Jun 29 2005

Vonage inline installation

After having one heart attack after another when receiving my monthly Qwest phone bills (70 dollars for NOTHING), I decided to give my heart a break and switch over to a Voice-over-IP connection. Vonage to be precise.

The Vonage package arrived soon after I had ordered the service. It contained a manual, some cabling and a Linksys RT31P2 broadband router with two phone ports.
Now with the setup in my home office it was difficult to place the router close to the phone. I had only one Ethernet cable go from the Netgear FVS318 router to my PC. And the phone was right next to the PC. So it would make sense to place the router next to PC and next to phone. Unfortunately the manual does not cover the case where you want to place the Linksys RT31P2 inline *and* still have access to the PC in the same way you had before adding the router.
Here are the before and after scenarios:

I use static DHCP entries on the Netgear router, which means that the PC is still using DHCP to get an IP address, but the Netgear has a MAC->IP address table that always assigns the same IP address to the same MAC address. A poor man’s name server, sort of.

So I connected the Ethernet cable that used to go to the PC to the WAN port of the Linksys and plugged the PC into the first port of the router. I instructed the Linksys to use DHCP to get the WAN IP address:

I used the Linksys’s MAC address in place of the PC’s MAC address on the Netgear router. And finally I enabled the DMZ feature of the Linksys router:

This way all traffic arriving at the Linksys is being forwarded to the DMZ host (my PC).

So far everything is working as expected and all systems on the network can still access the PC as they did before.

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