Want to upgrade my router/modem

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SchneiderMan, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. SchneiderMan macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Apple state
    #1
    So i have an Att as my ISP and i have the stock 2Wire Gateway thingy, it's terrible. It's always losing connection and it's a few years old.
    What would be the best choice of a new router the will be easy to set up and will work with my Macs and Apple devices? Thanks!
     
  2. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #2
    First thing I would do is call at&t. They may find a line issue that is actually preventing your modem from connecting at optimal speed, and later causes the modem to retrain. I would then ask them if they have replacements, or allow 3rd party DSL modems on their network. If they do, I would recommend a Linksys Modem.

    TEG
     
  3. SchneiderMan thread starter macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Apple state
    #3
    Oh i thought i can just use any router, but won't they just say to use their routers instead? Can i trust them lol? Thanks.
    Also i'm not sure about the Modem/Router thing, i think that what i have now is a modem, what's the difference and can i use either?
     
  4. striatedglutes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    I agree with TEG and the idea of a line test. I'm pretty sure that ATT offers a few different modem/router combinations as well. I would stick with something that they recommend, yes. If you don't, good luck getting them to support you when your line "just doesn't act right" (although it doesn't sound like they're doing a very good job about it now, which again, is why you should call).
     
  5. SchneiderMan thread starter macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Apple state
    #5
    I'm sick of calling them, their wait time and support is bad. They always say everything is fine and blame my hardware!
    I search around and found the most users that have the ATT 2Wire hardware are very unhappy and that they have connection issues all the time as well. So i'm thinking it's the router.

    I'm thinking about getting an Airport Extreme, but i would still have to use my 2Wire for it to work right? So that defeats the purpose lol if it's always dropping connection how can it help me if i get a wireless N router? I'm confused =/
     
  6. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #6
    Why don't you post the exact model number? That would help anybody who wants to help you. It should be on the bottom of the unit.

    Also, be more specific about what "dropping connection" means, if possible.

    What I mean is that the 2wire's modem section could be dropping its connection to the internet, or the 2wire's wireless section could be dropping its connection to your computer.

    You need to know which it is.

    I've seen totally lame 2Wire units over the years, but earlier this month I had to install one for a friend and it seemed like a reasonably modern unit, although the wireless was G. But it had NAT, WPA, a few LAN ports, and other things that one expects these days.

    Anyway, specifics please.
     
  7. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #7
    Oops! The modem/router I installed earlier was a Westell, not a 2Wire.

    I made the error of thinking that if it came from a phone company, it was 2wire.

    Nevertheless, OP, it's hard to give any advice without knowing the model number of the box you have.
     
  8. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #8
    If you do add your own router you will have to switch the 2wire unit into bridged mode then set up your new router to use PPPoe. With AT&T your main AT&T e-mail address and password is typically the sign on settings for PPPoe. With PPPoe make sure the setting is also set to always on.

    I have found with Westell and other Bellsouth/AT&T modems a set up in this manner usually results in a far stabler connection. As for a router brand I would go with Netgear or DLink. Apple is decent but custom settings are difficult to apply and requires installing utilities(I don't know why they don't just add a web interface). Linksys does not have all the custom settings of DLink/Netgear. Other brands usually have a poor interface, are unreliable and/or have limited settings.
     
  9. Zortrium macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    #9
    For routers, the Linksys WRT54GL is where it's at. The stock firmware is junk, but it's trivial to replace it with Tomato, which exposes lots of settings and is really easy to use. The only thing the WRT54GL lacks is wireless-n, but there aren't really any suitable replacements at this point.
     
  10. SchneiderMan thread starter macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Apple state
    #10
    The model is 2701HG-B

    Now i really want to get an Apple Airport Extreme just so i won't have any issues with my Apple devices. Thanks.
     
  11. andrew0122 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Springfieldvilletownvilleton, Missouri
    #11
    When you are talking about a router an a modem you are talking about 2 very different options here.

    Modem will offer a direct link from the DSL to your computer commonly through an ethernet cable (CAT 5e or CAT 6 etc etc...) or through a USB port.

    Router will take the internet signal from that one connection and can act as a hub to split the connection to 5-6 ports some even allowing wireless.

    I would agree with TEG you defiantly need to see if ATT can offer you a new DSL Modem. I am not familiar with the 2wire units so I can not speak from experience. I've always had cable internet. (Typically much faster than anything DSL has to offer in my area at least.)

