October 20, 2005
Hooking the HomeChoice modem/device up with a wifi router

In my quest for a triple play setup for the new house, I rang HomeChoice today. Quite surprisingly, the customer services agent told me that their custom made HomeChoice device has an Ethernet out port, but that they do not necessarily support wireless access points you buy yourself. Instead they sell an engineer-supported installation at 75 pounds for the initial setup and 50 pounds per additional wireless PC (up to three). Compared to 40 quid for a state-of-the-art Linksys router, this seems a bit steep (especially since I don't need additional wifi dongles for the PCs either)

Very strange, I thought: if the modem outputs/accepts pure IP traffic over the ethernet cable; why can't I hook up my own router?

Quick investigations reveal that it's most likely an idiot-proof way of making more money: by stating that they can't guarantee third-party products working; they effectively win over the 95% of the population who wouldn't be confident in configuring a wireless router themselves - ESPECIALLY with the discouragement of the ISP!

deeps_10 reports:

I figured it out. I bought a standard wireless router and plug it into the set top box via RJ45 cable. Then logged onto the router configured it and now it works fine, using all the standard settings of the router and theonly thing i changed was setting 128bit wep encryption
Other - granted, older - postings are much more discouraging:
For the millionth time, you can't connect your connection to a hardware router.
You need to use a PC as a router and share the connection from there.
Does anyone use HomeChoice at the moment, or have more conclusive evidence that my suggested solution (homeChoice box wired to a Linksys AccessPoint) will work?

HomeChoice Box, source http://en.red-dot.org/319+M5b83020ce46.html

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The homechoice box definitely works with a wifi router, I'm using it right now. I simply connected the "PC" socket of the homechoice box to one of the LAN sockets of my Belkin ADSL modem/router with a cat5 cable (same as RJ45?) supplied by the homechoice engineer (but available anywhere) and it works fine. May have had to do a bit of playing around with the internet settings on the PC, I can't quite rememeber now. But it's definitely possible. Alternatively I believe Homechoice offer their own wireless solution.

Posted by: Nathan on October 26, 2005 06:33 AM

Thanks, Nathan - that's what I was hoping for. Getting my HomeChoice installed in a week's time - just didn't want to pay 75 pounds for the wifi setup.

Posted by: Anders on October 26, 2005 04:31 PM

Have a go, and if you have trouble with it, drop me an email and I'll try to recreate setting it up and write down the steps for you. Now, the HC engineer did mutter something about my setup and that it may only work with one PC connected wirelessly, I assume because of IP addressing issues. This wouldn't matter for me as I only have the one PC, but just bear in mind that it may not work for more than one, I haven't tried this.

All things considered though it's a great service. The only issues I've had is the occasional service failure, normally quite late at night, and the video on demand channels don't work on my main TV, they appear so dark as to make them unwatchable. I'm told this only affects certain TVs though, and all other channels are fine.

Posted by: Nathan on October 26, 2005 07:39 PM

It will work to connect a wirelss router to the set-top box! I am connected that way now! Some stupid brits may have got the idea that they need to connect a wireless broadband router (ie with a buildt in modem!), which is not the case!

Posted by: Aleksander on October 27, 2005 12:40 AM

Aleksander you are missing the point i think. No, one does not need to connect a combined ADSL modem/router, BUT many people already have one from before they had HomeChoice, and if one already has a combined router it will work fine, there is no need to go out and buy a separate wifi router. The ADSL modem part of the box is not being used. If one has neither, then obviously it's cheaper simply to buy the router only.

Stupid Brits? Who invented www?

Thank you.

Posted by: Nathan on October 27, 2005 07:04 PM

Thanks for all your helpful comments - I can confirm that I have plugged my HomeChoice set top box to my Linksys WET54G and it was all a breeze. No need to cough up 50 pounds per PC you want connected to get the HomeChoice dude to do it for you!!

Posted by: Anders on November 4, 2005 05:19 PM

Hi Anders

I've had exactly the same problem (got Homechoice last week). I noticed that you used an ethernet bridge to set up your wireless. Would I be able to do the same with a Linksys WAG54G adsl gateway?


Posted by: carl on November 5, 2005 10:09 PM

Carl: according to Nathan that's what it sounds like. I actually had a WAG54G lying about but I had ordered my new access point before getting the comments here... Can confirm at least the WRT54G works fine with HomeChoice.

Posted by: Anders on November 7, 2005 06:23 PM

Sorry got it wrong above: I don't have a WET54G - I DO have a WRT54G. Cheers, A

Posted by: Anders on November 7, 2005 06:25 PM

Thanks Anders

Posted by: carl on November 8, 2005 12:37 AM

hi every1.
i ve purchased homechoice broadband, and i want to set up a wireless connection using my old bt 1200 modem/router combi. Fellow Nathan posted that my bt 1200 will act as the router regardless it has an intergrated adsl modem. my bt 1200 has a phone line socket and a local ethernet socket. how can i connect it with my homechoice box as i think the local ethernet socket is an output only ... much appreciated

Posted by: toughboy on November 8, 2005 04:31 PM

desperate plea for help...

now i'm not the most tech savvy, but i don't do bad for myself however one thing i've never had to confront before (having always been previously in shared houses) is NETWORKING.

