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Netgear N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router vs. AT&T U-Verse Gateway Router


Netgear N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router vs. AT&T U-Verse Gateway Router

Netgear N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router vs. AT&T U-Verse Gateway Router

On a previous thread I had what appears to have been an NAT Session attack that was killing my internet connection. During the course of the investigation I purchased a brand new NETGEAR N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (WNDR4500). It has been said that you can disable the AT&T Router and simply use the U-Verse Gateway for the modem aspect and pass the traffic through to your own personal router. Would there be any performance advantage to doing this? Would this new top of the line router provide conectivity any better than the provided AT&T device? Thanks in advance for any and all information on this topic. Smiley Tongue

Message 1 of 5

Re: Netgear N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router vs. AT&T U-Verse Gateway Router

If you can believe it, AT&T has specifically setup their Uverse service to ONLY work with their Gateway routers.  These routers provide 802.11g wifi (54Mbps) and megabit routing (100Mbps) on your local LAN.  8 years ago this would have been great!  However, times have changed. 


For over 2 years, the leading wifi technology has been 802.11n (300Mbps) and many wifi routers that provide 802.11n also provide gigabit routing (1000Mbps).  My personal router has both gigabit routing and 802.11n in simultaneous dual-band mode.


Why would a typical home owner need such a robust router when their internet service barely makes 20Mbps?  I'm glad you asked.


I stream a lot of content from one computer to another over my home network, and even to my PS3.  For instance, when I bought "Star Trek" on Blu-Ray, it came with a digital copy which is now on my desktop computer.  Windows 7 Media server streams videos (and music, pictures, etc) to the PS3 over my home network.  So, I turn on my PS3, and if I want to watch Star Trek, I click on the icon for my computer, and play Star Trek.  1080p movies are VERY large movies on a hard drive (in case you didn't know).  What's more is that the computer is transcoding (i.e. uncompressing) and streaming the raw data to the PS3.  This means that you require a gigabit router to transfer that data effectively between the computer and the PS3.


If I had the AT&T approved Gateway router, I simply could NOT stream full 1080p movies between my computer and my PS3--something I do on a regular basis.  I also would lose the 802.11n wifi network, which my laptop uses for similar purposes.


AT&T says that you cannot connect another router to your "Gateway" device.  If you've never configured DSL with AT&T, there is a very long complicated process of getting your modem and router to be nice to each other, and this requires configuration of the modem.  AT&T will not give you the admin password for the Gateway device, so you can never configure it to your needs. 


I was going to get Uverse, until I discovered they were years behind the times and expected everyone to use their own modem (which costs an additional $100 btw).  For $100 you could get a TOP OF THE LINE gigabit LAN and 802.11n dual band router.  You've got to be joking, AT&T.


I personally suggest you look elsewhere.

Message 2 of 5

Re: Netgear N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router vs. AT&T U-Verse Gateway Router

For your information, here's the conversation I had with AT&T tonight where I was told (again) that an external router will simply not work.  I put in BOLD the parts where they confirmed only their equipment works.  I put in RED the part that I thought was complete crap, consider their technology is sub-par compared to 2 year old routers that have 802.11n and gigabit routing.




Info: Hello and welcome to AT&T, my name is Shane. I specialize in setting up new AT&T U-verse service. Please provide me with the complete address where you would like U-verse services connected.

Shane: Hello, how may I assist you today?

you: Hello, my address is *******************************************

you: I'd like information about bundling internet and TV

you: I want the 12Mbps internet and U200 TV package with HD (1 TV)

Shane: Thank you for the information.

you: So I created a bundle online and I see the monthly price, but I also see that there's a few discounts for only 6 months. Is there a contract with this offer?

you: If so, how long is the contract?

Shane: U200 TV and Internet Max is $88 per month for 6 months before taxes and after 6 months it will be $131  per month before taxes for 1 TV and HD.

Shane: There is no contract with AT&T U-verse service. The service is on a month to month basis.

Shane: By ordering online now, you will receive $100 Visa Reward Card.

