Verizon FiOS with only a Apple Airport Extreme

I’ve had Verizon’s FiOS service for about a year now, and by and large I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit. One thing that has bothered me, though, is the big ActionTec router that they supply. It’s a nice router and all and you do need it if you also have Verizon’s digital cable service. But I have just the internet service and I already have a gaggle of Apple Airport Extreme and Airport Express base stations around the house, so this Actiontec router was just a superfluous thingy and I felt that my Airport Extreme base station could be put to better use in its place. Now, the Actiontec router is what the VZ tech installs. It takes the 100Mb ethernet connection coming into the house from the ONT outside. According to VZ support, only it can be used to terminate the FiOS internet, but I doubted this. I wanted this thing out of the picture and was successful at doing so.What you need to do is the following:

  1. Log in to the Actiontec’s web interface (typically by going to
  2. Select Network, click on “Ethernet (Broadband)” and its edit icon. Down the page, you’ll see a button labled “Release”. It’s important to release the IP address VZ’s network has given the Actiontec, or it’ll refuse to allot one to your Airport Extreme once you bring that up in its place.
  3. Immediatly turn off the Actiontec. Remove the “WAN” ethernet cable from it, and plug it into the “WAN” port of your Airport base station. Turn the Airport on.
  4. The Airport base station should boot up and request an IP from VZ’s DHCP server. Speaking of which, the “Internet Connection” setting in the Airport should be “DHCP” and not “PPPoE”. VZ no longer uses PPPoE on its FiOS lines.
  5. Configure your Aiport wireless network as you see fit and you’re done. No more Actiontec.

Step 2 is muy importante. If you don’t do that, your Airport base station will be sitting there with a blinking amber light because the VZ network is refusing to give it an IP, simply because it still thinks that your (no longer operating) Actiontec has it.[tags]apple, airport, verizon, fios[/tags]

20 Replies to “Verizon FiOS with only a Apple Airport Extreme”

  1. I ran across your article, after researching my difficulties getting fios to connect with my airport extreme. After clicking that pesky “release” button, my network was working like a charm. THANKS!

  2. Currently, I have a coax cable running into the house from the ONT. But I don’t and will not use Verizon tv any time in the near future. I just wanted FIOS for internet/phone. I figured I could just run an ethernet cable from the ONT like you seem to have. But I assume there is a switch of some sort so that the signal transfers over the cat5 vs coax cable. Do you know if this is true? I desperately want to get rid of this actiontec router.


  3. The ActionTec router supplied by Verizon died after 14 months (Verizon says the warrantee expired at 12 months!). So there is no way I can release my IP address through the modem. Any work around for this? Can I ask Verizon Fios to release my IP address?

  4. @Mark:

    Sorry for the late reply, but you need to release it from the ActionTec. However, if you wait long enough (24-48 hours) the IP might be automatically released by VZ’s DHCP servers because your (dead) ActionTec wasn’t around to renew its lease on that particular IP. Your Airport Extreme should then be able to snag a new one.

  5. re “VZ no longer uses PPPoE on its FiOS lines.” … this may be by market. I wasn’t able to get a new Airport Extreme to replace a VZN-supplied D-Link DI-624 using DHCP, but when I switched it over to PPoE it worked immediately. Fortunately I had written down and kept the login that the FIOS installer set up way back when (it was “1” and “1”!).

  6. This is a really stupid question but where can I find my user name and password for the Actiontec’s web interface? I just have FiOS installed two days ago and trying to figure out how to connect it to Airport Extreme..

  7. Just wanted to say thanks for writing these clear and short instructions on how to do this. My problem has been solved! (I just wish this was the first page I came to while I was searching. :))

  8. hi,

    just got fios and had verizon release my ip so i could ethernet straight into the extreme…. all the lights are green. it all works but I cannot connect to the internet… my ip is 10. addressing… what can i do – apple and verizon where at a loss to help me…

    should i change the dns? should it be dchp? should i select share ip address or bridge? i just cannot get this to work at all and it is driving me nutz!


  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve been using FiOS for about a year and finally got fed up enough with my ActionTec router that I bought an Airport Extreme yesterday. Unfortunately, it didn’t work when I just moved my WAN ethernet cable from the ActionTec to the Airport. After reading various forums, I had almost given in to the fact that I’d need to plug the Airport into the ActionTec for some strange reason. I knew it was just a router, but couldn’t figure out why it worked and my Airport didn’t.

