I set up a DD-WRT router on Charter’s Spectrum broadband, and had a hard time getting it to work. It wouldn’t pull an IP address on the WAN side, or it would pull a 192.168 address rather than a Charter public address.

Here’s what I had to do to fix it.

I suspect, but can’t prove, that Charter wants to encourage people to rent their routers from them, because when I had the router clone a MAC address belonging to a Dell computer, it immediately started pulling a public IP. But at least I found a solution, so if you’re having the problem, you can fix it too.

Here’s how to clone a MAC address in DD-WRT.

  1. Plug a PC directly into your router’s Ethernet port with an Ethernet cable
  2. Sign in to your router.
  3. Click Setup, then click MAC Address Clone
  4. Click Enable, then click Get Current PC MAC address
  5. Click Apply Settings, then click Save
Clone MAC address

Here’s where to find the Clone MAC Address setting in DD-WRT.

Once I did that, the router started pulling a proper IP address and I stopped getting warnings on the connected devices about not having Internet access.

I tried both a D-Link router and an antique Linksys WRT54G (autographed by Charles Babbage!). The D-Link would pull an IP address for a while but wouldn’t maintain it long, but the WRT54G worked. It could be the D-Link was marginal and that was contributing to the problem, so I pressed Babbage’s WRT54G, built before I was born, into temporary duty until I could procure something newer.

If you’re having a similar problem and your router isn’t running DD-WRT, see about cloning a MAC address to get it working. It will be different on other routers, but the same solution is likely to work there as well.