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Setting Up Static IP Addresses

I want to turn off DHCP and setup static IP addresses, but have some questions about applying the information to my specific system.

I have a Cisco Wireless Router, 1-wired computer (windows 7) and 2-wireless computers (1-XP and the other is Windows 7). I also have a dual wireless print server, a Roku box, a Wii, a Kindle Fire, and Vonage which is connected between my cable modem and router (this was the preferred installation method by Vonage).

I have ran IPCONFIG /All and have all the addresses. My concern is what to use as a static address for my router first off, and then how I go about picking IP addresses for the computers and devices, and how to set then up both at the router and at the computer or device. Also, do I need any IP address ranges for any of this?

I'd also like to make sure it would be possible to setup this system with the Vonage adapter connected between the cable modem and router as it's setup now.

I'm fairly new to networking, so if you can give detailed answers it will be appreciated.
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  1. Best answer
    I do NOT recommend turning off DHCP. Most routers will allow you to map the MAC address of various devices to a fixed (static) IP. That way, these devices are still using DHCP, but you always know which IP, it remains constant. That centralizes control of your network at the router and avoids the hassle of individually managing each device's TCP/IP configuration. Because once you start down that path, you also have to keep them current wrt DNS servers and various other settings. What happens if one day you decide you'd like to have all your devices use OpenDNS servers to filter content? Without DHCP, you’ll have to change EVERY device, by hand. UGH!

    As far as which IPs, it’s just a matter of taste/preference. I tend to keep all my infrastructure devices (router, repeaters, bridges, etc.) in the 192.168.1.1-19 range. I use 192.168.1.20-99 for computers and any other devices that need a static IP, and 192.168.1.100-199 for dynamic IPs. Finally, I reserve 192.168.1.200 and above for special purposes (e.g., VPN clients). And I don’t give static IPs to all my devices. Only to those devices for which I would actually need to contact them via IP. For example, if my iphone has a static IP, it serves no useful purpose; I can’t contact it or access it remotely anyway (at least not without jail breaking it). So leave those devices alone. Let them use the DHCP pool.
  2. Thanks for the advice, but I still would like to do what I stated previously. Do you know how to do this?
  3. You first select a network (e.g., 192.168.1.x). You can now use any address from 192.168.1.1 thru 192.168.1.254 for your devices (192.168.1.255 is the broadcast address, don't use it). You can assign your router ANY of these addresses, but by convention, most ppl use the .1 address (192.168.1.1). But again, you can use anything you want for all your devices. It's just *helpful* if you use some sort of conventions like those I mentioned. Minimally, every device will need a unique IP, subnet mask (255.255.255.0), gateway IP (the IP address of the router), and DNS servers (usually determined by your ISP, although some routers will act as a DNS server/relay, so using the router’s IP may be appropriate in those cases).
  4. Right, this is what I want to do. Can you give me the details. There's a lot of jargon in there that I don't really understand. Does every device need a unique subnet mask, unique gateway IP (is this the same as the 192.168.1.1?), and unique DNS servers?

    Is it okay to have my Vonage adapter ahead of the router?

    Should I use the numbers I pulled with IPCONFIG /ALL?

    Again, I'm a beginner here and really need step-by-step instructions.

    Ideally, there is someone out there with the same e1000 router who has done this before.
  5. Oh, well, now you're really getting back to basics. It's probably expecting too much for ppl to provide a mini course on IP in this forum. I'd strongly suggest visiting http://smallnetbuilder.com or similar sites to learn more about basic networking. But I’ll try to explain it quickly.

    Every device needs a unique IP (e.g., 192.168.1.1 thru 192.168.1.254). The subnet mask (255.255.255.0) is typically the same for each of those IPs. And every device will use the same gateway IP (typically the router, e.g., 192.168.1.1) and DNS server(s). Yes, for any given PC currently using DHCP, you could issue an “ipconfig /all” command and determine the currently assigned IP address, gateway IP, DNS server(s), etc. It’s all there. Of course, if you’re only going to take that same information and assign those same values manually, I’m not sure what the point of the exercise is. But so be it.

