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New Member

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8 Messages

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024 12:36 PM

Can I use my own mesh Wi-Fi extender with the Humax BGW320-500 supplied with my AT&T fiber internet 300 service?

I just had AT&T fiber internet 300 installed at my two-story house. I have the Humax BGW320-500 gateway installed on the second floor and am using its router. I have a few areas on the first floor where I want a better Wi-Fi signal. I would like to install my own mesh Wi-Fi extender (not one from AT&T) with the router to accomplish this. The mesh Wi-Fi extender must operate in a mesh mode, where it integrates with the the BGW320, like in a mesh-networking system, and has the same network name (SSID) as the BGW320. Mesh mode is faster than normal mode. Are there any such mesh Wi-Fi extenders that can do this? One extender I really like is the TP-Link RE315.

If there are no mesh Wi-Fi extenders that will do what I want and are not from AT&T, I have three other options.

  1. Use my 5-year old TP-Link Archer A7 (AC1750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit) router with the BGW-320 in IP Passthrough mode. Get the TP-Link RE315 extender and use it with the Archer A7.
  2. Get a newer TP-Link (to match the extender brand) router and use it with the BGW-320 in IP Passthrough mode. Get the TP-Link RE315 extender and use it with the newer router.
  3. Get a Wi-Fi mesh-networking system and use it with the BGW-320 in IP Passthrough mode.

I would rather get a mesh Wi-Fi extender and use it in mesh mode with the BGW320 than the other three options. It is my understanding that the BGW320 is really good and I don't want to spend a lot of money.

Thank you.

ACE - Expert

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35K Messages

3 months ago

A true mesh system requires coordination between all the Wireless Access Point/Routers.  The AT&T Gateway will only coordinate with the AirTies as part of the AT&T Extender service (if you had the older ones that you could buy from AT&T, those are about to quit working anyway).

You can put a mesh system behind the AT&T Gateway and disable the Wi-Fi on the AT&T Gateway.  If the mesh system will act in Access Point mode, allowing the Gateway to be your router, that's a simple configuration.  If your Mesh system requires that its main node be in Router mode to form a Mesh system, then you'd want to set up IP Passthrough mode in the Gateway for your Mesh system.

ACE - Professor

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5.4K Messages

3 months ago

I've yet to see anyone in this forum state and claim what Att offers in the way of mesh through their monthly subscription offer is a satisfactory solution. 

ACE - Expert

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35K Messages

3 months ago

I've yet to see anyone in this forum state and claim what Att offers in the way of mesh through their monthly subscription offer is a satisfactory solution. 

What you say is completely true, but also most people don't come here to sing the praises of stuff that works like it's supposed to, so...

However, my personal experience with the original AirTies was worked okay for a short honeymoon period, but then became a (Edited per community guidelines).

(edited)

New Member

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8 Messages

3 months ago

Thank you for the responses.

Correct me if I'm wrong. If I want to extend my Wi-Fi using just the BGW320 and a mesh extender and have a true mesh system, renting an AirTies extender is my only option. I don't want to rent anything from AT&T and I am not crazy about the AirTies extenders. I ruled out a standard extender from the beginning, because of the slower speed compared to mesh. So, I will have to use one of my other three options.

Since I have some wifi 6 devices, I'm ruling out using my TP-Link Archer A7 router, which does not support Wi-Fi 6.

What option would you recommend?

  1. A mesh router and a compatible mesh extender
  2. A mesh-networking system

Whatever I choose, I would put it behind the AT&T Gateway, disable the Wi-Fi on the AT&T Gateway and set up IP Passthrough mode in the Gateway for it.

Lastly, the few first floor areas where I want to increase the Wi-Fi signal strength can reach a Wi-Fi signal strength between 60 and 65 dBm. The Wi-Fi speed to those areas looks good, above 300mbps. Is that signal strength good enough and maybe I should not worry about increasing the signal in those areas with some sort of mesh system and leave my setup as is with just the BGW320 by itself?

Thank you.

ACE - Professor

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5.8K Messages

3 months ago

Just use the gateway for a while and see if it works well enough for you. If it doesn’t, get a mesh Wi-Fi system. I’ve heard good and bad about the 320 Wi-Fi. Personally I use 2 asus xt8’s in my home. More for the better router features. My home also has a cat6 wired network so I connect my second asus via cat6 and use wired Backhaul. 

ACE - Professor

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5.4K Messages

3 months ago

How do you know you need to use ip passthrough?

New Member

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8 Messages

3 months ago

I am probably going to see how things work with just the BGW320 gateway.

If I do get my own mesh equipment to use with the BGW320 gateway, would you recommend a mesh router and a compatible mesh extender
or a mesh-networking system?

I would prefer having my own router, for better and more features than the BGW320, like an earlier commenter said. I noticed the BGW320 does not let you set the 5 GHz Wi-Fi channel to whatever one you want. It autoselects the channel it thinks is best.

If I get my own router, it would be for the better and more features. I would want it to be my main router and turn the router and Wi-Fi of the BGW320 off and use the BGW320 as a gateway only?

Thank you.

ACE - Professor

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5.4K Messages

3 months ago

I don’t have a 320 here to test with, but the 210 does and it’s not a solution.  Say what will about personal router features and blah blah blah.  It’s nonsense for most everyone that just needs a solid reliable and available connection to the outside world.  You can’t get rid of the gateway and it’s fine as a router.  The thing that’s needed is to replace the wifi section and almost anything else is better.  

ACE - Expert

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35K Messages

3 months ago

Some mesh systems will not work as a mesh system unless the primary node is in router mode.  In this case, IP Passthrough is clearly indicated.  Otherwise, it depends on the user and what they want.  I would not dictate that IP Passthrough is the only solution to all situations, and I also don't think we should dictate that it's never the solution.  If someone asks how to get IP Passthrough to work, I will attempt to help them to do so unless it becomes obvious that they're not going to get there. 

(edited)

New Member

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8 Messages

3 months ago

From all the advice and noting that every situation can be different, it appears I should use the BGW320 as is without any additional equipment and see if that works efficient enough for me. If it doesn't, get a mesh-networking system, using the BGW320 gateway as a router, disabling the Wi-Fi on the BGW320 and using the mesh as an access point only (a simple solution). If my mesh system requires that its main node be in router mode to form a mesh system or I prefer or want to try my mesh as a router, then I would set up IP Passthrough mode in the BGW320 gateway for my mesh system. I would want IP Passthrough setup to where routing is disabled on the BGW320 and NAT is only performed by my mesh system; I don't want two routers and a double NAT situation. I think a mesh system with two nodes, the main node on the second floor, next to and plugged into the BGW320, and the second node on the first floor, would suffice. Note that my house is not wired for ethernet, nor do I plan on doing it.

Thank you.

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