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I recently switched from DSL to cable Internet. I have a 2Wire 2701HG-B modem/wireless router that I would like to use as just a wireless router.

I tried hooking up the cable modem directly to the Ethernet port of the PC, then turning on the 2Wire, but as soon as I did, it "took over" and I could no longer connect to the Internet.

Is there a way to disable the modem and just use it as a router?

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Was the 2wire also plugged into the cable modem with the PC? – Paul Dec 6 '11 at 2:58
yes, both plugged into same PC – Kevin Dec 6 '11 at 3:13
Both plugged into the PC how? Do you have two network cards? – Paul Dec 6 '11 at 3:15
I'm misspoke, connected to cable modem via ethernet cable. Connected to router via wifi. I have a second pc nearby, so I could connect one to each via ethernet cable if necessary – Kevin Dec 6 '11 at 3:23
Oh hold on, does the PC establish the connection to the internet? Does it effectively dial up, or do you just plug it in? What make/model is the cable modem? – Paul Dec 6 '11 at 3:25
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The surfboard issues a single IP address to the device attached to its ethernet port - it registers a single MAC address only. To extend with a router you would need a router with an ethernet WAN port, which the 2Wire is not.

One option you have is to use Internet Connection Sharing with your PC. So leaving it configured as it is, with the LAN connected to the cable modem, and the wireless card connected to the wireless on the 2Wire (again, disable DHCP on this device).

Then on the PC, go to the properties of the LAN and enable internet connection sharing. This will change the IP address of the wireless card, and issue DHCP from it. Anything connecting to the 2Wire will get an IP address from your PC and connect via it to the internet.

You do this by going to

  1. Start / Search. Type "View Net" and select View Network Connections
  2. Right-click and select properties on the LAN connection
  3. Select the sharing tab, and enable Internet Connection Sharing, and select the wireless network card in the drop down
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I will give this a try. Thanks for the help. – Kevin Dec 6 '11 at 3:31
I don't think it will work, the surfboard is "stupid", so it doesn't behave like a proper router. I have updated my answer, if the new approach works, then I'll delete the original text. – Paul Dec 6 '11 at 3:48
I think we're almost there. I have Cable Modem --> PC and 2Wire --wifi--> PC. I can still connect to the internet and my computers can all "see" each other. I just can't get Internet on them – Kevin Dec 6 '11 at 4:02
Actually, we're good. Final piece was to run the network setup wizard and choose the option for "this computer connects directly to the internet and other computers connect through it." You are the man. Thanks for the help – Kevin Dec 6 '11 at 4:16
Ah yes, this wizard does for you what the instructions above would have done. – Paul Dec 6 '11 at 4:38

Get into the 2wire modem config and look around to disable the DHCP server. Afterwards, hit save settings, now you have a nice ACCESS POINT. Connect your PC and cable modem to the 2wire modem(now access point) and you will be able to have cable modem internet through your wifi modem. It works for me.

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It cannot be done. Your 2-wire router only routes between its DSL port and its LAN ports. Since you cannot use the DSL port, there is no way to get it to route. (You can, however, use it as an access point.)

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That 2wire modem likely uses ISP branded firmware. You are doing yourself a great disservice by trying to use it as a router, as it likely has many limitations imposed by the ISP, and you might have NAT issues, among other things.

A quick scan of DSLReports reveals countless issues with this modem, especially in nonstandard setups.

This modem is popular because it good at overcoming signal problems with DSL. It is not an outstanding router. In fact, many DSL subscribers recommend using it only as a modem ("bridge mode").

Bluntly: a 2nd hand WRT54g is miles ahead of this.

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