MacBook Pro and 2Wire Gateway - best way to fix problem?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Molecule, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. macrumors regular

    May 19, 2010
    I have a MacBook Pro 5,5 (aka Mid-2009 13inch MacBook Pro) and a 2Wire 2701HGV-W Gateway. So what's the problem? Well, Googling "apple 2wire" or "mac 2wire" or "macbook pro 2wire" will yield plenty of results full of juicy details, but in short things like regularly dropping connections, sluggishness, failing to load sites properly, stealing celery, and just generally being evil are all par for the course.
    This can make time spent using my otherwise wonderful Mac less than enjoyable to say the least...

    I've been wanting to get on top of this issue for a while now, but I now have a renewed sense of urgency: next week, Apple will reveal to us the future of the Mac, and I want to go into the Stevenote in a happy, pro-Mac mood (something which is unlikely if my connection is playing up).

    So, what to do? I have few options in mind, and I'd like to hear your input.
    1. Buy a new non-2Wire Gateway (Modem/Router all in one). This is pretty much guaranteed to solve the problem, by removing 2Wire from the equation completely. Unfortunately, this is also the most expensive option.
    2. Disable the wireless on the gateway and purchase a 3rd-party wireless router to fulfill all my WiFi needs. This is cheaper than the first option, but because 2Wire hardware is still involved, I'm worried that the gateway will still manage to fizzle its brain somehow and my money will have gone to waste...
    3. Change some magic settings to make all my problems disappear. I've heard that there are some settings that can be changed to do this, but I'm kinda reluctant to go ahead with it because the Mac is supposed to 'Just Work' without requiring this kind of thing (I realise this is 2Wire's fault, not Apple's, but still...). That being said, it doesn't cost anything, so it's probably at least worth a try.

    Any thoughts? All suggestions are welcome.
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2004
    Madison, WI
    To be honest, if you have the option-- I'd get rid of the AT&T internet altogether. They're terrible. I had it for over a year at my current place, and would only get about 2Mbit out of the 6Mbit I was paying for. I switched to Charter (local cable internet company) and I get well over the 8Mbit I pay for, and it's $15 cheaper a month. Look for the internet only "bundle."

    I had to buy a new linksys router, but sounds like you would need to anyway. I got an E1000, it's the cheapest N router they make, but it's MUCH faster than my old 2Wire.
  3. r0k
    macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I have had trouble with my MB wireless with non-Apple routers. I have begun to suspect that Apple gear does wifi just a bit differently. As a Comcrap user, I'd be reluctant to tell you to dump At&t over their 2wire interaction with your Mac. There is nothing stopping you from getting an Airport Extreme and using that to set up your own wifi and shutting off or ignoring the 2wire wifi. Also the 2wire will not have nice features like separate a/b/g and n networks so the whole house doesn't slow down just because somebody uses a device that only speaks a/b/g.
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    May 19, 2010
    @gammamonk: I'm not with AT&T. In fact, I'm not even in the US ;)

    @r0k: The Airport Extreme looks nice and all, but it's a tad expensive...
  5. macrumors regular

    Oct 2, 2009
  6. macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2009
    wow, I am the complete opposite of gammamonk. We hated Charter, and when we moved, we went with Uverse.

    OP: Although I had no problems connecting to my 2wire router, I originally had a problem connecting to someone elses 2wire network. As a fix, I wound up logging into the router from a connected computer. I didn't actually change any settings, but for some reason, it wound up refreshing and my mac was able to connect.

    If anyone knows the answer, I have one problem with my 2wire router. My MBP connects just fine, as does our iMac, MacBook, and my sister's dell(winxp). For some reason, my Dell win7 will not connect wireless. For now, I am running ethernet out of an airport express that we have, but I would like for it to connect. Any ideas?
  7. macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    The wireless inside most combo modem/router/gateways is crap. There is NOTHING special about Mac or Apple products that cause these issues. It is, in fact, substandard components often used in budget products (modems, wireless cards, etc) plain and simple. Just buy yourself a new access point and disable the internal wireless on the 2wire. I personally like upper end Linksys products, but you can make up your own mind by checking out reviews of the various products at Small Net Builder.

    It is also worth noting that instead of connecting the new access point's WAN to the cable modem you can also simply connect it to the LAN side of the access point(AP). This in turn will make the new AP act as only an AP and not handle any routing thereby avoiding double NATting the private subnet. You will also need to disable the DHCP server on the new AP and give it a unique static IP on whatever subnet your 2wire is spitting out. It sounds a lot more complex than it is, but this is also optional and you can use it like most people do.

    Point is there is no problem with the 2wire modem and Apple products. Changing the DNS settings on your MBP isn't going to help either, but it's not a bad idea (to remove some of the redirects and ads of many ISP's DNS servers). Actually, you can override the DNS settings on the modem to point to another DNS server. It will then propagate (upon DHCP lease renewal) these revised servers to all connected clients (not just your MBP).

