Why is my router's config page only available wirelessly, all of a sudden?
May 5, 2012 10:32 AM   Subscribe

I just upgraded to a new modem from Time Warner, which gives me super fast download speeds! Currently, however, I don't have easy access to my router's configuration page, and can't seem to figure out why. Help! I'll try to give all the pertinent details.

I had an old Surfboard modem from TimeWarner (Roadrunner) for several years , and the modem was connected to a NETGEAR WNDR3400v2 wireless router, to broadcast my signal. I also have 3 devices hard-wired to the router (A Boxee Box, my XBOX 360, and my printer)

If I needed to port forward or do anything with my router, it was as simple as accessing the old Http:// page, or in the case of this particular router, I could type http://www.routerlogin.net.

When the tech guy installed my new router, he moved the plugs for the devices from the router to the modem, since my new modem apparently has a built-in firewall, etc. The new modem is a Motorola SBG6580

So, now I only have one cord connecting my new modem to my wireless router. It still broadcasts to the same wifi network I set up, and all is well in that regard. All my devices work fine, wirelessly, or wired.

HOWEVER, I no longer have any way to access my router's config page. When I type in the config page address (http://www.routerlogin.net), it brings me HERE
When I type in, it times out. If I type, however, I get access to my new modem's config page (I looked up the default user/pass online, and it worked).

Yesterday, as I was checking my wife's laptop to see if it connected to my network wirelessly, it worked great...and on a whim, I typed on her laptop, which opened up my router config page! So I was able to access the config page wirelessly through my wife's PC... I even connected my Droid Razr Maxx phone to my network, and was able to open the config page through my phone...

But I cannot seem to access this page from the actual PC that the router is connected to!!!

What could be happening? This is baffling to me, as I have a hard time working it all through my head, and figuring out where the problem lies.

Help!! This is a minor annoyance in the scheme of things, as my internet speed is fantastic, and my wifi networks work well. I should mentioned that resetting all the info on my router didn't fix the problem...however, I did subsequently have to access the router via my phone to reconfigure it and set up my passwords, etc...sure woulda been easier if I could have done it from the computer it was attached to!
posted by newfers to Computers & Internet (15 answers total)
The guy that installed your modem was being lazy and now you have two networks with two different dhcp servers and routers. This is a terrible idea for a lot of reasons. Either unplug your router and use your modem as the router or call TW and tell them you want their router in bridge mode, which just turns it into a modem, basically.
posted by empath at 10:54 AM on May 5, 2012

Response by poster: Well, when I am browsing local wireless networks (via my phone, for example) the modem doesn't show up as an option (the network name is SBG6580EB, which doesn't show up on my phone...or via our iPad, or on my wife's PC...for all intents and purposes, it does not exist.)

There is a section for "wireless bridging" within the modem configs. I selected it, but have no idea what I do from there...nothing seems to have changed, no matter which I select.
posted by newfers at 10:58 AM on May 5, 2012

From your description, it sounds as though your modem has built in router functions, but you're connecting through your old router which is hooked up to the new modem. That can make it very difficult to connect to either of them, since they both probably have the same IP address on your internal network(s). You're going to want to either turn off DHCP on your old router or on the new modem/router combo. Or just get rid of your old router and use the wireless settings on the new modem.

On preview: What empath said.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:00 AM on May 5, 2012

Response by poster: I don't have enough ethernet ports on the new modem, however...there's one extra device (the modem only has 4 ports total...I forgot to mention my 4th device, which is a MagicJack VOIP phone... so if I use the modem only, minus the router, I lack the ports I need). Is this a situation where I need something like a DLINK Desktop Switch to add ports, or will disabling DHCP on my old router still enable me to use it for the extra ports that I need?
(So many questions!!! SORRY!!!)
posted by newfers at 11:06 AM on May 5, 2012

Disabling DHCP on your old router will still allow you to use the ethernet ports on it, yes. It will basically just act as an ethernet switch and wireless access point. If you are having trouble getting in to the old router, try disconnecting it from the modem before logging into it.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:11 AM on May 5, 2012

Response by poster: Jeez, that's so simple, that I'm embarrassed that I hadn't thought of it..

Before I do anything else, though, there is a new wrinkle... Although wireless is apparently enabled via my new modem, and it lists the SSID of the network, I cannot seem to connect to it via any of my devices...

As soon as it seems that I've gotten help with something, there's another obstacle!
posted by newfers at 11:21 AM on May 5, 2012

If your devices cannot connect to it because you aren't seeing the SSID in your list of wireless networks, it is possible that the modem has SSID broadcasting turned off. There should be an option to turn it on in the modem's configuration pages, somewhere.

If your devices can see the SSID in the list of available wireless networks but still cannot connect, I would first log in to the modem and turn off any wireless security and see if that solves the problem. If devices can connect without issue with the wireless security turned off, try setting a different type of password. Start with WEP, if that works, move up to WPA with a pre-shared key. Some of the newer modem/router combos come preset with WPA2 security, which older devices tend to have issues with.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:33 AM on May 5, 2012

Response by poster: I looked for SSID broadcasting, but cannot find it! I will try to adjust the security options, however, to see if that helps...

A lot of of items are ghosted in the config screen...here is a screenshot :
posted by newfers at 11:39 AM on May 5, 2012

From looking at your screenshot "Closed network" seems to be the equivalent of "SSID broadcast". But it is disabled, so it should be broadcasting the SSID. Try turning off that "Automatic Security Configuration" bit in the upper right hand corner -- that looks like it wants you to press a button on the modem or give it a PIN number each time you want to connect a new wireless device.

Judging from the manual, one of the options under "Automatic Security Configuration" should be "disable".
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:50 AM on May 5, 2012

(If that doesn't do it and there aren't really any other responses, I'll take another look at this when I get home from work.)
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:53 AM on May 5, 2012

Try unplugging the VOIP box from your set up, restarting everything and then trying the IP addresses again. I have a Vonage box hooked up to my router and it causes the same symptoms exactly.
posted by merocet at 12:55 PM on May 5, 2012

Response by poster: the VOIP box hasn't changed...it's still plugged in to the router, as it always was...it's the only device that didn't move...and the phone still works fine!
posted by newfers at 4:02 PM on May 5, 2012

I have the same setup. I had to have my cable company put the new modem into "Bridge mode", and then hooked it up to my router via Ethernet, and just use my router for Wi-Fi.

One warning - the new modem is DOCSIS 3.0 and is fast! Check the capabilities of your router before doing this, because most routers can't handle the speed and will crash/reset/etc. I'm not sure what the requirements are, but they can easily be found by googling. There are lots of reports of routers not being able to keep up. I think it's the WAN speed you need to check?
posted by iamscott at 7:26 PM on May 5, 2012

Response by poster: Yeah, I'm new to this DOCSIS stuff...hadn't heard the term before yesterday, so I'm treading carefully. If I can use the new modem as a wireless router (it seems to broadcast, but I'm unable to connect, so far), then I will ditch my router, and maybe use a "switch" to add the extra ports I need... I'll be testing it all out tomorrow... If I can get the wireless working via the modem!
posted by newfers at 9:02 PM on May 5, 2012

With my set up the VOIP worked fine also but it was taking the IP address that the new modem should have had so unplugging the VOIP and resetting everything without that attached allowed the modem to reclaim it's rightful IP address and me to change the settings. Once that was done I plugged the VOIP back in, restarted everything and it all worked happily as it should.
posted by merocet at 9:20 AM on May 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

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