Sep 052009
 

Initially (as of 9/5/2009) this worked with the ooma Telo. Apparently, there’s been a firmware change since this article was written causing this to no longer work. Since my Telo is back in it’s box (I much prefer the hub) I can’t verify.

I’m a big fan of the ooma VOIP device. It’s a feature packed phone system that allows you to ditch your land line, and it’s 100% free after the initial outlay. That means no more phone bills. For $99 a year you can get their premier service which has even more features.

The install guide that comes with ooma instructs you to place the Hub (when I say Hub, I mean the ooma Hub) between your modem and router (or computer if you don’t have a router). This configuration is perfect for 90% of installs, and allows the quality of service (QoS) built into the Hub to reserve the bandwidth needed to ensure the great call quality ooma is known for. For some situations though, this isn’t ideal. A larger network with complex routing will probably have trouble with this setup. The Hub has basic router functionality, including a firewall and QoS, but otherwise is fairly limited. In situations like this you’re better off placing the Hub behind a router. Also, for some people, letting the router handle QoS produces better call quality. Finally, for whatever reason, others just prefer it this way. If you plan to place your Hub behind a router make sure your router has QoS built in. This isn’t as important if you have a fast connection to the Internet (> 6Mbps). Although if you do much downloading, gaming, or watch a lot of media over the internet you’ll need QoS no matter how fast your connection is.

Before we start I’m going to assume your Hub has been registered, and you can successfully make calls. The first thing you need to do is find out if the Hub will connect behind the router. With the Hub turned off (i.e. unplugged), plug an Ethernet cable into it’s “Modem” port, and then into an empty port on the router. Turn on the Hub (i.e. plug it in), and wait a few minutes to connect. If it connects then you’re ready for the next step. If it doesn’t connect there’s probably an issue with the firewall in your router blocking needed ports (find a list of service ports here). The best thing to do at this point would be to search the ooma knowledgebase. Or seek help in the user forums. There are a lot of helpful people there.

The procedures below should work with most routers (I have a WRT54GS running tomato v1.25 firmware). As long as your router supports static DHCP and QoS you should be ok. So far ooma has successfully connected behind the router, but there’s a problem. In this configuration you have no way of accessing the administrative web site for the Hub. The URL for the site, “setup.ooma.com,” will not work. There are two things you can do that will allow you to access the setup:

  1. You can connect (via Ethernet) a computer to the “Home” port of the Hub
  2. You can plug an Ethernet cable into the “Home” port of the Hub, and then into an empty port on the router (the same router the “Modem” port is plugged into)

Either will work fine, but if you have an extra Ethernet cable #2 is more convenient. For #2, make sure you turn off the router and Hub before you plug in the Ethernet cable. Once you plug it in, turn on the router and let it boot up. Once the router has finished initializing you can turn on the Hub. Now go into your router setup and locate the device list. Find the IP address of the Hub, and enter it into the address bar of a browser. You should now see the setup. At this point you can reach the ooma setup using the IP, but you’re only halfway there.

Ideally, you want to be able to reach the setup pages without having to have the Hub’s “Home” port connected to the router (or computer). Also, you’d probably rather use “http://setup.ooma.com” instead of having to remember the IP address. To do this you need to make a change in the setup of both your Hub and router.

Hub:

  1. From the front page of the setup click “Advanced” under “Navigation”
  2. Take the IP address of the Home Port, and enter it in the “DMZ Address” fields
  3. Click “Update”

Caution! If you move the Hub back in front of the router you MUST remember to remove this setting. Otherwise you’ll make your Home Network available to the entire Internet. Also, DO NOT put the ooma Hub in your router’s DMZ if you use this configuration.

Router:

  1. In your routers admin site locate where you set up static DHCP rules (for Tomato it’s under “Basic”, but you can also do this from the device list under “MAC Address”)
  2. Enter a new rule
    • The MAC Address is the modem port MAC address of the Hub (this is located in the Hub setup under “Network”)
    • The IP address is an address of your choosing, preferably outside of your DHCP range to avoid conflicts
    • The Hostname is “setup.ooma.com” (without quotes)
    • Add and save this rule

Believe it or not, that’s it. Now disconnect the Ethernet cable connected to the Hub’s “Home” port, and power cycle both the router and Hub (wait for the router to completely initialize before you plug in the Hub). Enter “http://setup.ooma.com” (without quotes) in the address bar of your browser and you should see the ooma setup page. If you’re using IE 7/8 and you can’t reach the setup, try another browser like Firefox. Sometimes IE has trouble resolving local domain names after they’ve changed.

