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12-24-2008 08:25 AM
A good body of advice here…
sorry about the LONG post!
A couple of other comments:
1.) The over-the-counter routers are probably designed with this role in mind as this type of function is what most consumers would buy them for. To get brand-specific support you can call:
888-289-6599 or 800-326-1688 For D-Link
800-326-7114 For LinkSys
888-638-4327 For NetGear
Each have given really good technical support for us when needed.
2.) The routers other than the Verizon one should be set to “Bridged” mode (the Verizon router needs to be the “Gateway” device particularly if you also have FiOs TV).
3.) The other router set-up GUIs may also offer choices like “DHCP”, “Open PPPoE”, or “PPPoE”. The vast majority of Verizon FiOs deployments use DHCP, but there are still some using PPPoE, if you are one of these, choose the “Open PPPoE” setting on your additional routers. All the third party routers I’ve seen lately have DHCP set as the out-of-the-box default. How do you know if you are PPPoE? If you have the legacy Verizon supplied D-Link router and a second box (NIM) connected to it and that is connected to a CoAx cable you may be PPPoE, it is rare for a FiOs deployment using an Actiontec or Westel Verizon supplied router to be PPPoE, but if you are the router’s GUI also would reflect this as would the computer’s network connection properties.
4.) At my house I chose not to use a true “repeater” method and just let each wireless router retain it’s unique ESSID (network name) & WEP key. I then choose the network name with the most bars depending on where I am at. Most of my radio interference seems to be from energy saver fluorescent lights and cordless phones. Not customizing so many things in each router was easier and works fine for me.
5.) Future troubleshooting these more complex networks: Really the only odd thing I’ve seen to watch for is that after a power outage of sufficient duration to cause the routers to re-boot, the Actiontec will boot back up slower (it has a longer self-diagnostic routine) than it’s companions on your home network causing a DHCP lease issue. So if you find no connection but the lights are still all green, an easy fix is to isolate Verizon router by Powering-off and/or unplugging Ethernet cable(s) for ALL network aware devices, VOIP boxes & PC's (power off the wireless ones), then re-boot the Verizon router and reconnect the everything after the Verizon router's internet light changes from orange to green.