New to UVerse, need more wireless strength

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by HE15MAN, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Due to location of phone lines, and the need to have a direct Ethernet connection for my ADT Pulse iHub, my wireless Uverse Gateway is on one side of my large two story house.

    Question: what can I add to increase strength or speed for upstairs and other side of house? I get signal, but often times it is slow.

    Do I need an access point or range extender?

  2. macrumors 6502

    You can get a repeater, but those will result in reduced speeds. The best option would be to run ethernet to the other side of the house and attach another wireless access point.
  3. macrumors 6502a


    so that would mean just adding another uverse gateway correct?
  4. macrumors 6502a

    No. Just another wireless router.
  5. macrumors 65816

    I dont know about your uverse but mine is just 802.11g. I wanted 802.11n, and I wanted my airport extreme to handle it. I set my uverse up so that the uverse handles dhcp but my aebs handles wireless. You can find instructions online for doing this.
  6. macrumors 68000

    An in-between measure is to mount it as high as possible, perhaps on top of a bookcase or the like to improve signal strength throughout your house.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    I thought I needed a modem as well to connect the phone line to
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Mine very well may be a G router. I haven't looked that closely to it. DO you think adding an Airport Extreme would help range and speed wise?
  9. r0k, Jun 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011

    macrumors 68040


    We were planning to get Uverse installed last month but had to bail at the last minute due to a family illness. In the lead up to getting Uverse, I was able to clarify with At&t that the Uverse modem includes a wifi access point but there is nothing stopping you from connecting your own router and wifi AP to the Uverse "residential gateway".

    This is the topology I had planned:

    fiber/telco-pair<-->Residential Gateway<-- airport extreme -->most of house<--airport express range extender--> rest of house (kids' bedrooms)

    I would have Uverse receivers connected directly to the RG so there would be 2 networks in our house. One filtered by the RG and one filtered by the AEBS. I never got a chance to try this setup but this is what I was planning to do. AT&T claimed the signal from the RG would be a lot stronger than a typical router but I like the "guest network" feature of the AEBS so this was my plan. If we ever get around to setting a new install date, this will be our intended hookup. At&t says they "don't support" using your own router but I expect it to work the way I have shown above. This is especially critical for us because we are more than 2500 feet from the fiber and require a 2 pair version RG that mounts outside the house.
  10. macrumors 68000

    I have U-Verse ....

    ... and I can tell you a few things.

    1. No, the U-Verse "RG-1000 residential gateway" (their router) does not really have a stronger wi-fi signal than any other comparable wireless router. It's not using anything special, hardware-wise, inside. It's your typical 802.11g wi-fi and nothing more. It doesn't even have an external antenna on it, meaning it's probably WORSE than some models.

    2. There's a long-standing firmware bug in the U-Verse gateway that will cause it to suddenly stop issuing out IP addresses via DHCP to wireless devices, if you've got too many different wireless devices on your home network. I'm not exactly sure what the limit is, but the problem started appearing on about a "once every 1-3 days" basis for me when the kids got iPod touches and we linked them up to the wi-fi. Before that, I probably had about 4 wireless devices linked up and working normally.

    3. I recommend what someone else suggested; disabling the wireless radio in the U-Verse gateway (easy to do from a web browser) and attaching something like like an Airport Extreme to one of the wired ports on the back of it. Use it to make all your wireless connections. You'll be upgrading to wireless "n" and bypass the firmware flaw, plus likely get a little better signal strength too.
  11. macrumors 65816


    This is what I had to do. Since our house is the last one in line from the switch, they had to install the router on one end of the house, and the computers are on the other end. For some reason, my wife's (Dell) laptop can pick up the signal from the AT&T router just fine, but my MBP has trouble.

    What I ended up doing was went out and bought a roll of ethernet cable, plugged one end into the back of the AT&T router, ran it through the house, and plugged up our old router so we have two access points. Works fine now.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Sounds good! But I will have some difficulties running ethernet very far due to it being a two story house. Would a power line adapter work for this method?
  13. r0k
    macrumors 68040


    No need for a long cable if you use an Airport Extreme (AEBS) and an Airport Express (AE) to extend the wireless network created by the AEBS. That's what we do. We have an AEBS in the basement east end of the house and an AE plugged in (with no ethernet or usb) simply acting as a range extender at the west end of the house on the second floor. Everybody always gets good wifi in our house. Usually you can't mix brands when extending a wireless network so you couldn't use an AE or AEBS to extend the At&t RG network but you can use the AE to extend the AEBS wireless network.
  14. macrumors member

    Option #3 is what I did. I have Verizon FIOS (which comes with a wireless G router) and I had devices that could use wireless N. I bought an Airport Extreme and followed some instructions I tracked down from one of the forums on the Verizon FIOS site and set things up (disabling the wireless on the FIOS router and using the Airport Extreme for wireless N). Works great for me (and still keeps my TV set-top box functionality). I'm not sure if the "guest" feature of the AE is available, but I didn't need that anyway.

    There were some other setup options that would allow/not allow certain functionality or allow/not allow other setup/expandability options. What I did was exactly what I was hoping to do; I've been very happy with the setup.

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