How to configure an unused Eir F2000 router as a Wi-Fi access point

Eir F2000The Irish ISP Eir (formerly Eircom) supplies the F2000 modem router with its fibre broadband package, which provides 802.11ac Wi-Fi on the 5GHz band in addition to the 802.11n Wi-Fi commonly available on other Wi-Fi access points.  While this may seem great, what if you are using another router in place of the F2000?

In this article, I show how to set up the Eir F2000 as a Wi-Fi access point where another router is used for Internet access and how to configure the Eir F2000 to extend the existing Wi-Fi network where the uplink is carried over a network cable to the main router.

What you need

  1. The SSID (Wi-Fi name) and Wi-Fi passphrase (password).
  2. A computer or tablet with a web browser.
  3. A network cable to link the Eir F2000 to the main router.

Preparation

Before setting up the F2000, you will need to find the DHCP range on the original router and possibly modify it.  Depending on the router, the DHCP range is generally located in a LAN section of its web interface, such as “Home Network -> LAN Interface -> DHCP Server” on another Eir F2000.  Take note of how the IP address is written, which is usually in the form of 192.168.x.x.  If the last digit of the DHCP range goes above 250 (e.g. 192.168.1.254), then reduce the end range to 199, submit the change and allow the router to restart.  If the main router is another Eir F2000, then you don’t need to adjust this as the Eir F2000 DHCP range is usually configured to end at 192.168.1.200.

Configuration process

Do not connect any network cable to the F2000, apart from to a computer if using that computer to configure the F2000.

  1. Switch on the F2000 and allow 3 minutes for it to warm up.
  2. Connect your computer or tablet to the F2000 (using the Wi-Fi password on the back of the F2000 if required.)
  3. Open the web browser and enter http://192.168.1.254/ to bring up the router’s login page.
  4. Enter ‘admin’ for the username and the password printed on the back of the F2000, then click ‘Log in’.
  5. Go into the ‘Home Network’ tab in the top menu, then into ‘LAN Interface’ in the left menu.
  6. Open the ‘LAN Interface Settings’ section.
  7. For the IP address, change the field with ‘1’ to match the main router.  For example, if the main router uses 192.168.0.x, then change the ‘1’ to ‘0’.  If the main router uses 192.168.1.x, then leave this field set to ‘1’.
  8. Change the ‘254’ at the end of the IP address to ‘253’.  Take note of this IP address which you’ll need to continue configuring this router, then click ‘Save’ and allow a minute to save the change.
  9. Close out of your web browser and go back into it.
  10. Enter the router’s new IP address in the web browser and log in again.
  11. Go into the ‘Home Network’ tab in the top menu, then into ‘LAN Interface’ in the left menu.
  12. Open the ‘DHCP Server’ section, remove the tick mark for both ‘DHCP Server’ and ‘DHCP6 server’, then click ‘Save’.
  13. Open the ‘RA Settings’ section just above this and remove the tick mark for ‘Enable RA:’, then click ‘Save’.
  14. Switch off the F2000.
  15. Connect a network cable from one of its LAN ports to the LAN port of the main router.  Do not connect anything to its WAN or telephone ports.
  16. Switch on the F2000 and allow it 3 minutes to warm up again.
  17. Connect a Wi-Fi enabled device to F2000 using the password printed on the back of it and ensure you have Internet connectivity.

At this point you should be able to access the Internet through the F2000’s Wi-Fi connectivity, including its 802.11ac Wi-Fi capability if your Wi-Fi enabled device supports the 5GHz band.  If you would like to F2000 to function as a Wi-Fi extension to your existing Wi-Fi network where the uplink is still carried over the network cable to your main router, carry out the process below.

Using the Eir F2000 to extend your existing Wi-Fi network

First make sure that you can access the Internet through the Wi-Fi provided by the F2000.  The F2000 must remain connected to the main router with a network cable.

With the configuration below the F2000 will extend the Wi-Fi network while carrying this data over the network cable to the main router.  This is different to a Wi-Fi repeater that repeats the signal back and forth between the main Wi-Fi device, wasting bandwidth.

  1. In your web browser, bring up the web interface for the F2000 using the router’s new IP address from the above configuration, then log in.  Ignore the warning message about no Internet connectivity.
  2. Go into ‘Home Network’ it the top menu and into ‘Wireless Settings’ in the left menu.
  3. Open up the ‘Wireless Encryption’ section.
  4. Change SSID field for the 2.4 GHz Frequency band to exactly match the SSID of your main Wi-Fi network.
  5. If your main Wi-Fi network operates on 5 GHz, change the SSID field for the 5 GHz Frequency band to exactly match the 5GHz SSID of your main Wi-Fi network.
  6. Change the WPA pre-shared key field to that of your main Wi-Fi network.
  7. Click ‘Show password’ to double-check the letters and case and double-check the SSID field entries, then click ‘Save’.
  8. After a few minutes, your Wi-Fi enabled devices should see the one main Wi-Fi network name and one for the 5GHz (802.11ac) band if configured with a different SSID name.

