and 802.11g only. The first mode is 5 Ghz, while the last three modes are 2.4 GHz.

    With the latest AirPort Extreme, look under the Wireless Options menu to create a separate SSID just for the 5 Ghz network. Then you can set-up your fast devices to use this special network without fear that the 2.4 Ghz devices are using-up that network's bandwidth.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Ken,

    Help!

    I can't get your instructions to work for me. I get to the point where I cleick Apply after setting my Actiontec MI424WR's IP address to 10.0.1.1, start IP address to 10.0.1.2, and end IP address to either 10.0.1.254 or 10.0.1.200.

    I see:

    Bridge IP Changed: Please open a new browser with new address (10.0.1.1) to access GUI

    DNS Servers: No DNS Servers entered for this connection. This might cause name resolution problems.

    DHCP Leases: There are dynamic DHCP leases outside the DHCP IP address range. All connected DHCP clients will need to request new IP addresses.

    I click Apply. At that point I get a screen saying I should wait while my changes are being applied. That screen never goes away, no matter how long I wait. I lose my Internet connectivity entirely, and I have to reset the router to get back to square one.

    Before my attempted changes, my AirPort Extreme had:

    Status: Double NAT (yellow flashing LED on front)
    Wireless Mode: Create a wireless network
    Wireless Clients: 2 (my AirPort Express units, probably)
    Radio Mode: 802.11n only (5 GHz)
    Channel: 149 (Automatic)
    MAC Address Access Control: Not Enabled
    Connect Using: Ethernet
    IP Address: 192.168.1.2
    Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
    Router Address: 192.168.1.1
    DNS Server(s): 192.168.1.1
    Connection Sharing: Share a public IP address
    Configure IPv4: Using DHCP
    DHCP Beginning Address: 10.0.1.2
    DHCP Ending Address: 10.0.1.100
    √ Enable NAT Port Mapping Protocol (but with no default host enabled)

    My AE, which lacks dual radio mode, is back-to-backed with an older AirPort unit that gives me 802.11g connectivity. It has:

    Status: Normal
    Wireless Mode: Participate in a WDS network
    Wireless Clients: -
    Channel: 1
    Connect Using: Ethernet
    IP Address: 10.0.1.18
    Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
    Router Address: 10.0.1.1
    DNS Server(s): 10.0.1.1 / 68.87.71.226
    Connection Sharing: Distribute a range of IP addresses
    DHCP Beginning Address: 10.0.1.101
    DHCP Ending Address: 10.0.1.200

    My Mac uses Ethernet to connect to the AE, with AirPort turned off. Its Network settings:

    Status: Connected
    Configure IPv4: Using DHCP with manual address
    IP Address: 10.0.1.201
    Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
    Router: 10.0.1.1
    DNS Server: 10.0.1.1

    I tried changing to:

    Connection Sharing: Off (Bridge Mode) on the AE. After a restart, its Status was Normal and the LED was solid green. But at that point I had no Internet connectivity.

    Do you have any idea what I should do to get your instructions to work for me?

    Thanks in advance.

    Eric

    ReplyDelete
  136. Eric (01/14/2012): Let's start withe the FiOS ActionTEC router.

    First, make certain that you are connected to the ActionTEC router via Ethernet cable. You cannot reliably make changes to the router connected via the wireless network.

    The IP address of the ActionTEC router should be specified as 10.0.1.1.

    The range of addresses for the ActionTEC router to distribute should start with 10.0.1.2 and end where you would like (10.0.1.200 is fine).

    Other than turning off the wireless radio on the ActionTEC (optional, but recommended), this is all you need to change.

    Now, on to the AirPort Extreme devices.

    I assume that the second AE device is using the Wireless Mode: "Participate in a WDS Network" because of the two Airport Express units? If not, it should set to "Create a Wireless Network".

    You should change the Connection Sharing entry on both AE devices to "Off (Bridge Mode)". DO NOT USE "Share a Public IP Address" OR "Distribute a Range of IP Addresses"!

    The AE devices are simply passing along the information from the ActionTEC router to a wireless network, they are not serving a DHCP function. Therefore, the AE devices do not specify a range of addresses to distribute. However, you still need to assign an IP address to them. Something like 10.0.1.2 for the first and 10.0.1.3 for the second is good.

    Both AE devices should specify the router address as the ActionTEC at 10.0.1.1.

    You can leave the DNS blank in the AE devices, as they will default to whatever DNS is being served by the ActionTEC router.

    Subnet default values are okay.

    Update these values on the AE devices and you should be in business.

    ReplyDelete
  137. Ken,

    Thank you for your quick help. I followed your advice in part, but not all of it yet, and have had good results.

    I changed from using my iMac for these operations to using my MacBook Pro, connected by Ethernet cable to my AE and thus to the ActionTEC router. First, I did just two things:

    (1) Put the AE into bridge mode.

