Setting up Airport Extreme Base Station with AT&T U-verse

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jkalay, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. jkalay macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2015
    #1
    I'm a total newbie when it comes to these things. I thought setup would be as easy as connecting the Ethernet cable from my NVS589 gateway to my Airport Extreme, then plug in the power cord into the AE and set up the Wi-Fi Network on my Macbook. And I was able to do all that, actually, but it didn't connect me to the Internet--the AE just keeps flashing amber and I get a message saying to power cycle the modem and, failing that, to contact my ISP (which I did, and they said they couldn't help me). Do I have to make configurations on 198.168.1.254?

    I have the U-verse bundle which includes a landline phone and TV, if that makes a difference.

    Please help!
     
  2. chscag macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    #2
    You need to find out how to place the U-Verse equipment in bridge mode in order to use your AE properly. Same problem here with FIOS equipment and using an AE. Check with AT&T or if you have a manual, that's even better.
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    My advice is different from above.

    Best to set up with an ethernet cable if you have one.

    Plug ethernet into Macbook and MB into LAN port on gateway.

    Plug Airport into LAN port on back of residential gateway.

    Let the ATT residential gateway handle NAT (network address translation), and let it be "the router".

    Next, turn the ATT's wifi off

    Now we go to Airport Extreme to set it up.

    Go to Airport utility, you need to set it to create a wireless network, and also (very important) to set it as "Bridge mode" (NO NAT).

    In this setup, the gateway handles the routing and NAT.
    The Airport Extreme is just there to create your wifi network.

    I've been using it like this for a couple of years (or longer), very stable.
     
  4. mic j macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #4
    My setup is very close to yours and has worked very well. Only difference is that my MBP is not connected with ethernet. I have not turned off the gateway's wifi. After doing a fair amount of research, most of the advice I got was that there was no advantage to turning it off as it is only"2.5MHz-g" wifi and my AEBS on a completely different band as well, so I have not experience any issues with interference from the ATT gateway. I would recommending only making the effort to go in and modify the gateway, if some sort of interference problem was occurring.
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    mic wrote:
    "Only difference is that my MBP is not connected with ethernet"

    Nor are the Macbooks at our house.
    I suggested an ethernet cable for setup only, because one needs to disable wifi on the ATT residential gateway first...
    ...and then setup and enable wifi on the Airport....
    ...yet remain "connected" all the while.

    Then one can disconnect ethernet and go wireless.

    I'm not a networking specialist, I'm just an end user.
    But it seems to me that NAT and routing work best when utilized on the device that's "closest to the net", so to speak.

    With ATT Uverse, this will be the "residential gateway".
    The Airport will get connected "behind it". Best to set it up in bridge mode to create a wireless network, and let it go at that.

    Years of trouble-free operation at my house this way.
     
  6. mic j macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #6
    Sorry, I misunderstood that you were recommending that for setup only. Our situation is essentially the same then, except I have not turned off the U-Verse gateway wifi. Leaving it on has had no impact on my bandwidth. And actually one time, I had a connection problem with the AEBS and having wifi access through the U-Verse gateway gave me alternative access to the internet to diagnose the problem and correct it. I would recommend only turning the gateway wifi off if it causes a specific problem and in most cases, it won't.
     
  7. convergent macrumors 68000

    convergent

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #7
    I am about to have Uverse Gigabit installed in a few days. I have two AEs in the house ... one as a router and the other to extend the wireless network to the other floor. They are connected via MoCA over coax. I'm struggling with why I'd want to maintain the pricey AEs if leaving the AT&T residential gateway as the router? Is the residential gateway's wireless that bad in comparison? I'm actually thinking about adding an Eero mesh Wifi setup or something if I'm not happy with the AT&T provided wifi vs. using the AEs.
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    convergent wrote:
    "I'm struggling with why I'd want to maintain the pricey AEs if leaving the AT&T residential gateway as the router? Is the residential gateway's wireless that bad in comparison? I'm actually thinking about adding an Eero mesh Wifi setup or something if I'm not happy with the AT&T provided wifi vs. using the AEs."

    I suggest using the residential gateway as your router/NAT device because it's the device that will be "closest to the internet", so to speak.
    But - TURN OFF wireless on the gateway.

    Turn off routing AND NAT on both AE's. They will remain in service as excellent wireless devices. If you already have them, try them. Find "what works best" for you, some experimentation of configurations may be required.

