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LexiLuther's profile

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25 Messages

Wednesday, November 10th, 2021 10:46 AM

Uverse AT&T BGW210-700, TP-Link Deco AX3600, lack of ethernet ports, router/switch confusion

Please bear with me. I am very non-technical and have a brain injury. I need to upgrade my system because we have a lot of internet congestion since we have about 30-40 devices connected to our internet at any given time. 

I currently have U-verse and internet 1000 with one wired DVR going to the gateway and two wireless DVR units with a WAP plugged into the gateway. I am very confused because I purchased the TP-Link Deco AX3600 Wi-Fi 6 Tri-Band Mesh System and once I received it, I realized all my ethernet ports were being used on my U-verse BWG210 Gateway.

I read on other forums here that I need to keep the wired DVR plugged into the gateway. So, do I unplug the wireless access point for the other two wireless DVRs and plug it into one of the Deco units?

I have now done it both ways, unplugging the wired DVR and plugging it into a deco unit and unplugging the WAP from the gateway and plugging that into a deco unit. While my speeds increased and I have Wi-Fi in previous dead spots, I cannot get any of my recordings or get my U-verse to pause. I get the usual "the pause command is temporarily unavailable, try again" message. I've gone through the whole process of restarting the gateway, restarting the WAP, restarting and linking each DVR to the WAP, as usual. We have constant problems with our system and have to do this at least once a week.

I did turn off both wifis and did the dynamic pass through on the gateway, following the directions here: https://forums.att.com/conversations/att-internet-equipment/bridgemode-vs-ip-passthrough-setup-information/5defbfffbad5f2f606ad5ed2

Do I need to simply add a new router to my gateway so I have more ethernet ports or is there some kind of switch to ad ethernet ports? And, if so, what MUST I leave plugged in to the U-verse Gateway?

Also, I do not understand the security that I may or may not have by adding a mesh network. Would I get more security by adding a router to the gateway? I see subscription services for the mesh system and read elsewhere that I am more vulnerable.

Any and all help is appreciated and if you have resources where I can learn more about this on my own so I don't have to ask so many questions, I am definitely interested. Thanks for reading all of this!

Accepted Solution

Official Solution

ACE - Expert

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35.9K Messages

3 years ago

I'm afraid what you need is to purchase one more piece of gear: A gigabit-capable Ethernet switch.  The NetGear GS105 or GS108 are great, but there are others that can be had fairly cheaply (under $20).

You cannot plug any of the AT&T IPTV gear into a router (well, unless that router is smart and has an IPTV mode that actually works; best to just not try).  So, unhook two of the IPTV devices from the Gateway and plug it into the switch, then connect the switch to the Gateway via one of the newly opened ports, and then connect your router using the other.

New Member

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25 Messages

3 years ago

Thank you, Jeff. I had a feeling and I bought this last night and it's already been delivered today.

TP-Link TL-SG105 | 5 Port Gigabit Unmanaged Ethernet Network Switch, Ethernet Splitter

I also bought a router for security. I don't know if that is correct thinking or not. I'm actually wondering if the better router will be enough and I won't even need the mesh network but I will play around and see. I bought this one.

TP-Link AC4000 Tri-Band WiFi Router (Archer A20) -MU-MIMO, VPN Server, 1.8GHz CPU, Gigabit Ports, Beamforming, Link Aggregation.

In my case, I think it's going to be a lot of trial-and-error to see if the new router will be enough or if I still need the mesh network. 

Again, thanks for your help!

ACE - Expert

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35.9K Messages

3 years ago

Unless there's something you want in the AC4000 that the AX3600 doesn't have, you probably can return it.  Or the AX3600; but you probably don't really want both.  The AC4000 could give you the VPN access, if that's something you want.  The AX3600 gives you mesh plus what the AC4000 does, and gives you 802.11ax in addition to the 802.11ac that the AC4000 would give you.

Connecting both routers would probably require putting one of them in access point mode.

New Member

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25 Messages

3 years ago

Sigh. I thought that may be the case. Overkill. However, I keep reading that people are complaining about the security on the tp-link mesh network. I'm not sure why. Maybe they just want more parental controls? But, I have the mesh network set to WPA2-PSK(AES). Isn't that the same my AT&T Gateway had? And, I can always turn VPN on in any device I'm using, as needed. If I'm mistaken, I would appreciate any correction. If I am as secure as I was with the Uverse gateway, I'd love confirmation.

Thanks so much for your time and patience with me!

