Bridging EPC3925 and using Asus RT-N16 instead

I got very frustrated with UPC’s default router. The EPC 3925. It’s a piece of junk. I wanted to remove it completely but that’s not possible.
Luckily you don’t have to use it for networking features like firewall, wireless distribution, DHCP etc. After much research, I bought an Asus RT-N16 (the N66u is also a fine router) , put the EPC3925 into “bridged mode” and used the Asus for sharing the internet to rest of the devices in the house. I haven’t looked back. It’s rock solid.

Here’s a how-to to enable bridged mode on the EPC3925  connecting the Asus RT-N16.  The guide should work for other ‘good’ standalone routers.  e.g wrt 54GL, Asus N66u etc.

Preliminary Setup

Disconnect every Ethernet cable from the cisco box.
Leave the co-ax cable screwed into the box via the ‘Cable’ connector.
Power up the Cisco.

Disable the wireless card in your laptop for the moment. (I sometimes don’t trust wireless which is funny considering my background 🙂 )
Now connect a laptop to the Cisco box with an Ethernet cable via Port 1 (yellow ports in item 6 of the first diagram).

Step 1 Disabling Cisco wireless

Open a browser on the laptop, log into the cisco router via http://192.168.1.1
Login with your username / password combo.
Head over to the wireless setting and take note of the wireless name (SSID) and password. Also take note of the type of security used (WPA, WPA2 etc.)  You’ll need these later.
Disable the wireless part completely.
Check on the laptop (or phone/tablet) that the wireless network is now gone (enable the wireless on the laptop and make sure you don’t see the old SSID).

Step 2 Bridging the Cisco router

Now that the wireless part of the Cisco router is completely turned off – time to bridge it.
Via the admin page on Cisco box head over to Administration > Management
You should see an option for ‘Router Mode’ and ‘Bridged Mode’
* If you only see ‘Router mode’ then your Cisco box has an old firmware and you need to do an extra step (see 2.1).
Select ‘Bridged Mode’ and save settings.
The box will reboot. That should be the end of using the Cisco EPC3925.
You shouldn’t be able to connect to the Cisco box after the reboot. Don’t freak out. In bridge mode everything is turned off  by default like DHCP which allocates IP addresses. The epc3925 is now a very basic modem which connects to your internet provider and presents the internet as a connection for other routers to share. (if you do need to connect to it – it’s now at IP address: 192.168.100.1  <- note the different network number. You will need to manually set your laptop IP address to be something like   192.168.100.25)

NB: Bridging the Cisco router will not prevent your telephone from working as confirmed by comments below (Thanks Graeme & Paddy).

Step 2.1 – the extra step to enable bridging on older Cisco firmware

Only do this step if the option is not present on your epc3925. (If you have recently done a ‘hard’ reset on your Cisco box – please allow UPC time to update it.)
Follow the  instructions here to enable the bridging option on the Cisco:  http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2056758726

Use Opera (it’s the best for this). Once visible jump back to Step 2.

Note: Because the administration pages are just HTML at the end of the day, the ability to put the Cisco box into bridge mode hasn’t been disabled – The settings have just been hidden and the workaround allows us to see the setting again. 

 

Step 3 Connecting the Asus to the Cisco

Disconnect your laptop from the Cisco box but leave the cable plugged into Port 1 of the Cisco box.
Connect the cable that’s plugged into Port 1 of the Cisco box into the WAN port (  Blue ) of the Asus RT-N16
Power up the Asus.

Step 4 Connect the Laptop to the Asus

Connect the laptop to the Asus with another Ethernet cable. Use Port 1 (yellow port) on the Asus to connect the laptop.

On the laptop using a web browser go to http://192.168.1.1

If you need to upgrade firmware,  download from here and unzip the file. You should have a single .trx file  use this for the upgrade. Mine was old so I upgraded to 3.0.0.4.260 – the latest beta has Wake-on-LAN.  (Make sure nothing else is plugged in if upgrading. Use the Asus control panel to upload the .trx file. After a reboot you should see the new control panel. The upgrade is worth it!). Let the ASUS reboot.

You should now have the Asus dashboard.