    The 2wire 2701's are actually pretty decent modems when used for this. As an AP they are a total fail. Point is, by getting your own AP and connecting you get the best of both. Just make sure you disable the wireless on the 2wire when adding the new AP. Also, use WPA2 ideally.
  8. macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2006
    Mt Brook, AL
    I have ATT U-Verse and I have not had any problems with my wireless router 2Wire209 model. I know this is probably a dumb question, but have you contacted ATT about your problems? I have had excellent service when I have had problems with my internet connection,
  9. macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2010
    Pleasant Hill, CA
    I have a 17" macbook pro, 24"iMac, iPad & new iTV wifid to an Airport Extreme, then ethernet connected to U-Verse router. I turned off the U-Verse WIFI because it does not do n speed. You have setup Airport as bridged mode. Oh, Ihave two usb printers via hub plugged into Airport. All works well.
  10. thread starter macrumors regular

    May 19, 2010
    Well, thank you for all the replies so far.

    @Moomba: Yes, but 2Wire seems to get on particularly poorly with Apple devices - much worse than any other brand does.

    @dashcs: Thanks, I'll try the OpenDNS trick before buying anything. And in case you're wondering, I've always been on WPA ;)
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    May 19, 2010
    @Moomba: Thanks. Assuming the DNS fix doesn't work (as you said it wouldn't), I'll go and get a new AP. And yeah, I quite like Linksys gear too :)
  12. macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2007
    I'd go with the extreme.... Always had problems with the wireless modem/router combos from TDS and Charter (connection, speed, just plain headaches). Went out and bought an extreme and now I consistently get 11-15Mbps down and .86-1.12Mbps up over wifi with our iMac, MBP, and iPhones. We pay for the 12Mbps bundle.
  13. thread starter macrumors regular

    May 19, 2010
    Don't get me wrong, I'd love to get an Airport Extreme...I just can't afford it right now. And seeing as I kinda need it right now, it's not really an option. Not to worry though, Linksys should suffice :)
  14. macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2010
    I had a similar problem but thought it was because I was also using an Airport Express as an access point. In my case, the DNS servers were not getting set correctly.

    Here's what I did to correct the "speed problem":

    System Preferences...
    - click the active interface, the top one that has the green dot and says connected
    - click 'Advanced...' in the lower right
    DNS tab
    enter the IP address of a public/open DNS server, I use and - these are open DNS servers run by Google.

    My speed problems went away when I did this. The problem was not the connection speed, the problem was that for some reason the DHCP was not forwarding the correct DNS server number to my computer.
  15. macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2011
    mac 2wire problem: easy fix

    Congratulations to the apple and att tech that cannot resolve the issue of connecting MBP to 2wire gateway. You don't deserve to be called Technician, you were all idiotictechnician.

    Having frustration of several months, and having an idiotec advice from both, I finally connected to 2wire gateway by doing simple things.
    1. go to 2wire gateway
    2. change wireless settings/wireless channel to channel 4
    3. Change authentication to:WPA-PSK, use custom pass phrase(I use 8 characters)
    4. Save
    5. connect your MBP to your gateway using your custom key, and hala... you are now connnected..enjoy surfing.
  16. macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2006
    Ogden, UT
    I had the same issues you described... so I went with your option 2.. picked up an airport extreme on ebay turned off the wireless on the 2wire and ran the airport in bridge... by far the best choice for me I am really loving the stability and N speeds from the airport extreme.. really starting to hate how much I am playing for so so speeds I am getting with ATT though...
  17. macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2009
    Finally, something that works

    After searching and searching for a 2wire connectivity resolution, this is the best. Although I still experience random connection issues, the fix you provided has significantly reduced my connection problems and has increased my connection speed. THANK YOU!!!!
  18. macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2011
    excellent 2wire fix for no cost

    For 3 years I have had problems with the 2wire-dropping and resetting, just as everyone here describes. ATT did not know what it was--kept telling me to unplug and reset and sent our several techs with replacements. Eventually, I learned that it is, indeed, a compatibility issue with Mac. When there is traffic on the 2wire (another piece of hardware on the network, or sometimes just clicking open a new window when surfing) the 2wire perceives it as a threat and drops the connection. THERE IS NO FIX for the 2 wire but THERE IS ALSO NO NEED TO BUY another modem, Airport Extreme or otherwise!

    Simply call ATT and insist that they send a technician out to you with a new modem that is NOT A 2wire. Tell them you want the modem they use for businesses. They gave me a Motorola--I can't find a model # on it but it is black, lays flat on the desk, has 4 ports for ethernet (which I don't need) and was as free as the 2wires they've been giving me for years, stupidly claiming it was just that the modem was broken. Well, this new modem works perfectly with multiple laptops going at once, etc!
  19. macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2013
    You're a freakin Genius

    I don't know why it worked - and I don't know how you knew it would - but for months now I've been living with less than 2mbps according to several speed test sites, while paying for "up to 18mbps". I've had technicians out here 3 times and gone through 3 RG's trying to fix this - and your 4 steps below fixed it. If you were a business, I'd pay you. AT&T should pay you. Someone should name their firstborn in your honor. Seriously.


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