For many years I have been an ADSL subscriber receiving 3 Mbps service from AT&T. The line came into the house and into a simple ADSL modem that connected to a Linksys WRT54GL running DD-WRT firmware, which was setup to serve as the Internet gateway for all computers in the house. I won't go into the virtues of this particular model of Linksys router running this particular firmware, but suffice it to say that those who know what I'm talking about will need no further explanation.
Recently, we moved to a new house and AT&T would not let me transfer the ADSL line to the new address, but they said they would be happy to set me up with this shinny new digital service they call UVerse. After doing some checking, I noticed that the reviews from customers were mixed, but that the speeds provided were pretty decent. I was leaning towards cable service, but the wife likes AT&T, so we signed up for the 12 Mbps UVerse Internet plan.
The AT&T technician came to the house and set it all up in the phone box outside — inside the house he hooked the line up to a 2Wire 3600HGV device. When he saw my Linksys router laying nearby, he said "With this beauty right here..." and he showed me the 2Wire device, "... you won't need that Linksys router of yours." That should have been my fist sign that something was amiss.
The one redeeming quality of the 2Wire device is that it does have a really strong radio signal, but other than that the firmware running on it is really crippled and perhaps can do a little more than 10% of what the DD-WRT firmware is capable of. The conspiracy theorist in me says that the 2Wire hardware and software are probably more capable than AT&T is willing to document and let the users have access to,
Anyway, the ideal situation for me was to turn the 2Wire into a dumb modem and use my Linksys as the gateway, just like the old ADSL days... but that was easier in concept than in practice. There are all kinds of gotchas and tricks to get it setup, like the Router Behind Router detection. After much trial and error, I persevered, and below is the result of my research into how to get this setup to work.
At this point I recommend that you make a backup of your current DD-WRT setup by
Administration and then the
Backup menu and then clicking the
The first step is to get the Linksys router ready for the setup. Make sure you
can reach it and connect to it with a browser by going to
http://192.168.1.1/. I used an Ethernet cable directly from my laptop and into
one of the 4 LAN ports on the Linksys. Once you logged in to the Linksys, go to
Setup and then
Basic Setup. Under
WAN Setup, make sure that the
Connection Type is DHCP and give the device a unique
name. Under the
Network Setup area, change the
Local IP Address to something
10.0.0.1 — just make sure that the IP you choose is in a different
192.168.1.X. With this setup we are trying to avoid conflicts
between the Linksys DHCP and the 2Wire DHCP servers and in general we want the 2
devices in separate networks anyway.
The next step is to connect to the 2Wire device. I unplugged the Ethernet cable
from the Linksys and connected it to one of the LAN ports on the 2Wire. Now you
should be able to reach the 2Wire setup interface by pointing your browser to
http://192.168.1.254/. If at first you are unable to connect, then check your
current IP address. Since the Linksys was changed to a different network, you
may have gotten an IP in the range
10.0.0.X. You can fix this by releasing and
renewing your IP lease. Also, in order to apply any changes to the 2Wire device
you will need to know the System Password which should printed on a label on
Before moving on, I want you to consider the above image for a moment. Here's what's going on:
As you can see in the above image, the blue cable connected to the 2Wire device terminates into the WAN port of the Linksys device.
Now, back from this little tangent, I was about to connect to the 2Wire device
with the browser. Once connected, go to
Settings and the
LAN tab and click
Wireless link and ensure that the value under
Wireless Interface is
set to Disabled. I want the Linksys in charge of providing Wireless and DHCP
services. Once that's done, click the
Save button at the bottom of the page.
Next I need some way for the Linksys to receive all inbound Internet traffic
into the house. This can be done by putting the Linksys in DMZPlus mode in the
Firewall setting of the 2Wire device. Go to the
Settings tab in the 2Wire
setup interface and then click on the
Firewall tab and click on the
Applications, Pinholes and DMZ. Choose the DD-WRT (or whatever name you gave
your device) from the list under
Select a computer. Then further down on that
same settings page under
Edit firewall settings for this computer select the
Allow all applications (DMZplus mode). Make sure to click the
button at the bottom of this page when all done.
You can verify that the 2Wire setup is correct by going to the
Firewall sections and seeing that the DD-WRT device
is listed under the
Current Applications, Pinholes and DMZ Settings: Custom
and that it was assigned a public Internet IP.
One more side bar is called for at this point in the setup process. If at any
point in time during the setup you are faced with a warning from the 2Wire
device that it has detected a Router-Behind-Router setup, please just ignore
it as the final outcome of the setup I am doing will render that type of
detection irrelevant. As a matter of fact, while on the 2Wire setup interface,
just go to the
Settings tab and then the
System Info tab and the
Notifications link and make sure that the option
Enable detection of
router-behind-router conditions is not checked. Save your change before moving
Let's do a quick recap: We first put the Linksys device in DHCP mode at the WAN level and gave it a recognizable name, then we gave it a different subnet IP than the default 2Wire IP. Next we disable the Wireless service on the 2Wire device and then we put the Linksys device in DMZPlus mode in the 2Wire configuration screens. We also verified that the Linksys is getting a public IP from the 2Wire perspective.
Next we need to ensure that the Linksys is getting the public IP address from
it's own perspective (see above image). Go to the
Status tab and then the
WAN tab on the DD-WRT setup interface. Under the
WAN section on that page
ensure that the
IP Address value is the same as the one assigned to the DD-WRT
in the 2Wire interface. I obfuscated the public values here for obvious reasons.
This is where I was a little stumped when I went through these steps for the
first time. If at first your Linksys/DD-WRT doesn't recognize the public IP, try
DHCP Release button or rebooting the Linksys. I had to reboot the
Linksys twice initially, but it has been working for me without any issues for a
I hope this write up is useful to you...