    (2) Set the iMac to use DHCP to obtain its 192.168.1.n IP address from the router, rather than using a manual 10.0.1.n IP address.

    That gave me a green LED on the AE, with both Macs able to access the Internet.

    Then I went to my various remote devices to see whether they had network access. I found that all those which have 802.11n connectivity (my iPad, my gen-2 Apple TV, my two Verizon set-top boxes) were already on the network and properly using 192.168.1.n IP addresses. Those which have only 802.11g connectivity (my iPhone, my Series 3 TiVo) were still using 10.0.1.n IP addresses. For the iPhone, I turned Wi-Fi off and then on again, and when it came back on I found it was properly using a new 192.168.1.n IP address. For the TiVo, I had to re-specify its network settings to get it to acquire a new 192.168.1.n IP address.

    After I did all that, all of my remote devices and my two Macs were Internet-connected, with my AE showing a solid green LED that meant I no longer had a Double NAT problem.

    Then I tried following your advice to change the configuration of my old 802.11g-only AirPort unit that I call G base, the source of my G Net, from

    AirPort: Wireless: Wireless Mode: Participate in a WDS network

    to

    AirPort: Wireless: Wireless Mode: Create a WDS network

    and to change from

    Internet: Internet Connection: Connection Sharing: Distribute a range of IP addresses

    to

    Internet: Internet Connection: Connection Sharing: Off (Bridge Mode)

    I tried making those two changes, both at once. Almost immediately, my three 802.11g-only AirPort Express units disappeared from AirPort Utility, which I was running on the MBP.

    I reverted G base to its previous settings and did a rescan in AirPort Utility, and the AirPort express units duly reappeared. I then tried just using

    Internet: Internet Connection: Connection Sharing: Off (Bridge Mode)

    That seemed to solve the problem of the disappearing AirPort Express units. Without toggling Wi-Fi off and on, I then tried using my 802.11g-only iPhone, still using G Net for Wi-Fi, to go out to the App Store and obtain updates. It worked fine. Its 192.168.1.4 IP address remained unchanged.

    So it looks as if in my particular setup, setting G base to

    AirPort: Wireless: Wireless Mode: Create a WDS network

    won't work. But

    Internet: Internet Connection: Connection Sharing: Off (Bridge Mode)

    does work.

    So, actually, at this point I am pretty happy with how things are working.

    However, I find that interposing the ActionTEC router ahead of my AE has made it impossible, using my current configuration, to get my dynamic DNS hostname http://dalekhound.webhop.biz to work as before. I use DynDNS.com to supply it, but now invoking that hostname in a Web browser brings up the ActionTEC's user interface — not what I desire. Any thoughts on that?

    Also, any thoughts on why I shouldn't just use the ActionTEC for wired and wireless Internet access and remove the AE units entirely?

    Thanks again for your help, Ken.

    Eric

    ReplyDelete
  138. Eric (01/15/2012) - If you want to designate a specific DNS service (other than that provided by Verizon) you should be able to do so in the ActionTEC set-up dialog. Remember that the FiOS router is now your gateway to the Internet.

    Look at Step 3 in this blog's instructions. There you will see a screen capture and on that screen a field for entering the DNS IP address. I happen to use OpenDNS [http://www.opendns.com/] and it works like a charm with this configuration.

    You can most certainly eliminate the AirPort devices and use the ActionTEC router for all of your wired and wireless connectivity. I prefer to use AE devices in my wireless network since they allow the use of features not available with the FiOS router, such as creating a WDS ("Wireless Distribution System") network, and having remote USB printers or hard drives. I also believe that there are performance benefits for the other Apple devices that access the network, including Apple TV, due to the native Apple File Protocol file sharing; most other routers only provide Microsoft Windows' SMB file sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way to much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

    ReplyDelete
  140. Hi Ken. Thanks so much for this information. Very helpful indeed! I am having one issue, however, and I am hoping there is a solution. The wireless is working like a champion for my Mac, my iPhone, the AppleTV's, etc. The only hiccup is my laptops! They find the network, but the connection is very slow. They also report a "problem" with the new wireless network.

    Is there a setting on my Windows-based PCs that need to be adjusted so that they can accept the new Mac-based IP addresses? Thanks in advance for making this so easy. Hopefully, I can get the laptops sorted out too.

    ReplyDelete
  141. Hi there Ken, followed you instructions with very good success. One annoying problem:
    when any of my machines (Imac, Mac book pro, mac book air) wake up, they do not automatically connect. All of the various wi-fi in the neighborhood are found, but I still have to click on my network to get connected. Before, using just the ActionTec, whenever I opened up one of the lap tops I would still be on-line. I have rebooted the computers as in your instructions.

    Any ideas? Thanks for your help.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Anonymous (01/21/2012) - Use of the 10.x.x.x series of IP addresses has absolutely no effect on the wireless radio performance. This can only be a matter of radio mode or signal strength.

