How to configure your NTL 250 to work with wireless

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If you are merely browsing this blog, don’t read the below. It’s dull as dogs. This is for incoming google searches.

(Hint. If you actually want to configure wireless for your NTL 250 cable modem, skip to the far quicker and superior “Option B”.)

This blog is for the benefit of anyone who might be going through the same problem as I did…

Option A

  1. Call Virgin Media and request a new wireless cable modem router, because yours is faulty. Argue with them over 3x 25 minute phone calls because they say they didn’t provide the original, and your only option is to upgrade your internet connection and take-on another 12 month contract because the NTL 250 cable modem is out of date and they no longer provide separate wireless routers.
  2. Choose “a bit of classical” as your hold music. Hey, I can choose hold music! Oh wait, they are playing “Jurassic Park”. #fail
  3. In a cavalier fashion, purchase a wireless access point on Amazon
  4. Review the “order dispatched” email and immediately KICK YOURSELF when you read the words “wireless access point”. You need a “wireless router”. Who the hell buys those things? The NTL 250 is a cable modem, and is not a router.
  5. Await shipment. Maybe the Wireless AP you purchased can handle routing as well. It seems to do everything else under the sun, it’s one of those TP-Link devices that seem to have taken over the low-end market. They have awesome chipsets and a web interface that doesn’t make you want to pull your hair out, which more than makes up for the unbelievably cheap plastic they are made from. Take THAT Netgear…
  6. Stop kidding yourself. Really, a router is a router. A Wireless AP is a Wireless AP.
  7. Out of desperation head to Maplin. Make sure you get a Wireless *Cable Modem* Router this time. Uh oh. The only wireless cable modem router in stock is a Netgear.
  8. Scream and struggle and tear your hair out because your Netgear web interface randomly hangs, you never know if it actually ‘applied’ the settings you painstakingly entered, and you can’t get the thing to play ball.
  9. Attempt to use the Netgear “auto detect modem settings”. Yeh, that was never going to work.
  10. Attempt to manually set the router’s IP address and DNS servers (even though they should be dynamically assigned) as if this will somehow help.
  11. Hit Google, pore over various VirginMedia broadband forum posts, none of which assist in configuring your NTL 250, all of which conclude with “Virgin will send you their new Superhub”. Call Virgin once again to say your wireless router is faulty, can they send you a “Superhub”, no they can’t, not unless you upgrade, take-on another 12 month contract, etc.
  12. Ask to speak to Virgin’s tech support team, you need assistance configuring a wireless router for your NTL 250 cable modem. “What is the make and model?” Netgear. “We are unable to support Netgear wireless routers”.
  13. Phone up again and lie, tell them you are setting up a Linksys. They tell you “set your router’s settings to ‘dynamic’. No need to enter any logon information. No connection username and password. DHCP will provide your router with the correct IP address, DNS, gateway”. ARGUE. Say you’ve done that but it is simply not getting an IP address. Angrily explain you have no way of getting online because they won’t upgrade your router and won’t replace your existing one, then eventually hang up because they can’t help you.
  14. Curse, Google some more, etc.
  15. … notice a setting on the Netgear. A strange setting, one that allows you to hard-code the MAC address of the router’s cable modem interface. Think to yourself “surely they don’t filter MAC addresses at the exchange, given they haven’t even bothered to set up any kind of connection encryption in the first place”. (Or perhaps it’s their way of helping NAT to actually work. Either way, it’s dumb.)
  16. Get online within a few minutes of the above.

Option B

Here’s how to set up your wireless cable modem router with your NTL 250 or 255 (thanks to Virgin Media for all their wonderful help):

  1. Make sure you buy a Wireless Cable Modem Router
  2. Find the MAC address of your cable modem. If you are lucky, it will be written on the underside of your NTL 250 or 255 cable modem
  3. Input this MAC address into your wireless cable modem router
  4. Most modern wireless cable modem routers should magically work once you have done the above
Easy, huh?

One Response

  1. John Fairgrieve

    August 30, 2012 11:16 am

    Thankyou. My experience with Virgin so far is the same as yours.To save further distress I may well take the same route as you

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