    Set up the first AE to create a wireless network (it shoud be in "bridge mode".
    I only have one AE myself, I -think- you set up the second AE to "extend" the network (not totally sure about this)

    I, too, take interest in the new "mesh" type setups like eero, but my setup with the ATT residential gateway and a (flat) AE base station has worked for me since initial setup with no trouble at all.
     
  9. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #9
    Generally, leaving wireless enabled on the ISP provided device will not directly affect the bandwidth of the wireless AP that you are using. It will however introduce more interference, which if used in a crowded "wirelessly polluted" environment like an apartment building, could be the difference between having a clear fast channel or one filled with interference.

    The gateways provided by ISPs often pale to any high class wireless router/AP like the Extreme. That being said, if you find that the gateway meets your needs then there is little incentive to run the AirPorts as access points. Personally, I disable the gateway routing function and wireless and use the newest AirPort as the router. If the gateway you get does not permit that, you can add the AirPort to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) of the gateway or use IP passthrough mode (effectively bridge mode).
     
  10. convergent macrumors 68000

    convergent

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #10
    We have had trouble over the years having good coverage in our multi-story houses. Right now, the entry point for things and the location of the router is in the bonus room upstairs. Our master bedroom is on the first floor on the opposite corner of the house. WiFi doesn't reliably cover that span in my experiences. I initially had an AE at the point of entry and a couple of Airport Express at two spots downstairs; attached by MoCA adapters and used to extend. They never provided reliable WiFi and a device seemed to get stuck on the further one when going to the other floor... recycling WiFi on the device fixed. I upgraded to two AE's... latest models (one of them is actually a TC). I've had better service with them. But they are pricey and I could just sell them and get something else if the actual routing function isn't being handled by them. That is where the mesh systems interested me. The reviews seem to be very positive on them... and Netgear's new tri-band unit sounds very interesting.

    I had read in a few places that AT&T forced you to use their gateway for routing, so you'd have two layers if you didn't turn off routing on an added device... but maybe I misunderstood that.

    I will definitely experiment after its installed tomorrow.
     
  11. mic j macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #11
    Yes, I agree with the "potential" for interference and sort of indicated that earlier. But it is very situational. I live in a small apartment with many wifi sources surrounding me. Because of the size of my apartment and location of the AEBS, I am always on the 5GHz band (which the U-Verser router does not broadcast on and all of the surrounding sources are far on the 2.4GHz as well), combine that with smoking local wifi speed and there is really no need to mess with the U-Verse router. Also, as I indicated earlier, while active it has been able to provide me with wireless internet access when the AEBS is being worked on (a very rare thing). I also use the Mac's diagnostics to pick a channel that minimizes interference. So I agree with you on the theory of turning off the U-Verse wifi but practically it really depends on the individuals situation.

    As always, I take any advice you give seriously! You are one of the best sources around for good networking info and help. Thanks.
     
  12. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #12
    Ultimately, the best way to achieve a good roaming network is to hard wire access points in regardless of their manufacturer. Apple does a great job with their AirPorts, but it is only going to work as well as the signal they can get. By eliminating the signal variable and establishing a 100% reliable backbone, I could see the network working perfectly for your situation!

    Yes. On some models of their gateways, AT&T forces the device to remain in routing mode. On others, there is a mode called IP Passthrough (sometimes referred to as "router behind router") depending on the brand of gateway. Either of these will effectively bridge the AirPort to the WAN connection. If your gateway does not have that option, then you should set up a static IP configuration and place the main AirPort into the gateway's demilitarized zone (DMZ). The AirPort will still get a private IP (generally 192.168.x) and will throw a Double NAT error as a result. However, the error can be safely ignored as the AirPort will not be behind the gateway's firewall.

    Thank you for the kind words! I try to be as helpful as I can be. Like I said, for most people leaving the wireless on the gateway will make no difference, but in instances where the area is filled with interference and pollution on every channel, it may make a significant difference. Once, I was configuring a basic ISP provided gateway for my grandmother who lives in Brooklyn, NY. She lives in the Milbasin area, which is primarily semi-attached houses. On her street, every 2.4 GHz channel had significant interference and there was at least two to three other networks broadcasting on the same channel. After hooking up her router, a Netgear N600 series, I found the performance to be abysmal. Since nearly every channel was taken, using channel 11 had the highest SNR ratio (Signal to Noise) so we manually configured it. The performance was decent, but after disabling the gateway wireless it significantly improved.