If it’s the first time to use the Asus – follow the instructions on the Asus Quick Internet Setup wizard to setup your internet connection.

I found the wizard to be great – it did everything and the whole house was back up and running when completed.

I used the wireless network name SSID, security type and password from the Cisco (noted from Step 1) as the wireless name and password on the Asus. This mean’t I didn’t have to setup all the other devices again.
At this point you’re done. The Cisco is bridged and the Asus is now doing all the work with ease. No more bad WiFi or dropping of connection.

I disconnected the cable from the laptop  to the Asus and used the wireless connection instead.

If you have devices that connect via ethernet cables plug them into the yellow ports on the Asus.. Nothing (except the one ethernet cable going to the Asus WAN port) should be plugged into the Cisco.

 

Super Wifi Bonus Step – WindSurfer Antenna

Need to boost your wifi even more!? No problem. Use the windSurfer antenna.

Grab the stencil here print it out on stiff card, cover in tinfoil and cut out.

More video instructions here:

Extra info: Reversing the bridge mode

With the Cisco box in bridge mode it takes the IP address of 192.168.100.1
If you need to connect to it and want to reverse the bridge mode you need to do following
Disconnect the Asus router.
Reboot the Cisco.
Manually set the ip address of the laptop to be 192.168.100.50 (Note: 50 is not important it just shouldn’t be 0, 1 or 100 or greater than 255)
Connect laptop to the Cisco via port 1
In a web browser connect to http://192.168.100.1
Login with your usual username / password
Head over to Administration > Management and you should see the option to put it into router mode again.
Select ‘Router Mode’ save settings, the box will reboot and work as originally set.
Remember to undo the ‘manual setting’ of your laptop.

 

Ronan

Sharing my experience on startup, sport, linux, mobile phones, movies and some other random stuff.

41 thoughts on “Bridging EPC3925 and using Asus RT-N16 instead

  1. Hi,
    You might be able to point me in the right direction for a problem I’ve been having. I have a Ubuntu HTPC on ethernet with the Cisco, and every time it shuts down, everyone else is kicked off the internet for a minute. Any ideas of what I should look at?
    Please reply by email-
    Best,
    Lauren

    1. Hi Ronan, great wrote up.. Even 2 yrs later it helped me set up my Asus AC-66u. Just having one issue u might be able to help with.
      I’ve got 240Mb Broadband with UPC and I can see this full speed when wired directly to my EPC3925 with speedtest.net. However, as soon as I connect up my network, which is PC – – >Asus LAN, Asus Wan – – > EPC3925 through cat5e wired Ethernet wall ports (one upstairs at pc/Cisco epc3925 and one downstairs with the Asus), the highest speed I can get at my wired pc is <100Mb. Everything else works fine, just my speed at my pc seems capped. I still have 70Mb wifi.
      Any suggestions?

  2. Thanks for this! I’ve put an order in for a replacement router. The one they ship is an absolute POS.

    1. Hi Graham, yupe – the Cisco truly is a terrible router. I haven’t experienced any trouble since I replaced it with the ASUS. The blog should get you over the line but if you need a drop me a line via twitter : @skehillr

      Regards,
      R.

  3. Thank you for this comprehensive instruction. I’m using EPC3925 as bridge and Asus RT-AC66U as router and wireless. This works too from your instruction.
    The mistake i made was, i did not power off the Asus when i configure EPC3925 as bridge and this “freezed” the Asus. I have to press the reset button on Asus. After that, it’s all fine as described in your instruction.
    Cheers.

  4. Can’t thank Ronan enough for such a brilliant guide and for holding my hand as I kicked the EPC3925 into touch! Thanks to this guide I ditched the 3925 and stepped up to the ASUS N66U.

    Couple of little things others might be interested in:
    1. Remember to align routers WPA type to that of your pc etc. ASUS was set as default to WPA Personal vs. WPA2 Personal and so on. Took me 10 minutes or so to figure this was why I could not seem to connect despite seeing a strong signal but as soon as aligned, perfect connection 🙂

    2. I can confirm moving the 3925 to bridge mode does not kill the UPC phone connections! This was a worry for me as an IT eedgit but fear not

    As per Ronan, I can recommend ASUS. Great signal strength 2 flights up from where the Router is sat. I’m getting 63Mbps wireless download apparently and 9.2Mbps upload according to the UPC test now: http://speedtest.upc.ie/

    p.s Two Graemes/Grahams on one blog page?!

