Thanks a lot for the manual. Now I know better about this Hitron. I will try the "bridge" later. But I worry about the warranty issue if I did that.
I don't think that putting the Hitron into bridge mode will affect the warranty. There are numerous people with D3 modems who have done this - with the SMC, the Cisco, and now the Hitron. The WiFi is so bad on all of them that people have no other choices available. Also, you are not physically altering the equipment in any way - just changing a setting. It can just as easily be switched back again.
Keep in mind though that from what I have read, you may need to have Rogers switch it into bridge mode for you. They do this remotely if you request it. Of course, it is never a solution that is recommended by Rogers. They will suggest numerous other things like changing the channel, rebooting the modem, exchanging the modem (I see you have done this a few times already) or trying a direct Ethernet connection (when people want a WiFi connection and nothing else). None of them work! For Rogers to suggest bridge mode would be an admission that their equipment is a failure, so it is left to the customer to figure this out on their own! They are aware of the issues, yet do noting about them!
There is no need to call Rogers to put this modem in bridged mode. I switched my Hitron to bridge this afternoon, following the directions here. I don't think there is any way to access the Hitron web interface after doing that, so the only way to get it back to router mode in the future would be to press and hold the factory reset button to put it back to the as-delivered config.
If your only complaint is WiFi performance, you don't need to switch the Hitron to bridged mode to use another wireless router. Simply disable WiFi in the Hitron, and plug the WAN port on the wireless router into one of the LAN ports on the Hitron. Set the wireless router to bridged mode, and enable its wireless. I had my system working like that for a week, and only switched the Hitron to bridged because I needed port forwarding, and I couldn't get the Hitron to play that game.
I experienced similar problems with my new Hitron Gateway modem. At first I thought it normal to keep having to reset the modem. Then after being dropped one time too many, I exchanged my Hitron for another, and then, yet another ... making three in total. The newer ones worked except that the download speeds over wifi were abysmal. I couldnt register a download speed faster than 6Mbps on "speedtest.net",(the site that Rogers refers its customers to test the internet speed) from about 30 feet from the router. Anyway, after calling on more than one occaision and being told to move the Hitron away from windows, electrical appliances, wood and glass (I suppose it's best installed in a vacuum), I checked this forum and learned that I wasnt alone. I have since gone the route of having the wireless feature disabled by Rogers and reverted to my own wireless router, I have boosted download speeds on my wireless laptop from less than 6Mbps to over 23Mbps, a significant improvement. The Rogers tech that helped my with this conceded that opinions on the Hitron modem have been mixed. It is noteworthy that this tech also disabled his wireless feature and uses his own router to distribute a wi-fi signal.
please be aware that you should not connect your Hitron router to the external router by connecting from LAN port on the Hitron to WAN port on the external router. Do not do this! Instead, connect from a LAN port on the Hitron to a LAN port on the external router. Basically you will be using the external router, not as a router, but as a switch. Also make sure that you have only one of them doing dhcp, and turn off the WiFi on the Hitron.
Also, as pointed out by others, make sure that the external router has its IP address set to be different from that on the Hitron.
If you were to put the Hitron into bridge mode, then and only then would you want to connect to the WAN port on the external router.
It is in fact possible to set up a working configuration by connecting between the LAN port on the Hitron and the WAN port on the external router. But that would require additional setup steps which are more complex than is really required, and I won't go into that here and now.
From what I have read, this is the expected behaviour - not just with the Hitron, but with all of the D3 gateway modems. Once placed in bridge mode, you are no longer able to access the settings. Not sure why this is the case, but it would not surprise me if Rogers is behind it!