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gbroiles
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Location: San Jose, CA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:43 am    Post subject: Starting from zero - optimal hardware config Reply with quote Back to top

I am helping a friend set up a new Vonage account/connection for use over a 1500/384 DSL connection. Ideally, the resulting configuration will allow for use of a voice phone and a FAX machine, 802.11g connectivity for a laptop, provide NAT/firewall for LAN users and use QoS to preserve voice quality.

My impression from reading the messages is that the current optimal setup would be a Linksys WRT54G running 3rd party firmware + a Linksys PAP2.

Anyone care to point me at a better solution? We're prepared to spend $200 or so if that's what it takes to get the right hardware. I also have an old Cisco ATA-186 that's available for use.

Reliability, stability, and performance are more important than price.

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navydavy2001
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Posts: 1125
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Welcome!

Sounds like a good plan you have there, and remember to come back here and ask additional questions if you need more specifics. Things to consider:

1) If your friend has cordless phones, make sure their 5.8 Ghz. As you might know, 2.4 Ghz will screw with a wireless network and create headaches.

2) If you have the old ATA, and had Vonage, you might not be able to re-activate under someone else. Plan on getting one of the other phone adapters that Vonage offers, but since you'll have the WRT doing the dirty work, set it up like this:

DSL---->WRT----->Phone Adapter

Don't use the phone adapter for anything else but Vonage.

Let us know how it goes and again, welcome aboard. Very Happy

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jnuzzi
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Posts: 216
Location: Orlando, FL

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Just an observation, but $200 seems high for a WRT54G and a PAP2. Unless you are including the price of a new 5.8 Ghz expandable cordless phone. In that case $200 might be a little low. Wink

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Jim

ISP: Brighthouse/RoadRunner - 7M/512k
Hardware: WRT54GP2
Phone: Uniden TRU8866

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DallasFlier
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Posts: 277
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:19 am    Post subject: Re: Starting from zero - optimal hardware config Reply with quote Back to top

gbroiles wrote:
My impression from reading the messages is that the current optimal setup would be a Linksys WRT54G running 3rd party firmware + a Linksys PAP2.

Sounds like you've been doing your homework. The only change I'd suggest to that is instead of the PAP2, go ahead and get the RTP300, which is free for a new Vonage signup. Just turn off all the routing functions when you set it up behind the WRT54G, and use it as a PAP2 with newer technology. Oh, and also if you've been reading, make sure the WRT54G you get is NOT a version 5, or look for the new WRT54GL, which is just a rebranded WRT54 version 4. With the free RTP300, your total cost should end up being well under $100 for the hardware.

_________________
TWC 20M/2M w/Moto DOCSIS 3 --> WRT54G v2 (Tomato F/W) --> 4 PC's, 2 wireless; 4 networked DirecTV boxes; PS3 (powerline wired) & Wii (wireless) VT2442 (routing OFF), RTP300 (routing OFF) & V-Portal - Total of 4 Vonage lines
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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Gee, I think you've got it.

As DallasFlier said, the WRT54GL is currently the only Linksys router that supports the third party firmware.

Read up on QoS http://vonage.nmhoy.net/qos.html

The WRT54GL is available from Amazon.com for about $75. The aftermarket firmware I recommend (simply because it's the easiest to install and use, and it works) is HyperWRT Tofu at http://www.polarcloud.com/tofu/

I agree with DallasFlier's recommendation of the RTP300. I have a WRTP54G (the RTP300's wireless-enabled cousin), and it is an excellent Vonage phone adapter.

As far as a detailed configuration, here's what I'd build if I was starting from scratch:

1. Main router: WRT54GL, running HyperWRT Tofu 13b.
- QoS tuned for your upstream bandwidth (see article above).
- RTP300 MAC address set in QoS as HIGHEST.
- All other devices on network not set up at all in QoS, or set up with your preference of priorities. Nothing but Vonage should use HIGHEST.
- RTP300's MAC address set up in Static DHCP with a fixed IP address of 192.168.1.120
- Change password to something secure and hard to guess.
- If you use wireless, enable WPA encryption if at all possible.
- If you use BitTorrent or P2P, set that device as very low, and up the priority on Web and other defined ports to "medium".

2. RTP300 plugged into one of the LAN ports of the WRT54GL
- Change login username and password to something secure and hard to guess.
- Remote administration turned on. Default port 8080 is fine.
- Nothing else you really need to change. You can leave the DHCP server running in case you ever want to plug a computer into it directly for some reason. That computer can access the internet, but cannot see the other computers on the WRT54G (different network)

3. All other computers plugged into other LAN ports or using wireless on the WRT54GL.
- Can access main router config using default web page http://192.168.1.1
- Can access Vonage router config using http://192.168.1.120:8080


_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
My Vonage Self-Help Guides: http://vonage.nmhoy.net
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ColdGin
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

That DSL connection just might be a tad weak, if you plan to be able to fax, talk on the phone and have more than one computer online at one time, check your true day to day speeds on that internet connection and see what you actually get versus what you would actually be using.
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caralmar
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Posts: 42

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Although I agree with the notion of using a robust router and the RTP300 for voice only, I have gone from this setup to just using the RTP300 for testing purposes and have found that everything I needed to do works well with just the RTP300.

I have four computers hooked up to the RTP300, including a printserver switch and a wireless access point. Three more computers are running wireless connections. I use P2P, corporate as well as personal email, VPN, MSN, and I'm an avid XBOX Live gamer. My wife is on the phone all the time and never notices any choppiness. We have Adelphia cable 6mbps/768kbps package and it has been solid.

We also have a kid who is constantly on the internet. I review many documents on a daily basis. These PDF's are all between 8-16MB in size and I routinely email them or transfer them to FTP servers.

As if that wasn't enough, I'm also streaming video out through my RTP300 when I'm on the road (Slingbox). So, the RTP300 may not be an industrial strength router, but it does everything I've asked it to do. Best of all, it was free.

I've been running with this setup now for about 4 months. Other than the Hurricane Wilma outage, it has been solid.
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