  5. brilliant. i’m looking into getting a WAP because the N signal in our house is atrocious. even standing 3 meters away in the living room, with the door open, i get less signal from N than my old Linksys G router in the exact same spot!

    quick question, i use a desktop with ethernet cable, and a laptop with N. others in the house use only wireless, some G, some N. i’ve never bought or had first-hand experience with a WAP, but i’ve fiddled around with plenty of routers. would i be good to go with just s WAP if i left the 3925 in bridge mode? or should i just get a new N router and bridge it?

    along the same line of questioning, there are two comments in this thread that say they’ve “ditched” the 3925 altogether. but i’m assuming this means it’s still plugged in, contacting the isp, and just handing all duties over to whatever router it’s bridged to. is this correct? or is this guide actually pointing toward the possibility of unplugging the 3925 completely and just using another router on its own? .. i thought the 3925 would be needed in the mix one way or another, but it would be nice if i/we could just get rid of it 🙂

    thanks a mil in advance.

    1. Hi Chris,

      yes you are correct – when in bridged mode it is “just handing all duties over to whatever router it’s bridged to”. I’m afraid you can’t completely get rid of it 🙁

      The 3925 is a terrible wireless access point (as you have found out!) and has very questionable performance when it comes to basic networking. When in bridged mode you can think of the 3925 as a converter. It converts the UPC cable internet connection to an Ethernet connection (which is plugged into the WAN port of the router). The Asus boxes (RT-N16 or N66u) do a great job of sharing the internet connection via wireless or via ethernet – you won’t go wrong with either box. It will handled the networking duties (firewall, dhcp, dns etc.) way better than the 3925.

      For the mix of devices in the house the 66u will provide a bit of future proofing. It has Gigabit Ethernet Ports for your desktop and dual band for the N and G devices.

      Hope it helps… if you need a hand setting it up drop me a line via twitter @skehillr

      Regards,
      Ronan.

  6. @Chris
    Sorry I was not clear above. I’m still using the 3925 supplied by UPC but only as a modem in bridged mode. I’ve connected it to the Asus N66U via a short CAT6 Cable and it works brilliantly as a router. I’m getting 3-4 bars even in our attic conversion. I’ve also ran a CAT6 cable via the Asus to the attic with a network switch at the end so that I can connect other devices with poor wireless/no wireless functionality.

    Something others might be interested in. UPC have a loyalty department apparently (have to ask for it by name on the customer support line). I rang them looking for an upgrade from the standard 50mb package we had (been with UPC about 12 months I think) as we now had Eirecom fibre on our estate. They immediately upgraded me to 100mb package for the same cost and no contract terms; i.e. 12months or anything. Thing is I had to ask for it, I don’t know that they are upgrading all packages automatically etc.

  7. Great Guide, thanks Ronan.
    I wasn’t even going to bother to try to put the 3925 into bridged mode until I found this page.
    Love all the mac stuff so I bridged it to the new (June 2013) 3TB Apple Time Capsule. In this case you only need to do step 1&2, the setup of the time capsule is done through Apple’s Airport Utility. Great idea using the same SSID and password, saved me re-connecting loads of devices and printers.
    One tip for apple users is to make sure to check the Time Capsule/Airport Express router mode (under network tab) is set to DHCP and NAT, it seems off (bridge mode) is the default and only one (or none) device will connect to it then.
    Thanks again!

  8. Hi Lars,

    You are very welcome. One by one those dodgy 3925 cisco boxes will be bridged!
    Thanks for sharing your tips for connecting Apple devices – I’m sure it will help a few people.

  9. thanks very much for your help. i went with an asus dark knight, after a bit of research and testemonials. setting it up tonight, but currently writing to you through a happily sedated 3925. not sure if it’s just my imagination, but it already actually seems faster at handling internet requests, and the speed test i did (i do a few every day) was off the charts. (!!!!)

