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Actiontec 2200 Frustrations

Just Moved In

Just switched to Telus last week (TV and Internet) and I'm doing my best to work with the Actiontec 2200 all-in-one device.  So far the issues I've found with it are as follows:

1) When setting your own SSID, the Actiontec 2200 doesn't support valid SSID characters, specifically _ (underscore).  According to RFC (802.11-2012 section any 0 - 32 octet string should be allowed, and the RFC goes on to reinforce support for not just ASCII characters, but full support for  UTF-8.  I had to change the _ (underscore) in my SSID to - (dash) and reconfigured about a dozen wireless devices.  This is a bug, but there's a workaround so it doesn't bother me that much.

2) Multicast traffic.  With 5 Optik TV boxes (so far), the broadcasts (multicasts) on my network are crazy high.  Doesn't affect most devices (computers, printers, etc., especially those with gigabit interfaces), but devices with 10Mbps interfaces are getting flooded and dropping off the network when TV usage is high.  In my case this includes things like a DSC TL-150 alarm communicator (causes my alarm system to go into a supervisory trouble while watching TV on any more than 2 TVs at once).  I've also got about a dozen VoIP phones and a few of them (the Analog Terminal Adapters) can't cope with what they see as a broadcast storm.  I'm running managed switches, so I could set a limit on multicasts on a per-port basis, but separating the TV network from the computer network entirely seems like a better alternative.

3) DHCP server problems.  Changed the default to no problem and specified a dynamic pool from 100 through 199.  Set the Actiontec to .1 no problems.  So far so good.  Now I went to start entering reservations for equipment that is OUTSIDE the pool of dynamic addresses.  In my case this includes a couple of extra access points at .2 and .3, a managed PoE injector at .5, managed switches at .10 and .11, printer at .20, alarm communicator at .30, etc.  Whatever strange DHCP server has been implemented on the Actiontec is horribly broken and doesn't allow a reservation outside that's outside the pool of dynamic leases.  It doesn't take a networking expert to understand that the DHCP server on the Actiontec is broken.  No problem though, I'll just use a 3rd party DHCP server that follows RFCs.  In my case this is ISC DHCPD.  The first step to using your own DHCP server

4) Bridge mode weirdness.  OK, I understand that my home network is a little more complex than the average user's, so it looks like I'm going to need to put the Actiontec into bridge mode and go back to setting the network up myself (I'm OK with that, and it's what I was expecting from the outset).  I put the Actiontec port 1 (this is actually port 0, BTW) into bridge mode and plugged everything in to my DIY network (using a Linux server with iptables for PAT, ISC DHCPD and BIND).  The first issue is that getting a DHCP address on the bridge port doesn't work the first time.  No idea why, but it takes about 2 minutes after the interface comes up before a DHCPOFFER is given.  Again, there's a workaround so I'm not too fussed about this.  The big problem here is that none of the Optik TV boxes work.  😞

So my game plan for today is to factory reset the Actiontec, then put port 1 (0) into bridge mode.  I'll run that to my own router, then connect that to VLAN1.  Next, I'll connect all the Optik TV boxes and the Actiontec's LAN port to VLAN2.  The idea is that Telus will manage the network that has all the Optik TVs on it, and I'll go back to managing the network that runs everything else.

Any suggestions here would be appreciated!


Community Power User
Community Power User

I feel that you are forging a new path with respect to the knowledge of this group, and hope you will continue to share your discoveries in as complete a form as you have done above, so others may benefit. 

I do note the T1200H setup that there is a means to reserve static DHCP addresses within the pool you select. I, too, was familiar with setting the static IP outside the DHCP pool, but this unit does it within th pool.

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Just Moved In

Update: Factory reset the Actiontec, then set port 1 to bridge mode and disabled wireless.

Created 3 VLANs on a managed switch.  8 ports each for VLAN1 (Default), VLAN2 (DMZ), VLAN3 (Optik TV).  Connected an unmanaged slave switch to VLAN1.

VLAN3 has all my Optik TV boxes on it.  It's happily broadcasting up a storm on its default network, but the rest of the VLANs are oblivious to this traffic.

VLAN1 has everything except the Optik TVs on it.  All is happy on this network with its own router, access points, DHCP server, etc.

VLAN2 is connected directly to the Actiontec's bridge (port 1).  It's also connected to the WAN port on my router and to to a dedicated NIC on my server (VoIP, Plex, that sort of thing).  Got 3 external (routable) IPs from Telus with no difficulties.

Everything is working happily now and I'm pretty impressed that I was able to get 3 IPs from Telus.  I was expecting that to be a challenge.  🙂

So until Telus / Actiontec is able to resolve the issues with the 2200, having 3 VLANs and 3 external IPs is a good interim solution for me at least!!!

Community Power User
Community Power User

I think you're expecting way too much from a consumer grade all in one modem. Most ISP provided equipment is designed for 99% of users out there and often will not handle what power users throw at it. Bridging it, as you've found, is the only solution that will work.

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