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After our ISP changed something in our DSL modem, our wireless router suddenly stopped working properly.

Before, our DSL modem was accessible via a local address ( We got a wireless router (Linksys WRT54GC), and configured our home network like so:

  • DSL modem --
  • Wireless router -- WAN:, LAN:
  • PCs and laptops -- DHCP starting from

Then, a few months ago, our ISP called to say they're sending someone to adjust some settings in our DSL modem. After the reconfiguration, our DSL modem was no longer directly accessible. Whether it was our PC or our wireless router, whatever was directly connected to the DSL modem gets assigned a public IP address via DHCP.

That was when our wireless router went bonkers. At first, we just experienced frequent disconnections, and we had to reboot our wireless router or let our DSL modem reconnect to our ISP. A couple of weeks later, our wireless router stopped serving us entirely.

My brother, who's a bit more hardware-savvy than me, says that the easiest way to probably fix it was to set out wireless router to act as a bridge. He says, that way, each device connected to it would be assigned an IP address by our ISP. We checked our wireless router's control panel, but couldn't find anything to set it to bridge. We later learned that Linksys WRT54GC routers (this is the compact model), well, SUCK, in terms of configurability. It was also impossible to re-flash it with open source firmwares.

What else should I check and try to reconfigure?

Do I need to change our wireless router?

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My take on this is that you should always keep router and modem separate. I know others who have a combo modem installed, which includes the router, the wireless access point AND DSL modem. Although it will likely end up being more expensive, keeping components separate is a better long-term strategy.

Usually, the DSL modem should stand by itself, providing connectivity to the DSL service, no more. Once you have an external IP connection by the modem, you should have a DSL client, such as a router that will handle the DSL on the "client" side. This router can then route multiple internal connections, as well as providing wireless access point. This way, you also have better control on every aspect of your internal network, be it the IP address range, the wireless protection and settings, etc.

If the technology changes later on the router side, you can simply change the router, and the modem will not have to be changed.

If your provider locks you in a specific hardware/router configuration, I would simply chane to another provider. I don't know how the market works in your area, but in Canad, the market is open, and I chose not to go with the best-known provider. instead, I use another one, which gives me all the flexibility I need. And my internal router is my own business, nobody else's.

Have a nice day :-)


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