Simplify FiOS - dump Actiontec and use your own router

There are many ways FiOS network is configured inside the user’s premise depending on the bundle of services the user subscribes to. If you have Internet AND TV, and have both Ethernet (Cat 5) AND Coax cable connections coming from the ONT into a FiOS Actiontec router, this write up is for you.
My FiOS setup (as it was installed):
• ONT -> Cat 5 cable -> Actiontec Router (WAN interface)
• Actiontec Router (LAN interface) -> My router (WAN interface)
• My router (LAN interface) -> My 8-port switch -> Computers and other Home network devices
• ONT -> Coax cable -> Splitters -> Actiontec Router (Coax interface), DVRs, STBs
• Coax cable runs all around the house (basement, main floor, 2nd floor). FiOS DVRs, STBs connected to Coax cable in different rooms.
• Actiontec wireless DISABLED. I use my own AP for wireless access around the house – mainly for better coverage and dual-band. This is unrelated to the removal of Actiontec.
• The Actiontec router model is: MI424WR Rev I

The main reason I wanted to dump the Actiontec router was so I could use my own router with specific features that I want (e.g., both SSL and L2TP VPNs, timed internet access, application control on firewall, etc). With the Actiontec router in the middle, I was unable to get all the services of my router working, no matter what I tried – such as putting my router in Actiontec’s DMZ, setting up required port forwarding on Actiontec, and more. After weeks of attempts (including helpful calls to VZ tech support), I finally decided to try and remove the Actiontec router all together and connect my router directly to the FiOS ONT Ethernet cable.

From Google search, numerous forums postings, VZ tech support, and other sources I learnt that in order to get the FiOS DVRs and STBs to work fully especially for VOD, Program Guide, and DVR functionality, they needed to connect to the Actiontec router and so removing Actiontec was not recommended.

Notwithstanding, I concluded the following:
• Internet access to my home was being provided over the Ethernet Cat 5 connection on the Actiontec router
• Only TV signals were distributed over the coax cable from the ONT.
• The ONT did not use the coax (MOCA) connection for any of its communications with the Actiontec router.
• Actiontec router provided Internet access to DVRs and STBs connected on its coax network by simply ‘bridging’ the coax to the Ethernet Cat 5.
• The only reason DVRs and STBs are connected to the Actiontec router coax port was so they can connect to the Internet and access VOD and Program Guide servers.
If my above assumptions were correct, then removing the Actiontec router and just using my own router should not disrupt any of my services, so long as I provided way for the DVRs and STBs on the coax network to have Internet access.
To be safe, I followed a step-by-step process as detailed below, so that I could recover to the original state by simply reversing the steps at any point, if things went haywire along the way. Good news – I didn’t have to reverse the steps! And now I have a FiOS setup that has no Actiontec router in the network and has only my router and is providing the full gamut of services as before. And more in terms of firewall functionality.
The step-by-step process:
Step 1: Noted important WAN interface configuration information of the Actiontec router (especially the MAC address which needed to be ‘cloned’ on the WAN interface of my router). Actiontec WAN interface was set for DHCP and therefore did not have any IP and DNS address information to bother about.
Step 2: Procured and had ready for install an Actiontec MOCA-ethernet bridge device (ECB6000S02 - available on Amazon, cost around $90) so that the DVRs and STBs on the coax network could eventually be connected to the Ethernet port of my 8-port switch and thus have Internet access.
Step 3: Disconnected the coax cable going into Actiontec router’s coax interface and connected that cable to the MOCA bridge coax interface. Connected the Ethernet interface of the MOCA bridge to one of the free LAN interfaces of the Actiontec router. Connected the power adapter of the MOCA bridge (effectively turned it ON). Technically, this step can be bypassed and Step 4 done. But I performed this step just to be sure that the Actiontec MOCA bridge device worked as advertised and did not introduce any new problem.
During Step 3, none of the DVRs, STBs or the Actiontec router was powered off or power cycled. They remained ON right through. Figured that if they all had IP addresses etc. already, and the MOCA adapter was simply that – an adapter, then they should continue to have internet access – after a momentary glitch at worst.
When I completed Step 3, all the DVRs, STBs continued to function normally including displaying Program guide, and accessing VOD. This seem to confirm one of my assumptions that the Actiontec router simply bridged the MOCA coax interface to its Ethernet LAN interface on its internal switch. I verified this further by disconnecting the MOCA bridge Ethernet port from the Actiontec LAN interface – and seeing no Program guide. Also, the DVR self-diagnostics showed ‘no internet connectivity’. When I reconnected the MOCA bridge Ethernet port, everything went back to normal.
Step 4: Disconnected the MOCA bridge Ethernet port form Actiontec router LAN interface and connected it to my 8-port switch. Knowing that this would connect the DVRs and STBs to a different subnet (my router’s and not Actiontec’s), I power-cycled the DVRs and STBs so that they could get new IP addresses etc. from my router and connect to the Internet via my router.
After the power cycle, confirmed that the DVRs and STBs continued to function normally including Program guide and VOD. Yet another confirmation that all that the DVRs and STBs need is internet access – doesn’t matter through which router and over what medium.
Time to remove the Actiontec router all together.
Step 5: Details of this step are specific to the brand and model of your router. I use a Watchguard XTM-25 series router/firewall. Regardless of the details, the important part of this step is to configure the WAN interface of your router to mimic the Actiontec router’s WAN interface, so that your router can get the IP address etc. from the FiOS ONT.
On my XTM device, I configured the WAN (‘External&rsquoWink interface for DHCP (just as the Actiontec router was setup), and to ‘override’ its MAC address with the MAC address of the Actiontec router as noted in Step 1.
After confirming my router’s WAN interface configuration, a) powered off both the Actiontec router and the XTM router; b) disconnected the Ethernet cable coming from the ONT into the Actiontec router WAN interface; and c) connected the Ethernet cable coming from the ONT to the WAN (‘External&rsquoWink interface of my XTM router. THIS REMOVED THE ACTIONTEC ROUTER ALL TOGETHER.
At this juncture, my FiOS connections looked like this:
• ONT -> Cat 5 cable -> My router (WAN interface)
• My Router (LAN interface) -> My 8-port switch  Computers and other Home network devices
• ONT Coax cable -> Splitters > DVRs, STBs, Actiontec MOCA adapter
• Actiontec MOCA adapter Ethernet port -> Free port on my 8-port switch
Step 6: Powered on My Router (XTM 25) and waited for it to complete its boot up. And (drum roll…..) all FiOS services were fully back up and normal. Internet access, TV with Program guide, VOD, etc.

