Configuring a WRT54GL to handle an existing Vonage router (WRTP54G or RTP300) and/or BitTorrent.


  1. These instructions are specific to the WRT54GL (Linksys' Linux-based router), though the basic setup can be applied to many other router models. If you are interested in a Linksys router, I can no longer recommend the WRT54G and WRT54GS series - Linksys has moved these over to a new Operating System (VxWorks) and removed the capability to load the third party firmware that makes the Linksys routers so great. You MAY get lucky at the store and find a Linux-based WRT54G or WRT54GS. Look for WRT54G routers with a serial number of "CDFA" or earlier, or a WRT54GS with a serial number of "CGN6" or earlier. AVOID "CDFB" and "CGN7".
  2. These instructions have worked for me, in my circumstances. For some people, the Vonage routers work just fine. The WRTP54G and RTP300 are decent quality Linux-based consumer grade routers, and with just a couple of small additions (better handling of idle connections and a way to adjust upstream bandwidth manually), they would probably be solid units. For the VAST MAJORITY of people who do not do a lot of BitTorrent or uploads while using their connection, stick with the Vonage routers.
  3. I do not guarantee WRT54GL will help your situation (especially if your problems are caused by simply not enough bandwidth). Keep in mind that the WRT54GL is a *consumer* router, and will not solve all problems for everyone. C'mon, it's a $75 router with a 200mhz processor running Linux. Aftermarket firmware helps it out, but there's a limit to what these little boxes can do. It maxes out at about 15-16mbps even with the best firmware, so if you have FiOS and every bit counts, the router (and most other consumer routers) cannot run at the full speed of your connection. For that, you would be better off looking at a much higher end router, or taking an older PC and running Smoothwall or M0n0wall. Chances are, though, if you have FiOS, you've already discovered that very few consumer routers can handle your speeds.

This configuration is pretty simple, and involves a few steps


First, I recommend upgrading the WRT54GL with aftermarket firmware (the availability of aftermarket firmware is why I recommend this unit in the first place). Despite what the sticker might tell you, you do not need the "installation CD", in fact you do not want to use it if you are going to load aftermarket firmware. To do this:

1. Go to download Thibor 14.  Thibor has a more recent build, 15c, but I have found its QoS to be less effective than the older Thibor 14 version.  I ran 15c for several months, and finally went back to 14 and I am much happier with it.

Note: At this point, the WRT54GL should NOT be hooked up to your Internet connection or any other computers. It's also a good to do a factory reset on your router, turn off wireless, etc.  Read the instructions on the Thibor site for more details.

2. Connect a computer (wired) to one of your WRT54GL's LAN ports and point your browser to - login using user id (blank), password "admin" (or anything you may have changed this to).

3. Under the Administration tab, go to "Firmware Upgrade" and use the bin file you saved earlier to upgrade the firmware to Thibor. WAIT for the router to reboot, then give it another 2-3 minutes to settle. Log in and make sure the firmware version on the upper right reads "Firmware Version : v4.70.8, Hyperwrt 2.1b1 + Thibor14" (or similar, in case you have a more recent firmware revision).  It's a good idea to restart your web browser AFTER the upgrade is successful to clear out any possible session data.

4. Under "Administration" on the WRT54GL, go to "Factory Defaults" and select "Clear NVRAM, restore factory defaults", then click the "Restore factory defaults" button. The router will reboot again. Give it a minute or so until all the lights settle down. (note: If you have a configuration saved from a previous firmware, it's tempting to just load it. DO NOT LOAD IT. Rekey your settings.)

5. Secure your router:

     a. Change the password for your router to something secure (under "Administration").

     b. Disable wireless or enable security (WPA Personal with TKIP is best) on wireless. You'll also need to set up any clients with the same WPA settings and the same Shared Key (if you have 802.11b devices, you MAY need to use "WEP", which is less secure but better than nothing.)

Illustration: WPA/TKIP Setup

6. Get your router on the Internet. In most cases, this is as simple as plugging it into your Internet modem. Most modems like being powered down first, and left off for about a minute or so, so any MAC address in memory gets cleared.


Now that your router is connected and you can surf the Web from it, you can start configuring your WRTP54G/RTP300 to be a Vonage only device. There is actually very little to do.

1. Plug in the Vonage router and plug a single computer into its LAN port. Don't get fancy and hook it up to the WRT54GL just yet...

2. Surf to and log in to your Vonage router.

3. Make the following changes:

a. Make sure IP address is set to "Obtain an IP Automatically"

b. WRTP54G Only: Under WIRELESS, choose DISABLED for "Wireless Network Mode"

c. Under SECURITY, turn off any filters you had on.

d. Under ACCESS RESTRICTIONS, be sure "Block Anonymous Internet Requests" and "Filter Multicast" are both DISABLED. [on some other Vonage routers this is found under Security at the bottom of the page]

e. Under APPLICATIONS AND GAMING, remove any port forwards, port triggers, and special settings in QoS.

f. Under ADMINISTRATION, Set "Remote Router Access" "Web" to ENABLED, leave the port set at 8080 (or any port you prefer, but 8080 works fine).

The goal in #3 is to reduce any load on the Vonage router, and to allow it to be accessed from your WRT54GL's network. You can skip all of these steps, and the Vonage router will probably just work by plugging it in. I'd at least do steps "a" and "f".

If you skip step c, you can still hook a computer up to the Vonage router, and the computer will have Internet access, but that computer will be on a different local network than anything hooked to the WRT54GL, so network shares, etc, will not work between the two networks. Also, you will start experiencing choppy audio if any computers hooked up to the Vonage router start surfing the web heavily or anything.


Ideal Configuration

1. Plug a standard RJ45 cable from a LAN port in the WRT54GL to the WAN/Internet port in your Vonage router. You should have a phone light within a minute. You should be able to surf the Internet from any computer connected to the WRT54GL.

2. Setting up access to the Vonage router:

This is the final step, and is actually optional. But it makes life easier. What we are doing here is telling the WRT54GL to always give the Vonage router the IP address of You can pick ANY other number you want between 2 and 254, 120 is just what I use. You can also skip this step, and your Vonage router will work just fine - but it will be harder to predict what IP address it might get when you have to restart your network, which makes logging into the Vonage router for maintenance a little harder.

a. Log into your WRT54GL and go to SETUP / STATIC DHCP.

b. Click on "DEVICE LIST" under the "STATUS" page and find the MAC address of your Vonage router. Mine starts with 00:13 if it helps you identify it. It's also printed on a hard-to-read label on the bottom of your router.

c. Copy that MAC address (the 00:13:xx:xx:xx:xx... number) to the clipboard (highlight and hit CTRL-C).

d. Go back to the Static DHCP page and paste the MAC address into the entry field under MAC ADDRESS. (CTRL-V) Type "120" in the "IP Address" field, and "Vonage" in the "Domain Name" field. Click ADD, then SAVE SETTINGS.

e. Pull the power on the Vonage router, leave it off for a minute, then power it back up.

f. You should now be able to get to your Vonage router using the URL:

Setting up QoS

Now that you have the basics set up, you may want to get QoS (Quality of Service) set up on that router so your Vonage line always gets priority. Click here to proceed to the WRT54GL QoS Guide

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