We had the homechoice service installed a week ago and I bought a Linksys WRT54GS to enable my flatmate to use his computer wirelessly whilst I could connect either wirelessly or via cable.

The only snag....... IT WON'T WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, not strictly true - the connection is tempremental: sometimes connects, often hangs, reguarly won't load a page. Now, when I connect my computer DIRECTLY to the set top box - not a problem.

Can anyone advise me EXACTLY what settings I need to put into the router - as it appears to be it that is the problem.

I've been driving myself mad checking line quality and TCP/IP settings and all sorts of things which - to be brutally honest - I don't fully understand.

I'm beginning to question myself now (my setup is right isn't it?):

Socket > HC Set top box > RJ45
HC Set top box (NET port) to Router > Ethernet cable
Router > PC = Ethernet cable

Posted by: Gareth on November 8, 2005 10:51 PM

Please help me! You all sound like you know what you're talking about!
Absolutely fed up of homechoice milking my bank account!
Ok... so I have the standard homechoice box, & like you've all said, they want me to fork out another £75 for THEIR wireless set up with Netgear WGR614. No thanks.
I was previously with Virgin broadband and have a Netgear router: DG834G which I can't hook up/ get to work with homechoice & my mac?
Forgive me for being a little technically retarded, but are homechoice and DG834G not at all compatiable? Something to do with this router having a modem inside it?
Please help! I really don't want to have to buy another router when I have a lovely one already (unless I have to!)
Post back :)

Posted by: Cass on November 14, 2005 12:23 AM

Toughboy: did you TEST whether it's output only? If Nathan's right, you can just plug the HomeChoice box in there & get a wifi signal out? Let us know how you get on once you've tested?

Posted by: Anders on November 15, 2005 01:44 PM

Hello ... I've just happened upon this page in my search for how to set my newly acquired Homechoice broadband with my previously bought linksys HG200 adsl wireless router/gateway. It was working fine when I had Tesco broadband - wired to my PC or through wireless to the laptop, but can't work out how to use it in conjunction with the Homechoice set-top box ... primarily because the output from the box is ethernet/LAN whereas the input to the router is an adsl line. I wondered whether I could put the router before the HC box on the telephone input, as the HG200 is also a modem, but so far no success. Is there a cable that will connect from the LAN output on the HC box to the adsl line input on the router?

Am a bit confused about all this, but like everyone else, am not so keen on spending over £100 to just get wireless.

Any advice would be gratefully received!


Posted by: Helene on November 28, 2005 09:09 PM

Helene - according to some of the posters in the comments section, you should be able to plug the 'internet out' (ethernet) plug from your HomeChoice box into one of the ethernet plugs on your adslmodem. This will, in theory, simply bypass the ADSL router functionality and just use the router/wifi part of the box. Give it a try & post back on your experiences.

Otherwise a quick (and cheap) fix is to head to Amazon & pick up a Linksys WRT54G for ~40-45 GBP. Worked for me.

Look forward to reading your follow ups!

Posted by: Anders on November 29, 2005 02:35 PM

Hello Anders

Many thanks for the reply ... have linked the homechoice box to the modem/router, but although I can see the modem/router through the wireless connection, it can't see the internet. I brought up the set-up information on the router, and fiddled around with the settings, but still not internet interface. I also can't seem to find any encapsulation type settings for homechoice broadband anywhere - not with the info they sent or on the web. Any ideas? If not ... will settle for the WRT54G then if that works fine!
Again ... many thanks for the response.

Posted by: Helene on November 29, 2005 11:15 PM

Got homechoice
Got ADSL router/modem
Doesn't work
Not sure of modem settings or config
Try many, angry I spent so much time#
save me futuresound@flashmail.com

Posted by: PRoblemo on November 30, 2005 01:07 PM

I have just purchased the Linksys WRT54GS after talking with a technician from Homechoice who said this Router will work with the homechoice broadband.
Can anyone confirm if they have this router and if it is working for them?
Thanks in advance

Posted by: DAnderson on December 2, 2005 02:21 PM

I've got a WRT54GS now (see previous posts). Works a treat. Not sure about Homechoice generally though - abysmal customer service.

Posted by: carl on January 4, 2006 12:02 AM

I've also got the WRT54G running as my wifi router hooked up to HomeChoice, and I have successfully set up a WAG54G as a wifi router (NOT using the ADSL modem part) at my parents place. All you need to know is the IP of the ADSL modem / cable modem & enter it into the DHCP relay field in the router configuration:

Posted by: Anders on January 5, 2006 03:53 PM

Hi Anders!
I have a Linksys WRT54G wireless router and HomeChoice service. My laptop can detect strong signals from router, but cant get internet to work.