At this point, you can place the F2000 in an area that you would like to extend the Wi-Fi to.  It must be linked back to the main router with a network cable connected to one of is LAN ports.  This can be done using an existing network socket or with a pair of HomePlugs.  These carry the network connectivity over the building’s electrical wiring.

If the new area has network sockets that are all in use, then connect the network cable from one wall socket to LAN port #1 of the F2000 and the PC/device’s network connection to LAN port #2 of the F2000.

Wi-Fi devices in this area will automatically switch between the original Wi-Fi network and F2000 depending on which is providing the strongest signal in the device’s location.

Update 15th Dec ’16: Added step to disable DHCP6 server.  Leaving this enabled can cause the router to assign its IPv6 DNS address to connected devices resulting in certain websites failing to load, such as Google.  If an IP lookup returns 129.129.129.129, then this is a pretty good sign that the device picked up its IPv6 address.

Update 29th May ’17: Someone contacted me to say that their Talktalk router experienced the 129.129.129.129 IP lookup issue when configured as a standalone access point.  They resolved this by turning off the IPv6 DNS server.   This means that no matter what router you try configuring as a standalone access point, make sure any IPv6 features (DHCPv6, IPv6 DNS, etc.) are disabled.

Update 27th Sept ’17: Added step to disable RA Settings.  RA stands for Router Advertisements, which provides IPv6 configuration such as IPv6 DNS settings for certain devices.  For example, Android devices do not support DHCP6 and depend on router advertisements for IPv6 configuration.  In fact, Eir’s own IPv6 DNS configuration reportedly causes Wi-Fi stuttering on Android devices.   See this article for further information.

22 thoughts on “How to configure an unused Eir F2000 router as a Wi-Fi access point”

  1. Hi Sean,

    I tried this at home and for whatever reason the download speed of the repeated wifi signal is about half of the original. Any guesses on what it might be?

    My best guesses at the moment are either the Powerline adapters I’m using for the Ethernet not being the best or perhaps the router I’m using as a repeater is faulty. Just wondering if you know where I might of went wrong.

    Thanks in advance, Gary

    1. If you have a laptop handy, I suggest try connecting the cable from the second Powerline adapter to your laptop and run a speed test. If the speed is similar to what the router’s Wi-Fi, then the limitation is with the Powerline adapters or the house wiring between the two sockets.

      Based on my experience of using Powerline adapters, a 500Mbps pair will typically deliver around 40Mbps to 50Mbps actual throughput and a 1200Mbps pair will deliver around 80Mbps to 120Mbps, when they have a good link. The speed will sharply nose dive if any adapter is plugged into an extension lead or if there is a long run between either adapter and the mains consumer unit.

      To start with, try the adapter for the access point in other power sockets in that room or an adjacent room. This is best done with a laptop connected directly to the adapter. The Powerline adapters only take a few seconds to sync, where as the router would take a minute or two before its Wi-Fi goes live.

      1. Thank you very much, seems obvious looking back on it but I had the Powerline adapter running through two extension leads first. I plugged it into a wall socket and it performed much much better.

        Cheers again, lovely site you have here.

  2. Sean, Thank you for the instructions on the Eircom eFibre F2000 modem. The wireless works like a charm, even better than the cisco meraki 18 that i have – (speed-wise). The spare lan ports on the modem should work as well right? Not sure if i am doing something wrong here. My pc, when connected by cable directly to lan port 2, shows no connection. Lan port 1 is connected to router that has internet. On another modem subject (the Vodafone Home Gateway HG556a – DSL modem with wireless) – Do you think it can be configured to work as a wireless router as well? Thanks, Michael

    1. Its additional ports should function as a network switch, at least this is what I would expect. With someone I configured the F2000 as an access point (they have a Sky router for their broadband), I connected one LAN port straight to their Sky broadband router and another F2000 LAN port goes to their Sky TV box, which works fine with their Sky on-demand.

      One thing you can try is bring up a command prompt and ping google.ie. If resolves to 129.129.129.129, you need to turn off DHCP6 on the router. If the ping fails altogether and you can’t ping 8.8.8.8 either, it may be a cable or port issue, e.g. try swapping the cables between the two ports on the F2000.

      I haven’t tried this process with a Vodafone router yet, but expect this process to work in a similar way with most ISP Wi-Fi enabled routers. In the worst case scenario that you end up getting locked out of the router or it doesn’t behave right, just do a factory reset, i.e. push its reset button with a pin for 10 seconds. If I get time, I’ll give this a try with my old Vodafone router, which I think is the same model as yours.

