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YonJon's profile

4 Messages

Saturday, March 9th, 2024 3:06 AM

Adding Wi-Fi Access Points

I'm trying to help my parents with improving the Wi-Fi reception at their house. We were thinking of adding an additional router and/or access point(s). And I have a few questions about what equipment to get:

Should they also get a new Gateway, since theirs is pretty old (from 2013) or does that not matter?

Should they get a new Wi-Fi router or an access point or both?

Should they get a 3rd party modem (though I think that might be against AT&T's ToS)? 

How can we tell what access points or routers will work with their network and Gateway?

Accepted Solution

ACE - Expert

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35.5K Messages

2 months ago

You must use AT&T's Gateway, you can't replace it with third-party gear.

You may connect an Access Point, or Wireless Router to the Gateway, either a single device or a mesh system.  If employing your own router as a router (as opposed to operating it in Access Point mode), you should configure your Gateway for IP Passthrough or DMZ/plus mode

The BGW210 and BGW320 are the gateways that AT&T currently gives out.  AC5268s are still in the field, are not receiving firmware updates, but are considered up to date, and are replaced only if there is some issue with them.  If you have something older than that, you should find some issue with it and get it replaced.

Pretty much any decent wireless system will work with the AT&T Gateway.

ACE - Expert

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24.4K Messages

2 months ago

A lot of folks will place the gateway in IP Passthrough mode, depending on which one you have, purchase a mesh WiFi router, and let it handle all of the routing and WiFi duties. Depending on the area(s) that need WiFi coverage you can get a mesh system with multiple satellites. If you have a way to hard wire the satellite(s) back to the router that is the most reliable and robust connection. As far as the modem goes, no, AT&T doesn't allow you to use a different modem but they do allow you to use a different router.

4 Messages

2 months ago

Thank you both! That is exactly what I wanted to know. So I'll look into getting a new router to connect to the Gateway (I wasn't thinking that there could be a passthrough mode).

And their Gateway is an NVG589, so hopefully they can get a new one of those.

ACE - Expert

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35.5K Messages

2 months ago

the NVG589 is a generation older than the 5268AC (or BGW210).

ACE - Professor

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5.5K Messages

2 months ago

Passthrough mode is an unnecessary complication for the purpose of better wifi.  Just set your personal router into access point mode.  There are many of them out there that can use satellites to increase coverage and virtually all of them are better than the what’s in the gateway.  This addition can be done with any gateway and I would suggest to disable WiFi in the gateway itself. 

4 Messages

2 months ago

@gr8sho So what is the difference between setting the Gateway to passthrough mode and disabling Wi-Fi on it?

Also one of the brands of mesh routers I was looking at (Eero) says you need to install them in a different way if your internet is PPPoE. How can I tell if our DSL is PPPoE?

ACE - Expert

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35.5K Messages

2 months ago

what is the difference between setting the Gateway to passthrough mode and disabling Wi-Fi on it?

Those are two separate things.  Disabling Wi-Fi does just that; the Gateway will not broadcast or receive Wi-Fi and whatever additional device(s) you install will be doing all your Wi-Fi.  This reduces the competition for Wi-Fi channels in your home and is strongly recommended if you're using your own router as a router (and have the Gateway in Passthrough mode) because each will have its own IP network and you don't want clients switching between them.  If you're just adding extenders, you do not want to turn off Wi-Fi on the Gateway.  If you're adding access points, it will depend on whether you need the Gateway to cover your home.

IP Passthrough tells the Gateway to pass its WAN IP address to your router and let your router handle all the routing for your home.  If you install an access point, or run your wireless router in access point mode, then IP Passthrough is not appropriate.  Use your router in router mode with the Gateway in IP Passthrough if your router has to run in router mode to provide features that you want.

AT&T Fiber does not use PPPoE.  You do not need to provide any authentication information to your router for it work. 

(edited)

ACE - Professor

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5.5K Messages

2 months ago

Eero appears to not provide access point mode and wants to only run as a router.  The only exception I’ve seen from a major brand but I guess that’s the price paid to get something cheap.  This means you must enable ip passthrough in the gateway and should work correctly. And while it’s a shame for users to bear this additional expense, replacing WiFi of the gateway will have added benefits of expanding reach of WiFi.  

Because the gateway already has a router in it, I personally choose to use it for instance the DHCP server function to allocate addresses to devices.  My personal router is an Orbi RBK50 with one satellite used in access point mode.  It was originally setup with ip passthrough, but I got tired of redoing the setup every time a bad firmware update came down to my gateway.  Much easier to factory reset and I only have to deal with shutting off the wifi radios.  The setup is rock solid.  Good luck. 

4 Messages

2 months ago

Great info. Thanks again.

The network I'm asking about is DSL, not fiber. Is there a chance that's PPPoE?

ACE - Expert

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35.5K Messages

2 months ago

If it's legacy DSL (ADSL), billed on a POTS phone bill with a modem they purchased (from AT&T or otherwise), then I'm not a lot of help; I only had that as a backup Internet line for about a year 15 years ago.  I frankly don't remember if it's PPPoE or not.  You can also replace an ADSL modem with a different third party device.

If it's VDSL2/ADSL2+ (once called U-Verse, now just Internet) there's no chance it's PPPoE.  If the bandwidth is more than 6 Mbps, then it's this.

(edited)

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