I read through the postings, but cant seem to understand what they did for it to work.

Can you please explain?

I understand that HomeChoice assigns IP address automatically - Do I need to enter a fixed IP address? if so, what IP address should I use? do I need to get one from HomeChoice?


Posted by: G on January 19, 2006 02:21 PM

Hi Anders!
I was able to connect to HomeChoice using WRT54G. Thanks.

Posted by: G on January 20, 2006 09:43 PM

Hi I have got home choice and tried to hook up my belkin Pre-n router and it doesn't work. I have signal between my computer and router but no internet connection. Can you help?

Posted by: Vince on January 25, 2006 06:18 PM

Hi Anders, i have the same problem as almost everyone else. Got Homechoice Broadband, recently got Belkin wireless g router, am able to connect to other networks but not my homechoice. Please help, it's a good thing i have no hair on my head or i'd be pulling it out right about now.

Posted by: Lennox on January 27, 2006 10:32 PM

I have just ordered Homechoice, and am going to _try_ and connect my existing D-link DSL-G604T ADSL wireless router to it. Anyone had any luck with that? I am pretty sure it has DHCP relay configuration, but how do you get the IP address of the HC box? And doesn't this change everytime you power it on/off. The thought of reconfiguring DHCP Relay every time the HC box is turned on/off doesn't sound good to me.

There is an FAQ on the D-Link website about this router asking whether you can use it to wi-fi a cable connection, and the answer is No, because it has an ADSL modem. This does make me think it won't work, but i've got to try.


Posted by: tabber on February 1, 2006 04:41 PM

It seems that the information regarding setting up homechoice with a WIFI router is a little confusing for my head.
I have spent the last few days searcing help to setup my Draytek Vigor2600G wifi router with the homechoice box:
Step 1. I connected the Ethernet port of the Homechoice box to the Port 1 on the router.
Step 2. I connected my laptop to the port 2 on router.
Step 3. I configured the router as per instructions.
Step 4. I tried to connecting to the internet...but I FAILED and on Ipconfig as I get the IP of the router.
AS I was playing around..
Step 5. I connect back the laptop to the homechoice box...and it works (obviously!)
Step 6. I disconnect the cable from the homechoice box and connect it to the router just to try my luck (FYI-the router port & the box ethernet are connected).
Step 7. On IPconfig I get an 81.... IP and Voila...I connect to the internet.
BUT being cynical...
Step 8. I do IPconfig /release & Ipconfig /renew
and back to square one...I get the IP of the router (i.e. 192....) again and lose internet connection....

Its 3am and I am tired...going to sleep...hoping one of you genuis's out there would have posted something helpful tomorrow...


Posted by: Slysaq on February 4, 2006 04:06 AM

Hi guys, I've also bought a linksys WRT54GS to use with my Homechoice connection.

I am able to connect up to the router fine from another wireless point but am unable to get internet access.

Could someone post up their configuration settings for this router please.


Posted by: andrew on February 5, 2006 12:21 PM

Following Vince's comment above, I also have a belkin pre-n router.
It is connected up by cable to a powerbook and wirelessly to a pc.
My problem is that the connection is unstable. When I turn on the homechoice box I initally get internet connection to both machines but generally within a few minutes it dies. However the internet LED is still lit indicating acitivity?
Is there any known issue with running more than one machine on the network? I can't figure out if the problem lies with the router or Homechoice?
I previously had an adsl router which wouldn't work (I hadn't seen the posts above). When I spoke to a Homechoice representative they offered no help as the router was not provided by them.
I am desperate! I've been trying top figure out the problem for months now.

Posted by: ben on February 6, 2006 02:04 PM

I have been able to route my Homechoice connection through the Draytek Vigor 2600G (http://www.draytek.co.uk/products/vigor2600g.html) using an RJ45 connection to my laptop. I am also able to see the WIFI but still not able to access the internet using the WIFI connection. Speaking to a techi friend of mine, I understand that the problem might be as the router I have is both an ADSL+modem which is making it difficult to apply DHCP (no clue what it means). He suggested it might work if I either get a simple router or seperate the modem from the ADSL in my existing Vigor2600G. Any ideas ???? as I am getting desperate and am just about to give up to the homechoice option of buying their router....

Posted by: slysaq on February 6, 2006 02:55 PM
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Anders Jacobsen's blog: How to set up the Linksys WAG54G as a wi-fi router only (January 5, 2006 03:50 PM)
"Linksys' ADSL / wifi router combination boxes WAG54G can actually be used as only a wifi-router (ignoring the ADSL router part) if you have e.g. HomeChoice (UK ISP that provides a proprietary box) or e.g. a cable modem."

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