  10. This is a great guide, thanks a million. I’m just about to bridge the 3925 to the N66U and I have a question.

    In step 1 you say “take note of the wireless name (SSID) and password” – this is just your password you use to connect wirelessly from any device right? And wireless name would be UPC****** ?

    Thanks again, great guide.

    1. @pac_man – yes, this is the password used by your wireless devices to connect to the wireless router.. and yes the wireless name (SSID) is the UPC**** name
      A comment from another person was to take note of the type of security set on the cisco wpa2 or wpa or wep.
      Glad it helped.
      Ronan.

    1. Hi Matt,

      When in bridged mode the Cisco IP address is 192.168.100.1 while the ASUS is 192.168.1.1.
      The WAN connection on my Asus is set to Auto (PPPoE is an option) and I believe its using it.
      The WAN IP address for the Asus is from my ISP (UPC) while all the devices on my network have an IP address in the 192.168.1.x network (i.e. address are from the Asus DHCP server). The Asus is acting a firewall/dhcp/dns server etc.

      If you want to experiment.. connect the cisco box into one of the yellow ports in Asus box (instead of the blue port) I believe UPC will provide up to 3 globally addressable IP addresses (ISP acting as DHCP server). This is not a best practice!

      /Ronan

  11. Hi Ronan – I got a flyer though our door the other day saying that UPC are going to roll out their new Horizon box to new customers / replacing failing sets for existing customers etc etc. Buried in the detail it said this new box has built in router so presumably the Cisco router is on the way out? I don’t know how this new box would work as a bridge for the Asus router? Any thoughts?

  12. Hi Graeme,

    yes I’ve read about the new box and it seems to consolidate all UPC devices into one. I think this will be welcomed by most. I haven’t seen any performance reviews of the router functionality but it has to be better than the Cisco box! As for bridging don’t know.. but I’m certain you could stick the Asus in AP mode and disable the wireless in the new UPC box if the wireless signal is poor from the UPC box.

  13. Thanks for this Ronan – Got my AC66U. Works really well. Bridging the EPC3965 was straightforward. For info – had lots of problems with the initial EPC3925 from UPC as voice/tel did not work. UPC came out while I was at work and tested and replaced the modem with a new one (apparently a firmware issue). Anyway, they rang and said the phone/voice will not work in bridged mode when I asked as Graeme above said it did not kill the phone. For all others who discover this thread I can reconfirm what Graeme says despite what UPC might officially say – phone still works in bridged mode.

  14. Words cannot express how much I appreciate finding this! The Cisco was causing many problems on my network, some of which were quite bizarre. When mail push mysteriously stopped working one day, I researched what the problem might be. I happened upon this guide, happily put the Cisco out of its misery and turned everything over to my 3TB Time Capsule. Rock solid ever since.

    Thank you!!!

  15. Hi Ronan.
    Thanks for the write up. Very helpful.
    My router is LINKSYS WRT 160N connected to the UPC 3925 in bridged mode. All works well…except I noticed a drop in my bandwidth if I do a wireless speed test. But I get the full speed from wired (connected to my laptop.)
    I’m fully aware of a drop in speed when in wireless compared to wired. But UPC supplies me 50Mbps which drops to 30Mbps in wireless. But full 50Mbps in wired.
    Any thoughts?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Steve,

      Wireless throughput can be tricky to diagnose. So many things influence it.

      I’ve had a look at your router for sample throughputs and I found this article. Looks like you are seeing fairly standard values.
      The difference could be from ‘noisy neighbours’ on a similar channel. Check out inSSIDER to help see who’s around and what channel they are on. If some one is on the same channel move to a less crowded one (1,6 or 11).
      Finally the position of the device is important but I reckon you are pretty close to it when you did the speed tests. You should also confirm that the wireless device you are testing is not an old 802.11G device.

      Having worked with so many wireless devices in my previous academic life – a throughput rule of thumb was always half of what it says on the box. i.e. if it says 54Mbs (802.11G) expect a throughput of 27-30Mbs. Newer wireless modems support multiple radios i.e. 802.11n for newer (faster) wireless devices and another radio for older slower devices (802.11g/a/b). This helps a lot because with some older wireless routers the entire wireless network was operating at the slowest device in the network.

