As soon as I went to work the home network dropped off the internet, wouldn’t you know it. It turns out that was the time the old lease ran out, and it wanted my router to ask for it again. As I’d configured it to static to deal with their lease issue, no such luck.
Fixing it when I got home taught me another lesson, it’s actually really important to clone the MAC address as well of the old router. With the original MAC address in place I couldn’t get a DHCP lease. With a clone of the FIOS router, all was good.
I finally got around to installing my own wireless router on my FIOS network, a Linksys e2100L with dd-wrt installed on it. After the router is setup (that’s beyond the scope of this post) there are 2 tricks to make this work.
First, Verizon FIOS gives out really long dhcp leases, and doesn’t want to give them up. So you need to not only clone the MAC address for your router, but actually set it to the ip addresses that your old router was given. I’m told that after about 2 weeks you’ll be able to start using DHCP again, but you can’t for the switch over.
Secondly, you have to set the upstream MTU. Presumably Verizon is doing some VLAN tagging, which would explain why your IP addresses can jump all over the place after a major network change on their side. 1496 should be a safe value, and it looked like it worked, but I left mine down at 1450, for no good reason other than superstition. This was the trick I was missing before, and since I’ve been dealing with bizarre networking issues at work recently the idea was still floating around in my brain.
It’s now working, and my port forwarding is setup enough that I can do any fixes I need remotely via vpn.
I’ve been thinking about getting a new wireless router that I could install dd-wrt on, an open Linux replacement firmware, which gives you all kinds of nice features. I started this journey on the dd-wrt website to try to figure out what good options are right now. It was a confusing support matrix that I couldn’t really compare very well.
Then something occurred to me, perhaps there were some comments on newegg reviews for equipment about people doing this. Newegg is a pretty technically competent community, so this wasn’t that much of a stretch. I popped “ddwrt” into the search engine, and was surprised by the results, which looked something like this:
Linksys WRT54GL 802.11b/g Wireless Broadband Router up to 54Mbps/ Compatible with Open Source DD-WRT (not pre-load)
There are currently 11 routers on newegg that list DD-WRT in their title. Being open is now a selling feature of these products. How cool is that.