    Depending upon the age of the wireless technology used in the laptops, they may be connecting to the AirPort devices using a slower radio mode (i.e. IEEE 802.11b or g instead of n like that used by current Apple devices). The approximate indoor range for IEEE 802.11 networks served by the AEBS are as follows: b - 125 feet, g - 125 feet, and n - 230 feet. These distances are entirely dependent upon the construction of your house and sources of interference. The further your laptop is from the AEBS, the lower the signal, the slower the connection. So it's all about signal strength.

    Wi-Fi signal strength is a tricky thing. A couple of things to try.

    (1) Are you using a different channel than other wireless networks in your neighborhood? If you cannot determine what channel they are using, simply go through each one to see if your network performance improves. There are only eleven channels, so it doesn't take that long to conduct the test. Go to AEBS AirPort / Wireless and look for the Channel field. Start at "1", Click Update, and test your wireless speed. Change it to "2", Update, test, etc. Make a note of which channel provides the best performance.

    (2) Signal interference can often be resolved by a matter of inches. Try moving the AEBS just a few inches at a time in each possible direction. Test the signal after each position change. Generally, the higher and further away from other sources of signal, the better. Get a longer Ethernet cable (to connect the AEBS to the FiOS router) if that will help you locate the AEBS in a better location. Also try standing the AEBS on its edge (vertical orientation) instead of laying flat (horizontal orientation). You might be surprised at the results.

    It's possible that your Windows devices may be capable of using IEEE 802.11n, but are set to use the slower b or g modes. If you navigate to Device Manager from the Windows Control Panel, you should be able to select the Wi-Fi adapter and view its properties. Each adapter is different, so I cannot provide specifics, but look for a radio mode setting and make certain that the adapter is enabled to use IEEE 802.11n.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Anonymous (01/21/2012) - Wi-Fi network preference is a separate setting that is easily changed. Follow these steps...

    - Navigate to System Preferences, then Network.
    - Select Wi-Fi from the list of connections in the left-hand column.
    - Click on Advanced in the lower right-hand corner.
    - If your AirPort device is not listed in the table, you can add it by clicking on "+".
    - You can drag and drop networks in the table to rearrange their order of preference.
    - You can select the FiOS network and click on "-" to remove it from the list.
    - Click OK and you are done.

    Presto!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am confused and hoping for some further help.

      My network shows up, as do many others. I can select my network and connection is then fine. When any of the machines are put to sleep,( even just closing the lid on the laptops), when they wake I get "your preferred network not found". My network is there, I just have to manually select it every time.

      But if I eliminate the TimeCapsule and turn the Actiontec radio signal back on, all of the machines reconnect fine when they wake up.

      In my previous house, I used the same TC without this problem. That installation was via cable, not fios. any thoughts?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous (01/23/2012) - Sorry if I was not clear in my original response.

      Your computer's "preferred network" selection is entirely independent of the settings on your FiOS ActionTEC router and Apple AirPort device. It is a setting on each computer itself.

      Apparently, when your FiOS ActionTEC wireless network was set-up, the computers were configured to select it as the preferred network instead of your Time Capsule. This may have been done on purpose or by accident. Regardless, it can be changed.

      You need to change the network preferences on each computer. You access this dialog by either clicking on the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar and clicking "Open Network Preferences" from the drop-down menu, or by going to Finder (the magnifying glass in the top-right corner) and entering "System Preferences", then selecting "Network".

      Then follow these steps...
      - Select "Wi-Fi" from the list of connections in the left-hand column.
      - Click on the "Advanced" button in the lower right-hand corner.
      - Be certain that you are on the "Wi-Fi" tab from the various options at the top of the new open window.
      - If your AirPort device is not listed in the table, you can add it by clicking on "+".
      - You can drag and drop networks in the table to rearrange their order of preference. The top-most network will be the one that is connected to first, as long as it is turned-on and within range.
      - If you do not want your computer to connect to your FiOS network, select it and click on "-" to remove it from the list.
      - Click OK and you are done.

      Delete
  144. Hi Ken and thanks for the details. I had previously set up the proper preferred network as described above.

    The issue is that when any of my computers wake up, or are booted up, they do not connect to a network. My preferred network is found but is not joined without clicking it.

    I see on the web this is not an uncommon problem and was hoping you might have a solution. Thanks again, Bill

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bill (01/27/2012) - Thank you for the clarification. I found a couple of suggested solutions that may be helpful to you.

      [http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=468963]

      ---FIRST---

      If you have moved the System Preferences application (not alias, actual app) to any other location for any reason, your newly joined preferred network will NOT be properly remembered and will NEVER be properly rejoined. Apparently one of the multi-step system procedures involved in properly saving a preferred network assumes the location of System Preferences to be the standard location. Period.