      Your router – Under wireless settings – has the ability to the Network Mode to ‘mixed mode’. I reckon it’s set to this. If you only have new devices (802.11n compatiable) set it to 11n mode only and you should see speed increases.

      Other things that decrease speed is security being enabled (and the type of Security), the correct channel and setting 40Mhz vs 20Mhz bandwidth for the channel.

      Sorry for being so vague – it’s really hard to pinpoint exactly where the problem may lie.. but hopefully it will point you in the right direction.

  16. Hi Ronan,

    So my purchases arrived these few days and I installed the Intel 7260 Dual Band Wireless- AC in my laptop and and driver as well. The Asus RT AC-66U router I have configured too (both bands). I am using 5Ghz band. Channel 36. Nobody in my entire neigbourhood is on that band.
    As an extra measure, I bought Cat 6 cables for the connection from the bridged Cisco 3925 modem to the Asus router.
    I did the speed test wired and wireless. Both were over 120Mbps! Amazing!!

    I would like to say a massive thanks to you. You truly are a GEM.
    Please keep up the great work.

    Regards,
    Steve

  17. Was trying to use this on an EPC3925 from UPC in the Czech Republic but nothing seems to give me access to bridge mode. Looks like they’ve done a good job of locking it down. I have an Asus rt-n16 (was optimistic), so I wonder whether there’s anything I can do to use that even if I can’t use the modem in bridge mode. Thanks!

    1. Hi David,
      Yes, you can disable the wireless part of the EPC 3925 (which is really bad to be honest) and use the N16 as a wireless Access Point. Make sure you set the mode of N16 as Access Point instead of Wireless router.

      Ronan.

  18. Hey there, thanks for getting back to me. I think I’ve figured out a solution which seems to work. Disabled DHCP and wireless on the UPC modem and gave the Asus a static IP. Getting much better wireless speeds now at least (kept the same SSID and so on for wireless). Still a bit of setting up needed on various devices (NAS, etc.) but otherwise, the Asus seems to be doing a fine job with DHCP and everything while the EPC just sits there and stays out of the way.

  19. Hey brilliant guide, not to mention how to get into the router after it has been set to bridge mode. My problem started when I got the new Cisco epc3925 and connected the Asus right to it, and everything worked fine, but then I got another idea for reaching the other end of the house with wired nettvek to the desktop pc. I connected another old router D-link DIR655 onto the Asus RT66U, and everything was working fine. But the problems is that I do not get to shared files over my home-network.
    So when I found your link on how to set the router in bridge mode, i frayed it, but now is it in this end only the wireless on D-link that is working and no signet at the cable to the desktop computer. Hoping for some advice here?
    PS! At the beginning I also tried to connect the cable from D-link direct to Cisco before sett it to bridge mode but then notting was working at all.

    1. Hi Bjørn, thank you for your comment. If I understand it correctly: you have the EPC3925 (in bridge mode) connected to the RT66U and the RT66U is connected to the D-Link.
      If you followed the guide I will presume you have disabled DHCP/DNS server in EPC3925.

      What I’m guessing is happening in your network configuration is that the D-Link and RT66U are conflicting, network wise, and causing you problems.
      In your home network you should only have 1 DHCP server, 1 DNS server. I recommend using the RT66U and disabling DHCP/DNS on the D-Link.
      Make sure the D-Link has it’s default gateway to be set to the IP address of the RT66U (usually 192.168.1.1).
      If it was my network I’d put the D-Link into Access Point Mode. Instructions: http://www.technoleros.com/turn-a-d-link-dir-655-router-into-a-secondary-access-point/
      Pay attention to the network address 192.168.1._ – it must be on the same network address as the RT66U or else it won’t see it. For example if required set the IP of the D-Link to 192.168.1.149 will ensure it’s on the same network and (in theory) shouldn’t conflict with any other device on your network.

      Ronan.

  20. Hi Ronan,

    Thanks for sharing the wealth!

    Quick question for you…

    We have a UPC 100MB business connection (i.e. fixed IP address) and the notorious EPC3925 router.

    Cabled connections are fine – we get around 100MB download.