    As far as the Vonage adapter, it’s perfectly acceptable (in fact, preferable) to keep it BEHIND your router. The folks at Vonage want you to place it AHEAD of the router because in those rare cases where ppl would have a problem, it reduces their tech support calls! IOW, it’s a convenience to THEM, not YOU. So unless you run into specific problems, keep the Vonage adapter behind the router.
  6. eibgrad: Thanks for spending all this time with me, I really do appreciate it.

    Ok, I think I'm beginning to understand. So the router's IP would remain 192.168.1.1 and my three computers could be 192.168.1.60, 192.168.1.61, 192.168.1.62 (for example) and my other devices could be set at 192.168.1.100, 192.168.1.101, and 192.168.1.102 (for example).

    I understand what you're saying about Vonage wanting the adapter ahead of the router, but why do you say it is actually preferable to keep it behind the router? Will I get the same quality of bandwidth behind the router as ahead of the router?

    Thanks again for your help.
  7. Yes, you have the IP assignments correct, looks good.

    I say it's preferable behind the router for several reasons. It's always better if your router's firewall is hit first and receives the public IP, since it gives you more control. If the Vonage adapter is ahead of your router, *it* receives the public IP, which complicates remote access. You now have to port forward two firewalls. And now UPnP (Universal Plug-n-Play) won’t work since it won’t be propagated past your router up to the Vonage adapter. And since your router doesn't own the public IP, it can’t detect if it may have changed, and so now its DDNS feature doesn't work anymore. It just makes a mess of things.

    IOW, while you *theoretically* can improve performance using the Vonage recommendations, it comes at a price. It even assumes that voice calls ***should*** receive higher priority. But who knows, you may feel differently (maybe you’re a gamer and want that to have higher priority). If the Vonage adapter was behind the router, you could use the QoS (Quality of Service) features of your router to give it higher OR lower priority wrt other services. But if it's ahead of the router, you're “locked in”, the Vonage adapter always has higher priority, whether you want it or not.

    Also, placing it ahead of the router means it necessarily has to be placed in the vicinity of the modem. But that may not be very practical if your phone is not in the same location, or if you intend to feed the signal into your home wiring and the modem is not near an RJ11 outlet. But if it’s behind the router, you have much more flexibility. You could even make the Vonage adapter *wireless* using a wireless ethernet bridge!

    [modem]<-- wire -->[wireless router]<-- wireless -->[wireless ethernet bridge]<-- wire -->[vonage adapter]

    Now you can place the Vonage adapter anywhere you like, as long as it’s within wireless range!

    Of course, there’s always the possibility that some customer has a particular problem and is forced to place the Vonage adapter directly behind the modem. Particularly if their router doesn’t have QoS controls, or does but they don’t know it, or they just don’t know how to use it. But again, strictly speaking, it’s not necessary. In fact, ppl using combination devices (modem+router), which is common for DSL users, don’t even have that option. They MUST place the Vonage adapter behind the router given the modem is integral to the router. And we know those installations work just fine in most cases.

    So my best advice is, place the Vonage adapter behind the router for now and only move it behind the modem unless absolutely necessary. 99% of the time it will be just fine. You’re only going to need to consider otherwise if you’re saturating the network w/ downloads and other heavy forms of traffic at the same time the phone is in use. In that case, having the Vonage adapter behind the modem FORCES voice calls to have priority. But that’s like using a chainsaw to fix a hangnail. In most cases, you’d be far better off keeping the Vonage adapter behind the router and using the QoS controls on your router (if you have that feature).

    Again, Vonage recommends differently because they know in the off chance someone has a performance issue (particularly for unsophisticated users, and those who don’t have QoS controls on their routers), it’s a quick and dirty way to FORCE the Vonage adapter to have higher priority. They don’t care that it undermines the rest of your network or complicates its management. They just want to avoid the complaints and tech support calls ($$$). So they whip out the chainsaw and say, “here, this should fix that nasty ol' hangnail”.
  8. Yes, my router has QoS. And I'm not a gamer. Netflix aside, I don't usually do big downloads unless I bought software online or I'm downloading family photos through Dropbox. Okay, so since you gave me that advice about Vonage, I might wait to make this transition until my Ooma box arrives. I'm assuming the same rules for that as Vonage. Ooma will not really be an addon, it will be replacing the Vonage once I can get the number changed over. I figure, I'll just do a transfer of calls over to the Ooma number I get until they can make the transfer to my old number. I'm going to print out this thread, so I can refer to it when I have everything ready to cut over to the new system. Thanks again for your help. I think I've really learned a lot for one day.

