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Configuring Speedstream 6520 For Modem Only Mode
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Configuring Speedstream 6520 For Modem Only Mode
As I've written in a previous blog, 'Sympatico Ultra Highspeed / Speedstream 6520 Modem Problems', Bell provides you with a really crappy router/modem with their Sympatico Ultra Highspeed Edition. I decided that I didn't want to use their router so I turned it off and just used my own D-Link router. Here's are the steps on how I accomplished this:
  1. Connect the DSL cable (phone cord) to the DSL socket on the back of the Speedstream.

  2. Connect an ethernet cable to the #1 port on the Speedstream to the WAN port on your router.

  3. Connect your computer to one of the LAN ports on the Speedstream. The Speedstream should already be set to DHCP mode, but if it is not, you will have to manually change your IP to be on the same network as the modem, otherwise you can skip this step.

    Go into your network connections. In Windows XP, go to Start Menu > Connect to > Show all connections.

    Select 'Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)' and click the Properties button.

    Right-click on your Local Area Network connection and select properties. You should get a screen similar to the one below. Enter in what you see below and click OK.

  4. Open a browser window and type this address in the address/location bar. This is the IP address of the Speedstream modem/router.

  5. If you have set up a username and password, enter it here. If you have not set up a username and password, I believe the default username is admin and the password is blank (as in it is empty, not the word blank).

  6. Once you are in, you should get a screen similar to the one below. Click on the Advanced Icon at the top.

  7. Then, click on the Home Network icon on the left. You should get a screen similar to the one below.

  8. Click on the Advanced Settings button and you should get the screen below.

  9. *** Added step *** (Jan 29, 2010)
    Originally I had forgotten to put this step in. You need to click on the 'Configure the Local Home Networking modem LAN/WAN Port' which will give you the screen below. Select to use the LAN/WAN port (port 4) as a LAN port. If you choose to use it as a WAN port, you will get the option to either use it as a Bridged IP or use PPPoE connection. I was unable to get it to work using the Bridged IP setting.

  10. From step 8, click on the 'Configure the Local Home Networking modem IP Network' link. This should take you to another window that looks like the one below.

  11. Click on 'Custom Settings' and you should see the screen below. Copy the settings as you see them and click the Apply button. This will disable the Speedsteam's DHCP server. DHCP assigns IP addresses to all the computers connected to the network. You want to disable this so that your router will be the DHCP server.

  12. If you changed your Windows network settings in step 3, you should change them back to automatically obtain your IP address and DNS server addresses.

  13. At this point, I will assume that you have the router that you want to use instead of the Speedstream already set up to connect to Sympatico. The router should also be running a DHCP server. You may need to reboot your router. And that should be it.

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Posted by vxt on 2010-01-12 02:06:11Post #21 - Post link
I think you're mistaken. This is not a double NAT. The Speedstream doesn't assign any IPs. Your router uses the Speedstream as a modem to connect to the Internet. The Speedstream serves no purpose now other than as a modem to connect to the Internet.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-18 08:02:57Post #22 - Post link
I have to agree with jason... It seems here you have done nothing to "bridge" the modem, only disabled the DHCP. The idea is for your network router to connect and recieve the ip/subnet from ur dsl provider, with the modem being nothing but a passthru. this is not what you have done here.
Posted by vxt on 2010-01-18 10:04:22Post #23 - Post link
My claim is that disabling DHCP automatically puts the router in bridge mode because it has no other function but passing through the traffic from the DSL to the D-Link router. I can't find any evidence that it's doing any NAT functions. Do you know of anything that I can do to confirm that the Speedstream is still doing NAT functions? I need to check but I don't think the other LAN ports on the Speedstream even work when DHCP is disabled.
Posted by Hemlock on 2010-01-27 21:25:06Post #24 - Post link
Disabling the DHCP only disables the assignment if IP addresses. It does not put the 6520 into bridge mode. The other ports on the 6520 continue to work with DCHP disabled and it will continue to make the PPPOE connection to Bell. The unit needs to be bridged by configuring the WAN/LAN port (section 8 in the above instructions fir the start point of this process) Once it is bridged, then it is just a modem and the other ports should not function.