Shane: What additional information would you like before we set you up with this great service?

you: well ok that makes things a little better... so at the end of 6 months, I can cancel with absolutely no penalty?

Shane: You can cancel at any time without penalty.

you: Ok thanks for that information. So can I use my own DSL modem?

Shane: You will receive the Residential Media Gateway with AT&T U-verse. Gateway is a combination of built in modem and a router.  With the help of Gateway you can connect up to 4 wired computers and up to 6 wireless computers.

Shane: Which page are you currently on, so that I can assist you?

you: Is that a gigabit router? What's the model?

you: I'm on the page where I'm picking my services

Shane: Your new home network is powered by a wireless networking Residential Gateway. The wireless Gateway uses 802.11g wireless technology to send information from one connected device to another. That means wireless computers do not need to be connected using any wires or cables, and can be located almost anywhere in the home (radius of up to 150 ft. indoors). You can move wireless computers around, even surf the Net from outside (radius of up to 300 ft. outdoors).

you: That's not going to work... I need 802.11n which is must faster

you: I also need a gigabit wired connection

you: I have my own DSL modem and gigabit router with 802.11n. Can I just use that?

Shane: Only Residential Gateway will work with the U-verse service as it is configured and no other equipment will work.

you: Can I use another router with it?

you: 802.11g will simply not work, nor will a non-gigabit router

you: that's old technology

Shane: There is no other router will work with the U-verse service.

you: Does you have any plans to add that technology in the future?

Shane: I am sorry, currently we do not have any information regarding that technology.

you: wow...

you: that is really disappointing

Shane: Residential Gateway will work better with the service.

you: I promise you that device is much slower than mine

Shane: Would you like to proceed with the order?

you: If it doesn't provide gigabit routing, it isn't worth it. I need to stream via gigabit routing between devices on my home network

you: Unless you can find some way, ANY way to let me use my router, no

Shane: I understand, however; AT&T offers only Residential Gateway with the service.

you: So there is NO workaround to this?

Shane: We have a 30-day money back guarantee that allows you to cancel within the first 30 days of service without incremental termination fees and your cash back on any of the monthly recurring or one-time charges for service.  

Shane: The residential gateway functions as the heart of AT&T U-verse, providing video signals to the TV receivers and routing all U-verse signals throughout your home, including serving as a WI-FI router.

you: So you're saying there is no way to get gigabit routing or 802.11n with Uverse?

Shane: Currently only residential gateway will work with the U-verse service.

Shane: Would you like to proceed with the order?

Shane: Are you interested in ordering the service?

Shane: I haven’t heard from you in a while. Are you still with me?

you: I think I'll be going with one of your competitors, sorry

Message 3 of 5

Re: Netgear N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router vs. AT&T U-Verse Gateway Router

First of all, Gigabit Ethernet is not necessary to play HD video over the LAN. I play HD video over the LAN all the time from a server to a Popcorn Hour streamer unit, and the peak network bandwidth even on demanding movies is only 20-30 Mbps. This is well within the capabilities of 100 Mbps Fast Ethernet.

Second, you must always use the AT&T-supplied 2Wire gateway to connect to the service, but you can indeed add your own router behind the 2Wire and use that for computer connectivity and wireless if you want.

Instructions are here:
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Message 4 of 5

Re: Netgear N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router vs. AT&T U-Verse Gateway Router

Yes that is what I have seen on several posts. I believe several people have documented how to "bypass" the AT&T router so that you can use your own personal router in great detail within some of these AT&T forum posts. It sounds like you talked with a sales rep that was talking from a script with limited knowledge or was not ALLOWED to discuss this for whatever reasons... I am guessing he /she knew no better... In any case I think you have answered my question. It sounds that my new router would indeed be far superior to the "built-in" AT&T / 2WIRE gateway router that is of much older technology than what I posses today. I think SomeJoe7777 has listed the steps to use a third party router in severl posts. I even spent the extra $99 to have a technician come out and install it for me to make absolutely sure it is correct. So again thank you all for all of the information. Final result = NETGEAR > AT&T router
Message 5 of 5
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