    Thank you eibgrad.
  9. Yeah, OOMA is the same thing. In fact, I was in the same boat a couple years ago. I had Vonage, then moved to OOMA. In both cases, I've always had the adapters behind my router.

    Btw, using OOMA makes it even more critical to keep the adapter behind the router. OOMA (unlike my old Vonage adapter) comes w/ its own messaging system directly accessible on the device. Who wants to have that sitting behind their modem?! What a pain. You want that adapter out in the open, easily accessible, on some desk, not wedged behind the modem.
  10. I'm wondering about Ooma, how do you like it?

    I got a deal on it. For $99 I get the unit, and free transfer of my present number. Only catch was I had to agree to subscribe to their premier service for 10 months @ $10 month. I figured it was still cheaper than Vonage. I'm wondering though about picking up messages. I thought the premium service offered so sort of online voice mail system similar to Vonage. Are you subscribing to their premier service? If not, how do you go about getting your messages? How do you know you have messages? Do you have to look at the master unit for this information?
  11. OOMA is great. I don't have premiere, just the basic, free service. The only thing I truly miss is call forwarding. I have the OOMA adapter connected to the router over a wireless ethernet bridge, then the phone signal running into the home’s phone wiring, where it’s connected on another floor to a cordless phone system w/ messaging. That phone system is my primary call center.

    [modem]<-- wire -->[wireless router]<-- wireless -->[wireless ethernet bridge]<-- wire -->[ooma adapter]<-- phone line -->[wall]<-- internal phone wiring -->[wall]<-- phone line -->[cordless phone system w/ messaging]

    I keep the OOMA service set to maximum rings so that my cordless phone picks up most calls (I wish OOMA allowed you to not have it answer at all, but that’s not an option, eventually it will pick up). If someone is using the phone, it will eventually fall over to the OOMA messaging center. I can always tell there are messages either by the flashing indicator on the OOMA adapter, or email sent to my inbox. In that sense it’s a bit awkward, esp. for the wife who doesn’t understand all of this. But it doesn’t happen too often, so I can live w/ it.

    I bought my Hub and Scout about three years ago (~$160), and it’s been totally free since (not even taxes or other fees). Vonage even tried to lure me back, but I told them, unless you can offer FREE, it's no use. Even if OOMA fell off the earth tomorrow, I recoup’d the cost of equipment many times over.
  12. So call quality is as good as Vonage?

    I think call forwarding is one of the benefits of premier. What does the ethernet bridge do exactly?

    I just have a Panasonic 3-set cordless system I bought a couple of years ago. It has an indicator light for calls left on voicemail or whatever. Not sure that will work with Ooma, so I'll have to get use to going into the den to check for VMs on the main I guess. I'm guessing I cannot use the answering system built into the phone system, right?

    Don't you pay for 911 yearly, or are you grandfathered in?

    Did you have trouble cancelling Vonage? I'm reading horror stories here from people who tried to cancel and kept getting billed.
  13. I find the call quality just as good as Vonage. And I have to admit, Vonage was very good, which made me hesitate initially, I didn't want to lose that. The only annoyance is the brief OOMA “intro” (couple seconds) that plays every time you get a dial-tone (more annoying to the wife than me). You can’t disable it either.

    The wireless ethernet bridge allows me to convert the otherwise wired-only ooma adapter into a wireless device! And so now I can place it anywhere I like. I'm not limited by the ethernet wire between the ooma adapter and the router. That's why I said, having the ooma adapter directly connected to the modem precludes that possibility.

    Yes, you can use your existing messaging system. You just have to make sure it picks up before OOMA. And you can configure OOMA via their website (you open an account there) to tell it how many rings before OOMA should pick up (and numerous other settings).

    On the old Hub and Scout, everyone was grandfather'd in, no taxes/fees of any kind, zilch. Awesome.