In the next post, I’ll talk about how to set up QoS.

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  25 Responses to “How to configure the ooma hub to work behind a router”

  1. Great, article on OOMA. I just received my OOMA hub and this helped me allot. I am trying to get the QOS fine tuned so I am waiting for the next article on QOS. Again great article.

  2. I couldn’t find a place in my dd-wrt that allows for entry of a MAC & and IP Address, so I didn’t do that step. I set my ooma telo address to 192.168.1.99 and can ping it:
    C:\Users\HP>ping 192.168.1.99

    Pinging 192.168.1.99 with 32 bytes of data:
    Reply from 192.168.1.99: bytes=32 time=11ms TTL=64
    Reply from 192.168.1.99: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
    Reply from 192.168.1.99: bytes=32 time=7ms TTL=64
    Reply from 192.168.1.99: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64,

    Ping statistics for 192.168.1.99:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 1ms, Maximum = 11ms, Average = 5ms

    However, IE and Firefox both cannot resolve a page. I’ve tried typing in the specific setup page, http://setup.ooma.com/cgi-bin/ooma_cgi.cgi?makepage=home, still, with no luck

    Any ideas?

  3. Look under “Services” in the dd-wrt menu. Check out http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Static_DHCP for help in how to set this up using dd-wrt.

  4. I have the same issue. I have an ooma telo and ASUS WL520 running tomato. I have set up the ooma with a static IP address and put the ooma home port IP (172.27.35.1) in the ooma DMZ. I have set up static DHCP as above. I have also set up static routing of the ooma home port IP with the ooma’s static IP address, as suggested somewhere else on the web. Neither lets me access the web admin page, whether by ooma static IP address or setup.ooma.com (both of which ping fine) or the ooma home port IP (which I think should, but does not, ping once set up in the ooma’s DMZ). Any thoughts/suggestions?

  5. I am using the ooma telo behind a wrt54g router with tomato. I did all the steps but am unable to access setup at setup.ooma.com unless I keep the home port plugged into the router. If I unplug it I cannot access the setup. Should I enter ip #’s for static IP Options under Network at setup.ooma.com? Right now those fields are blank.

  6. Ok.. fixed my problem I had in the comment above. On setup.ooma.com under the Advanced page you have to open port 80 for the Home Port under Port Forwarding.

    Port = 80
    Type = TCP
    Forward To = 172.27.35.1

    Though I’m not sure if this is secure. Is there a better way of doing this?

  7. That’s it! Should have thought of that myself, since the problem was getting to the web config. page even though I could ping it.

    I’m not a networking guru (obviously), but it seems to me this should be as safe as anything else behind your router’s firewall. You are opening up to LAN-side access, but not WAN-side. Unless somebody more knowledgeable indicates why I am not thinking about this correctly.

    Many thanks.

  8. You shouldn’t have to use port forwarding if you set the Ooma’s IP in the Ooma setup DMZ (which should open all ports.) The only thing I can think of (without being able to look at it) is make sure you set up the host name in your router’s static DHCP entry for the Ooma (it should be setup.ooma.com) Of course an update to the Telo could have changed how this works (my Telo went back in its box as I much prefer the Hub.)

    Security wise your setup should not be an issue.

  9. Oh, this article was so helpful. I’ve been using vonage for years, and just bought the Ooma telo system.

    All my phone lines were Cat5e, so I just changed all the ports over. Unfortunately, with modem –>vonage –> router, the whole system is stuck in my basement, where the cable comes in.

    With this setup, I can choose wherever I want to put my Ooma/phone in the house. I have also been using tomato for years, so this was just perfect.

    Thanks!

  10. Okay, wait a minute now. I just set up my Ooma telo, after my router, and it works fine. I have no problem going to “setup.ooma.com” if I just plug a laptop into home.

    I did none of the above procedures, so I can’t access the address on any computer, but is there any reason I should?

    I’ll definitely go through the QoS material you posted, but this step seems unnecessary. Am I right?

  11. There’s (usually) no reason you have to use the above procedures. It just makes accessing the Ooma admin pages easier.

