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LAN Broken Because Internet Not Connected

Michael Albert

Junior Member
Sep 2, 2018
3
0
1
Hi,

I have Verizon FiOS service which uses a Verizon ActionTec router. Yesterday the 4 LAN ports of the router broke. When Verizon tests the router it responds properly and WiFi access works, but my home wired LAN is broken. The Verizon ONT is ok, so phone and cable are fine. Verizon is sending me a new router but it won't be here for a while.

Since I have 2 TiVo Mini's (which provide remote access to my TiVo Roamio over the LAN) I'd like to make the LAN work. When I run a PC browser or diagnostics on the TiVo's they show that DHCP is failing. I don't know if a DHCP problem is the root cause or just a symptom.

Since the Verizon router has poor WiFi performance, some time ago I installed an ASUS RT-AC66U router that is plugged into one of the Verizon router's LAN ports. None of the other Verizon router ports are used, rather all the home cabling goes through the ASUS router.

I'd think that the ASUS router would provide DHCP but it doesn't seem to be happening. When I look at the router configuration I see it's set to the default settings except that it's using subnet 2, which makes sense because the Verizon router uses 1. DHCP is enabled.

I'm way out of my depth here so I'd appreciate any help in getting my LAN running.

Thanks,
Mike
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
52,246
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Your Verizon router MAY be "fine", you may have a configuration issues between your secondary AC66U router and your VZ router, if you have them connected LAN-to-LAN, AND have DHCP enabled on both. That's BAD. You'll get conflicting DHCP scopes, with the "fastest" router responding to the device requesting an IP first. Also, if they are set to separate subnets, but are both part of the same L2 domain, you will get PCs that won't be able to talk to each other.

WHAT A MESS!

Now, if your Asus router is wired, WAN-to-VZ LAN, that's different, and can and does work fairly well. (I use a similar setup.)

Note: VZ has been pushing a newer firmware very recently, and it's possible that your settings got reset, or need to be reset. I would login to the VZ router, and make sure things are the same way that you originally set them up, regarding DHCP, DNS, etc., either that, or Factory-Reset the router, wait for it to upgrade the firmware, and then configure it again.

Edit: As a workaround, IF your VZ router has gone bad (the LAN switch-ports), if you are provisioned for ethernet WAN at the ONT, then you CAN simply disconnect the VZ router's ethernet WAN, and pluig that into the Asus router's WAN port. It used to be that you had to "release" the WAN DHCP IP, before doing so, but they've implemented in many regions, support for an additional temp IP address, to make router-switching easier on people and VZ's tech-support (not having to call them everytime to break the lease on their IP).

If you have TV set-top boxes, or maybe if those TiVo's connect via MoCA LAN, then you won't be able to eliminate the VZ router entirely. Doing the above, might hose your TV service.

Consult the many FIOS FAQ answers at dslreports.com , for the myriad ways that you can configure a FIOS home LAN with your own router, with and without a VZ router.
 
Last edited:

Michael Albert

Junior Member
Sep 2, 2018
3
0
1
VirtualLarry,

Thanks for taking the time to put together a detailed reply.

Regarding your initial comments, the ASUS router has been installed since 2013. As I recall I made no changes to the Verizon router at that time. Since then the network has worked well and I've seen no signs of conflicting DHCP servers. I may have got the network working via luck or research (I just don't recall), but because it's been working well for 5 years I think it's unlikely that there's a configuration error that caused any problems.

Re LAN-to-LAN vs. WAN-to-VZ LAN, the LAN-1 port on the Verizon router is connected to the LAN-1 port on the ASUS router, which I assume is LAN-to-LAN. A note that I made back then that says that the DHCP of the ASUS router was disabled automatically. However when I look at the ASUS configuration it looks like DHCP is enabled, that it's using subnet 2, and the router's address is 192.168.2.1. Maybe DHCP is disabled somewhere I don't know about or it's not visible in the UI, but it appears to be inactive.

In any case if I understand all this correctly then I'd think that on the ASUS router I should use LAN-to-LAN (because the TiVo's need to be on the same subnet), keep the router address of 192.168.2.1, and disable DHCP explicitly (to not rely on the possible phantom disabling). In this case I wouldn't need to make any changes to the settings on the new Verizon router. Do I have this right?

I tried disconnecting the Verizon router and connecting the ASUS router via it's WAN port to the ONT through a MOCA adapter (the ONT has a coax port) and it didn't work. Lots of devices didn't have an IP address assigned. I didn't check to see what was happening with the MOCA TiVo's.

Further checking revealed that the Verizon router LAN ports are all dysfunctional as is the internal MOCA adapter. The only thing that works is the WiFi connection to the internet. And, of course, it works well enough that when Verizon phone support checks the router remotely it says everything is working just fine.

I spent some time at dslreports.com. Frankly the level of knowledge assumed there is significantly above mine and it's hard to understand enough of it to be useful.

I did see something about a WiFi bridge. Could I use that temporarily between the Verizon router and the ASUS router? I have some old WiFi routers laying around. Would it make sense to find one that can be configured as a bridge, connect it to a LAN port of the ASUS router, and configure it to connect to the Verizon router WiFi? It wouldn't be a long term fix but I'd be happy if it got my Ethernet LAN working in the interim.

Thanks,
Mike
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
52,246
7,061
126
Re LAN-to-LAN vs. WAN-to-VZ LAN, the LAN-1 port on the Verizon router is connected to the LAN-1 port on the ASUS router, which I assume is LAN-to-LAN. A note that I made back then that says that the DHCP of the ASUS router was disabled automatically. However when I look at the ASUS configuration it looks like DHCP is enabled, that it's using subnet 2, and the router's address is 192.168.2.1. Maybe DHCP is disabled somewhere I don't know about or it's not visible in the UI, but it appears to be inactive.
Having two SOHO routers, connected LAN to LAN, both with LAN DHCP servers, is a sure recipe for trouble.

