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Thursday, November 9th, 2023 7:31 PM

AT&T router with 3 AT&T Wi-Fi extenders issues

I apologize for the lengthy post. 
I live in a 3 floor townhome. I’m using my AT&T fiber router with 3 AT&T extenders. I have somewhere between 55-60 devices (iPhones, iPads, laptops, 6 cameras, and numerous “smart home” devices) online at given times. I have the router and an extender on the 2nd floor and extenders on the 1st & 3rd floors. 
I have separated 2.4 & 5.0 ssids and assigned a channel for use by 2.4.  I did this because I have an another app which shows all the 2.4 & 5.0 channels in use around me and I have selected a channel which is not so cluttered. Unfortunately, for unknown reasons I cannot set a channel in 5.0 - it is only set to automatic.

Prior to setting up the extenders, when the Wi-Fi router was only used on the 2nd floor, many smart devices capable of either 2.4 or 5.0 would skip around or lose connections completely. Splitting the ssids and adding extenders has reduced that greatly but I am still having connectivity issues, primarily with the cameras. 
Here area my questions: 

Why are the devices skipping around and connecting to the various extenders?

Sometimes they connect to the closest extender and sometimes one much further away. 
Why do the 2.4 cameras NEVER connect to an extender? They will pass the extender 8’ from them and connect to the Wi-Fi router 20’ away.

Why are my extenders losing connection to the router several times a day?

Why do the majority of devices connect to the Wi-Fi router and skip the extenders and other times the extenders are primarily connected and 10 devices connected to the Wi-Fi router?

Community Support


229.9K Messages

4 months ago

 Thanks for reaching out about the intermittent internet service you've been experiencing with your Wi-Fi extenders, and we'd be happy to help you, @Mwturpen61!


We recommend you that follow below step for your Wi-Fi extenders issue:

  1. Begin by rebooting your Wi-Fi gateway to refresh your network.
  2. We also have more information on how to properly set up your Wi-Fi extender. Scroll down to the Set up with AT&T Smart Home Manager section and follow steps to reinstall your extenders. 
  3. If you scroll down a little further to the fix common Wi-Fi extender issues section, it provides steps on how to troubleshoot issues with your Wi-Fi extender

Let us know if this helps or if you have already done this, so we can further assist you. 


Thank you for contacting AT&T Community Forum!

Harry, AT&T Community Specialist

ACE - Professor


5.8K Messages

4 months ago

@Mwturpen61 I have a mesh Wi-Fi system and see the same thing. Devices sometimes connect to the furthest mesh router instead of the closer one. Just the nature of mesh systems I presume. 

I would suggest a mesh wifi system instead of the Att extenders.  At $10 each per month, you could pay for a mesh Wi-Fi system once and save yourself some money after a year. 



371 Messages

4 months ago

> I have separated 2.4 & 5.0 ssids

The AT&T mesh network is not designed to work [properly] in this situation.




371 Messages

4 months ago

> Why are the devices skipping around and connecting to the various extenders?

There is no good answer for that. The mesh network tries to switch devices between extenders as needed however they are often competing with logic in the devices themselves (e.g., especially bad in iPhones). The ability of the mesh network to switch a device between extenders is also dependent on the vintage of the Wi-Fi software in each end device.

In the past, iPhone liked to keep connected to the device they were connected to until the signal was really bad, they also had a problem when waking from sleep mode and finally I have had problems with the newer versions of ios, which seems to prefer my cellular connection when there is a weak signal.

ACE - Expert


23.8K Messages

4 months ago

It would probably be best in your situation ( three level townhouse) if you could hard wire the extenders, or ideally purchase a mesh WiFi system (Netgear, Ubiquiti, Google, Eero, etc), place the gateway in IP Passthrough mode, and allow the mesh router to handle all of the routing and WiFi duties. If you can't hardwire the satellites, you can use the private 5Ghz backchannel for connection back to the router. WiFi in the AT&T gateways is not that good, especially in situations like the OP. AT&T's extenders are not that good so you're best off to look into a real mesh WiFi system.

We have iPhones in our 2 story, 3500 sq.ft. home on a 1/2 acre. We've never had any issues with WiFi or WiFi-C (WiFi Calling) with any of our iOS devices (iPhones, iPads) anywhere in our home or outside on our property. 

As far as WiFi in general goes, I use the Guest Network, which is 2.4GHz, for all of our IoT devices (security cameras, thermostat, etc). I have given the Guest Network a different SSID and password from the primary network for added security and it works perfectly. 

Cellular reception in our home is variable so we us WiFi-C (WiFi Calling) and it works great. Once we get outside and out of the range of our WiFi, the iPhones connect to the local 5G or LTE network (which ever one is stronger) and we're good to go.

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