Helpful Links

Setting up Airport EXTREME to use PPoE (not in bridge mode) SOLUTION


Setting up Airport EXTREME to use PPoE (not in bridge mode) SOLUTION

Ok, literally this was one of the most painful tech experiences ever. Even after a long call to an extremely competent AT&T tech support agent who was super knowledgeable and on the ball we still could not get it fixed. It took about 3 more hours today to find a solution. So I am posting here in case others want to solve this problem. Hopefully my pain will be your gain.


An Airport Extreme is the larger full blown router by apple. If you're looking to set up an Airport Express (the small unit typically used for sharing speakers) see my other thread. This instructions probably also work for time capsules.

There are two ways you can set up your Airport Extreme: Bridge and Share IP. Bridge mode works great except in bridged mode you can not enable the guest network feature.


Things that are helpful to have on hand:
1. Paperclip in case you need to reset your Airport Extreme
2. Ethernet cables - 1 to plug your computer into your Airport Extreme and/or your modem router for setup. Possibly not required but could be handy. 1 to plug your Airport Extreme into your AT&T router/modem.
3. Your primary ATT account email
4. your special DSL network password - this is NOT your email password. You may have this on your setup docs if you kept those. I had to call AT&T tech support. There's also somewhere on the site where you can reset it, but their site is so janky that I found it easier to call.
5. Airport Utility version 5.6.1 - on Lion they upgraded the airport utility to be 'easier" but it does not give you access to the settings you need and will cause you hours of agony. You can have both the older 5.6.1 and the new Lion version installed at the same time. You can download it from here:
6 The IP address for your router/modem's control panel. On my Pace 4111N that is: Usually you can find this on a sticker on your modem/router.


There are two configurations you can use in your Airport Extreme depending if you want to run it in bridge mode or Share an IP. Bridge mode works fine except you won't be able to setup the guest network feature of the airport extreme. If you don't care about that, then use that.


The other configuration is for the Airport Extreme to handle the IP assignments, this mode is "Share an IP address" on the airport extreme- many people attempting this get Double Nat errors. The steps below will solve that problem. Use this if you want to run the guest network feature on the airport extreme.


Ok, now that you have all your tools, let's setup to do this thing. Note - I like to do all setting up hard wired via ethernet (not over wireless) so that's how these steps are written. I have not tried modifying any settings over wi-fi.


Configuration Option - Setting up Airport Extreme in bridged mode:
1. Plug an ethernet cable from your AT&T router/modem into your airport extreme WAN port (the one with the dashed circle above it).

2. Plug an ethernet cable from your computer into one of the Airport Extreme ethernet ports (the ones with the double arrow above it).

3. Unplug any ethernet cables you may have from your computer to your AT&T router/modem.
4. Turn off your wi-fi on your computer (probably not necessary but I like to do this so I know the only way I'm connecting through things is via the ethernet).

NOTE - at this point you will not have internet access so print out these instructions or keep the browser window open.

5. Launch airport utility 5.6, in the right hand side you will see your airport extreme. Follow the onscreen prompts. At the window for internet connection, in the appropriate screens select Create a Network, Connect using ETHERNET, Connection Sharing: OFF (Bridge Mode). Make other settings according to your preferences.

6. Complete the setup screens, let your airport extreme restart, and test your internet connection. If all goes well in airport utility your airport extreme should have a green dot and via a browser you can connect to the internet. Note - it's probably a good idea to name this network something different than your AT&T's wireless network so you can tell them apart.

7. Optional: turn off the wireless network on the at&t router. Go into your router/modem control panel via the browser and IP address for your router modem - for me that's = your address might be different, and find the wireless settings. Select the approbate option to disable wireless network.

8. Turn back on your computer's wi-fi, select the network name you gave to your Airport Extreme's network and viola you should be cruising on your airport extreme.
For more info about setting up bridged network see this tutorial:

9. You can now unplug the ethernet cable from your computer to the airport extreme. Make sure to leave the airport extreme connected to the router/modem via the ethernet and the airport extreme's WAN port.


In the end you should have one ethernet cable going from the airport extreme's WAN port to your AT&T router, any wired computers can have their ethernet cables going into the Airport Extreme's ethernet ports or the AT&T router's. 


Configuration Option 2 - setting up Airport Extreme to share ip. This is for if you want the guest network ability of the airport extreme to work, or for any other reason you want the airport extreme to control IP assignment. these steps will prevent the double nat error. Before you start you must have your AT&T DSL network password which is different that your email password.


1. Plug an ethernet cable from your computer into your AT&T router/modem. (You have to do this because after changing the settings below it is the easiest way to still connect to your router's control panel).