One key thing to remember is to make sure that the computer you are using to manage a router has the same first, second and third group in the IP address (192.168.2 for the speedstream unless it has been changed from the default), otherwise you will not be able to access the device even if you can see it on the network. Frequently the new modem you are trying to install will have a different 3rd number group (typically a 1 or 0), so you may well find you need to switch the IP on the computer again once the 6520 is in bridge mode so that you can configure your new router ans set up PPPOE.
Posted by vxt on 2010-01-28 10:40:53Post #25 - Post link
Sorry, I keep forgetting to test to see if the other ports still work. But I'm pretty sure that the Speedstream is not connecting through PPPoE. It is my D-Link that is connecting using PPPoE. Because PPPoE is disabled on the Speedstream, that is why I am claiming that it is in (non-official) bridge mode.

There is an official bridge mode on this device that I could not get to work. For those who are posting their opinions on this, please state whether you are stating theory or actually have this device.
Posted by vxt on 2010-01-29 02:05:24Post #26 - Post link
OK, because of all the discussion about this lately, I've re-looked at this. The extra ports are definitely still working in the setup I have described in this blog. I added an additional step after step #8 which be helpful to some.

I re-tried the official bridge mode of this device again and was still unable to get it to work. Basically, what I did was set the Streamstream in its official bridge mode (with IP and set the D-Link to use IP I connected the D-Link WAN port to the Streamstream WAN port and set the D-Link to connect using PPPoE and it didn't work.

The reason I used for the D-Link was because the D-Link would always set the gateway to be its IP. So I set the gateway on the Speedstream to to match the D-Link.

Anyway, my method definitely works and lets you use your router instead of the Speedstream router, which is the main purpose of this blog. If anybody can get bridged IP mode to work on the Speedstream to work then feel free to post how you did it.
Posted by tlman46 on 2010-01-29 10:29:13Post #27 - Post link
Folks, just went through this with a helpful Bell tech on a 6520 that arrived today. Turning off DHCP is good to do and described in this page. But from "advanced setup", click on the top left icon, "Business Internet High Speed Connection". From that page, click on "advanced settings". From that page, choose "Configure the ATM virtual circuit". From that page, you will see one or more PPOE VC lines, choose "delete" for each. then click on the "add a new VC" button. From that page, select the first option, the plain bridge mode. Click next, change the name if you want, and save/finish/reboot.
NOW the device is in bridge mode.
Hope that helps.
Posted by vxt on 2010-01-29 10:47:39Post #28 - Post link
Thanks, tlman. I will try that out later. If it works I'll post your solution. I'm always cautious about deleting stuff if I don't know what it's for so it's probably something I never would have tried on my own. The tech person I got was pretty useless but that was a couple of years ago so maybe they've gotten better or maybe it's just the luck of the draw.
Posted by tlman46 on 2010-01-29 11:33:33Post #29 - Post link
The good news is there is little risk in deleting, since you can always (from the basics settings page) reload the default settings of the modem, and start over.

One thing I should have said was that after to set the bridge VC, you will need to confirm or adjust the ADSL settings (0 and 35, rather than the 0 and 32 that my modem had as its defaults). Sorry for any confusion that omission created for folks!

I was intrigued by the addressing/configuration issue, since our lan does not run on It wasn't 100% clear to me WHY I would want/need to worry about the modem configuration once it was a bridge modem, i.e., what I would be managing through it rather than through the router. But to be on the safe side, I loaded the 6520 modem driver into my netbook (I found a good/small driver at - this worked better for me than the large driver file that Bell has on its site), loaded it, and set the TCP/IP properties to a fixed IP address for this connection ( That now works fine, and I can use my netbook and a USB cable any time I might want to get at the firmware.

Hope that helps!
Posted by tlman46 on 2010-01-29 16:03:53Post #30 - Post link
Just a quick follow-up note to say that this bridge-mode technique does work fine. I was having some problems getting connectivity until I remembered that my old Alcatel modem needed a line-swapper dongle, and that with the new modem I should remove the dongle from the line. A-ha!

(BTW, along the way to trying to figure out what the problem was, I called Bell tech support again, and got a WAY-less expert and helpful individual this time, who added nothing to the process. So maybe I was just lucky to get the gal I did the first time around -- she was excellent.)

Bell doesn't switch our DSL over to the Optimax fibre-to-the-pole service until next Tuesday -- I was just wanting to make sure the new modem worked in the existing configuration and line (change one thing at a time!). But I still harboured a faint hope that the new modem might buy me a little extra throughput (vs the o-l-d Alcatel SpeedTouch Home we had been using). And the answer?? Nope, exactly the same throughput ratings, in both directions, as before.