    Then I finally came across your site with the missing link…releasing my DHCP lease. Makes total sense, but I wouldn’t have figured it out on my own. So I followed your instructions, plugged the Airport directly into the wall, and……nothing. I thought maybe I didn’t turn the ActionTec off quickly enough, so I hooked it all back up and the ActionTec showed that it was waiting for a new DHCP lease. I waited for Verizon to get me a new IP address for at least 1/2 hr and finally gave up. I plugged the Airport directly into the wall again and went to bed, hoping Verizon would update it during the night. Yep! I’m good to go now. Thank you!!

    jt — Here’s the settings I have on the Internet tab of AirPort Utility:
    Connect Using: Ethernet
    Configure IPv4: Using DHCP
    DNS Server(s): and (I use — check it out, it’s great!)
    Domain Name:
    DHCP Client ID:
    Ethernet WAN Port: Automatic (Default)
    Connection Sharing: Share a public IP address

  10. Don’t do this to your network if you have set top boxes. You’ll need the ActionTec to provide IP over COAX – it’s called MoCA by Motorola. You will not get software updates for the STBs or updates to the program guide. Notice how none of your STBs have an ethernet or wireless conneciton? Guess how they get IP? Over COAX.


  11. I did a release in the ActionTek as well as call in and asking Verizon to do it. Still no go. I cannot get a new IP with either my AEBS or my laptop plugged directly in. I plug the ActionTek back in and it gets a new IP address everytime. My guess is it might be MAC address related. Do I need to try spoofing the MAC of the ActionTek -or- just wait it out for a couple of hours and see if it resolves itself? Is it possible to spoof a MAC address in the AEBS?

  12. I have a related question/problem. I currently have verizon FIos tv, internet and phone service. They set up an actiontec mi424wr wireless router that has the coax cable plugged into it. I also have a airport extreme wireless router and would like to set it to take advantage of having a hard drive or printer connected to the airport. The verizon router doesn’t have any USB ports. I was hoping to have the verizon router in one room, have that broadcast the wireless signal and get the airport to recieve it and then act to extend or re-broadcast the signal. However I can’t get it to work. I can’t just use the airport because there is no incoming ethernet cable, just coax. Any thoughts or advice? I hope this makes sense I’m pretty much a wireless/computer novice. Thanks

  13. I have Verizon FIOS installed in my house and one computer, the new iMac plugged directly into the router. My iPhone, wife’s iTouch, and my MacBook all have no issue connecting wirelessly to the router and our service is great.

    I just reinstalled the OS 10.4.11 on my son’s Mac mini and tried to install a Belkin wireless USB adapter–as well as a Linksys one. Both recognized the network and got a good signal. I put the WEP password in and it said connected on the adapter utility.

    However, I could not pull an IP using DHCP. I tried to manually enter everything and know that I used the correct subnet mask and gateway but I still cannot get connected. When I go into the router’s utility, I do not see the Mac mini on the network.

    Any idea what I am doing wrong? The Belkin adapter worked fine on the old OSX load and with my Linksys router–before Verizon.


  14. Thanks for the article. I was able to get rid of my actiontek. The question I have is how do you get the airport express to release the ip if you want to switch to a different AEBS or even back to the Actiontek. I can’t get it to work.

    I used the express while I was experimenting, but would really like the extreme to be the first one connected. I”m getting vonage dropouts in this current configuration. Originally withe the actiontek, my vonage was great but my wireless network had problems and now it’s the opposite. With 10 Mb/s it’s got to be the ethernet jack on the Airport Express and not the bandwidth.

    Thanks all.

  15. Do not publish.

    I accessed the, but am unable to find the Network link. There is a ‘My Network’ link but I haven’t been able to find anything that would allow me to perform the release. Has the web interface been updated since the original posting? Is there any additional information that can be added?


  16. Here is how to release the WAN IP on the Actiontec…..
    Click on My Network icon, then select Network Connections item. Click on Broadband Connection (Ethernet) in the table to see the properties for your WAN port. Write down the MAC address for the ethernet WAN port, you may need it later. Scroll down and click Settings. Click the Release button and your internet light on the Actiontec will go orange.

  17. PLEASE HELP if you can …… Ok, here is my set up —

    My ActionTec router died, so im using an Airport Extreme Router (that i used in a previous house using DSL). I have one PC and two Mac’s … I hooked the airport extreme up & configured the router until i got the Geen Light. Im able to get internet access -ONLY ON THE PC- (not the 2 Mac’s) . Both Mac’s have the wireless Airport, and can pick up the signal and accept the username and password (which i had used in the previous house), but for some reason it wont sync to the internet.

    Is there some type of reconfiguration i need to do on both Mac’s to sync to the internet??? It just wont connect no matter what i try Any help is GREATLY appreciated !!!! Thanks so much …..


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