Home > Computers and Internet > Don’t discover the WAN if your modem is still a router

Don’t discover the WAN if your modem is still a router

Last night I single handedly broke the internet. For my condo anyway. Let me tell you what happened, so that you do not do the same.
It all started four years ago. I had just moved to Redmond Washington and had ordered Verizon DSL. A package showed up which had a small 3x3x1 black box and couple of phone line filters. The box was my modem. I plugged my landline phone into the filter and the filter into the phone jack. I plugged the modem into an unfiltered phone jack. Then with an ethernet cable I plugged my Windows XP tower computer into the modem. all worked well.
A few months later I won a laptop at work. Now I desired a wireless way to connect to the internet. I purchased a low end Netgear wireless router, and connected the modem to the input jack for the router and everything work fine. I didn’t need to make any configuration changes.
Skip a head to present day and I have a new router, more computers, and am living in a different apartment. Amanda is trying to copy pictures to an SD card for her digital frame, and some of the pictures are on the different computers. No problem though, right; all of the computers are part of the same Windows 7 HomeGroup. Looking at the connections from the different computers at different times and the different computers could see or not see other computers randomly. While I was just looking at configurations, the different computers would be popping in and out of eachothers network maps. One would believe that once a computer dropped off of the network map that it would no longer be able to connect to the internet, but no, all of the computers were able to connect to the internet the whole time. Logging into the Belkin routers management page I was hoping to see if I could resolve the issue. But most of the time the only connection that the router showed was the Wii. As far as it knew, it didn’t have any other clients. It’s possible the Hulu movie I was streaming at the time had overwhelmed the router, but either way I logged a complaint with Belkin and let the matter go for the night.
Last night when I came home from work I would curious to see if perhaps looking at the modem, it might show me something useful. So I log into the modems webpage, and see that the connection status is currently Up. It also has a link to check for updates. Oh, maybe that might help. But before I have it check for updates I see that one of the options is to discover the WAN. Perhaps that can build a proper network map of my home computers. I click on that link, it errors out and I can’t connect to the Internet anymore. The status page says that the PPP connection is down. Everytime I click on the button to have it connect, it errors out. Awe crap.
At this point the computers can see the router, they can see the modem, but the modem can’t see the internet. I dig through some paperwork, find a phone number for Verizon, call it, get forwarded to Fronteir and talk with tech support. Tech support informs me that I was never supposed to be able to connect to the webpage of the modem. Since I have a seperate router, I shouldn’t be using the modem as a router, but only as a modem. So tech support walks me through turning the modem into pass through mode, instead of the modem + router mode that it has been operating in for the last four years. I didn’t want to do this, but I did want to connect to the internet.
So now I can connect to the internet, but I can’t log onto my modem anymore. My only guess for setting it back to being a modem + router, is to use the reset button and reset it to the factory defaults. But I don’t know what that would screw up. I wish I could log into my modem though, an update might help it’s performance.
The moral of the story is to not have your modem try and discover the WAN.
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