In my current rental situation, the landlord provides internet included with the rental. Since it's
fast enough and has enough bandwidth this isn't an issue at all. The only problem is that the modem
provided by the telco is an ancient
Alcatel-Lucent Cellpipe 7130 5VzA2001 modem/router combo. It's
running firmware version
126.96.36.199R8-wh, released on 2012-05-08 16:30 (there are no updates, I
Since the Cellpipe only has 4 x 10/100 LAN ports and terrible WiFi performance, I would much prefer to use my own equipment to perform the routing and just use the Cellpipe 7130 as a WAN gateway. Unfortunately, for some reason, there is no way to turn off the routing aspect of the Cellpipe and just use it as a modem (aka bridge mode). There is also no way to turn off DHCP functionality on it.
My current hacky solution to these problems is to let my router get an IP from the modem/router via DHCP, then set that IP as the DMZ host on the Cellpipe. This effectively forwards all TCP and UDP ports to the router, making it seem like it's the boundary device for the network. Luckily, my router always seems to request the same IP no matter what so this continues to work even if both devices are power cycled.
Since this is not an ideal situation, I'd like to replace the Cellpipe with a more performant modem without any of the routing overhead. To do this, I just need to port the configuration details from the Cellpipe (like the username and password for the upstream PPPoE connection) over to a new modem. Unfortunately, there's nothing in the web interface that will allow me to see the password and there's no option to do a configuration backup. I also can't just call up the telco since it's the landlord's account.
This means we're stuck, right?
Digging into the Cellpipe
The color 'red' is commented out and redefined as white. This suggests that they could be hiding error messages by just making them the same color as the background:
Debugging in production builds with commented out
Various comments indicating lack of source control:
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These all seem to allude to shoddy release processes, meaning that it's highly likely that per-model customizations were rushed UI-level hack jobs on top of the current release and not maintained branches where actual functionality was changed.
Since a configuration backup will include the PPPoE username and password, let's do a search for "config". Sure enough:
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http://<router_ip>/util_cfgstore.html shows a nice "Store" button that downloads a text
file containing 771(!) key/value pairs, including the username and password for the PPPoE connection.
There are a ton of other options in the downloaded config file, some of which look like they enable
bridge mode. However, flipping those settings on and applying the new config using
http://<router_ip>/util_cfgrestore.html didn't seem to change anything. I'm going to keep messing
with it while I look into sourcing a better modem to use my newfound credentials with.
Longer-term, the plan is to transition to a dedicated modem that provides WAN access to a low-power computer running pfSense that handles firewall and routing duties. From there, an unmanaged switch (possibly injecting PoE) can provide access for enough dumb wireless APs to bathe the house in WiFi, as well as wired hookups for the devices that don't move around too much or need the throughput. For now though, I'll settle for replacing the modem.