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, 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 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 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

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 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., and change the Start IP Address and End IP Address to your choices (e.g. and 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.

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 range.