Setting Up Westell Modems with Linksys WRT54G Routers

I connect to my high-speed DSL Internet service using a Westell WireSpeed modem that's hooked up to a Linksys WRT54G router. Last week a power outage hosed the settings on the modem and router, which knocked me offline until I figured out the proper configuration. I was so desperate at one point that I called my ISP's outsourced tech support, speaking for 15 minutes to a pleasant wage slave in Bangalore or another distant port o' call center who could not have been less helpful.

Linksys WRT54G wireless Internet routerFor the help of others in my predicament, and myself in the future when I forget how to do this again, I'm documenting how to configure a Westell modem to work with a WRT54G router.

First, connect a computer directly to the Westell modem using an Ethernet cable and see if you can browse the web. If you can, this confirms that your Internet connection is fine and your modem/router configuration is the most likely cause of the problem.

While the modem is connected, load the address in your browser, which opens a web application in the modem that enables it to be configured. Choose Expert Mode from the main menu, which adds options to the menu, then choose the Configure Connection option.

Westell modems are set up by default to act as their own router. This is ungood if you have another router, because they conflict with each other and neither works properly. When you are connecting the modem to a router, the modem must be set to "Bridged Ethernet" mode to disable its routing capabilities. This option can be selected in the Protocol drop-down box. After setting the modem to Bridged Ethernet, click Save and Restart Connection.

Next, disconnect the computer from the modem and turn the router and computer off, which for the router requires pulling the cord out of the back. Once this is done, plug the modem into the router with an Ethernet cable while the router's power is still off. Wait 10 Mississippis, then turn the router and computer back on in that order.

Load the address in your browser to open the router's web configuration application. This application requires a username and password. If you've never set one up, leave the username blank and use the default password "admin". The Basic Setup form is displayed. Choose the Internet Connection Type PPPoE (Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet), then click Save Settings.

To see if it works, choose the Status tab to display information about your connection. If Login Status is "Connected", the router's connecting to the Internet successfully through the modem. If not, click the Connect button.

(At this point you're done, but if you haven't set up router and wireless password, anyone can change your configuration and use your wireless Internet connection. Click the Administration tab to set a router username and password. Click the Wireless tab and the Wireless Security link to restrict wireless access.)

Broadband Reports has more information on configuring Westell modems and Linksys routers.


I have a westell modem/router from Verizon DSL. In order to make it function with a third party router, it has to be configured to bridge mode. Verizon offers no documentation on this configuration and will not offer any support while it's set up that way. If it weren't for the scrupulous documentation of this anonymous Verizon user, I'd still be in the dark.

The first time I did it was a challenge because the username for the Linksys had to be "" (the whole thing). Fortunately a guy at Linksys knew this.

My current plan includes their 2-wire router at no extra charge so I am using that. It is a good unit but the first one they sent me kept re-booting at random intervals. The replacement has been solid.

Thank you so much for this doc. I was going nuts after a power outage trying to remember what I did to get this to work. Your post was a lifesaver. Thank you.

I havent tried it yet but seems like it should work if i do what you say. If it does work, THANK YOU! learning something new everyday!

Thanks, life saver!


You are indeed a life saver. I've been struggling with this for days. What started out to be a simple AT&T modem upgrade caused chaos. The computer could communicate with both devices but they couldn't communicate with each other until I put the modem in bridged mode. Thank you for laying this out so clearly. Now I see that the modem is deferring to the router and there is no longer an issue with the IP addresses. THANK YOU.

didn't work for me

if anyone could help. I have been at this for months, I just have to do without it till I get some help. I tried putting the router in bridge mode put the user name and password into the linksys wrt54g and still no connection. my email is if anyone could help me. (please)

Won't work for me as there is no "bridge mode" under protocol.
Just PPOa & PPOe.????? Probably a different Modem, but is not labeled at all except Revision H and Style MSTATEA.

I too had a working network until having to relocate equipment and lost all working connections. After two days of countless attempts and searching the web for help, I come across this document from "WORKBENCH."
I should have started my comment off by first saying THANK YOU! Secondly, anyone reading this should know this least in my case. Also, if you loaded the Linksys Help Center program you might as well remove that program from your computer! That program is consuming valuable space on your computer as it has no instructions on prompting one to use the "Bridge Ethernet" function.
I would advise anyone with connection problems using this same router along with a modem to try this, Although it may be necessary to try more than once. Thanks again Workbench for this article!

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