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Using the MF271 as a modem with an external router

I've Been Around

Hi everyone,


I've been trying to set up my rocket hub (MF271) as a modem and then use an external router to broadcast the signal with a better range than the MF271's built in one. But I can't seem to get it to work. When I plug the ethernet cable directly into the d-link router i can't seem to get it to work. 


I don't know if there's a way to put the MF271 into Bridge mode or if I have to use port forwarding or something along those lines. Hopefully someone can give me some pointers any help would be greatly apprecieated



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Re: Using the MF271 as a modem with an external router

I've Been Here Awhile

Since my orginal post about adding an external router to the ZTE MF271 modem (due to the 10 user limitation on the ZTE), I am happy to report a very succesful installation!


They must be making routers "smarter" than they used to because really it was very straightforward.


First I disabled the wifi function in the settings tab on the ZTE modem.


Next I connected a router to the ethernet output on the back of the modem and followed the setup instructions that came with my router.


In my case I used a DLink AC1900 which I just purchased from Costco for $159.  This router did everything it needed to do automatically.  All I needed to do was assign a password for the new wifi SSID.


So far I found only pros and no cons (other than needing to spend another $159).  So far I have had 14 devices/users connected to it simulatneously (as mapped out by the new routers interface)  including iphones, laptops, ipads, security cameras, Netflix and a wifi thermostat.  I did a speed test of my internet download and upload speed before and after and there is no apparent degradation of service.


Things slow down a bit when I am streaming Netflix vis a vis the other devices but that would be the case with or without the external router.


I am not sure why all the Tech Support people I spoke to before about this said it would be a problem doing this or there would be issues.  Maybe not all routers would be so easy to set up this way and from a support point of view its easier to say not possible.


The only other con.....and a pro for Rogers, is that they will be able to bill me for more data useage.


Happy surfing!




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Re: Using the MF271 as a modem with an external router

Rogers Employee

@jramsay Hello!

Welcome to the community 🙂


I don't think 3G/LTE Modems are the samething as regular modem...
Never the less, your router should still be able to do this.

Make sure you are plugging your router into the "Internet" port not the "1" port.

Secondly, your MF271 can be "technically" put into bridge mode.

I remember doing this with an older rocket hub modem in my cottage a while back, where I turned off the wifi on the router and used "1" and connected it to my router "Internet" slot. (It was also a D-Link DIR615 or something DIR655 maybe. whatever that white flat box with 3 antenna is...)

Hope this helps?

@Datalink @Gdkitty - would you guys know more about this? I know you guys are more cable internet savvy.

But ever played around with a Rocket Hub before?

Re: Using the MF271 as a modem with an external router

I've Been Here Awhile

ZTE MF271 10 ip address limit


I recently upgraded (or so I thought) from the Netcom "Rocket Hub" i got in 2013 which connected at 3G, to the current model offered by Rogers, the ZTE MF271.


I did a speed test comparison with both connected and the ZTE is 2 to 3 times faster downloads.


I use the device at a location in rural Ontario with no other high speed internet source but with reasonable cellular service.


I was also happy to see that Rogers now offers higher useage data plans for these devices (up to 100 GB/month) compared to my old plan where overage kicked in at 20GB, so I also upgraded my data plan.


When I picked up the ZTE device the Rogers store told me it was good for up to 10 users.  At the time I didnt realize that this was not just a guideline but rather the device is hard coded to only permit 10 ip addresses assigned!


As with most families, now with multiple devices per person, it doesnt take very long to run out of ip's.   I also have three wifi cameras and a wifi thermostat and all these count as part of the 10.


I never had this problem with the Netcom.  Right in the settings menu of the ZTE there is a drop down menu for numbe of users and the max is 10.


According to both the ZTE company and Rogers Tech Support, the ZTE MF271 cannot be bridged to an external router (i.e. to permit more IP's).


There is a setting to disable the Wifi on the ZTE and I was hoping, though I have not yet tested, attaching an external router to the ethernet jack with the Wifi disabled will permit a separate router to take over.


I cannot understand why Rogers would select a product to restrict the number of users to 10, when they are in the business of selling data.....why bother then upgrading their data plans?


Has anyone found a workaround to the problem I describe.


Thanks for any assistance.



***Edited Labels***

Re: Using the MF271 as a modem with an external router

Hi @,


Thank You for your post and Welcome to the forums. Smiley Happy


I understand you've upgraded from a Netcom Rocket Hub and you're looking for a workaround to connecting more than 10 devices to the Internet using your new ZTE MF271 Rocket Hub. Although the  ZTE Rocket Hub cannot be bridged, any workaround would involve pros and cons. This would be to have a second router set to access point mode, it would grab one of the 10 wireless IP addresses from the ZTE Rocket Hub . Once that router is connected to the Internet, any devices connected to the routers WiFi should be able to connect to the Internet, this would allow your multiple devices/more than 10 to connect. However The Con may potentially be limited connectivity, two different WiFi networks (so devices may not see each other), we can't guarantee service through the other router, custom settings maybe difficult, slow performance due to the extra firewall/WiFi security and limited support from both device manufactures (don't worry you have your new Rogers Community Forums family, we'll try our best Smiley Wink). The Pro would basically be your workaround, allowing more than 10 devices to connect to the Internet through both the router and the ZTE Rocket Hub. 



Tell us if everything works out,

Re: Using the MF271 as a modem with an external router

question, wouldn't running it as access point mean it is the same wifi? (SSID is cloned?)
I only thought the Con was the throughput decreases but devices won't actually see two different network.
The rocket hub doesn't need to be bridged either; as access point doesn't do it's own routing...

That is what I learned myself through previous experience and with are local REs here. o___o"
Would that not resolve @Breeze99 concerns?

and you are right about performance impact (That is what I meant by throughput) that would be a Con.