    Cancelling Vonage was easy enough, but they did try getting me back several times. I just made sure to NOT cancel until the phone # was transferred. Took about 3 weeks if I recall correctly. No mysterious additional bills beyond that point.
  14. Hey eibgrad,

    The mailman finally delivered my Ooma today, and I set it up. I forwarded my Vonage number over to the new Ooma number until the porting is completed. The quality is pretty good. I was chatting with one of their techs online and asked if a medium QoS level was good enough, and he hit me with this link: http://www.ooma.com/app/support/advanced-connections-and-service-ports

    Do you think setting up all these ports is going to make that much difference?
  15. As I said, the OOMA adapter will work just fine behind your router. Those instructions are intended for a small minority of users who block OUTBOUND ports on their router by default. But your typical consumer router *never* blocks OUTBOUND ports by default, only INBOUND ports (it's assumed threats are greatest from outside your network, not inside your network). But there may be say, a business environment, where the administrator doesn't want any traffic leaving their network except over certain ports, or at least w/o their full knowledge, perhaps for security reasons. So they block both INBOUND *and* OUTBOUND ports and only open them as needed. And in that case, they’d obviously need to know what those ports are in order to open them and use the OOMA adapter behind their router. But it's a non issue for you and me; all our OUTBOUND ports are already OPEN.

    That’s a long way of saying, you can safely ignore it, it’s not relevant.
  16. Cool. Thanks for your quick response. I see what you're saying about having the unit near the phone. I may end of buying one of those wireless ethernet bridges and moving the Ooma out near the living room phone.
  17. eibgrad said:
    As I said, the OOMA adapter will work just fine behind your router. Those instructions are intended for a small minority of users who block OUTBOUND ports on their router by default. But your typical consumer router *never* blocks OUTBOUND ports by default, only INBOUND ports (it's assumed threats are greatest from outside your network, not inside your network). But there may be say, a business environment, where the administrator doesn't want any traffic leaving their network except over certain ports, or at least w/o their full knowledge, perhaps for security reasons. So they block both INBOUND *and* OUTBOUND ports and only open them as needed. And in that case, they’d obviously need to know what those ports are in order to open them and use the OOMA adapter behind their router. But it's a non issue for you and me; all our OUTBOUND ports are already OPEN.

    That’s a long way of saying, you can safely ignore it, it’s not relevant.


    I just finished going through the features on my wireless panasonic set and discovered all the features work from the handset just like they did with Vonage. So, no need for the wireless ethernet bridge. Now, I'm just wondering whether voicemail is a premier feature, or standard with Ooma?
  18. AFAIK, voicemail is a standard feature (I certainly have it).
  19. So, once my premier commitment is done, I shouldn't need it.
  20. eibgrad said:
    AFAIK, voicemail is a standard feature (I certainly have it).


    I was afraid of this. I connected up Ooma and everything was working great. I made the decision to port over my number and give up Vonage. I no sooner did this and Ooma started crapping out. They are telling me that the jitter values are too high (15-25). I contacted TW Cable and the guy came out and subbed out the cable modem and now I'm getting jitter values of 100-140. I contacted Ooma technical service again and they made some adjustments. We talked for several minutes on the phone and the tech though he had it fixed and then I started breaking up so badly he couldn't understand what I was saying. He called me back on cell phone and told me to contact TW about the jitter. TW says what's jitter? Is that a TW term? Does TW have a test for jitter? We don't recognize jitter. Now I guess I'm out $100 for the unit and another $100 for their premium services which were required in the deal. We don't have any competing cable companies here unfortunately, so I'm stuck with this cable company too.
  21. Like most things, there’s more than one possible cause of jitter. It could be the router, congestion on the local network, congestion on the internet, an overloaded internet router, or all of these. I suppose you could place the voip adapter behind the modem and see if it helps (if it’s just as bad, it would suggest the problem is upstream, at the ISP or beyond).

    So no need to panic, not yet anyway. There will always be a few ppl for whom things won’t work out. But if you had voip w/ Vonage previously, and it worked well, there’s nothing all that different about OOMA that would explain a sudden increase in jitter. It may be something completely unrelated to OOMA that would have affected the Vonage system too (i.e., it’s coincidental). Esp. since you said it worked fine for a while. Something must have changed since then. The question is what?
  22. I did try various configurations including eliminating the router and device altogether. It's definitely coming from the ISP. Trouble is, they won't admit it. I talked to one of the administrators in their service department yesterday and he tells me they are looking into splitting our node. So hopefully that will help.
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