    If the area was less polluted wirelessly, leaving the gateway's wireless on would not make any difference. Sadly, since 2.4 GHz only has three non-overlapping channels and it is more pervasive than 5 GHz, interference is bound to happen. I am glad that you can leave it on with no ill-effects, but in the event you ever start to deal with issues related to interference then it may be worth disabling the gateway's wireless.
     
  13. convergent macrumors 68000

    convergent

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #13
    Had UVerse GigaPower installed today. My old configuration with Time Warner was an Airport Extreme as the main router, and another on a different floor was extending, connected via a MoCA 2.0B network. I have some NAS boxes and other devices that have static IP addresses and didn't feel like trying to configure everything right now, so I just connected my Airport to the UVerse gateway router. I got the Double NAT error on the AE, which I just told it to ignore. Everything appears to be working fine as it did before, except the speed is amazing. I'm getting about 800mbps down and 940mbps up on my Mac, and 300/300 on my iPhone. I connected directly to the gateway and get basically the same speeds. So my question is why do I care about double NAT if it doesn't seem to cause any problems? I will try some different connections when I get time, but its working amazing right now compared to anything I've used before.
     
  14. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #14
    You should only tell the AirPort to ignore the Double NAT warning if the issue has been resolved.

    Double NAT means that you are running two layers of network address translations - in essence: two routers. By doing this, you run the risk of blocking critical ports on some applications, as it must go through two firewalls. Therefore, you should either see whether the AT&T device can be placed into Bridge Mode, or add the AirPort to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) of the AT&T gateway. This will bypass the gateway's firewall and only use the AirPort's firewall and routing.
     
  15. convergent macrumors 68000

    convergent

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #15
    Is the "blocking critical ports on some applications" only going to be an issue if I'm trying to manually open them for things; such as hosting externally visible devices or applications; or is it something that can crop up simply in day to day accessing websites, using a Vonage device, etc.? I'm just trying to understand the real risk of operating this way. Thanks.
     
  16. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #16
    Some programs that use non-standard ports like games or any port that the U-Verse gateway does not have open will then be blocked and need to be "double forwarded". Some VOIP devices may fail to work in this configuration, but your mileage may vary.
     
  17. IHelpId10t5 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    #17
    The best way to configure UVerse is to use the "IP Passthrough" feature on the Firewall tab of the router provided by AT&T. Doing so allows you to declare a single one of the LAN ports that will have all traffic simply passed through (similar to bridged mode). You will need to know the MAC (hardware) address of your AEBS's WAN port to set up IP Passthrough. Doing the above essentially gives you two networks to work with in your house. One is what I consider a "semi-trusted" network using the LAN ports that are on the AT&T router, and then a fully trusted internal LAN using the AEBS as a router and WiFi AP.

    You can and should disable the WiFi radio on the AT&T router but need to leave their DNS and other settings alone if you want your UVerse TV to work correctly. By using the UVerse IP Passthrough port to your AEBS's WAN port, you get the benefit of eliminating double NAT, while now having full control of your internal LAN. I personally don't trust ANY ISP with any part of my internal LAN or WiFi.

    You also can still make use of the remaining Ethernet ports on the AT&T router for things like your UVerse TVs, Roku, game consoles, etc that simply should not be on the same internal network as your Macs, PCs, printers, NAS, and mobile devices. If you really wanted to, you could also leave the AT&T WiFi radio turned on for a guest network but I'd rather control that from the AEBS as well.

    I would lastly suggest changing the DHCP settings on your AEBS to use 10.0.x.x private addressing (less likely to conflict with the AT&T router's internal addressing), using OpenDNS for DNS, and IPv6 Link Local settings on your AEBS.
     
  18. convergent, Aug 27, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2016

    convergent macrumors 68000

    convergent

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #18
    Thanks, this is exactly what I wanted to do, but they gave me a 5268ac RG, which doesn't have the IP Passthru mode. It also doesn't seem to have a way to change the DNS. I was having some WiFi issues so decided to try and switch all my stuff to the RG off my AEBS, and using it only for wireless. Its been slow going because I have some things with static IPs that I think are causing conflicts. I am wondering if the tech will swap out the 5268ac for an NVG599. Which RG do you have?

    Ironically I had all my existing AEBS network using 10.0.x.x, and most of my stuff with static IPs labeled. Now I'm midway through switching them all. Arghh. On top of that, i seem to have lost the HDMI out on my Uverse TV DVR.

