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Please help. New router troubles

Please help. New router troubles

Copper Contributor
Message 1 of 25

Hello. My current setup is Verizon Fios, main equipment is hooked up in the basement, with the wire coming out of the wall in my second floor bedroom, which is plugged into the now pretty old router we've been using for years. Everything was hooked up by Verizon years ago, so that's why I'm not familiar with how to do everything, this is my first attempt at an upgrade. Anyways, the ISP cable plugs into the router, and the router is connected to the main computer, and we have a desktop and a few laptops throughout the house connected wirelessly. There is a Westell 6100 modem sitting on the desk next to the router, but it is only plugged into the wall, nothing is going to or coming from the modem (not sure if it's supposed to be like this? Nothing has been touched in years, it's all just where it's been since everything was hooked up).


So the problem started when I wanted to upgrade to a dual-band Type-N router, since most of the computers and smart TV in my house have a Type-N network card. The router I bought is a Netgear N600. Netgear customer service is terrible and very hard to understand. Anyways, the Netgear directions say to plug the ISP cable into the modem. The way things are now, it just goes right to the router, but I tried plugging the ISP cable into the Westell 6100 and it didn't seem to fit perfectly, not sure though. But then the directions say to connect the modem to the N600 router using an ethernet cable, but the ethernet cable didnt fit into any of the ports on the modem. The way things are now, the modem is just plugged into the wall and that's it, just sits there, that's how it's been for years.     I'm lost as to how to hook this new router up. Since the outlets on our current router look exactly the same as on the Netgear N600, I thought I could just unplug them and plug them into the N600 exactly in the same ports as on the old router and then just install it in Windows. But it didn't work and Netgear support told me I need a modem for their router to work, but the Westell 6100 won't let me plug anything into it (ISP cable didn't seem to fit snugly and ethernet cable doesn't fit). I would love to be able to connect on the 5Ghz band but this router and the situation in general is giving me problems. Will this Westell 6100 modem suffice? Do I need new cables to hook everything up? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Have a lot of experience with computers, both hardware and software, but the network side of things is completely new to me since it's been years since we've upgraded to Fios and not given the network a second thought. Thank you in advance for your help.



Gold Contributor II
Gold Contributor II
Device: Chromecast Roku TV
Plan: Digital Voice, 75/75
Location: Westford MA
Message 2 of 25

You don't mention what Fios products you are using but from your descripotion it would appear that you are not using TV, correct?

There is no modem in a Fios setup.  The Fibre terminates at the ONT whose thernet connection is typically is connected to a Verizon router with a cable (MOCA).  From your description the ethernet connection from your ONT is a cat5 cable that is led directly to the upper floor.  Correct?

The Westell router is the Verizon router, how is it connected to the wall? to a coax port or to an ethernet port?  The Westell router has 5 RJ45 ports on it.  One is marked WAN and the other 4 LAN, there is also a Coax balun which is also WAN

What is the setup on the current old router?  What subnet is it using? and does it show a WAN address?\


Netgear support are full of it!  what they meant is that that the wan port on the Netgear router needs to be connected to an ethernet port that ultimately has access to the internet which obviously your current router has.  I am at a loss to understand what the point of the Westell router is.  If it is connected to the WAN via coax then it would appear that you are pulling 2 Verizon dhcp addresses.  Maybe it will become clearer if you can answer some of the questions above.


Silver Contributor IV
Message 3 of 25

dph314 wrote:

with the wire coming out of the wall

What kind of wire?  coax or cat5?

dph314 wrote:

the wire coming out of the wall in my second floor bedroom, which is plugged into the now pretty old router

What kind of router?

dph314 wrote:

There is a Westell 6100 modem sitting on the desk next to the router, but it is only plugged into the wall,

As viafax said, the Westell 6100 is not a modem.

Again, what kind of connection?  coax or cat5?

dph314 wrote:
There is a Westell 6100 modem sitting on the desk next to the router, but it is only plugged into the wall, nothing is going to or coming from the modem

What is the Westell being used for?  If there are no connections to it, then it doesn't appear that it's doing anything useful.

dph314 wrote:

 the Netgear directions say to plug the ISP cable into the modem.