    Wireless connections are a different story, however, as we rarely (if ever) see anything above 40MB irrespective of the device being used.

    You can stand next to the router with a smartphone, tablet, laptop etc. but between 25-35MB download speed is the norm.

    In your opinion is adding a router like the Asus RT-N16 likely to improve the speed of wireless connections?

    Thanks

    Eoin

    1. Hi Eoin,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Short answer is Yes – adding a dedicated router instead of using the wireless part of the EPC3925 will help wireless speeds. (The wireless functionality in the EPC3925 is really really terrible).

      Longer answer: If you are looking to improve on wireless speeds I’d opt for Asus RT-AC68U (if you can afford it!). The RT-N16 is without doubt a good stable device but it’s not dual band. What do I mean by dual band? Well – typically in wireless networks (like your office I’m guessing) you’ll have newer devices with 802.11n radios and older devices with 802.11a/b/g radios connecting to the office network.
      It makes sense to put all the new devices on a separate radio channel and put the older ones on a different channel. With the N16 you only have one channel/band. With Dual band devices you can make sure all your fast (newer) devices will take the best speed/channel from the router. Some dual band routers can easily carry 300-600 Mbit/s (which is plenty for your office connection).
      I need to some “rules of thumb” when it comes to wireless networks. If a wireless devices says it is 54 Mbit/s – expect a throughput of half of this i.e. 27-30 Mbit/s. Secondly, since your devices are ‘sharing’ a channel not everyone will achieve top speed at the same time so when testing try one device at a time. Finally, distance plays a big role in speed – the closer the better.

      Ronan.

  21. Hi Ronan,

    Many thanks for your howto. I have one question on this process.

    In the end, Is the EPC3925 can use only 1 Ethernet port only? Can we enable the other port?

    I have both a router with 4 ports but I think it may not enough for me.

    Thanks,
    Kao

    1. Hi Kao, I wouldn’t connect anything else to the EPC3925. The reason being – the EPC which bridged doesn’t have a firewall, DHCP etc. Everything is done on the new router. If you connect anything else to the EPC it is essentially outside of the firewall and the device will not be in your routers network IP address range (this is bad).
      I suggest buy a cheap 4 port ethernet hub and connect it to the router and not the EPC.

      Regards,
      Ronan.

  22. Hi Ronan,
    Thank you for this great guide. Very straight forward to follow. I ran into a problems which perhaps you might have a solution for.
    My configuration is Ziggo Cisco 3925 modem and an ASUS RT-AC68U

    My modem admin page doesn’t have the choice to allow me to change the modem mode from router to bridge mode. So I had to go to step 2.1 and this is where I ran into a problem.
    I was able to open up the management tab, view the current HTML source in Opera
    Paste in the new HTML source (found here Cisco: http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2056758726)
    Refresh the management tab page with the working mode choice now being shown
    Select Bridge mode
    When I go to save settings I’m asked for a password and here where the problem starts. If I leave I get a popup which says the password cannot be blank. If I type in my admin password then I receive a black webpage which gives the following error “403: Forbidden”. I have tried several admin passwords but I keep getting the same “403: Forbidden” error

    Any thoughts on how to solve
    regards
    Mike

  23. Hi Ronan, great guide, very easy to follow. I have one question – I’m having constant hassle with the connection from the epc3925 to my Xbox One, but my housemate has no problems using the wifi on his ps3. I’m using a wired connection and speed tests report the DL speed going from over 100mbs to 50. My question is, if I buy a router to put in bridged mode, would my housemate still be able to use the Cisco’s wifi? Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Shane,

      If you recreate the wireless (WiFi) network (keep the SSID name, frequency, security type etc.) on your new router then yes your housemate’s ps3 will connect without having to change anything on the ps3.
      (the wireless in the epc3925 is terrible and should be disabled).

      Ronan.

  24. I’ve been happily rubbing this setup for ages until my modem died earlier in the week. I got a replacement sent which is the same model and went to do the same process this evening. My Asus said everything was ok and received a wan ip but I can’t get any external access. Ping, nslookup etc from the diagnostics time out/ error and I get the same behavior from a connected laptop. Any thoughts on what to try next?

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