ACE - Expert

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35.9K Messages

3 years ago

The VPN software in the TP Link routers, as I understand it, would allow you to run a VPN client on your device while outside your home and connect to the VPN server in your TP Link router, so you could access resources in your home network as if you were there (well, except for the fact all your traffic is going over the Internet).  I mention this feature only because you listed it in the product description of the AC router.

If you have a large house that can benefit from the mesh, I'd probably keep the AX mesh.  If you don't, and you think you want that VPN functionality, then you can replace the AX mesh system with the AC system.

New Member

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25 Messages

3 years ago

Thank you so much!

New Member

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25 Messages

3 years ago

I do have one more question. When I mentioned turning on the VPN, I meant with my Norton Mobile Security. I don't know if I need to subscribe to tp-link's homeshield because I do have 10 security cameras in my house. Are they currently not protected? I realize this may not be within the realm of my original question but I'm used to the U-verse Gateway providing everything I need except for an additional product like Norton. This is all so confusing to me. I used to work in this area but it was over 23 years ago and I am not up today on anything. This is what tp-link is selling, which used to come free as HomeCare. If you have the time to answer, it would be greatly appreciated. https://www.tp-link.com/us/homeshield/

ACE - Expert

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35.9K Messages

3 years ago

AT&T provides a security service in the Gateway to provide some traffic scrutiny, but depending on your usage model, it can shut down all traffic because of something your home does.  So I cannot recommend it.  It also provides what I would call "parental-access lite," which amounts to shutting down certain MAC addresses for periods of time.

If you want an extra security blanket, then that doesn't look like a bad product.  It will let you see what you're using and let you control what's going through your network.  If the cost doesn't bother you, go for it.

New Member

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25 Messages

3 years ago

I can't thank you enough! Sorry I didn't thank you earlier but my husband ended up in the hospital. Again. I guess I should buy the extra protection, but I resent having to spend more money after the $280 investment. 
I feel like I've gotten so over my head.  We are having trouble with our TVs staying connected intermittently. We always have problems when AT&T restarts the gateway at 2:30 a.m. every night (I'm always awake). Yesterday, I have problems with YouTube videos buffering. I also suddenly got very bad speeds on my phone tonight and took the steps tp-link suggested. I got my speeds back up but I'm thinking they should still be higher. With the mesh system, on my cell phone with only 14 devices "online," I got 466/257. I've read of people getting much, much higher speeds with this system. Am I expecting too much?

However, my house is under 1800sqft. The problem is AT&T installed my Gateway in literally the farthest corner of the house away from everything. We have had nothing with problems with AT&T since we went to fiber when it very first came out, before any of the new equipment. We had to reset our router 2-3 times a week, restart our WAP, relink and restart wireless DVRs. Of course, the wired DVR is in the bedroom...that we don't use. It got maddening. So, we do not get good Wi-Fi to either of our wireless DVR units or my husband's garage. Lots of thick walls to go through - addition on the house. But, did I go too far?
I have seen some great improvements. Before the mesh system, we would get 114/9 in the garage. Some say that is great but he would always drop and have dead zones. With the mesh, the garage now gets 191/170.
I do not understand nearly all of these settings and I didn't think I had to mess with anything until now.  When my speed dropped, it said to remove QoS settings, set application priority to standard, remove all high priority devices, and set the bandwidth to 1000Mbps upload and 1000Mbps download, turn QoS back on. What the heck is QoS and why did I have to change the settings? 😊 Then it said to try turning off the UPNP. Huh? It was already off. I've included a screenshot of the settings I don't understand.
I really thought this would be a plug-and-play, don't give it another thought system. Plus, I thought the whole point of setting some devices to high priority was making sure the bandwidth was prioritized to them.
Should I go with something simpler? Should I hire somebody (who to trust)? I feel incredibly stupid. I have a really high IQ, despite the brain injury, and I'm beating myself up.
Sorry for the long message and for making you my "therapist," lol. While all these sales are going on now, any and all suggestions are welcome. Maybe there is something simpler for me. I'm also curious about some of my devices, like my ring doorbells that require 2.4 GHz, having trouble with the "seamless coverage" - I haven't had time to get to those after all the other normal devices and the garage door opener, security cameras, thermostats, etc. If you don't have time to answer my LENGTHY response, I completely understand.  I hesitate to even hit "post." 😳 Ugh, here  I go...👇

(edited)

New Member

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25 Messages

3 years ago

Well, Mr. JefferMC - I might just have to throw in the towel. My decos are disconnecting, my TV is pausing every 5 seconds and, what I bought to give my husband more joy, is driving him crazy. I may start all over and make sure all my settings are correct but other than that... 🤷‍♀️

Oh, wait. Completely lost all Wi-Fi. It was working great a few days ago. I just had security questions then.

(edited)

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