2. Go to the router/modem's control panel via the browser for me that's = your address might be different. IP address usually is on a sticker on the router/modem.

3. Locate your Broadband settings. On the Pace 4111N that was Settings tab > Broadband sub tab > Link configuration. Look for a menu Connection Type or something similar. The choices should be "PPPoe" or Direct IP (DHCP or Static). Select Direct IP (DCHP or Static). Then you also want to make sure that you have turned off routing, at least that was the gotcha on the Pace 4111N. So in the same screen where I switched it to DHCP, there was a section called "routing" with a checkbox to enable. Unchecking this puts the at&t router in bridge mode. If you don't have that checkbox, look for a setting that puts the router/modem into bridge mode. In other words, you do not want the AT&T router to handle assigning IP address. Here's a link to the AT&T support site that may have more information for your particular router:!/dsl-high-speed/KM1044640.

4. Save your settings. I did not have to restart my modem. Although you could just to be safe.

I did wait a minute to let the settings take hold.

5. Now, plug an ethernet cable from your airport extreme's WAN port (the one with the dashed circle above it) to one of your AT&T router/modem's ethernet ports. And of course have the power plugged in to your Airport Extreme.

6. Plug an ethernet cable from one of your airport extreme's ethernet ports (the ones with the double arrow) to your computer. If you have your computer plugged in via ethernet to your modem/router - disconnect it for now.

7. Turn off your computer's wi-fi (I like to do this to make sure there's only one connection going so I know what is working/not working). Some may consider this optional.


Note - you will lose internet connectivity during the setup, so print out the steps or leave browser window open.


8 Launch airport utility 5.6 (DO NOT EVEN ATTEMPT THIS WITH LION's DEFAULT AIRPORT UTILITY. You'll only end up with a headache. It does not give you access to the settings or as easy to troubelshoot.

9. In the right hand side you should see your airport extreme. Select it and follow the steps to set up - you can do either assisted setup or manual - whichever you prefer. Here are the key entries to make when prompted: 

- Select Create a wireless network, I used a different name than my AT&T wireless network so I could know 100% the new network was created.
-For security I use WPA2 Personal because that seems to work well with my older airport expresses. So that's what I used and worked.
- Create a guest network if you want one
- Ok, here's the most important step and the one that might give you trouble. in the screen, "Connect using" select PPPoE. Account Name - enter your primary AT&T account name which should be something like

Password - This is your special DSL network password - NOT your regular email password.

Service name - leave blank,

Connection: Always On. Complete any other steps, and let your airport extreme restart.

10. With any luck on restart you should see your airport extreme reappear in your airport utility 5.6 with a little green dot next to it.

11. Switch on your wi-fi and select your newly created wi-fi name and verify you can connect to the internet.

12. If everything is working, then plug your computer into your AT&T router via ethernet, go back into the router/modem control panel and look for the setting to turn off your wireless from the AT&T router. Not required, but I did this to keep my setup clean and avoid any conflicts, etc.


To help with any troubleshooting the key take aways are:
You want your AT&T modem router to connect using DHCP/Static IP direct in BRIDGE MODE.
You want your Airport Extreme to handle PPPoE.
If you are getting a Double NAT error it means that both the modem/router and the airport extreme are trying to do IP address assignments and//or connecting via PPPoe. Chances are that something in your AT&T router is set to assign IP address. See step 3 above or look in your router's control panel for a setting to turn off "Routing" or "IP Assignment" or "Enable Bridge mode"
If you are getting an error in airport extreme that it can't find PPPoE server, then it's likely your router/modem is still connecting via PPPoE. Go back into your router/modem's setup and make sure it's set up for DHCP/Static IP or bridge mode.
This AT&T support article may help you:!/dsl-high-speed/KM1044640


Hope that saves someone the hours it took me to figure it all out.


Message 1 of 13

Re: Setting up Airport EXTREME to use PPoE (not in bridge mode) SOLUTION


Help pulling my hair out ....Smiley Frustrated


This is a Great post, but can anybody help me with the same step by step set-up with both wifi networks running on my Airport Extreme Base Station with Aiport Utility 6.1(MtnLion OSX 10.8.x) and Motorola 3360 I can only get the one of the network active(the guest network is not showing up). 


My Confoguration

AT&T's Motorola 3360 DSL Modem

Mac OS 10.8.x(Mountain Lion) 

Aiport Utility 6.1 ( as 5.6,1 ver will NOT work with OS 10.8.x)


Thank You

Message 2 of 13

Re: Setting up Airport EXTREME to use PPoE (not in bridge mode) SOLUTION

How did you set up your network with Airport Utility 6?  


I have my Airport Extreme in bridge mode, but I lose the ability to connect any device for hours at a time, even when the device shows that it has a signal.  "Unable to connect to the network..."

