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jcarlin's profile

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Thu, Jan 28, 2021 8:48 PM

BGW320-500 Passthrough Connection Assistance

I just got ATT fiber installed to the BGW320-500 Gateway.  I'm wondering if there is an advantage in using my ASUS RT-AX58U for the wireless connections. Also if I use the passthrough method, should I connect the ethernet clients to to BGW320 or to the ASUS router?

Thanks

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JefferMC

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You can turn them both on (I'd suggest one at a time) and use a PC app on a laptop like SSIDInsider or NetSpot, or Android app WiFi Analyzer on your phone.  See which one consistently delivers the best signals in your home where you need it.

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JefferMC

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@jcarlin , regarding:

I found these instructions for setting up a passthrough on an ATT help site, so I’m wondering if ATT does in fact allows this. I’m not very technically knowledgeable in these matters and I didn’t realize I was opening a can of worms, if it can't be done that's okay too.

You again seem to be equating "passthrough" with "bypass."  Your link is to an description of IP Passthrough/DMZplus, an AT&T Gateway feature that passes traffic through your Gateway.  AT&T is cool with this (obviously), and many of us use this in our home network with AT&T's blessing.

The "bypass" strategy that's being bandied about involves traffic that would not go through the Gateway at all. 

JefferMC

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I haven't heard enough feedback about the BGW320 (-500 or otherwise, there are two manufacturers, I understand) on how good their Wi-Fi holds up.  They are 802.11Ax (Wi-Fi6) capable.  

You could use the ASUS as an access point and locate it away from the BGW320 to cover additional area if you need to and wish.

You could use the ASUS as a router to provide functionality such as QoS, Time of day access limitations, usage tracking, custom DNS, etc.  If you did this, you would want to:

1) Enable Passthrough

2) Turn off Wi-Fi on the Gateway

3) Hook all your network clients up through the ASUS

There could be other considerations, e.g. you want to set up a custom network just for SmartHome devices; you could decide to have Wi-Fi on both devices so that you could do that, but realize that they may tend to interfere a bit with each other and make them switch channels around unless you lock the channels.

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Yes there are more features on the ASUS but it might not be worth the trouble since all the clients are working well, just one low spot in the back bedroom but still no problems there.

I was wondering if the anyone knew if radio antennas were stronger on the ASUS or the BGW320 since they are both AX (Wi-Fi 6) routers?

tonydi

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Early anecdotal results seemed to indicate that the BGW320 was better than earlier gateways when it came to wifi performance.  But that may have just been enthusiastic early recipients wanting to believe that newer is better.  Since it's been in more widespread release, I don't see anything to support those early reports and, in fact, there's a growing number of reports from BGW320 owners that indicate the average number of issues compared with AT&T's earlier gateways.

If you don't have any WiFi6 devices then maybe the ASUS is a better choice.  I've always felt (no science, just gut feeling) that external stick antennas are better than small little PCB panel antennas like the BGW320 has.  But the only real way to tell is to try the BGW with and without the ASUS in Passthrough Mode.

Grab something like NetSpot and check the wifi dB level at various places in your house where you want wifi to see which one has the best signal strength.

You can see the antennas in these FCC pictures. 

BGW320 Internal Photos

Now, if they could make the heatsinks double as antennas, the BGW would probably win hands down! ;-)

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I hear the 320 can't be bypassed.... 2nd router = double nat.

dump the router and just buy access points (not routers) to improve coverage.

tonydi

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The BGW320 is capable of being bypassed but not if it's using the internal ONT, which means that area has been changed to XGS-PON.

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How would that work?     Do you mean if you have it shipped to you and you keep using your old ONT w/ eap-proxy or wpa supplicant?

tonydi

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Or dumb switch bypass.  However my understanding is that AT&T only delivers the 320 via truck roll.

Edited to add:

I see that I in my haste to post I did a terrible job of explaining all of this.  The 320 can run with old style external GPON ONT or the AT&T field tech can eliminate the ONT and use the internal ONT with a GPON circuit.  But if your area has been converted to XGS-PON, then the internal ONT is the only option.  And if you're on internal ONT, bypass is history.

(edited)

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Is it correct to say that if the internal ONT is connected using a GPON circuit, Passthrough is possible and not possible if my area has been converted XGS-PON.

How can I find out if my area has been converted to "XGS-PON"?

The fiber cable is connected to the SFP port. Here is a photo of the rear panel.

JefferMC

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Technically, Passthrough is a feature of the Gateway's Router functionality and has nothing to do with the fiber technology.

We can't really discuss "bypass" in any detail here as it is circumventing AT&T policies.  I think I can say this: the current bypass mechanisms require that you have an ONT that you can connect to with Ethernet.  If you don't have ONT (regardless of GPON or XGS-PON), then none of the current mechanisms will work.   So you could have GPON and no ONT, and the current bypasses wouldn't work.

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So in the future (XGS-PON) world, the ATT Tech will terminate the fiber line from the street with an SFP+ connector?

If that is the case, any router with SFP could physically connect... This would actually be great-- it's just back to the question no one from ATT wants to answer--- why don't you let people use their own routers?

IP Passthrough literally passes the WAN-IP to the customers next-hop, their own router. But it is still a router running NAT and adding a hop/latency that many customers do not want. Customers want layer 2 passthrough not layer 3.

If ATT wants to ensure the $10 per month modem rental fee remains in place, they should just increase the monthly fee for service by $10 and let people use their own router.  They could also keep things as-is and if someone calls with tech support issues the tech can say 'Let's start the troubleshooting by having you plug in the Arris Modem and see if that works' if it does, they are off the hook. 

JefferMC

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I don't care if you use your own router.  AT&T cares.  (1) They want to charge for theirs.  (2) They used to sell IPTV and functionality behind that is in their gateway (3) They want to sell Voice service and that's integrated in their Gateway.  (4) They can perform tests using software in their Gateway that they can't do with any arbitrary router.

I think AT&T will terminate the fiber from the street with a fiber jack.  Then will provide a fiber connector from the jack to the SFP module in the Gateway.

(edited)

tonydi

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@JefferMC   "We can't really discuss "bypass" in any detail here as it is circumventing AT&T policies." 

You've been around here far longer than I so maybe you've actually seen the "policy" that specifically prohibits bypassing.  I know some of the AT&T employees here have just said that it does but I looked pretty carefully through the TOS and AUP documentation and can't find it.  Now, I'm not a lawyer so maybe there's some legal mumbo jumbo that one might argue covers this since lawyers can always find a way to support any side.  Bypassing is certainly something AT&T is aware of and can easily spot when done yet I haven't heard anyone being contacted by them and being told to stop.

browndk26

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@Jgwentworth 

It is my understanding that service is authenticated through the ONT. The bgw320 has an internal ONT. So no router could directly connect to the fiber and get service. Has to be an external or internal ONT to authorize service. One of the techs here can confirm if I’m correct. 

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