You should be connecting a RJ45 (ethernet) patch cable from a LAN port on your primary router to the WAN port on the N600.

The LAN subnet of the N600 must be different from the LAN subnet on your primary router.

dph314 wrote:

I thought I could just unplug them and plug them into the N600 exactly in the same ports as on the old router and then just install it in Windows.

 If your unnamed router has a cat5 WAN connection to the ONT, then yes, you can unplug the old router and plug in the new router in it's place.  You need to release the WAN DHCP lease before doing so or you may have trouble getting a WAN connection right away on the new router.  If you have FIOS-TV, then you need a cat5 patch cable from a LAN port on your primary router to the WAN port on the Westell.  If your primary router has a cat5 WAN connection to the ONT and if you do not have FIOS-TV, then you don;t need the Westell at all.

dph314 wrote:

Since the outlets on our current router look exactly the same as on the Netgear N600, I thought I could just unplug them and plug them into the N600 exactly in the same ports as on the old router

You should be able to.  Everything should be either an RJ45 jack or a path cord with RJ45 connectors.

dph314 wrote:
ISP cable didn't seem to fit snugly and ethernet cable doesn't fit

What are you calling "the ISP cable"?




Copper Contributor
Message 4 of 25

I just got home from work and saw both of your replies. First of all, I just wanted to reply real quick and say thank you both very much for the quick willingness to help. I was so excited to see the two replies because I knew right away that I might finally be able to get this router working. I'm going to get some answers to all of those questions that were posted to me (hopefully all of them) and when I'm done I'll make another reply with all of it. Hopefully it won't take long. Be back soon and thank you both again, very much.

Copper Contributor
Message 5 of 25

   Sorry it took so long for me to get back. Well, yeah we have Fios and DirecTV through Verizon. I've included pictures of the setup in the basement and second floor bedroom. I looked up a description of the Westell 6100 and the few sites I found said it was a modem, I don't know. But the router I've had for years is an ActionTec MI424WR. By the "ISP cable", I mean't the cat-5 cable coming from the Verizon setup in the basement. Sorry, was looking for help in other forums and someone referred to this cable as the ISP. But yeah right now it's going from the wall to the ActionTec. The ActionTec is going to the computer. A DirecTV device (the other black device in the picture next to the Westell 6100) is also plugged into the router. The Westell is just plugged into the wall- by that I mean't power-wise. Just plugged into the power outlet and nothing else, so, I don't know why Verizon left it there when they set this network up if it's not needed.   I'm not sure what the ONT is, but in the other picture, you can see how the current router is hooked up. The top blue cable is going from the router to the DirecTV device. The second blue ethernet cable is going to the main desktop computer, and the white cable is the Verizon one coming out of the wall from the setup in the basement.    

    Since the ports looked the same I figured I could just plug the 3 cables into the new router and go through the Netgear setup (which starts by opening the web browser and being at a Netgear setup page). But when I switched the 3 cables, setup wouldn't work all the way. I could get the router to be recognized by the network but the router couldn't gain access to the internet. I'm not sure if this router should be hooked up alone or by connecting it to the ActionTec that I currently have, and I'm also not sure how to "release the WAN DHCP lease". Also, the other picture has pretty much the only page of the Netgear directions, obviously not as thorough as I had hoped they would be, but they have the picture showing a modem being used, the "internet" cable going to a modem and then a ethernet cable going from a modem to the router. I'm not sure how to find out what subnet it is using or if it's showing a WAN address, I'd like to answer those but I'm not sure how to check. I'll start Googling a few things and post what I can if I find out before I receive another reply, but I wanted to get the info I do have posted as soon as possible.  The four images are below.

Gold Contributor II
Gold Contributor II
Device: Chromecast Roku TV
Plan: Digital Voice, 75/75
Location: Westford MA
Message 6 of 25

My bad, I just assumed you meant Westell 9100 which is a Fios router.  Now I see you actually used to be a dsl user and Verizon helpfully left your old Westell 6100 modem/switch connected, presumably to your phone line??


Pity I can't see the pictures.  I think they take some number of hours before they are visible which is why it easier to use a pic hosting site such as Picassa and just provide the link.  I'll try again later this pm.