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So basicly... I’m having them set it up using the Ethernet wire on the actiontech. Then once they are done, I can remove the Ethernet wire from the actiontech... essential remove the actiontech completely from my setup... and then just plug it into my new router and do that setup?

I thought you said something about needing information from the actiontech for your new router. That’s why I’m confused.

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MAC Address

Yes, you may need the MAC address of the ActionTec WAN port and clone it by inputting it into the Linksys router. You may not need it, but write it down just in case. If you do need it, there is a setting in the linksys router where you can input the address.

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Do you really need MoCa?

So my setup is a little different. I have the following:

ONT Cat5e -> FIOS Actiontec router -> STB
ONT Cat5e -> FIOS Actiontec Router -> EERO wifi

I am considering replacing the Actiontec router with something else and just using a simple COAX to Ethernet converter. Has anyone else tried this?

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I didn't, but I don't have remote access now

My set up now is ONT cat5e -> netgear r7000 -> actiontec -> coax STB.

Where the LAN of netgear goes into WAN of actiontec. Netgear network segment is 192.168.100.x and actiontec network segment is 192.168.1.x. I have VOD and guide but no remote DVR or remote control via Frontier app. I know it is because of the segment set up and I have begun to look into setting up the actiontec as a bridge to unite under a single segment which in theory, I believe, will provide full functionality.

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Good tip. I have also found this FAQ very helpful outlining the different methods of replacing your FIOS gateway.

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Internet only

I'm one of the people that got switched from Verizon FiOS to Frontier. I only have internet access, so I do not care about TV, DVR, or VoIP. Is there a more straightforward adapter to allow me to connect the ISP coax to my router of choice or is the MOCA to ethernet adapter what I need to use?

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Re: MOCA adapter

What's not straightforward in using the MOCA adapter. You plug it in, connect it and it works.

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Internet Only

Not saying the MOCA adapter isn't straightforward, just wondering if there was an option for another adapter as I don't need the other functionality, only internet. Also, I was hoping for a less expensive option. Is Actiontec the only provider of such an adapter?

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Actiontec Router can be a MOCA adapter
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Re: adapter

My MOCA adapter (for cable Internet) was installed by the provider, so the costs are included in the monthy 10 euro (around 10 dollars) for the Internet connection. I wouldn't dream to replace it, especially since it transfers TV and radio into the house also.

But if you have to pay for it, and that Actiontec device is cheaper and does what it should do, it's worth a try. But since that pdf only talks about fiber, be sure you can return it if it doesn't work. Or have it set up by a tech from the shop. If they think he can do it, and he can't, you pay nothing (and get nothing).

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If you have internet service, you can use Magic Jack Plus for a VOIP system. I use it with a Panasonic DECT6 four phone system too. Initial cost is about $60 and then $20-30 per year afterwards. If you know someone overseas, you can send them a Magic Jack and they can call you free from there across the internet. I did this when my daughter was stationed in Japan.

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Internet Only?

