After Surf Soho's initial setup re: when and if to move modem port

Hi and thank you for your help. I have been following Michael’s awesome directions. There seems to be something left out though. I know I have 2 steps to go, further protections and setting up vlans. However, should I keep the modem connected to the Lan port or now connect it to the Wan port? My computer generally has been kept on the Ethernet cable. I don’t have internet unless the modem is connected to the wan port of the router. But the initial setup calls for that port to be a Lan port. I don’t know what to do.
Thank you,

I dont follow what you are trying to do and where you are in that process.

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Hi Michael,
It is so cool to talk to you. I read your site (and by the way it is very impressive and helpful) and since my modem/router was old and I wanted security due to covid-19’s increase in hacker activity I decided to go with the best and most long lived and secure software/hardware. I am not a tech trained person. I am in fact an LMFT specializing in sextherapy. But I seem to like doing things in the world of tech.

I live in a challenging spot in terms of cell coverage so I have a Wi-Fi extender and I want better Wi-Fi in the house. I have the modem and router up now but do not have Wi-Fi yet. That is basically what I want to do. I want my 2 computers connected to the lan via ethernet to work and also have Wi-Fi. So to do this I learned from Rick that having the modem in the Wan position was ok. If I want to make VLANs which I do I can put it back into the Lan position to begin to get my Wi-Fi going.
First I want you to know that I have finally gotten to the place where I have all the things that are needed in the console and have backed it up. I am getting ready to do a manual firmware upgrade. I think I am at the place where I need to do the firmware upgrade then put in place the security settings then make the VLANs. Then turn on WI-Fi on my laptop and put in the last 8 characters of the MAC address of the router and then I will have Wi-Fi.
I hope that is the progression and that it works. I would like your input to tell me if I am on the right track.

What I would like you to change in your text is in this section:

If you are connecting via Wi-Fi go ahead and connect now. Look for an SSID like PEPWAVE_xxxx where xxxx is the last four characters of the router serial number. The network is password protected and the password is the last eight characters of the LAN MAC address. You can find the LAN MAC address on a label on the bottom of the router. A MAC address consists of letters and numbers. Enter any letters in the LAN MAC address in upper case. Any circles are zeros, the letter OH is not valid in a MAC address. Ignore the dashes in the MAC address."

It sounded to me that I did not need to pay attention to this since I was setting things up with the ethernet not Wi-Fi. But now I wonder if you are saying this is how to now open up your Wi-Fi?

The reasons for the chaos are many and little to none of it has to do with your guidance. But you don’t have to read that experience so they are listed now here at the end of this email.

I have a business though I am more or less retiring from my practice and working from home due to covid-19. I have Cox cable for the internet and TV. When I disconnected my modem/router and ran into trouble and wanted to reconnect it I was told it was too old and they would not allow it back on the net.
I have the latest Surf Soho (was so excited when I learned that) and a Netgear CM600 modem.

I have been working on this since last Tuesday. It began with difficulties due to Cox not knowing what to do with something different from their modem/router and someone putting in the wrong MAC number. Tuesday was day 1 which was 6 hours on the phone with them. Day 2 early am (day crew) sent me to tier 2 person who began by looking at all the MAC numbers and saw the e c d mix up and within an hour it was good to go.
But I think that messed me up because I was at the same time putting in the router as per pepwave directions and did not have your directions even though I basically came originally from your site. Sorry didn’t see that page.
Then when pepwave came up as a network I did not have the password. I finally just gave up and put the Soho back to factory reset. It has been a challenge and I don’t think it needed to be as big a challenge as it has been.
So happy to get help. And Jazzed to connect with you! Rick too he is so nice and the lady that gave me your page. Nice group.

Hi Michael,
Apparently I have the latest firmware. So did not need to update. I realized that my created shared key was my WiFi password so I now have Wi-Fi. Since I have to move the modem to a Lan port to do a VLAN I will have to wait until tomorrow AM when Hubby will not be using the computer. I look forward to setting up the VLAN to secure my home security.
By the way other thing I forgot to mention was that you never said to now move the modem to a Wan port instead of a Lan port. Or is that not correct? Am I missing something?
You did a fantastic job. I hope you don’t mind me making those suggestions.
Thank You!

You need to start your question at the very beginning. You said your modem/router was old. Then you said you have the modem and router up without WiFi. Whats in the middle? Did you buy new hardware? If so, what? Is the old hardware still in place?

And, the concept of putting a modem into the Lan position has no meaning. I have no idea what you are trying to do.

And, the word “console” has no meaning in regard to routers.

A router is either online or offine. If a modem is connected to the WAN port, then it is online. If nothing is connected to the WAN port then it is offline. You can and should make many configuration changes with the router off-line. Even Wifi can be configured while the router is off-line. As for a firmware update, the new firmware can be downloaded on any computer that is online and then transferred to a computer connected to the offline router. Then the offline router can have its firmware manually updated.

As for “It sounded to me that I did not need to pay attention to this since I was setting things up with the ethernet not Wi-Fi” … that is true.

There is a mis-understanding somewhere. A modem, such as your Netgear cable modem, should only be plugged into the WAN port of a router. Never a LAN port.

I can not believe that Cox would not let their own hardware back onto their network because it was old. Wow.


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