AH, 15 minutes later and the pictures have appeared.


The second picture is the ONT.  You have an ethernet connection from it that apparently runs up to the Actiontec.
I'm not familiar with the Verizon DirecTV offering.  Doe the TV signal come via a DirecTV dish or is it provided via the Fios connection?

I'm assuming you get your guide info via DirectTV so in that case you should be able to dispense with the Actiontec router.
If you look at your netgear setup document the modem piece is replace by the ONT.  So the cable that is connected to the WAN port of the Actiontec (the bottom port just above the reset switch) can be connected directly to the WAN port of the Netgear. Then the 2 blue cables on the Actiontec LAN ports can be connected to LAN ports on the netgear.

At that point you should be able to access the internet, though you may staill have to realease the WAN dhcp address.  One way to do that is to depower the ONT, I.E. unplug it from the mains and disconnect the backup battery.  Can't remember if you have to leave it for up to 5 hours for the IP address to reease, sure someone else can help on that.


I assume that you couldn't access the internet when you tried as you connected the netgear to the actiontec? and the default subnet of the netgear is the same as the actiontec. 

If you want to leave the actiontec in the picture first change the subnet on the netgear.

Connect one of your workstations via an ethernet cable to a lan port on the netgear.

Logon to the netgear by entering into a browser address and then use the userid admin and the password password

Hopefully your user manual is better than the one I'm reading online!!

You will need to perform a bit of manual setup to change the subnet that is used in the dhcp allocation.  By default it will be -

You need to change the 3rd octet e.g 192.168.1 is changed to 192.168.2

Unfortunately the manual I'm reading doesn't show any exmples of the admin screens!!  but they will be there.

Once you have saved the new settings on the router you can connect the wan port of the netgear to the lan port of the actiotec and then run your netgear wizard setup cd.



Gold Contributor II
Gold Contributor II
Device: Chromecast Roku TV
Plan: Digital Voice, 75/75
Location: Westford MA
Message 7 of 25

OK I found another manual online which has the advanced features in it. -


To change the subnet the router is using you need to refer to Chapter 5 table 5-1

Copper Contributor
Message 8 of 25

First of all, thank you again for all the help. It is greatly appreciated and I think I'm starting to become a little more familiar with the network hardware. Well, the DirecTV is received through a DirecTV satellite on the roof, we just pay for it on the same bill as FIOS through Verizon.


So, to replace the ActionTec router with the Netgear, I would have to power down the ONT for 5 hours and remove the battery backup and then plug it into the Netgear router and start the setup? I'm just not familiar with this process so I was just wondering what 'releasing the dhcp' does exactly, like why it's necessary. I'm sure I could Google that too. But that's what I would have to do if I want to completely replace the ActionTec? And then my other option is just adding the Netgear to the ActionTec by going through changing the subnet by plugging it into another computer and following the instructions you wrote in the second half of that post? I haven't tried hooking up the Netgear to the ActionTec yet, but as far as the Netgear setup CD you mentioned, there was no CD included in the Netgear box. I mentioned it to customer service when I (attempted) to talk to them and they said it's possible to setup without the CD, just going through the IP address setup. Also, if I do the second option, leaving the ActionTec and hooking up the Netgear to it, will everything automatically pick up the 5Ghz band on the Netgear over the 2.4Ghz on the ActionTec? I'm pretty sure my computer would automatically pick up the fastest signal, but we also have a Smart TV with a Type-N network card.  


I think if everything picked up the 5Ghz band automatically I would try this option, just because it seems a bit quicker, but what you said about changing the subnet of the Netgear, is what you said exactly what I would do? Change the 3rd octet, the number "1", to a "2", or would I have to find out exactly what to change it to on my own?  


Sorry all your help is met by more questions. I hope the next time I work on the network I'll have learned enough from this experience. Thank you again.

Bronze Contributor II
Message 9 of 25

1. unplugg the unused Westell 6100 and put it is a drawer.  Or the trash can.  (Verizon did not take it because it is yours. That would be stealing.)


