Verizon's non-standard DHCP (WAN side)

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-29-2009

Verizon's non-standard DHCP (WAN side)

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I just got FiOS internet a couple of weeks ago.  It is a wonderful thing.

 

HOWEVER....

 

Why is it that Verizons DHCP system (on the WAN side) doesn't work like the normal DHCP standards dictate?

 

The DHCP lease handed out from the central office router to the WAN ports on the residential routers is two hours.  Short, but within the realm of reason.

 

The normal way DHCP is supposed to behave is, when the lease is nearly at it's end (read - BEFORE it runs out), the client starts requesting a renewal.  The server is then supposed to respond and grant the renewal if nothing has changed.  The result is dynamic IP addressing and no loss of service during the renewal.

 

The way the Verizon FiOS system works is when the lease is nearing it's end, the client (home router) asks for a renewal, only to be ignored by the server (Verizon's central office).  The C.O. refuses to renew the lease until the lease is completely dead and the connectivity is dropped.  This effectively drops VPN's, streaming, email fetches, etc. every two hours when the DHCP lease is up.

 

It doesn't seem to matter what home router is in use (Verizons or third party), and I know it's a common issue (you can find "every two hour" complaints across the internet forums).

 

Does anyone know why their system is set up like this?  I would think it would suck for anyone that listens to music or media online.  It sucks for me - plus I have a full-time VPN to my office at work that dies every two hours for a minute or two.

 

 

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Platinum Contributor II Platinum Contributor II
Platinum Contributor II
Posts: 3,149
Registered: ‎09-15-2009

Re: Verizon's non-standard DHCP (WAN side)

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I have never had any problems. This includes multiple people playing World of Warcraft, Runescape, and various other online games for hours on end with no connection or lag issues, and certainly not every two hours. That would tick me off right quick and in a hurry.

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-29-2009

Re: Verizon's non-standard DHCP (WAN side)

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Let me ask - are you using the Actiontec router from Verizon?  Have you done any custom configuration?

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Platinum Contributor II Platinum Contributor II
Platinum Contributor II
Posts: 3,149
Registered: ‎09-15-2009

Re: Verizon's non-standard DHCP (WAN side)

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Yes, the Verizon-provided Actiontec router with mostly default settings. Made changes only to the wireless settings. Works like a charm.

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-29-2009

Re: Verizon's non-standard DHCP (WAN side)

Message 5 of 12
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Okay - well, thanks for the input.

 

I ran into the NAT problem on the Actiontec, so I'm using a Windows 2003 box as a router (2 nics, RRAS, etc.).  I had it, and it worked well when on DSL, so I reused it.  Also have the same setup (using DSL) at one of my offices that works fine.

 

I wonder if something has gone flaky in the Actiontec that is in bridge mode.  Basically my Actiontec is just acting as a dumb pipe between the coax from the ONT and the WAN card on my router.  No FiOS TV or anything.  Guess I could have Verizon switch my internet partition over to the ethernet port on the ONT too totally bypass the Actiontec.

 

Strange thing is I can get an address, it just won't auto-renew until the lease is totally done.  It tries and fails to renew earlier (all in the error log on the router), but once the lease runs out - bam - it can renew.  I can manually release / renew at any time and it's quick.

 

I'll do more digging.

 

Anyone else in this particular board have auto renewal issues?  I've seen issues on other forums (like DSLReports.com), but no resolutions.

 

 

 

 

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Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 130
Registered: ‎10-01-2009

Re: Verizon's non-standard DHCP (WAN side)

Message 6 of 12
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fios routers use an arp cache for the lease, that's why it is so short, you actually can't get a new lease unless you break the lease in the network first, otherwise you have to wait 2 hours for the lease to renew and the arp cache to be cleared.

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Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus
Employee Emeritus
Posts: 110
Registered: ‎09-08-2009

Re: Verizon's non-standard DHCP (WAN side)

Message 7 of 12
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TBacker, if you would like your ONT provisioned to ethernet let me know I could take care of that for you on our end, then you could bypass the Actiontech since you have no video. Your choice. I'm here to help if you need it. Brett

Brett
Verizon Telecom
Fiber Solution Center


Notice: Content posted by Verizon employees is meant to be informational and does not supercede or change the Verizon Forums User Guidelines or Terms or Service, or your Customer Agreement Terms and Conditions or Plan.

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Gold Contributor VII
Gold Contributor VII
Posts: 1,778
Registered: ‎05-14-2009

Re: Verizon's non-standard DHCP (WAN side)

Message 8 of 12
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I have to agree that the Verizon DHCP does include lots of additional DHCP options in the request that appear proprietary to the VZ provided routers.  I wanted to use my Fortinet Router (high end Enterprise Router similiar to a Baracuda or Juniper Firewall router) in place of the Actiontec and use it with the TV service and remote DVR I did sniff all the packets coming in and saw the lease time is for two hours and the additional DHCP options.  Not sure why they would set it up for two hours but DHCP packets are fairly small anyway.

 

In using the Fortinet router and streaming internet radio and multiple VOIP phone calls not once did the calls ever drop or the internet radio ever choke because of the renewal.  

 

Lastly I use two different kinds of VPN connections, one SSL and one IPSEC.  Neither one of these dies.  I've even had continuous pings run to multiple places and never did I see a packet lost because of the renewal.  Then again the renewal of the IP address resulted in the same IP address.  I can't say what happens if i am issues a new IP address.

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-29-2009

Re: Verizon's non-standard DHCP (WAN side)

Message 9 of 12
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Okay -had some time to get back into the Actiontec this morning.

 

I may have a bit of egg on my face here.  While the Actiontec is correctly set up to bridge, the spanning tree was still turned on, which screws up DHCP / ARP transactions.

 

I first noticed this when running Wireshark on my Win2K3 firewall box - the Actiontec was sending A TON of STP chatter.

 

I have disabled STP and any other packet manipulation still enabled.  I was able to do a release and renew from the command prompt on my router, and this time it successfully renewed.

 

The automatic lease is up in a couple of hours.  I'm going to enable the ping monitor on my VPN to work to let me know if it drops.  Fingers are crossed.

 

BTW - As to changing to etherenet on the ONT - I'd prefer it but am hesitant as I will probably get TV in the spring or summer and don't want to have to switch everything back to coax just so they can do the install.  While I have an NIM-100 all ready to go and my system would work, I'm sure the installer will refuse to do anything other than the default Actiontec / coax setup.  Once I add TV, I'll switch to the ethernet port.

 

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Gold Contributor VII
Gold Contributor VII
Posts: 1,778
Registered: ‎05-14-2009

Re: Verizon's non-standard DHCP (WAN side)

Message 10 of 12
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STP will get you every time.  I wouldn't think STP would kick in since STP usually doesn't re-converge unless there is a link change.  Oh well if that solves the problem that's great.  

 

My home was originally installed with Ethernet for the Internet Connection about 3 years ago then about six months ago I added the TV service.  I kept the Ethernet and the FIOS tech ran a coax to the Actiontec router so I have two connections, COAX for the TV's and Ethernet for the WAN connection.

 

Jim

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