      FIX:
      1) Move “System Preferences.app” back to “Applications\”.
      2) Delete all instances of “Preferred Networks” in “Network Preferences”.
      3) Delete all “Airport network password” instances in “Keychain Access”.
      4) Restart your Mac.
      5) Add/Join applicable preferred network using the Airport pulldown menu or in Network Preferences (as if for the first time). Use “Advanced” in “Network Preferences” to confirm the existence of your preferred network and the correct settings. Use “Keychain Access” to confirm the existence of the applicable “Airport network password” instance and the correct settings.
      6) Restart your Mac. The OS should now find your preferred network and join it on its own. Good Luck!

      NOTE: Simply moving back System Preferences will NOT suffice. Deleting and re-adding/joining the preferred network is a must after the app has been moved.

      ---SECOND---

      1. In the Network Preferences > Advanced window, delete the network name there. Apply your changes and logout.

      2. Login and go back to Preferences > Advanced window, and add your network there. Apply your changes and logout.

      3. The next time you login it will work.

      Delete
    2. Ken if you do not need the Actiontec for tv ect can you just break the DHCP link and add the AE as a normal router.

      Delete
  145. Hello ken

    Wow. Since you are clearly the worlds expert on this topic I'm wondering if you can answer my question. Just got fios and their router is connected to my airport extreme. I've always had an external USB drive connected to the airport for time machine backups. Has always worked well. Since the fios install no go. In airport utility the drive is recognized but time Machine can't find it. Will your set up help this? Also i have an go wireless printer on the network. Will it still work in bridge mode if I do go ahead?

    Thanks so much

    ReplyDelete
  146. David (03/10/2012) - Ha! I'm far from the world's expert, but I've learned a few things about this configuration over the years... some of it has been through my own mistakes.

    Using a USB connected hard disk via an AirPort device for TimeMachine backups is one of those mistakes. This is unsupported by Apple, and Lion won't even allow it to happen. Apple Support states that this is very unreliable and certain to result in corrupt and unusable backup files.

    Apple suggests USB hard disks connected / shared by a computer on your wired or Wi-Fi network.

    The printer should not be a problem. Depending upon the model, it may create it's own IP address, or you may have to assign one manually through the printer configuration. You need to make certain that the printer is using an IP address that is within the range being served by the ActionTEC router. I am using three printers like this on my network, and they operate flawlessly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much. Just in case this helps others: I soon realized that for my simple needs (one desktop, one laptop, 2 iPhones) I didn't really need 2 routers anyway. So I just eliminated the airport altogether. Works great.
      Now I just have to figure out how to do time machine backups on the network.

      Delete
  147. Steve from PittsburghApril 11, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    Hi Ken,

    I hope you are still looking at the posts on this site. I am begging for help.

    I have a Verizon FIOS Router Version E and I have Verizon TV. I bought an Airport Extreme Base Station. I have turned off the wireless capabilities in my Verizon Router and I have set the Airport Extreme to bridge mode. I have set the Firewall Security to Minimum in the Verizon Router. I have set the IP ADdress Distribution in the Verizon Router to distribute a Dynamic IP Range of 192.168.1.16 - 192.168.1.254.

    I have two Windows XP computers connected via ethernet cable directly to the Airport Extreme. I also have an HP Printer directly connected via ethernet cable to the Airport Extreme. I have a third Windows XP Computer using a Belkin Wireless N device connected remotely to the Airport Extreme(I currently am running at 130 mbps)and I have one laptop using Vista connecting remotely into the Airport Extreme at 144 mbps. I also have successfully connected my Apple TV, a Toshiba DVD Player, two iPods, two iPhones, and the New iPad wirelessly to the Airport Extreme. All are getting great signals and speeds, much better than before when I only used a Verizon Router for everything.

    Here is my problem: I bought a Western Digital 1.5T hard drive, formatted it to FAT32 and connected it to the Airport Extreme via USB. However, I can't find it outside of Airport Utility. I installed the Airport Utility version 7.6.1, I have the Airport Disk and Airport Agent version 1.5.5.3 installed. When I open up Airport Utility and open up Disks, I see the name of my hard drive in the pane showing my Airport Disks. I have enabled File Sharing and I am currently using Disk Password. I have also tried using Device Password. The name I assigned to my Airport Extreme is 1356AEBS. The name I assigned to my hard drive is Western1. I have not clicked the button to allow sharing disks over the internet using Bonjour. My workgroup is set at MSHOME. I also typed in the WINS Server MSHOME. However, I had the same problem when I left the WINS Server field blank. The IP Address assigned to my Airport Extreme is 192.168.1.17. The Wireless Mode is set to Create a wireless network.