  3. Sean,
    Thanks, I will try to ping from cmd prompt tonight. I have tried two cables to connect the pc directly to the F2000 lan port2 – No luck on both – will also try to connect to ports 3 and 4 / maybe port 2 is dead. We live in a world where we buy and dump all the time, filling up land fills and poisoning the land with all those toxic electronic sludge. Everytime i can recycle something and give it to someone who could use them, i am so happy. Thank you for your time in writing the article on the Eir F2000. M.

  4. Hi Sean,
    Do you know how to login as support on this modem, I tried username support, password (default as on back of modem) but this isn’t working, I need to login as support to open the ports needed to use Facetime and iMessage on a macbook, Was talking with technical support but they’re somewhat useless to me here.

    1. ‘admin’ is the only username that I’m aware of on the F2000. I.e. enter ‘admin’ as the username and the password printed on the back of the box for the password.

      If this combination does not log in, then the password may have been changed. If you don’t mind losing any other previous configuration you (or anyone else) did with the router, you can do a hardware reset by pushing the reset button with a pen for 10 seconds. This will restore it back to the configuration state when Eir first sent you the router, which will let you log in with the default username ‘admin’ and the password on the back of the box.

      If you can log in as admin, the port forwarding settings can be located as follows based on my F2000:

      1. Go into the ‘Internet’ menu at the top, then into the ‘Forwarding’ menu on the left’.
      2. Click the ‘+’ next to ‘New port mapping’.
      3. Enter a mapping name, e.g. Facetime
      4. Click the ‘Add port mapping application’ button.
      5. Scroll down to the bottom and click ‘Add port application’
      6. Enter a name, the external/internal port ranges (these fields should match), the protocol, save and close the window.
      7. Go into the Application drop-down menu and select the port name you created at the bottom of the list.
      8. Select your Macbook from the ‘Internal host’ drop down and click ‘Save’.

      Generally I would expect video calling services (at least Skype, WhatsApp, etc.) to work without having to forward any ports. However, I have not used Facetime or iMessage before, so have not dealt with port forwarding for these applications.

  5. Hi Sean.
    I am trying to use a TP-LINK n600 router as the primary router and the F2000 as the secondary router because the DCHP, Port Forward and Address Reservation are better on the n600 router but wifi speed is better on the F2000 ac router.

    My problem is how do set up the tp-link as the primary router. By Broadband comes into the house via optical FTTH so I am not sure if the Optical terminal needs to be configure or if the TP-Link Modem needs to be configured

    1. From a quick look at the TP-Link N600 documentation, unfortunately it doesn’t support VLAN tagging, which is required for the Eir FTTH. With a suitable router, in the WAN connection, VLAN support needs to be enabled with the VLAN ID set to 10. You can see an example of this by looking at the WAN configuration of your Eir F2000 router.

      The Optical Network Terminal (ONT) itself does not have any user configuration. One workaround would be to purchase a small managed switch (such as this) to put in-between the ONT and the TP-LINK N600. In this case, you would need to configure the switch port going to the ONT to tag it with VLAN ID 10 (In the NETGEAR web interface, this would be in VLAN > 802.1Q > Advanced > VLAN Configuration to create the VLAN, then VLAN > 802.1Q > Advanced > VLAN Membership to tag the port). The port going to the router would be left configured as an untagged port. Although this would be cheaper than buying a new router, it would mean another box in your set-up, plus another power cable and Ethernet cable.

  6. Hi,
    I have recently moved to a new house and have a spare f2000 modem. There is no cabling so I have been forced to get broadband from lightNet. Does anyone know if this router can be configured to work on the current lightNet internet supply? or is it a case of having to buy a new router.
    Thanks

    1. If they just require a plain Ethernet router for their wireless broadband service, you can reuse your F2000. You will need to disable VLAN tagging on the WAN port and then the F2000 will function like a regular Ethernet router.

      Go into the F2000’s web interface (username is ‘admin’ and password is on the back of the F2000). Then go into the ‘Internet’ tab in the top menu and ‘Internet Settings’ on the left menu’. In the ‘GE WAN-1’ section, click the ‘Edit’ button’ Clear the checkbox for ‘Enable VLAN:’. Then click the ‘Save’ button. You can then plug the Ethernet connection leading to the PoE box / Outdoor unit to the WAN port of the F2000.

  7. Hi Sean
    I have Eir Fibre to the home and have a Netgear R7800 Nighthawk as my main router. I followed the instructions above and got it to work but the wifi speeds dropped to a crawl. The F2000 is wired directly to the nighthawk via ethernet so no power plugs in play (though i did try that). When i disconnected the f2000, i had to reset the Netgear to get the speeds back. Any ideas?