I just have verizon internet--can I just directly plug my router into the ONT without the moca bridge?

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should be able to on the LAN port on ONT

Remember the definition of MOCA includes the word "cable", as in the older RF cables.

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Remove my Frontier Router

A few questions. I just switched back to Frontier and would like to use my own router. If I understand you correct I can install the Actiontec MOCA Ethernet bridge on the coax and then a cat 5/6 cable between the bridge and my ASUS RT-AC88 wireless router. I don't see any need for a switch, since everything is wireless in my house. So I would just configure my ASUS the same way you configured your XTM-25? I have 150mb service from Frontier so they dont use the coax for internet. If I understood the installer correct that anything over 100Mb they use the CAT5 cable coming from the ONT.

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Using Fios quantum gateways MAC address!

How you doing so I have almost this exact setup. I'm using a netgear X10 router connected directly to my Verizon ONT via cat6 cable to Wan on X10. Coax from ONT to moca adapter and Ethernet from LAN port on X10 to moca adapter. Everything works great however at some point I lose my internet connection and have to reboot my router than everything is good to go. I didn't change the MAC address and am using the MAC address of my X10. Should I change it to the MAC address of the gateway? Would this be why I sometimes lose internet? It happens so sporadically sometimes it will last 2-3 days other times only 1 day. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Switched to HD Homerun, Shield TV, Plex

I was paying $20 / month for DVR and 1 box and was angry I could not watch my DVR shows when away from home. I rented a cable card ($5/month) and put it in a HDhomerun ($100) connected it to a NVidia Shield TV box, and purchased a life time subscription to Plex (on sale $120). I can now record 3 shows at a time, and watch all my shows and movies from anywhere on any device at any time.
I am having issues with my VOIP (obi220) because of my Actiontec 1100 having settings that can not be changed, as Verizon has them hard set for "competitive" reasons. Verizon suggested buying another router, changing the Actiontec to bridge mode, and having my new router do all the work. After reading this, I am quite sure I don't need the Actiontec any more, and can just replace it., simplifying my life and collecting $100 on ebay.

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Can Actiontec router be returned to Verizon?

Great post! I am looking forward to trying this but had a question...if I clone the MAC address of the router and return the Actiontec router back to Verizon will that cause an issue in the future? Thanks.
Also, did you own the Fios router or rented it?

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No need to clone

I replaced my actiontec about 2 months ago without cloning and my VOIP is now working great.

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Does VOD, TV guide, Fios Mobile still work?

Thanks for the response! Does your other services continue to work? Like TV Guide programming, VOD, and Fios Mobile?

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Actiontec replacement

I got rid of cable box and got an HDHomerun and now rent a cable card for$4.99/Month, and Plex DVR on an Nvidia Shieldtv

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No WAN connection

I have FIOS TV and Internet but my Actiontec only had a Coax connection (nothing in the WAN port). I would like to remove the Actiontec all together but am not sure if I can without that WAN connection. Any ideas?

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Tip: do not bury new requests in old threads.

Folk may not notice.

Post was last edited on October 11, 2017 2:21 PM PDT

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Answered previously

Call Verizon and have the them switch you for coax to cat 5 on the ont. They can do it over the phone

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New update

I happen to be decent at networking and found that the instructions above are wonderful except the fact That I really did t want to use Moca on a pure Ethernet based connection while video is being used. So I dumped the Moca completely and it works through Cat5e/6 cabling completely minus the coax from Ont directly to boxes for primary channel plans. I also managed to get the Orbi whole home WiFi working perfectly with this with only the router and one satellite orbi and one primary Fios dvr box.... all channels work perfect, on demand works perfect, and connections are great. Make sure you plug the primary orbi router to power and get the WiFi name and password preset up.( with no internet connection yet) also as previously stated must have Ethernet/coax connection enabled by Verizon for this all to work together.
What I did was
1. logged into quantum Fios router admin page and released the dhcp from the primary broadband connection and the second after I hit release and saw the release button disappear in the browser I unplugged power from Fios router and catV cabling and then the coax.
2. Plugged in my Orbi router(that was already setup) to cat5e/6 cabling then plugged power back in and let it auto sync(took about 1-2 min) you should see no lights on top of Orbi unit at this point reconnect to the orbi to make sure internet is working then internet side is good to go( then go through satellite orbi connection.
3. Plug a Cat5e/6 cable from orbi lan port to lan port on back of dvr. Wait about 2 min then power cycle the main dvr and wait for it to reboot and you are good to go. You can plug up additional STBs to the internet as well through same cat5e didn’t have a client box so don’t know if it auto works through dvr having a direct connection to IP connection or if each client tv box requires a dedicated internet feed to the router. But there you go all.... no nova adapter needed at all.