    See Part 2

    ReplyDelete
  148. Steve from PittsburghApril 11, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Part 2

    Every time I try to map the network drive, I get asked for a user name and password. I have no idea what to use for both the user name and password. I have tried everything I can think of. I use Z: for Drive. I use \\1356AEBS\Western1 for the Folder. When I click Finish, it takes me to a screen with keys on the top that says Connecting to 1356AEBS and asks for a user name and password. I get the following error message after I enter a user name and password: "The specified server cannot perform the requested operation"

    When I try to access it from the Airport Disk utility, I see in the window the following phrase: The Airport Disk "1356AEBS" became available, what do you want to do? When I try either Connecting as a Guest or Connect with Password and use the Disk or Device password that I created for the Airport Extreme, it says:

    "Could not connect to the disk. Make sure NetBIOS is enabled and try again (53)."

    In My Network Places, I can see both the Actiontec Verizon Wirless Router and the HP Printer listed under Local Network. I can even click on either of these devices and it takes me to the login screen for the Verizon Router and directly to 192.168.1.22 for the HP Printer.

    I also cannot see the Airport Extreme when I open up under Network Tasks View Workgroup Computers.

    On one of the XP machines that is directly connected to the Airport Extreme, I was able to find the AEBS as part of the MSHOME workgroup and once I logged in using admin as the user name and my password, I was able to utilize the hard drive. I also found that it didn't matter what user name I put in as long as I used the Disk password. It would reset the format of my user name to 1356AEBS\(whatever I entered). I then was able to connect to the hard drive by finding it in My Network Places listed under The Internet heading verus Local Network where the HP Printer and Verizon Router were located. Prior to logging in under the Workgroup area, it said that I didn't have permissions to login under the My Network Places.

    Is there a simple format I am missing for entering a user name and password? Did I set something up incorrectly? I tried to give you as much information as possible.

    ReplyDelete
  149. Steve (04/11/2012) - This should be a fairly simple issue to resolve. The bottom line is that the Apple AirPort does not like to play nice with NTFS or FAT formatted drives. The drive must be formatted as HFS+ (i.e. for OS X).

    You need to find someone with a Mac computer and use Disk Utility to map the disk partition table as GUID (use the Options button). This will allow you to establish more than one type of partition. Why would you need more than one type of partition? Well, you can create one single HFS+ partition that can be used by Windows computers connected through the AirPort. However, if you would ever want to disconnect the disk from the AirPort and use it with a Windows computer, you will need for the data to be stored on a FAT partition.

    I have used this exact configuration. A GUID partition table with a very small HFS+ partition (to make the AirPort happy) and a large FAT partition so that I can use the drive stand-alone with a Windows computer. All of the data is then stored in the FAT partition.

    What I have not tried doing is reformatting the FAT partition to NTFS from a Windows computer. That is necessary for your set-up as the 1.5 TB drive is useless formatted as FAT. This "should" still work, but I have not tested it. Just make certain that you leave the HFS+ partition in-place and only reformat the FAT partition.

    Once the drive is configured correctly, connect it to your AirPort and use the AirPort Utility to make the drive active. Within this section of the Utility, you have options on how the USB drive is secured. By default it uses the AirPort username and password. You can also use more granular security options as described on that screen.

    The drive is accessed through File Explorer by mapping a network drive. Use the IP address of your Airport and the partition name you established in the earlier step (i.e. //10.0.1.2/usbntfs). Remember that the username and password are the same as those used to secure your AirPort.

    With this configuration, I can access a USB connected drive on my AirPort from any computer on my network, whether it's running OS X, Windows, or Ubuntu. It should work for you as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ken,

      Thanks for your cool blog. I found it yesterday and followed your instructions at beginning of this blog regarding my FIOS Actiontec router (turned-off Actiontec wifi, changed IP address and range). I also was able to configure my Airport Extreme [as the primary BS in bridge mode and My Airport Express in 'extended' mode.

      Here's my question, which I think you answered in your many previous posts, but I want to be sure: Can I connect my Express via ethernet into my network? (I believe you said 'no, cannot have two access points with same network name/password'.)

      Here's my setup: Actiontec to [8-port] Netgear switch to Extreme [Extreme located in front room of house]. Express located about 2/3 toward the back of house in hallway [right next to Actiontec and Netgear switch]. I have an available port I could connect the Express to if feasible, on both the Actiontec and the switch].

      The Express is providing decent wifi connectivity, but wouldn't the speed be enhanced if I connected it directly via ethernet? If feasible, can this only be accomplished by having 2 separate wifi networks? Or can I configure the Express to create a 'roaming' network? Can that only be done if the Express is connected directly to the Extreme? Or can my switch somehow be the intermediary?

      Let me know what you think.

      Jim

      Delete
    2. Jim (May 21, 2012) - I'm glad that you read all of the previous posts so thoroughly. The prior questions were about setting-up both the ActionTEC Router and the AirPort device to provide the same wi-fi network. I am not aware of a method to make that work. However, your question is different. In this case, you want to use two AirPort devices to provide the same wi-fi network. That WILL work!