I note that these Speedstream 6520 all-in-one devices can be had for $50 retail over the Internet. They have just that low-quality look and feel. I feel bad plugging my Cisco router into it!
Posted by vxt on 2010-02-01 20:51:53Post #31 - Post link
tlman, I think our devices must have different software on them because the page that I went to from your recommendation contained multiple text boxes to fill out in which I didn't have the answers to. But then I found something may verify my claim that the device is automatically put into bridge mode if you turn off DHCP. I could be wrong but I think this page says that it's in bridge mode.
Posted by tlman46 on 2010-02-02 15:36:37Post #32 - Post link
The jpg to me looks like it is saying that the 6520 is managing the PPPOE connection, and gives you a button option to disconnect it.
I'm happy to let go of this, all I can report is that my 6520 is in modem-only mode, following the approach I described.
Others may want to try the following instructions from Bell ("How do I fully bridge the 6300 and 6520 modems?"):
. . . . accessed from their SMB FAQ list.
Good luck!
Posted by vxt on 2010-02-02 15:52:29Post #33 - Post link
It looks like you have some sort of business version because mine doesn't say anything about business, as you can see from the screenshots. So, the instructions you've linked to don't work for me. But I guess for other people with the same software as yours, it will be useful.

The jpeg I posted shows thet 0/35-BRG is UP. I'm not 100% sure but I think that indicates that bridge mode is up and running. The PPPoE part just means that it's connected to the DSL which was initiated by my D-Link.
Posted by Daniull on 2010-03-04 18:38:00Post #34 - Post link
you know....glad someone has this thread.... OK

I do have one of these routers...only because it is my ONLY choice in hick town here. only question is this.... the 6520 is rated at 10/100 speed. Now, I have a d-link router (collecting dust) that is gigabit that is 10/100/1000 and also wireless-N speed and i would love to use it but if i plug into the ethernet port...i am still limited to 10/100 right? can I use the USB port on the back of my modem instead and would that make any difference? to speed it up ....or is there another way? I am doing this mainly because I have a NAS and when i try to backup it takes FOREVER to transfer via ethernet. any help is appreciated.....
Posted by vxt on 2010-03-04 19:08:27Post #35 - Post link
Why don't you just try it out unless you are having some specific issue with it. I don't know anything about your specific router but theoretically, I would think that you would get 1 Gbps if the network adapter of the device you are connecting it to can transfer at 1 Gbps. The speed limit on the Speedstream only affects Internet traffic. Your LAN speed will be affected by the slowest device you are using in the transfer.
Posted by Daniull on 2010-03-04 21:25:28Post #36 - Post link
actually i am trying right now.... but my default gateway info is different.... and i am having difficulty since I am using is similar.... but different enough to confuse me....we dont have a lan/wan it has a chackbox by WAN and if you uncheck to it is a "default gateway" so Do I ping the speedstream and get all the info? and put it in there....I am using windows 7 and its all different....

so here is the thing....the is for YOUR speedstream router...not mine... so I am a bit lost....
Posted by Daniull on 2010-03-04 21:28:48Post #37 - Post link
also, when you say to type in your in a browser.... well i do not have internet at all after those changes.... immediately when i plug in the way you say in the first 4 steps i lose internet.....
Posted by vxt on 2010-03-05 02:14:44Post #38 - Post link
Typically, if your Speedstream has the default setup (to use DHCP), you don't need to do step 3. You need to type in the IP of your Speedstream ( should be ) into the browser.Type ipconfig in the DOS window, it will give you this information.
Posted by vxt on 2010-03-09 19:18:35Post #39 - Post link
Sorry, I just noticed that I broke the comments while updating the site.
Posted by Kim Cooper on 2010-05-12 09:14:57Post #40 - Post link
HI, I'm not sure what the terminology is that I'm attempting. I have Qwest highspeed coming into my home through an Actiontec modem. My main terminal is connected via Ethernet. The modem is broadcasting a wireless signal. I have a new terminal upstairs that I'd like to access the 'net. I have a SpeedStream 6520. Can I configure it to simply receive the signal from my Actiontec and communicate that to my upstairs terminal via Ethernet or USB cable? (Pardon my ignorance! and Thank you!)
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