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Successful (so far; it was an adventure)

I had a few advantages going into this:
-I was already using the Ethernet interface from the ONT. It's on the wall next to the router.
-The ONT and fiber hookup was installed for Verizon's (then-)fastest 150 Mbps service, so it was adequate for their "gigabit" service.
So, after I upgraded to Teh Gigabit, I decided to ditch the Actiontec router using these instructions.

I bought a Netgear R7900P router at Costco (on sale, $150), ordered the Actiontec MoCA 2.0 Ethernet to Coax Adapter (ECB6000S02) for $68.78 from Costco, and hooked it all up, and it worked... for about two hours, until the MoCA adapter died hard. Complete electrical failure. Unpleasant surprise.
No problem, right? I'll just order another one... except that Amazon is now out of them, and third-party sellers have jacked the price up over $100.
I decided to buy a TiVo Bridge MoCa 2.0 Adapter, which looked like it would perform the same function, for $47. Pleasant surprise: the label on the back reveals it's actually an identical Actiontec ECB6000, except that the case is white plastic and it says "TiVo Bridge" on the front. And it works, so far!
Of course, after the initial failure, I'm going to allow the devices to "burn in" for a few days (and make sure all the features my wife expects to work actually do work) before I turn in the Verizon router...

One step I added is I reserved IP addresses for the three set-top boxes. The Actiontec router used "Vendor Device Class" to give them IP addresses of, 101, and 102, and I figured they must have had some valid engineering reason to do that. Since the Netgear router didn't support Vendor Device Class reservations, I manually entered reservations for those MAC addresses.

So, my conclusions:
--The OP is my hero. Thanks for posting this, and thanks for all the useful comments.
--If you can get a TiVo Bridge, you'll save a few bucks.
--Routers are readily available, but you might want to get a spare MoCA adapter just in case. If yours dies, you will be out of service until you can get another one. (Believe me, it would be worth way more than $47 to not have my wife deprived of OnDemand services for more than an hour or two).

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I ordered the Actiontec ECB6000 and the TiVo Bridge from Amazon.

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Did you register it with Verizon?

Or just plug in and it worked to allow internet access? Also, does Video On Demand work with it?

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Just plugged it in, works fine

I just plugged it in, it obtained a (different) IP address than the Verizon box had had, and works fine.
VoD works fine, too.

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FIOS (Frontier) customer w/ Internet and TV (2 DVRs / 1 STB)

Hi all. I read thru all 2 pages of this discussion but have a LOT of questions.
I have an older Verizon FIOS (now Frontier) Actiontec MI 424WR Rev 1 wireless router with an RF style cable input into to.
I have 2 DVRs and 1 Set Top Box (view only) in 3 rooms at my house.
I only have Internet and TV. We dont have phone service any more as we use our cells only.
I'm on a 50 up/50 down plan.
I would like to remove this or use my own ASUS Wireless router instead as primary to get the 5G and better security.
I used to have the ASUS piggy backed and working but it no longer works for some reason so I went back to just the Actiontec for now.
We have wired connections thru Gigabit Switches/Hubs for PS4, Roku, etc and we use the wireless network for laptops and cell phones and tablet use.
What exactly do I need to buy to get this process to work and which of the 7+ options would be best for my situation.
and do I need to call Frontier to switch my system from cable to ethernet?

Do I need to get the Actiontec MoCA adapter and if so how many just 1 or 2?

Please advise.

Thanks for all the great info but Im not the best at networking. I am an engineer but not for network stuff so I know enough to get by but this is a bit over my head.

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This may or may not help

It depends on 1) how Actiontec is connected to Frontier (coax or ethernet) and 2) what you are willing to live without. My set up has always had ethernet connection to Verizon/Frontier, but I know some have coax. First, to have your ASUS be primary you need to use ethernet to Frontier. I have read in the posts above that you can call and ask Frontier to switch you from coax to ethernet (if you are indeed on coax). Then if you can live without remote DVR or remote control via Frontier app, then these steps that I performed should do the trick. If you are stuck on coax connection to Frontier, I am afraid I cannot help since I didn't have that as part of my set-up.

My set up now is ONT(Frontier) cat5e -> netgear r7000 cat5e -> actiontec coax -> STB.

Where the LAN of netgear goes into WAN of actiontec. Netgear network segment is 192.168.100.x and actiontec network segment is 192.168.1.x (default). I have VOD and guide but no remote DVR or remote control via Frontier app.

My summarized steps:
1) release IP on actiontec and power down.
2) with Netgear powered down, remove ethernet cable from actiontec WAN and plug it in to Netgear WAN.
3) Power on Netgear, test internet connectivity for computers, etc.
4) Plug new ethernet cable from LAN port on Netgear to WAN port on actiontec.
5) Power on actiontec and test guide/VOD
I left all the existing coax connections untouched.

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