      Leave everything on your AirPort Extreme as-is. Then set-up your AirPort Express to duplicate all of the settings of the Extreme (i.e. "Create A Wireless Network", exact same network name, exact same password, etc... everything that is configurable).

      The only thing, is that the Express must be downstream of the Extreme. In other words, you must connect the Ethernet output of the Extreme to the Ethernet input of the Express. It's okay if there is a Ethernet hub between the two, but not in the manner in which your wired network is currently configured.

      So you would need to have it set-up as ActionTEC Router, to Netgear Switch, to AirPort Extreme, to AirPort Express.

      Delete
  150. It's been over 2 years since the original post. Is there anything that should change based on technology updates or more knowledge?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous (May 22, 2012) - While the menu options and field names on the AirPort Utility may be slightly different as the application has been updated, the fundamental concepts of computer networks have not significantly changed. The Verizon FiOS router (regardless of brand or model) is the primary connection to the Internet, while the AirPort device is placed in bridge mode to operate as the primary access point in the wi-fi network.

      Delete
  151. Hi Ken,

    My question regards an earlier answer regarding remote access. I have an
    Airport Extreme with a Seagate Drive backing up my iMac, MBA, etc. with
    Time Machine. At present, all I managed to do was turn off the wireless
    signal from the Actiontec MI424WR and turn off Bridge Mode. (The remainder
    of your suggestions--DNS, numbers starting with 10., etc.--I'm opting to
    wait for supervision--one of my tech savvy students.) I can see the Seagate
    drive in my Finder under Shared. And Time Machine works.

    Now, how can I see the contents of this drive while outside my wifi? Can I
    log in from the Internet to see the drive contents?

    Thank you in advance for your thoughts. Regardless, I truly appreciate your
    article and patience answering all these other helpful points raised by
    others.

    Mike

    ReplyDelete
  152. Mike (May 26, 2012) - While technically possible, configuring your AirPort device to allow file access outside of your secure wi-fi network (i.e. via the Internet) is a very advanced procedure. It also requires the use of a static IP address, which is not usually provided as part of a consumer-grade Internet service.

    If you are "really" interested in pursuing this option, I recommend that you use the following resource from Apple to assist you [https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3779713] as the process is beyond the scope of this blog post.

    Here are some other ideas on how to achieve the same result.

    PogoPlug [pogoplug.com] is a small, simple, inexpensive device that allows you to connect a USB drive to the Internet for secure access from anywhere. While I do not use the PogoPlug, I have been told that it is extremely easy to set-up. The only possible drawback is speed, as it does depend upon the bandwidth of your Internet connection.

    I highly recommend the use of Cloud services such as those provided for free by Dropbox [dropbox.com] and Google Drive [drive.google.com] (formerly Google Apps). I personally use both of these services to sync several gigabytes of files between multiple computers (running OS X, Ubuntu, and Windows) and even my iPhone and iPad. It also allows me to provide both public and private file sharing with other users. You can use any hard drive that is accessible to your computer for the synchronization, even network drives.

    If you use this link to sign-up for a free 2 GB Dropbox account, you will get an additional 500 MB [http://db.tt/fhiOWUp] at no cost.

    I hope that this information is useful.

    ReplyDelete
  153. Ken,

    You should be canonized. What a public service this is!

    I am having problems with my Apple Time-Capsule driven network and the Verizon Actiontec router.

    We just moved. My Time Capsule was working fine at our previous home. The new home has Verizon FIOS and the Actiontec router. I set up my Time Capsule and am using its network. I have NOT turned the WIFI off on the Actiontec yet.

    Here's the problem. The TC wifi range seems compromised - at the ends of the house the signal drops off. Sometimes I'll have 4 bars of signal and then suddenly I'll get bumped off to 4G on my iPad. Worse, when I went to download a 1-hour TV show on apple tv last night, it said it would take 4 hours to download. At our previous home it used to be instant. So, I switched apple tv over to the Actiontect network and the TV show downloaded instantly. (The TC and the Actiontec are situated next to each other on the same shelf.

    Apple Care said to disable the wifi on the Actiontect - they said it's causing interference.

    Here are my questions:

    - Does the Actiontec indeed cause interference with the TC, and would that slow the TC network down, resulting in the problem I had with Apple TV last night?

    - If I disable the WIFI on the Actiontec, I am worried that, since it's the only way I could use Apple TV, if I don't have it and the TC wifi speed doesn't improve, I'm sunk;

    - Last, when i called Verizon, they said that if I want to avoid any interference, just go online as you stated and disable the Actiontec wifi, but they didn't say yo all all the new IP address stuff that you have in the second phase of your instructions (which is a little complex for me). Will I get the same result if I just turn off the Actiontec wifi capabilities?

    Thank you so so much!

