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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!

ACE - Professor

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5.8K Messages

2 years ago

Disconnect the mesh system and any other equipment from the att gateway. Plug the dvr and WAP back into the gateway. Factory reset the gateway. Wait a few days and see if the tv service stays connected. See if the gateway Wi-Fi drops. ultimately you may need an att tech to come check your setup. Call into att and say your service isn’t working. Push the tech to more centrally locate the DVR if possible. Prior to getting the Deco unit, what other devices were plugged into the gateway. Where is the gateway located? Where is the DVR Located? Where were the Deco devices located? Are there any Ethernet connections located anywhere in the house?

(edited)

New Member

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25 Messages

2 years ago

Thank you so much for your patience! I will follow the instructions you supplied.

Plugged into the gateway was the ONT, two white cables coming from outside (pic included CAT5s?), one wired DVR and the WAP.

The gateway is in the NE room we do not use, farthest away from anything. The wired DVR and the WAP was plugged into the gateway. There is a wireless DVR in the bedroom (W) and the wireless DVR in the family room (SE). 

Now, I have the gigabyte switch, one Deco unit, the two CAT5 wires and the ONT plugged into the Gateway. So, one deco unit is very close to the Gateway (NE), another one is in our front living room (SW) and the third is in the room farthest away (SE) where a wireless DVR and the garage are. In the switch, I now have plugged in the Gateway, the WAP and the wired DVR.

When you asked about other ethernet connections, I remember something was. I just learned that my husband was given a netgear gigabyte switch from AT&T at one point and our TV (not DVR), Xbox, security cameras and one of those Cat5 cables is plugged into that. I had no idea we had that. However, he points out that before the mesh network, we never had any problems except slow speeds, some drops and having to restart the gateway quite often. That actually doesn't sound good at all, but it's a whole lot worse now. Thanks for your help!

Oh, the other two mesh routers were not connecting so I have just the one in the bedroom plugged into the gateway and we are getting service to the TV from that.

ACE - Professor

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5.8K Messages

2 years ago

You need to determine where the other ends of those two white cat5e cables are in the house. If it’s a centrally located spot, It’s quite possible you could plug one of those cables into the ONT, move the gateway to where those cables terminate and improve your overall signal strength in the house. Plug in the WAP and DVR to the gateway as normal. The Deco system may not even be needed if the gateway can be moved. 

The Tp link switch can be returned and use the netgear switch provided by att. 

(edited)

New Member

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25 Messages

2 years ago

The cat5 cables are coming into the house from the backyard, plug into the ONT in the bedroom, but where are the cat5 cables that the gigabyte switch, TV and security cameras coming from in the family room? Good question!

Because, if I'm following, I could take those cables and move the ONT, Gateway and WAP to the family room, which we use most. I may still need a lesser mesh network to get wifi to the front of the house (ring doorbell and such). It'll be a fun search tomorrow! Thanks!

(edited)

ACE - Professor

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5.8K Messages

2 years ago

Depends on where those cat5 cables end in the house. If they do. Post a picture of where the cables from the outside of the house. Trace those outside cables if they are attached to the outside of the house. Get your husband involved if he’s not still in the hospital and capable of showing you where the netgear switch was. 

New Member

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25 Messages

2 years ago

Believe it or not, I'm the tech "expert" in the house. Actually, with both our families. Everyone comes to me for computer, phone, printer, internet help. That's why I'm beating my head against the wall for not being up to date on the latest networking technology. You don't use it, you lose it (it's been 23 years). Usually, if I don't know, I can Google or YouTube it and figure it out. 😁

I just happened to find the Netgear gigabyte switch behind the TV yesterday when I asked my husband if he knew what the Xbox was hardwired to, never realizing that AT&T installed one. I didn't watch when they were installing it years ago and didn't even give it a thought. Everything was working at that time. My husband didn't even know what it was and said that's what he relies on me for. That's why I feel so dumb. 😒 But, I did end up talking to a friend who is employed in IT (specializing in networking, plus some) and he said I knew, or at least understood, more than I thought I did despite my not being able to word things correctly sometimes. May not seem like it, but he said I was doing good, despite my constant questioning myself. I guess you really didn't need to know all that. 🙄

The Cat5 wires coming into our house from the backyard are coming right from the pole to the bedroom. One of the Cat5 wires plugged into the gateway is from outside and the other one is going from the gateway all throughout our house, downstairs and up into the family room to plug into the gigabyte switch for the TV, security cameras and Xbox. That is what took up my fourth ethernet port on the Gateway.

I'm on 45 minutes sleep and can't think about how to reconfigure anything right now. Suggestions welcome but I will try a few things, now that I'm not questioning myself so much, starting with the advice given earlier by JefferMC.

One thing that seems to make sense to me, and tell me if I'm wrong, is why do I have a wireless router in the family room if I have a Cat5e cable going to a gigabyte switch right behind it and can connect a non-wireless DVR through Ethernet? Just convert the current wireless DVR to a wired DVR by plugging an ethernet cable from the switch to the DVR. Since I would only have one wireless DVR then, would I even need the WAP? We have a terrible time with the wireless receivers staying linked to the WAP. Now that I think about it, I'm not exactly sure why we stayed with AT&T except that we know it so well and have everything memorized. Call us lazy or maybe just creatures of habit, lol. Plus, we hated satellite when we had it some 20 years ago.

(edited)

New Member

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25 Messages

2 years ago

Oops, sorry. I'm going to try the suggestions browndk26 provided. Thanks to you both for all your help.

New Member

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25 Messages

2 years ago

It's been a crazy few days and I had to unplug all the new equipment and go back to AT&T router on its own. I just put everything back the way it was. What a nightmare. I have to turn Wi-Fi off all the time and use up my data. Migraines have prevented me from doing some of the instructions provided regarding resetting everything and seeing if my TV and Wi-Fi still drop.

Anyway, can anybody confirm for me the idea about converting that wireless DVR into a wired one? Thanks!

ACE - Expert

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34.3K Messages

2 years ago

A wireless receiver can be used wired.  You have to power off the WAP while you reboot the receiver, otherwise it will prefer the wireless connection.  If you have no other wireless receivers, you can just leave the WAP unplugged.

New Member

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25 Messages

2 years ago

I would still have one wireless receiver in the bedroom. So, I guess I still need the WAP.  I had rather another thread that if I only had one wireless, I wouldn't need it but I can't remember the reasoning. Thanks for such a quick reply.

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