    If you have decent upload/download speeds, and don’t do a lot of bandwidth intensive activities with your network you typically don’t need to setup QoS. Start out without it, and if you have quality issues then give QoS a shot.

  12. “setup.ooma.com” also didn’t work for me after I made all the changes enumerated in this blog. Instead, I accessed the setup page by using the internal DHCP IP address I assigned to the OOMA Hub. But after I restarted by router, I was able to access the page with the “setup.ooma.com” URL instead of its IP address. I didn’t have to forward port 80 to the Ooma Hub. I guess if it doesn’t work for you, too, you can try restarting your router to see if that’ll clear the cache and make the URL work.

  13. Thanks a lot! Worked like a charm! I’ll probably toy around with QoS if I get the chance. I have Tomato 1.27 running on a Linksys WRT54-TM. I’ve played around with the QoS on Tomato, but wanted to be able to access the ooma core box as well to ensure I’m not creating conflicting or redundant QoS settings. My connection is DSL 7meg down 768 up, so that should be sufficient. The only time I see network problems are when my daughter’s watching youtube high def while someone is on the PS3 gaming online…. the game gets choppy at times probably due to the upload speed more than anything else. I want to give the ooma box priority over the other devices… I’ll look to the forums at ooma for that. Thanks again!

  14. Anyone have any thoughts as to why I’m having the following problem? This is with an Asus wireless router running DD-WRT. I’m following the instructions, but when I try to assign a static IP to the network (aka, “modem”) MAC address of my Telo, my wireless internet connection goes down. I have a static IP lease for my laptop wireless card, and a different one for the Telo, and they’re both outside the router’s DHCP range. I even reset my router (default settings) to see if some random setting I had in there was an issue, but with the same results. I then set the Telo to operate on DHCP (instead of auto), and that didn’t make a difference. I can run the Telo without a static lease and even assign QOS to its MAC address (rather than the IP), but I can’t seem to set things up to have access to setup.ooma.com. Thanks for any suggestions.

  15. I’m going to reply to my own comment and ask whether my problem is that I didn’t have two cables – one going to the network and one going to the home port on my Telo – when I started. Right after I typed my question, I looked back at the instructions and thought maybe I’d missed something.

  16. Interesting article – I wrote a similar one on my blog. One other thing you may need to check surprisingly is your DNS configuration I wrote about it on my blog http://winstonlawrence.com/notebook/2010/ooma-and-the-internet-connection-state/ as OOMA seems to be quite susceptible to DNS errors which show up as internet being unavailable even when other devices or web browsing seem to be working okay.

  17. I have router/modem combo provided by my ISP which is verizon residential DSL which I use with ooma. The phone works fine but my speed has dropped to 200 kbps fm the 1 mbps i am subscribed to. not sure why. can you guys help. noob here.

  18. Is it a Hub or Telo? Have you tried disabling QoS in the ooma device? A good place to get help with this type of stuff is in the ooma forums: http://www.ooma.com/forums/index.php Some smart people there.

  19. After implementing your helpful instructions, used Ooma,hub’s static IP behind router rather than “http://setup.ooma.com” or http://172.27.35.1(both won’t connect) for hub intranet access.

  20. [...] search on the web for how to setup option 2 gives: http://dailybeagle.com/2009/09/how-to-configure-the-ooma-hub-to-work-behind-a-router/  I credit this article and the posts associated with it for helping point me to the right [...]

  21. As an IT professional, who got tired of dealing with this, I appreciate your blog post and took it as a starting point for a bit of research on my own. I’ve posted my solution here: http://taylorlife.com/archives/accessing-the-ooma-setup-page-without-using-the-home-port/

  22. Great article David. My method did work for the Telo when I first got it. It’s sitting in the box right now as I much prefer the Hub and Scout combo. There have been a number of firmware updates to the Telo that could have rendered my info null. If my method doesn’t work When my mighty Hub dies I’ll have something else to try. Thanks!

  23. [...] search on the web for how to setup option 2 gives: http://dailybeagle.com/2009/09/how-to-configure-the-ooma-hub-to-work-behind-a-router/ I credit this article and the posts associated with it for helping point me to the right solution [...]

  24. Awesome article, it really helped a LOT!

  25. I am having issues with voice quality (severe echo) and people that we talk to hear very annoying touch tones.

    Has anyone experienced this issues?

    Thanks

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