    Dan Pallotta

    ReplyDelete
  154. Dan (June 1, 2012) - To address your points:

    Does the Actiontec indeed cause interference with the Time Capsule?

    Yes. Even if they don't share the same channel, their close proximity will result in some level of interference.

    If I disable the WIFI on the Actiontec... I'm sunk.

    Maybe. Maybe not. If all else fails, log back into the ActionTEC admin app and re-enable the Wi-Fi radio.

    Will I get the same result if I just turn off the Actiontec wifi capabilities?

    Yes. You do not need to make the IP address changes. That step is totally optional.

    Here are my thoughts. The quick and dramatic signal drop-off that you describe makes me believe that you have radio interference from another device, most likely from a neighboring Wi-Fi network.

    I suggest that you download and install onto a notebook computer a Wi-Fi sniffer tool such as iStumbler [http://istumbler.net/] or use a web based app like Meraki WiFi Stumbler [http://tools.meraki.com/stumbler]. These handy utilities will show you a list of the local Wi-Fi Access Points, including attributes like their signal strength and channel.

    Using the sniffer tool, make a note of your network information and then in other locations in your house, make a comparison to neighboring Access Points. If you share the same channel as another network with a strong signal, you should consider changing the channel in your AirPort device via the configuration app.

    Note that channel 6 is often used by default in many routers. For that reason, I chose to use channel 1 for my network; there are few neighboring Access Points using that channel in my area and as a result I have very little radio interference.

    While there is no obvious interference near your AirPort, I would still disable the Wi-Fi radio in the ActionTEC router. Is there a microwave oven or other appliance nearby? Try moving your Airport just a couple of feet in another direction. Try more than one change and see if there are better results. Remember that a higher location near the center of the house is better (i.e on top of a cabinet or bookshelf).

    I'd concentrate on the neighboring interference. That is really the only thing that has changed with your AirPort Wi-Fi network since you have moved to your new house.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Ken,

    Thank you so much. A few hours before I got your reply I decided to take the plunge and change the IP addresses as you suggested in the original post. It was super easy, and I just wrote down the original IP addresses in case I needed to revert. That fixed the problem. Download speeds went from .66 MBpS to 12 MBps at the end of the house. Apple TV now loads shows instantly.

    By the way, the day before I bought an Airport Express to extend the network. It did bring the signal out further but didn't improve speeds much. Your IP-address-change solution did.

    You're terrific and I really thank you for all of your help.

    ReplyDelete
  156. Hi Ken,

    I just started on this blog and tried to get into my router but it tells me that login failed. Any ideas on how I can get into the router?

    Thanks for a great article

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous: As mentioned by a previous visitor...

      "The password used on mine is the serial number of the device - not 'password' or 'password1'."

      If all else fails, you can press and hold the reset button on the FiOS router for 10-15 seconds. It will perform a hard reset of the device and when accessed via your web browser, it will request that you establish a new administrator password.

      Good luck!

      Delete
  157. Decided to try this as my actiontec wireless from verizon was dropping wifi signals. This worked awesome. Thank you Ken.

    ReplyDelete
  158. Ken,

    I've read all of your threads and with no doubt, you truly know what you're talking about. Now I have a question. I just had Verizon's FIOS installed yesterday. Downstairs I have the M1424wr w/TV service and I'm receiving +- 80 MBS (WiFi) download, however upstairs where I use two Mac Pros, I get 16-40 MBS wavering. I don't want to change anything on the Verizon router (disabling anything) but I greatly need to extend it's range/signal. Could you PLEASE outline a step-by-step instruction (ideally idiot proof) to set-up a Apple Airport Extreme (I have two of the latest models) to bridge or expand the signal of a Verizon Fios M1424wr wifi signal? I've been banging my head to figure it out. I even tried the below article but sadly, nothing worked. In the 'Network" tab the DHCP Range didn't even show up. I've considered the Linksys Powerline AV Wireless Network Extender but WHY when I have two awesome AEBSs!? Anything you can do to help would be greatly appreciated!!

    Very Respectfully,
    Lost Yogi


    The AirPort Extreme will work just fine in Bridge Mode if your wiring and configuration settings are correct.

    The setup that I describe below is really your only option unless you want to delve into unsupported configurations of the Verizon equipment. I just helped a neighbor configure his AirPort Exteme with a Verizon Actiontec router and every thing functions as it should. The network is fast and reliable.

    Make sure that an Ethernet cable connects from one of the LAN <-> ports on the Actiontec router to the WAN "O" port on the AirPort Extreme.

    Power up the AirPort Extreme, open AirPort Utility
    Click on the AirPort Exteme icon, then click Edit
    Click on the Wireless tab to check the Wireless settings here....