    UPDATE: After more checking, there is a DMZ function on the 5268ac RG that seems to do the same thing. I setup a pinhole with all access for the AEBS and the double NAT is gone and everything seems to be flowing. Now to switch things back to 10.0.x.x that had static IPs.
     
  19. IHelpId10t5 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    #19
    Yep, I have a NVG589.

    They don't let you change the DNS because if I understand it correctly, the UVerse TV service is highly reliant on using their DNS and breaks otherwise.

    Glad you found the DMZ setting on that model. Sounds like you are on your way. Lastly, instead of using static IPs on the AEBS, you can reserve IPs based on each of your devices MAC addresses. It takes a little time to collect all of them but once reserved, they will get the same IP every time but will get the added benefit of also getting DNS settings from your AEBS's DHCP. That way you can set up OpenDNS as DNS servers on the AEBS and even your iOS devices will get that DNS when on the AEBS WiFi.

    Good luck.
     
  20. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #20
    Just wanted to warn you that you may see the Double NAT warning pop back up with it in the DMZ, but you can safely ignore it. With some routers, the warning appears and with others it does not but regardless it is safe to ignore since it is in the demilitarized zone.

    You cannot change the DNS on the U-Verse gateway, but on the AirPort the DNS can be changed. All clients connected to the AirPort would honor its settings rather than the U-Verse gateway's.
     
  21. convergent macrumors 68000

    convergent

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #21
    All still going pretty well. I'm getting reasonably fast wifi throughout the house whenever I check. It had to be something funky in the AEBS configurations that resetting them both and starting over cleared. They are configured exactly the same, but crazy stuff happens with technology sometimes. Hopefully the stay working well... if not I'm going to try an Eero mesh wifi system.

    One thing you said confused me. Why do I need to reserve an IP address for the AEBS to allow OpenDNS? I didn't do that and have been using OpenDNS... which I've actually be using for years. With the DMZ pinhole, is this required or something?

    Thanks for the alert on that... I would have probably started making changes trying to fix it! Makes sense about the gateway not wanting to change them... probably has something to do with their TV delivery. I have used OpenDNS for years, so definitely have the Airports configured that way.
     
  22. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #22
    Keep in mind that the AirPort must be in DHCP & NAT mode and not bridge mode in order to use OpenDNS.
     
  23. convergent macrumors 68000

    convergent

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    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #23
    Of course!
     
  24. jscribbles macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    #24
    Hi all. I'm having a similar issue to the above, but still struggling with how to set things up. I'm curious if anyone can really detail step by step what I need to do to get the best performance.

    Here's my situation.

    I had AT&T's Gigabyte Fiber installed yesterday. Performance in the front room where they installed the Gateway—a Pace
    5268ac—is pretty outstanding. However, the signal really struggles in the back of my home. In fact, it's virtually unusable.

    This isn't necessarily unique to that router. My old set up with Charter Spectrum also struggled until I upgraded my router from an older Airport to an Airport Extreme Base Station (ME918LL/A) and set it up in the middle of the home.

    The AT&T technician, however, recommended placing the Gateway in the front room, however, as that's where our primary TV receiver was going to be (and is). Fair enough, but now I'm having the same issue.

    If I'm able to use my Apple Airport to extend the network without compromising speed, I'd like to do that. I have the ability to hard wire (with ethernet) from one to the other at any part of the house. Heck, I'm even willing to buy another device if the Airport won't do it. I just want the best performance all over my home.

    I believe I had successfully set up a roaming network with the Airport at one point, but it was drastically cutting speeds, so I had to be doing something wrong.

    Any detailed help I can get would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
     
  25. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #25
    jscribbles:

    First suggestion:
    Put the Airport Extreme where you need it and hard-wire using ethernet.
    Then, try setting up the AE to "extend" the wireless network.
    Does that work?

    Second suggestion:
    Have you considered using one of the new "mesh-style" systems that use 2 or 3 "nodes" (or more) to spread wifi throughout the house?
    There are numerous systems available now, and they generally work very well.

    Some you might consider:
    - Netgear Orbi
    - Linksys Velop
    - Ubiquiti "Amplfi"
    - google wifi
    - eero
    - there are others, too.

    This is "the future" insofar as home wifi goes.
    If these interest you, I'd advise you to take some time, say, 6 weeks or so, and investigate the different offerings. Read customer reviews on amazon, Q&A's, etc.

    I use the Velop here. It took me a little longer than expected to set up, because the "normal" setup procedure is via a Smartphone or Tablet device and I don't have either. But once setup, works fine...
     

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