Note carefully, that I was speaking of DHCP on the LAN, in both cases. There is also a WAN setting for "Connection Type: DHCP", to pull a WAN address. The LAN DHCP setting, will have "Pool Start: 192.168.2.100" and Pool End: 192.168.2.250", or something along those lines. In other words, there's a DHCP client for the WAN, for getting an IP address off of the WAN. (In a LAN-to-LAN arrangement, the WAN port of the secondary router is disconnected, so this WAN setting has no effect.) There's also the DHCP server for the LAN, that has the IPv4 address of the "Pool Start" and "Pool End".

What I was speaking about, was having two DHCP servers on the same L2 domain, in which case, the fastest server to respond, is the one the client PCs will use.

Basically, what happens, is your client PCs will get varying IP addresses, on varying subnets (some 192.168.1.x, some 192.168.2.x), and they won't be on one cohesive subnet / L2 domain.


In any case if I understand all this correctly then I'd think that on the ASUS router I should use LAN-to-LAN (because the TiVo's need to be on the same subnet), keep the router address of 192.168.2.1, and disable DHCP explicitly (to not rely on the possible phantom disabling). In this case I wouldn't need to make any changes to the settings on the new Verizon router. Do I have this right?
Pretty much. With a LAN-to-LAN connection, the DHCP server should be ENABLED on the primary router, and DISABLED on the secondary.

I tried disconnecting the Verizon router and connecting the ASUS router via it's WAN port to the ONT through a MOCA adapter (the ONT has a coax port) and it didn't work. Lots of devices didn't have an IP address assigned. I didn't check to see what was happening with the MOCA TiVo's.
That's because, there's a "MoCA WAN" (that the ONT uses, when configured for COAX), and there's a "MoCA LAN", which is used by the VZ STBs, and the VZ router, and the MoCA-to-ethernet bridges.

You cannot use a MoCA to ethernet bridge, to connect a third-party router to an ONT via COAX. Won't work. You need your ONT provisioned for ethernet.

I spent some time at dslreports.com. Frankly the level of knowledge assumed there is significantly above mine and it's hard to understand enough of it to be useful.
I hate to tell you this, but if the DSLR FIOS router FAQ answers were above your head, then configuring your LAN properly is going to be, too. Consider hiring Geek Squad to set up your network, you've got a more complicated than usual setup. (Two routers, MoCA LAN adapter, etc.) Either that, or continue reading up on this subject until you understand the nuances better.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
52,246
7,061
126
I did see something about a WiFi bridge. Could I use that temporarily between the Verizon router and the ASUS router? I have some old WiFi routers laying around. Would it make sense to find one that can be configured as a bridge, connect it to a LAN port of the ASUS router, and configure it to connect to the Verizon router WiFi? It wouldn't be a long term fix but I'd be happy if it got my Ethernet LAN working in the interim.
I would only try that, if indeed, your VZ router has broken LAN ethernet ports, and you only have wifi internet access through the VZ router, in which case, yes, you could connect a wireless bridge, to the VZ router wirelessly, and then connect the ethernet of the bridge to the Asus router's WAN or LAN port. Probably, the WAN port, and leave the DHCP server enabled on the Asus, and plug all of your LAN PCs into the Asus.

In fact, the Asus CAN most likely function as that Wifi bridge directly, set it up for "Repeater" or "Bridge" mode.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
52,246
7,061
126
First things first though, let's establish if the VZ router's LAN ports are broken.

Unplug the secondary router, plug the VZ router in, plug a PC into the VZ router, in LAN port 1, and then Factory Reset the VZ router, by pushing the RESET button on the back panel for 5 sec. with a pen tip.

Then, follow the instructions on the label on the VZ router to log in, and re-configure anything that needs to be configured. Then test if the PC can access the internet via the LAN port connection on the VZ router. Reboot the PC while connected, and give it a try.

Note that you need to use Internet Explorer to configure the VZ router, Firefox doesn't seem to work. (Or, didn't for me, maybe the new firmware that they pushed is compatible.)

Edit: If the VZ router's LAN ports DON'T work for accessing the internet with a PC directly. (Might have to reboot the PC to get a new LAN IP address), then plug in the Asus router, plug the PC into it, RESET the Asus router, Reboot the PC, then log into the Asus router, and configure it for "Repeater Bridge", and log it into the VZ router, using the VZ-supplied wifi credentials on the router label.
 

Michael Albert

Junior Member
Sep 2, 2018
3
0
1
VirtualLarry,

I thought you might be interested to hear what happened.

After my last post other life demands caught up with me and I didn't try anything else to fix my network problems. Today the replacement Verizon router came and I installed it. After some confusing time spent debugging I was surprised to find that the problem was on the COAX side. My COAX from the ONT goes into a splitter that feeds signal to the TVs and the Verizon modem. When 1 particular room was connected the new router failed intermittently just like the old one did, by disabling the 4 Ethernet ports and MOCA network. With that COAX disconnected the ASUS router worked fine LAN-to-LAN: all I had to do was set the IP address to 192.168.2.1 and disable DHCP. After I got everything else working I checked the room with the problem, tightened all the COAX connections, and made sure everything else was ok. When I connected the COAX everything worked fine. This process was challenging because when something changed I didn't know if I caused it or it was spontaneous. I was surprised and still don't understand how a problem with the COAX caused this problem, but the network seems stable and all is well

Thanks again for your help.

Mike
 

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