How to Transform a SpeedStream 5200 modem into a Router
By Gabriel Torres on November 26, 2004
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 http://www.abusar.org/manuais/Update_E240_A21_70-7_1086-503.exe. 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 http://www.abusar.org/manuais/5200_Router_Manual.pdf). 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.
After doing the firmware upgrade in the modem, you will have to make some configurations so you can access the Internet. The whole process is this:
1. You should point your browser to http://192.168.254.254. That is the address for the configuration of the modem. The first time you visit it, the modem will ask you to configure an administrative password to be used the next times you visit your configuration address. Check the Save Settings box.
2. Next, click on "Setup" in the navigation bar to the left and then on "WAN Interface." The modem will ask for the password that you have just configured to continue.
3. A list of configurations for the modem will be shown. There will be two lines. You should configure the first line (called 0), clicking on its value (8/35). In the screen that is then shown, you should enter 0 in the VPI field and 33 in the VCI field. Then Click on Next. In the following screen, select "RFC-2684 Bridged." Click on Next. You will have to name this configuration. The configurations we have just done serve to make the modem work as a modem again (bridge mode). That is necessary because if you have to return the it you will have to undo the modifications you did. We suggest you call this configuration "Bridge."
4. Now you should do the second configuration, which will configure the modem to work as a router. Click on 8/81 in line 1. In the screen that is then shown, you should enter 0 in the VPI field and 33 in the VCI field. Then Click on Next. In the following screen, select PPPoE. Click on Next. Select Client Only and Click on Next. In the following screen, select 1 and Click on Next. The next screen asks for the user's login name and password. You should enter them in the appropriate fields. Click on Next. Then check the option Auto-Connect on Disconnect and Click on Next. In the next screen, leave the field (optional Static IP address) empty and Click on Next. In the following screen, Interface Options, leave the configurations at the manufacturer's values and Click on Next. In the next screen you will have to name this configuration. We suggest you call this configuration Router. Click on Next and in the following screen click on Finish.
5. Now you should enable the modem as a router. To do so, go to Setup, WAN Interface. The screen that will be shown displays the two configurations you did (Bridge and Router). The configuration the modem is currently using is the one with the Disable box. Then, if this box is next to Bridge click on Disable. Then click on the Enable box that will appear next to Router. Remember that you will have to put the modem in the bridge mode before returning it.
6. After enabling the modem as a router you will have to restart the modem. That is done by clicking on the word Reboot that will appear in red, and on the Reboot box that will appear in the following screen.
7. After rebooting the modem, it will work as a router. All you have to do is to authenticate at your operator's website to have your Internet connection working. Once authenticated, you won't need to authenticate it anymore if you don't turn the modem off.
After having transformed the modem into a router, how do I share the Internet with the other computers in my home or office?
You will need to buy a hub or a switch and connect the modem/router to one of its ports and each one of the computers to an available port in this equipment, using a twisted pair cable in a pin-to-pin configuration (the renown network blue cable). After being transformed into a router the modem starts working as a DHCP server, so you just have to configure the network in each machine to the automatic mode and the modem/router will configure the network for you.
What will be the IP of the machines?
As we said, the router will work as a DHCP server, thus it will automatically supply the addresses of the machines (something like 192.168.x.x), so configuring the machines to the automatic mode will allow the router to configure them automatically. The machines will access the Internet using a single public IP, which is the IP address supplied by the telephone services provider. Since each machine will use a magic IP (addresses like 192.168.x.x and 10.x.x.x are called "magic" because they do not permit the direct connection to the Internet without using a router), the modem/router will also become a firewall, preventing hackers to access the machines in your network. In other words, besides the comfort the modem now offers working as a router, you also have more safety.