    Network Mode = Create a wireless network
    Wireless Network Name = Your network name
    Wireless Security = WPA2 Personal recommended, otherwise WPA/WPA2 Personal
    Wireless Password = Your password
    Confirm Password = Same password




    Then click the Network tab and make sure that the setting for Router Mode = Off (Bridge Mode)




    Click the Update button at the lower right of the window and allow 25-30 seconds for the AirPort to restart to a green light.

    Then, it is very important that you power cycle the entire network....all devices.

    Power off each device in any order you wish.
    Wait a minute or two
    Start the Verizon equipment first and let the Actiontec router run a full minute by itself
    Then start the AirPort Exteme the same way
    Start each network device one at a time about a minute apart

    Check the network for proper operation.

    If your AirPort Extreme was dual band capable and you were using the Guest Network feature before you added the Verizon equipment, you will not be able to use that feature in this type of setup. Otherwise, the network should perform the same as before.

    If the Actiontec router and AirPort Extreme are in close proximity....the same room, for example.....the possibility of wireless interference between these devices is real. If you want to use the AirPort wireless network, it would be a good idea to turn off the wireless on the Actiontec device, if possible.

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    1. Lost Yogi - Welcome to the wacky world of wireless networking. As you have discovered, proximity to the router is critically important to signal strength. There is no way to create a wireless network that has the same signal strength throughout the premise. The approximate indoor range for IEEE 802.11 networks served by the AirPort Express are as follows: b - 125 feet, g - 125 feet, and n - 230 feet. These distances are entirely dependent upon the construction of your house and sources of interference. The signal strength and network speed continues to drop as you move away from the base station.

      Unfortunately, an Airport device cannot be used to extend the range of the ActionTEC router. That leaves you with two options: (1) you can use a very long Ethernet cable to connect your ActionTEC router to one of your AirPort Express devices located in a second floor location in your house; or (2) you can use a short Ethernet cable to connect one AirPort Express to the ActionTEC router and establish a Wireless Distribution System ("WDS") that uses the second AirPort Express to extend the network to the second floor.

      The first option will give you the best performance, but it may not be possible to run an Ethernet cable through your house.

      The second option will provide good performance, but it will not match that of the Ethernet cable connected base station. That is because extending the wireless network by creating a WDS requires some network overhead which will reduce the amount of bandwidth available to your client devices. However, it WILL work and allow you to remain completely wireless.

      To use the second option (using AirPort Utility version 6.1), connect the AirPort Express to one of the ActionTEC outputs with an Ethernet cable. The AirPort device will be used as a "bridge" to the existing router. Therefore, in AirPort Utility, select the device, and click EDIT. Choose the NETWORK tab and choose a Router Mode of OFF (BRIDGE MODE).

      Under the WIRELESS tab, choose a Network Mode of PARTICIPATE IN A WDS NETWORK. Then use a network name, security mode and password of your choice.

      Under the INTERNET tab, I recommend that you Connect Using STATIC and using IP addresses of your choice. For example, IPv4 Address: 10.0.1.2, Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0, Router Address: 10.0.1.1, DNS Servers: 8.8.8.8 (Google DNS).

      Under the Base Station tab, use the router name and password of your choice.

      Then the second AirPort Express is set up to extend the network. Choose a Network Mode of PARTICIPATE IN A WDS NETWORK and a WDS mode of WDS REMOTE. It should also be set to operate in BRIDGE MODE.

      This is really about the best that you can hope for without stringing Ethernet cable throughout the house and investing in commercial grade wi-fi base stations.

      Best of luck with your set-up.

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  159. Hey Ken...amazing blog here, BTW. I have a Time Capsule and Actiontec router in bridge mode, works flawlessly when I'm on my home network. I'm able to access TC and some external HD's attached to it, but want/need to be able to access these disks remotely. It seems that bridge mode makes this impossible, but I can't figure out how to configure it otherwise. Any help?

    Dan

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    1. Sorry Dan... That's a feature I have not attempted. I use a combination of cloud-based storage services (Dropbox and Google Drive) for remote access to local files.

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  160. Ken,
    I think I'll keep this going.
    Read thru quite a bit, but here is my setup.
    AT Fios Router with a AE Apple Router. Everything out of the box seems to work fine, yes the AE is causing a Double Nat. So my question is do I change it all like you have suggested or just leave it alone since its working.
    On another note, every so often the Version ONT pop's and I have to reboot it, could it be because of the Double Nat on the AE.
    Anyway, I hate to mess with something that's currently working pretty darn good right now.
    Thanks
    Scott

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    1. I cannot make a correlation between the ONT problem and the Double NAT. My experience is that ONT issues are caused by something occurring upstream on the fiber network.

      My advice? I would configure the AE Router to operate in Bridge Mode to eliminate the Double NAT. It may not be causing problems with your current devices, but eventually it will and by then you will probably have forgotten what the cause is.

      If, for some reason, changing the AE Router to operate in Bridge Mode causes an issue, you can just as easily change it back to DHCP.

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