Saturday, August 15, 2009

linksys wrt54g, dd-wrt, and cable internet, or: Routers, a Lesson in Patience

I had a heck of a time getting my home network up and running. From what I gather, a lot of other people with the same equipment as me have also. I had issues with the lan not working when wifi was turned on and vice versa, and I couldn't get my xbox to connect to xbox live. Here's what finally did the trick (I'm recording this here as much for my future reference as yours!):

1) Plug the computer and xbox lan cables into the router.
2) Turn off the modem. Probably the internet setup guy turned it on for you and you had it hooked up to your computer. My cable guy said their company wouldn't do router hookups, which was fine with me, but they have to do some setup with your computer connected to start.
3) Turn off the router.
4) Connect your router to your modem.
5) I think at this point I ran 'ipconfig/release' and 'ipconfig/renew' from the command line on my computer, just to flush everything out before starting again. I'm not sure if this had any effect.
5) First, turn on your modem. Wait until all the lights are on/it has completely turned on.
6) Wait a bit more. Turn on your router.
7) Wait more. It takes time for the router and modem to talk together. I'm not sure how much time, for me about a minute or two, for you maybe longer.
8) Once Steps 1-7 were completed and I verified that I could indeed connect to the internet from both machines, I enabled wifi and wifi security. I had issues this the first time around but when I used Steps 1-7 exactly as above, I had no more trouble with it. Save this step for last, and hope it doesn't break what you've already done (it shouldn't).

n.b.: I had my computer ON the whole time. I'm not sure if it made a difference but there you have it, it worked for me.
n.b.: In a previous iteration I had everything working except xbox. The only thing I did differently to get it working was to have it connected to the router, even though it was off. When the I verified the computer could connect to the internet in Step 8, I turned the xbox on and it connected immediately. Previously, I had tried to connect the xbox only after the network was setup, and it didn't work. I'm really not sure why this should make a difference, but there you have it. I should clarify here that I haven't tried hooking the xbox up wirelessly yet (maybe one day when my pateince has grown back).

A final word of advice: be patient. You may find that repeating these steps works; it took several tries for me (although I can't be sure I did everything exactly in this order the first few tries). When in doubt, wait longer! Hope you have some success with this if you are stuck!

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