2. From the looks of this and by what you are saying, you do not have FIOS TV.  That's fine.  One day you might, so you will want to keep the Actiontec around in a drawer somewhere, though Verizon might be happy to supply you with a new one when that day arrives.


3. I'd like to know what the DTV box is on the desk.  I can't see it clearly.  But that's not important.


4. There are many ways to skin this cat. If it were me, I'd kick the Actiontec to the curb (not literally) and use the NetGear by itself. This would mean setting up the NG to look like the AT with regards to network address, wireless (SSID, encryption and so on) and anything else (shouldn't be much without TV). You would go into the Actiontec from a computer, write down the information.  Then connect to the NetGear while it is by itself (just one blue cable from the computer to the NG LAN port) and put in all the info. Reboot the NG. Then replace the AT with the NG.


5. the 'break the lease' thing has to do with the Internet address that the AT or NG gets from the Verizon network.  These addresses are handed out 'dynamically'.  That is, you don't know what it will be when you ask and it can change over time. These addresses are 'leased' by your router for a fixed time period, say 24 hours.  At the end of that period the router asks for a new address and 99 times out of 100 it gets the same one back again. 'Breaking the lease' tells the network that you no longer want to hold onto the current address, so it is freed up for usage by any one else. So when your new router goes and askes for an address, it can get one without the network thinking that one has already been given. (or something like that)


6. You can keep both of the routers going if you want to.  In this case you need to set the address in the NG to be something like so that it's network is separate from the AT network.  The AT network will be 2.4Ghz and WirelessG,  The NG could be 5Ghz, WirelessN and AT security would be WEP and the SSID would be whatever is there now (assuming you haven't changed it). The NG will have its own SSID and you'll ned to set the security for yourself. You can probably set the NG to broadcast on 5Ghz only, assuming your N devices can use that frequency.


7. if you have two wireless networks in your house, you will need to tell your wireless devices which one to use.  They will not automatically pick the strongest or fastest, just one one they know about or used the last time around.

Copper Contributor
Message 10 of 25

Yeah the Westell has just been sitting in that corner with it's little green light on and since we've never thought of upgrading any part of the network for so long, we pretty much just let it blend in and never gave it a second thought till now. But I'll keep the ActionTec, thank you for the advice.


The black DirecTV device sitting next to the router and modem is for CinemaPlus I think it's called? I'm not the one that typically uses this particular service, but it's some kind of On-Demand equivalent for DirecTV that requires this box.


Using the Netgear by itself is what I'd really like to do if it's not much harder than using both of the routers, since the old router does seem like it won't be needed anymore once the Netgear is up and running. I think that, except for the somewhat-old main computer that the router will be hard-wired to, every laptop and desktop in the house has a Type-N network card, as does the Smart TV. That's why I'm looking forward to the Netgear. So....using the Netgear by itself....I'm going to go onto the computer that's hard-wired to the ActionTec, go to the Control Panel>Network, and get all of the information I can on it and on the network? All the info I need, aside from the network name and password which I've had all of written down already, I can get in the Control Panel>Network folder? Then, since the old computer only has one ethernet port, unplug the ActionTec and plug in the Netgear to the computer only, via one of the router's LAN ports.Then I would enter all of the information I wrote down how? Go in to Control Panel>Network again and look for something that says 'Set up new router' or 'Set up new connection' or something like that to enter this information?  Then after I end up entering the info to the Netgear, this is where I 'break the lease' with the ONT for 5 hours, during which time I would hook up the Netgear just like the ActionTec is currently hooked up (as in the picture), and power on the ONT, then the Netgear, then the computer? And this would be it?


Also, I just started looking at a few things in the Control Panel>Network folder before I post this, and I found two different IP addresses. Well, one is labeled IPv4, as you can see in the one picture. It's one number off from the other picture with another window in it that I was looking at. The one labeled just "IP Address" is the one I would enter into the Netgear when going through this setup?  And thank you very much for being so patient. Sorry about the pictures being posted here and not through another site, I haven't signed up for one of those sites yet, but the last couple pictures I posted didn't take too long to come up I was told. Thanks for the help, and if you could just clear up for me those few more things I mentioned. I'm starting to get the idea of what needs to be done, but some of the details are still not clear.

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