The Basics

SpeedStream 5200 is a very popular ADSL modem. What most people do not know is that this modem can be transformed into a router through the extremely simple procedure of a firmware upgrade. In other words, all you have to do is to update the program in the modem to have it working as a router.

But why should we transform a modem into a router? There are several advantages, especially if you want to share your broadband Internet connection with other computers.

If you want to share your ADSL connection with your network, you will have to leave a computer on all the time (or buy a router). In this computer the modem will be connected – and so will the network – via a second network board. You will have to install and configure a sharing software (Wingate, Winroute, etc), or enable the internet sharing service of your operating system. Besides, you will have to perform the authentication procedure in this computer.

Transforming your modem into a router will kill many birds with one stroke.

First, you won’t need to have a computer making the connection between the modem and the network anymore. The modem may be connected directly to your network hub or switch, which can not be done using modems with manufacturer’s configuration. Secondly, you won’t need to spend any money buying a router, which is the equipment that would solve the problem described and would permit connecting the modem to a hub or switch. Third, the authentication process will be done by any one of the computers in the network. Fourthly, there is not need to set any connection sharing program. Isn’t that wonderful?

You may work the following way: you do the modem authentication from any computer in the network and leave the modem always on. Then, if any network computer wants to access the Internet, all you have to do is to turn it on, without having to first turn the intermediate computer on. This new procedure some saving in your electricity bill, too, since you won’t need to have two computers on to access the Internet.

And how to work this wonder? You will have to download the firmware upgrade program for this modem from Note that this upgrade only works in modems with part number E240. You will have to see if the serial number of your modem is something like XXX-E240-XXX.

But before doing the upgrade, download the modem manual too (from That is necessary because right after the firmware upgrade you won’t be able to access the Internet anymore until you make some configurations in the modem.

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.