    1. This might be IPv6 related. Have a quick check that both “Enable RA” and “DHCP6 server” are unchecked on the F2000 (steps 12 & 13 above). If the F2000 has a firmware version that ends in ‘B035’ or lower, I suggest turning off IPv6 completely on the Netgear router at least temporarily. The older F2000 firmware had buggy IPv6 support that led to very slow Wi-Fi connectivity due to it dropping IPv6 DNS look-ups. Once the devices receive IPv6 configuration, they will use it until the configuration expires or the connection is reset, such as rebooting the device or rooter.

      If you have a PC handy that is affected, try pinging Google from the command prompt, e.g. “ping google.ie” to see whether it is connecting in IPv4 or v6 mode. If the IP address digits are separated by :’s, it is IPv6, e.g. “2a00:1450:400b:c03::5e:”. An IPv4 address is separated by .’s, e.g. “209.85.203.94”.

      Off hand I can’t think of any other reason why the F2000 is slowing down the Wi-Fi. For example, if it’s causing interference or has a faulty radio, the Wi-Fi speed (from the Netgear) should return to normal with the F2000 unplugged.

  8. Hi Sean, great website and thanks for taking the time to read my comment. I have FTTH with Eir and have an f2000 but have been experiencing issues both with the signal range across the house (blackspots etc) and also issues with the Wi-Fi signal dropping continuously. To improve the signal I have decided to add 2 tplink access points (tplink ac1200 wireless) and switch off the Wi-Fi in the f2000. Would you be able to advise on the process to carry out this?
    Any advice gratefully received.

    David

    1. Sorry for the late reply, I haven’t been near an Eir router in a few weeks. To turn off Wi-Fi on the F2000, go into the ‘Home Network’ tab at the top, then into ‘Wireless Settings’ on the left and open the ‘Basic Settings’ section. Clear the tick boxes for both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz and save the change. You will also need to lower its DHCP end IP address – To do this, go into the ‘Home Network’ tab at the top, then into ‘LAN Interface’ on the left and open the ‘DHCP Server’ section. Change the last field of the ‘End IP Address’ to ‘199’ and save the change.

      For the TP-Link Access Points, you will need to give them different IP addresses. I recommend only switching on one at a time when setting them up as their factory set IP addresses will otherwise conflict. To start with, don’t plug the access point into the network in case its IP address is the same as your router’s IP (192.168.1.254).

      Follow the TP-Link’s quick-start guide to get into its web interface and configure the access wireless security settings, e.g. WPA2-PSK, SSID name (name of your Wi-Fi network) and password. Give the 2.4GHz and 5GHz different SSID names, e.g. “House Wi-Fi” and “House Wi-Fi 5G”. Take note of the SSID names and password, then change its IP address to the next digit after your main router’s DHCP end IP address, e.g. ‘192.168.1.200’. Once you change its IP address, you can connect a network cable from it to your main router.

      Repeat the above process for the second TP-Link access point with the exception of its IP address. Make sure the SSID names, WPA2-PSK setting and password are exactly the same as your other TP-Link. When you configure its address, give it the next IP address after your other TP-Link access point, e.g. ‘192.168.1.201’. Then connect a network cable from it to your main router. If the access point has multiple network ports, you can daisy chain the two, e.g. connect one to the other, then from that one to the main router.

      If all goes well, you should see just two network names in the list, i.e. the 2.4GHz and 5GHz SSIDs. As you move from one area to another, your device should automatically switch to the stronger signal.

  9. Hi Sean,

    First of all THANK YOU for your article! It was the only one that described what I need to do to get the F2000 as an accesspoint.

    However… (being a newbie here)
    I do not get it to work. Could this be for the fact that the modem had already been used?

    I get to the modem no problem, and the wireless indicator happily tells me “internet access”. But when I try to browse I get (first of all) the enter password (for the modem) and then it tries to connect to the internet through the ADSL… even though I have that disabled.

    Am thinking maybe I need to reset to factory settings. ….

    Appreciate your thoughts on this,

    1. Ah never mind….

      In the middle of the night clear thinking isn’t the best.
      It was a simple DNS issue.

      All sorted.

      Rick 🙂

      1. No problem, glad to hear you got sorted. Indeed if any DNS entry still points at this repurposed router’s IP address (or its DHCP / IPv6 DHCP was still ticked), it can bring up its webpage.

    1. Technically this should work fine with most routers. I haven’t seen the Eir D2000, so am not sure how different its user interface appears. For each step above, try finding a similar screen on the router as most routers let you change the DHCP, IP and Wireless settings. If it’s not IPv6 capable, it will unlikely have the DHCP v6 and RA settings, in which case you can skip those steps.

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