I have AT&T internet and U-verse service as well as their cell phone service. I have been with AT&T for a long time. But, notwithstanding having a fast connection, my WiFi using their router is inconsistent. I’m rebooting the system once a week and my WiFi signal in the house is terrible. Yesterday I had to drop out of a Zoom conference with university medical researchers because the video and voice kept breaking up even though I was within ~20’ from the router. I’ve had AT&T out several times and they keep telling me everything is fine. It is not.
I have no idea if I should, and if so how, use a third party router (and perhaps a mesh system) with the AT&T router and U-verse boxes. I’m not sure these pictures will be helpful but just in case, I’ve uploaded them. Perhaps others have similar equipment. My questions are (and I may not be even asking the right questions):
- Can I add to or replace the AT&T router with a third party router and is that likely to help without interfering with my U-verse service? If so, any recommendations?
- If the above is yes, what router do you recommend?
- Do I need a mesh system and if so, what do you recommend?
- Do you recommend I bring a third party out to evaluate my system and suggest changes?
Sorry to be a goober on this but this is not in my wheelhouse.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
To the best of my knowledge, you can use a third-party router with U-Verse, but not a third-party modem — you have to use AT&T’s gateway.
Before I switched to Xfinity, I was using an Eero with the U-Verse gateway without issue.
Is that different from a Zoom conference with “ordinary” people?
You are having to reboot much more than should be necessary. Have you checked your WiFi channel(s) for interference?
No of course not but it was a critical conference and embarrassing to drop out. It was the last straw as it were.
This should prove my “goober” credentials, I have no idea how to do that. I assume that AT&T has done that when they have been out.
Up until a couple of weeks ago that was my system. I changed services as ATT’s top internet service was only 25 Mbps down. Anyway, I had an eero system (most recent version) connected to the ATT device (on the left in your top picture). Worked fine. Once I had the eero up and going I turned of the ATT wifi (ATT U-verse TV is not affected by this).
Also, If you have a long enough ethernet cable and you don’t mind the cable on your floor during an important meeting, you could connect it for the duration of you meeting. Not optimal but should give you a good connection.
I have 40 down. May I ask who you changed to? Have the euros made a big difference for you?
You are not being a ‘goober’ these are all valid concerns and questions. I don’t have specific answers to all your bullet points but I can offer my advice.
I’m currently using Spectrum.net as my ISP - they provide cable TV, phone, and internet to my home.
What I’m planning on doing is purchasing a mesh system to provide wifi to my home. Currently, the cable modem/router is providing wifi. I’m also not satisfied with the wifi performance here. I have decided to purchase the EERO pro mesh units. When they arrive, I’m planning to make the cable modem a bridge and have it send all traffic to the EERO pro unit connected directly to it.
With Spectrum, they have to enable the device that is directly connected to their network. You probably can buy something to replace your router but each ISP is different.
a mesh system helps if you have a large square foot home. A third party might definitely help but isn’t necessary. I’m not a network guru but usually, the cable techs that arrive only know what it takes to connect everything and not necessarily is the wifi in spec.
One option would be to connect a device to the ethernet port with a cable and see if you are having connectivity issues. This would indicate that it is a wifi issue only, not your network configuration.
I hope this helps
If you have more questions just ask.
I changed because my local power company in MS became an internet provider with much faster service (1 Gbps). For now I am currently using their router instead of my eero. I may attach the eero at some later point.
When I was using the ATT internet the eero provided better coverage throughout my house than the ATT router. I have the eero pro with 1 beacon. Again, this worked well for me.
If you are a Setapp subscriber, they have 2 apps that can give you some info regarding your wifi: Netspot and Wifi Explorer. Someone on here may be able to recommend something better. But I would do as @pmconaway suggested and connect an ethernet cable from your computer directly to the ATT router then check your speed with speedtest.net
You can also test your speed coming into your ATT router. The router should have a label on the bottom with the address and password. Takes a little looking around to find it (at least for me it did, since I did this so infrequently). I’m sure ATT looked at this when they came out but it doesn’t hurt to confirm this yourself.
You need an app that can “see” other WiFi networks that are nearby. I’ve used iStumblr on our laptop in the past. Then you walk around your property and see if there are any other networks, besides yours, that are using the same WiFi channel(s) as yours. If you find any, you should be able to change your router to an unused channel.
Jec0047, very good catch I didn’t think of that. I can’t remember what the advice is. Maybe every other channel? So if neighbor is on 1 choose 3…
I have a similar set up, and use a Google mesh running simultaneously with my ATT signal. Everyone here refers only to Eero’s–are they substantially better than the Google product? A store salesperson talked me into the Google product. Also, this thread makes me wonder if it is a bad idea to have the wireless systems running at the same time. Anyone have a thought on that? I tend to go back and forth, depending on what signal has the best Speedtest numbers at the time.
Also consider what is between you and the router. Distance is only one factor. I’m running an eero mesh connected to my ISP box. One of the eeros is in one room, but depending on where I am in the next room, maybe ~10ft away, I get a spotty connection. On the flip side, other places in the house or even outside, 50ft away are fine. Though I can’t be certain, my guess is the closet between the two rooms is blocking a lot of the signal, which probably is made worse by the closet having floor-to-ceiling sliding mirror doors spanning most of the wall. I’m planning to move the eero to a different position to see if that helps avoid the closet interference.
So perhaps try moving the router, if possible. You can also try using mobile apps like “Oka Wifi” to map out signal strength in various locations to identify dead spots.
The normal advice is to turn off the vendor’s WiFi and use the mesh network only.
Yes, there is that. Maybe networks should be socially distancing as well.
I did this for a while before I had mesh. It was fine, but annoying and a mess when it came to smart home stuff. This also sort of defeats the purpose of mesh. Ideally, you’d want to get another access point for the mesh if there’s a weak signal somewhere.
Set the ATT box in to “Bridge Mode”
Install a Synology RT2600ac router and spend time configuring all its features. You will need a small flash drive to store the database.
By now I have more then 20 of these RT2600ac routers and a bunch of
MR2200ac mesh extenders
. They all are rock solid and do an awesome job protecting the network.
Thanks everyone for your kind advice. I purchased and installed 3 Eero pro devices throughout the house. I now have only U-verse TV, HomePods and some echoes running through the AT&T access point and all other devices through the Eeros. So far, everything is working. I’ll know how much progress I’ve made when I try another large Zoom conference. I have a 40mbps plan and I’m now getting 39.48 download via WiFi. That is excellent!
Also, I purchased the eeros at Best Buy and they were giving away an Amazon Show 5 with the purchase.
Thanks again, the kindness and expertise on this forum is amazing and appreciated, especially by Goober!