Message 3 of 13

Re: Setting up Airport EXTREME to use PPoE (not in bridge mode) SOLUTION

Thank you,,,


could not load the older 5 version of airport utility with lion osx.. enough fumbling I was able to use the lion default airport utility 6 to get the job done.. the BIGGEST issue was the password for the dsl account. thanks again



I now have guest for my friends,,, it locks out my network disks and the 5Ghz wifi.



Message 4 of 13

Re: Setting up Airport EXTREME to use PPoE (not in bridge mode) SOLUTION

I do want to set up the Airport Express for remote speaker. Where is that thread?
Message 5 of 13

Re: Setting up Airport EXTREME to use PPoE (not in bridge mode) SOLUTION

Hi.  Thanks for the great post.  I hope you can reply to my question regarding it.  I have had the same problem you had but mine went on a little further.  After my DSL modem was configured to be Bridge Mode and my Airport Extreme to use PPPoE mode, everything went well as far as wireless is conserned.  The problem is that the Airport Extreme is not providing Internet to my LAN ethernet ports.  I have tried this reverse where I have configured the modem to be on PPPoE mode and the Airport Extreme in Bridge Mode but it still doesn't work.  The computers that are connected to my LAN are all fine.  They can communicate with each other.  Just no internet regardless of what mode the modem or Airport Extreme are on.  Any suggestions? 

Message 6 of 13

Re: Setting up Airport EXTREME to use PPoE (not in bridge mode) SOLUTION

I've just had my ATT internet installed with the Pace wireless router that came with it. It works fine, but I want to connect my airport extreme (new generation). I think i understood your both options. Why do you call  step 7 in your first setup "optional". Wouldn't it be necessary to disable the wireless on the ATT router anyway?.

Message 7 of 13

Re: Setting up Airport EXTREME to use PPoE (not in bridge mode) SOLUTION

Your right about the new versions about Airport Utility. However, if you have a Windows PC, or if you use Windows on your Mac using virtual box or some other application, you can update your Airport Extreme or Airport Express much easier using the Airport Utility for Windows Ver. 5.6.1 which can be found at:

Nicely done! Thanks for all of your hard work!
Message 8 of 13

Re: Setting up Airport EXTREME to use PPoE (not in bridge mode) SOLUTION

As far as I know you can leave the AT&T network up and running and it won't hurt anything as far as the airport extreme setup. But I'm not a networking expert so I don't know if there are any gotchas running it that way.
Message 9 of 13

Re: Setting up Airport EXTREME to use PPoE (not in bridge mode) SOLUTION

Wanted to thank you for this...I spent 90 minutes each on two separate calls with "Senior" tech assistants at Apple and not once did the "Senior" techs or the mere mortals who took the initial part of each call suggest that I needed to use two cables if my modem was in bridge mode. Both calls ended in frustration with Apple's finest suggestion the issue was ATT's when in this case it was not!
Message 10 of 13

Airport Express linkhere

Message 11 of 13

Re: Setting up Airport EXTREME to use PPoE (not in bridge mode) SOLUTION

thanks for the nice walkthrough.


i like to add a datapoint for the interested readers. i am running mac os x mavericks with a time capsule and an at&t uverse hgv3801 router. 


i think option 2 is better as it does not expose your computer (dmz) but only the time capsule. 


hgv3801 can be set in bridge mode easily: go to > Settings > check "Router-Behind-Router Detection". after a hgv reboot (Home > Restart your System) it will inform you that it puts the time capsule into dmz. first objective achieved.



on the mac, use the airport utility (6.3.2) to control the time capsule. there i tried the pppoe setting as suggested, but it did not work (three amber errors: no dns server, no gateway, no internet - strange). i set it to dhcp instead and everything was green and fine. guest network works on any device in the house (time capsule remains out of reach).


in summary, i now have a secure wifi network (backups) and a guest network that is open to everybody. i like to be friendly to others, more than not i had myself found in trouble where i needed a quick access to a network. i view this a part of common courtesy, it does not cost or harm me. sure enough your isp does not like it, hence they make it so hard and scare the sh*t out of their customers to protect everything doubly.

Message 12 of 13

Re: Setting up Airport EXTREME to use PPoE (not in bridge mode) SOLUTION

Thank you for the detailed instructions, I was able to connect in just a few minutes once I found them!


Message 13 of 13
Share this topic

Welcome to the internet boards! Check out our troubleshooting articles below and don’t forget to search the forums - your question may have been answered already!

Service acting up? Click here to troubleshoot now!

For DSL related issues. We highly recommend chatting with our teams to address this as quickly as possible.

Additional Support