What do you need a router for if you already have a DSL router/modem?
I have a router/modem supplied by Verizon (a 7500) and I've been able to use it to meet all my LAN routing needs in the home. I have an ethernet connected desktop, a wireless lap top, a kodak wireless printer, and a wireless sony blu-ray player, all talking to the 7500. I can do everything I think I need to do with no help from an additional router.
Both computers can talk to the printer, and to the internet. The blu-ray can talk to Netflix on the internet, and to get content from a DLNA server on the computers. The blu-ray and the printer don't talk to each other, but I don't care.
So why does everybody run out and buy a router, and then face the necessity of configuring their DSL router/modem in bridge mode? What does this buy them?
Not all of us get the Wireless Gateways from Verizon. I was given a Westell 6100, which is a Wired modem that can have a Switch and an Access Point hung off of it since it has built-in routing capabilities. Also, some of us require or prefer faster or special hardware than what Verizon supplies, too. In my case, I have my Westell 6100 bridged with the routing functions disabled, and I run an ActionTec MI424WR with DD-WRT installed onto it.
Reasons? Perhaps the router needs to establish a VPN connection for some applications so that your machines can use a bonded connection setup or so they can reach corporate resources. Perhaps you want a nice, beefy Wireless N (or AC!) setup. Perhaps you want Gigabit, or Gigabit + PoE in the switch. Perhaps you push the resources of the router and it crashes constantly as a result, so you need a beefier one. Perhaps you run a Cisco/Juniper lab in your home as I do and sometimes need to move connectivitiy around.
Plenty of valid reasons
Thanks for your response. I didn't mean to imply that there were no valid reasons. Just that I didn't know what they were.
The people who have as much networking experience as you do probably all buy their routers for good reasons. They also probably know all about when to use bridging mode. It's the poor slobs that buy their first router at some office supply store, because the salesman told them that's what they need, that interest me. Many of those people would be better off learning how the box from Verizon works before spending more cash for another box.
Your response will be especially valuable to me once I max out my 7500. So I plan on marking it as the solution unless I get a preferable response in the next few days.
Meanwhile, I'm interested in the 6100. About all I know is that it only has one ethernet plug instead of 4. But I presume it can still operate as a wireless access point for multiple devices. Correct?
Ah, ok. Gotcha.
The Westell 6100 only has routing capabilities. There's no way for it in itself to support or function as a Wireless Access Point. However, if you attach a cheap, no more than $30 Ethernet switch and then attach a Wireless Access Point to the switch, the access point will contain all of the configuration information in itself, configurable through it's own embedded web interface, and simply act as a bridge beyond that to the network. The Westell will see the Wireless Access Point as any ordinary computer or device. Basically, the 6100 serves no more than a DSL modem with a small Wired router within it that needs a switch to realize it's potential.
Plenty of valid reasons
Including support for IPv6.
Not all of us get the Wireless Gateways from Verizon.
In my case:
#1 My first DSL Modem was a Westell B90-210015-04 Rev C. It is not a modem combo, so I decied to get my own RJ-45 WAN port router to share the connection to the Net without getting more than one IP OR without having to have my computer always on (for example using Windows Internet Connection Sharing).
#2 When I got a new modem (Westell 6100) from Verzizon, since I have my own RJ-45 WAN port router, it makes sence for me to put it into bridge mode.
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