    If you are looking for an EXCELLENT wireless router I would recommend the Linksys WRT-610N. I have had this router for almost a year and a half and absolutely LOVE it! Completely Apple friendly! It has 2 physical radio antennas that will allow you to setup 2 networks if you like. You can set either / both to the G, B, A spectrum for older devices or both to N only or any mix between. I personally have an 'N' only and the second that supports B, G, and A for mine and my girlfriends iPhones and for anyone who brings their laptop over that I don't want accessing my personal files. The other antenna is solely for my iMac, MacBook Air, and Apple TV (and it keeps up with my demands).

    The reason I chose this option was because of the bottleneck issue where your network can only run as fast as your slowest device.


    PS: the link is to a YouTube video that will explain everything about the router.

    You can go with the Apple Airport Extreme, but it is $179 new vs. $155 for the Linksys on Amazon.com and will so the exact same thing. . .
     
  12. SchneiderMan thread starter macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Apple state
    #12
    Ok so basically the 2Wire box we will call lol is wireless and has 4 ethernet outputs, now a phone line is connected to the box and also a power cable of course. Now the way i use it is wired ethernet to both my Macs and wireless to my portable Apple devices. So if i get the Airport Extreme or the Linksys, will i need to connect to my 2Wire box? No way to get rid of that damn box?

    Thanks. Oh and i do want to switch no wireless N and At&t does not have any wireless N boxes.
     
  13. mbpjohnson macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    #13
    I have att and the 2 wire router it has worked fine with my two pc's but the new mbp drops off about every 20 or 30 mins. I was not sure if it was the computer or router so I went to the apple store and sat and used their network and never lost the connection. I just picked up the airport extreme this afternoon. You still need to use your 2wire as a modem and send your wireless signal with airport extreme. So far it seems faster and hasn't dropped off but I have only used it for 8 hours or so.

    Phil
     
  14. SchneiderMan thread starter macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Apple state
    #14
    Sweet, ordered the Airport Extreme. Now all i need to know is how to setup everything ahaha
     
  15. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #15
    I actually speak from experience. I work had at&t for a while in Michigan, with the 2Wire modem. I had it setup in Bridged mode to a Linksys router, which connected via PPPoE, then broadcasted to the computers on the network. However, you should be able to talk to at&t and see if they either have another Modem/Router to replace the 2Wire, or if you can simply connect a 3rd party DSL Modem/Router and just connect your PPPoE information.

    I actually work in Tech Support for an ISP, and while we don't use PPPoE, or allow 3rd Party Modems, we work very hard to make sure the customer gets the best connection possible on their line. That sometimes requires changing modems, running new lines to the house, or replacing the Distribution Box on the side of the house. All of these are things you need to force at&t to go through until you are satisfied with your connection.

    TEG
     
  16. SchneiderMan thread starter macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Apple state
    #16
    But i still want my router to be fully compatible with my Apple products, and At&t does not offer anything close to that
     
  17. jpyc7 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #17
    Of course, I think the reason that one sees many people all complaining about their 2wire modems on AT&T is that most of their customers are probably given that brand of modem. I had AT&T dsl service when I lived in California and that was the default choice. I'm now with Qwest with a newer 2wire modem.

    For the OP, you need to pinpoint the actual type of "dropping connection" that you are experiencing. I have the model, 2700 HG-B, which is probably an older version. It has several LEDs, but you need to pay attention to those lights when you experience a dropped connection. The DSL and Internet labelled-lights tell you if your problem is on the modem side (i.e. telephone). If they are orange/red when you lose connection, then your problem could be the telephone line. If your wireless or Ethernet LED goes dark (or not green), then it is a problem with the "router" side, the wireless 802.11 or Ethernet.

    Think of your setup as follows:
    modem side ||||| router side
    DSL line -- 2wire -- wired Ethernet or wireless 802.11 -- computers

    Another potential problem source is if your power is just flaky enough to cause your modem to reset.

    When you connect the Airport Extreme, you need to put the 2wire into "bridge" mode (and reconnect all other computers to the Airport Extreme). Basically, the new setup should be:
    modem side ||||| bridge side - Airport Extreme - wired Ethernet or 802.11 - computers
     
  18. SchneiderMan thread starter macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Apple state
    #18
    Thanks for your help, last time it got disconnected one light was blinking green for a long time, I reset it and it was still blinking and after a while it connected.. Tomorrow my Airport Extreme arrives so il try to set it up and see.
     

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