Actiontec modem/router problems

  • August 2007. FINALLY, after dozens of phone calls, I finally found someone at Verizon who knew the Actiontec DSL router/modems were junk. Even though these are the only ones Verizon supplies (they probably get them for a dime a piece), they sent me a new one. And guess what? It does work better. So I guess 1 out of 3 actually works. Not great odds but a little less grief is an improvement.

  • Bought another Actiontec router modem (figuring the one from Verizon was junk). This was an even bigger piece of junk and couldn't get it work after hours of surfing for advice and ideas.

  • Actiontec GT704WG

    This device is problematic and often needs to be rebooted or reset daily.

    Many people have had problems with this device as well as other models from Actiontec.

    These devices are normally distributed by Verizon and Qwest with their DSL service.

    The problem is with the DNS security features of Actiontec products. For some reason, the device starts to randomly block DNS services to the wired as well as wireless connected PCs. Without DNS, the only way to get to a website is via its IP address. This has caused a lot of confusion among people who have ANY operating system (Windows, Mac or Linux). The device appears connected if you go to the router at but you can't get to any websites (because DNS is hosed). The router does provide options for setting DNS options but it falsely indicates DNS is operational even though it is not.

    Symptoms: Your browser says it cannot find any websites you try to go to. Ping when you do have a good connection and enter that IP in the browser URL (""). It will work because DNS is not needed if you have the IP address.

    There are literally thousands of web pages that tell you to try messing with PPPoe, PPPoa, DHCP, ADSL, DNS or other TCP/IP related stuff. None of this resolves the problem as many of the settings cannot be changed or undo themselves every time you reboot the router. And you can't trust the settings the router displays because they are often bogus.

    Actiontec hasn't upgraded the firmware since 2004 and won't talk to you unless you pony up $30 for each tech support call.

    So the only option you have if you have an Actiontec device is to reboot it. If that doesn't work then try the reset button on the unit. It usually works for a while (4 hours to one day) after that.

    So far, it appears that neither Verzon or Qwest will admit that they gave you a faulty piece of hardware and they sure don't want to help you correct the problem. They usually throw the blame back on the customer and say your drivers are messed up, try that, or you don't have the filters in place, check that.

    So, no matter what OS you are using, if you are having problems connecting with Ubuntu, Mac, Mandrake or Windows, the problem is likely the Actiontec device. They make their money selling crap, not fixing it.

    I've had a slew of other problems with the Actiontec device. It often takes multiple power-off cycles to get it working again. Actiontec hardware is cheap garbage which is why Verizon and Qwest give it to you for free.

    Another problem I've had with the Actiontec device is decreasing connection speeds. The longer it is on the slower it gets until eventually it drops down to 32 kb per second. That's DIAL-UP speed!!! Power the device off for 15 seconds. It may not want to power up when you turn it back on (oftentimes during power-on all lights just endlessly flicker dimly) but keep flipping the switch until it does.

    Early 2007. ActionTec dumps it's line of GW-704's onto Verizon. They are branded "Verizon" and dumped in CopmUSA stores. $90 for the unit. Some of the first retail DSL modems to hit the stores. They are only set up for Verizon DSL. Candy to lure you into a Verizon DSL account. With a product that is a piece of junk and doesn't work half of the time.

    Feb. 2007. The Actiontec router/modem is a total pain. The software running it is a joke. I thought a firmware upgrdade might fix it's totally jacked up behavior. No Dice. Actiontec has no support for their products. It's all "pretend" support. They advertise it but it doesn't exist. But Actiontec does advertise that you can call them if you are willing to put a $30 charge on your credit card.

    Mac Authentication Feature. Simply does not work. Turn it on. Add your MAC addresses. And then nothing can connect to the router. Doesn't anything work on an Actiontec product?

  • The only solution I've found is to hardcode the DNS IPs into your network settings. That way, when the Actiontecs DNS software fails (and it will), your computer can find it's way on the internet even with a malfunctioning router.