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Wanting to ditch my ATT router and have questions any help appreciated

Shilock
  • 6 months ago

I’m getting lag issues during gaming and surfing on wireless connected devices and I’ve been researching how to resolve. We currently have around 27 devices running thru our router (I know I was just as shocked) and after doing some investigating have determined that our WiFi signal doesn’t reach as far as we need.

Thus began my search, it started with looking at extenders, which turned into getting a better router since many claim they can extend my signal, better interface and customization of our network and network security. (Reasoning was really good extender being around $200 or for $350 I can get WiFi6) Several of the articles I read state the att supplied routers are garbage and can’t handle the speeds we’re paying for. This rabbit holed into further confusion into making sure it was compatible with att and finally worry about speeds being cut in half by using said att router in bridge mode. Currently my area is not on fiber so the highest speed available is 75 mbps.

If I choose to go with the “hot and new” router does it have to be compatible with att, or can I use whatever router is currently “the best”? Was looking into the new wifi6, but have decided wifi5 will be fine for now.

I understand it’s possible to use a different router, but will my speeds be cut in half by putting my current att router in bridge mode or IP Passthrough?

Will I even see better performance using a better router since the signal still must pass thru my att router in bridge mode? Basically garbage in garbage out...

Or, is it just better to go with a WiFi extender and hope we get fiber in our area before I’m too old for this $@#!?

I’m by no means an expert in any of this and have gotten tired head searching thru articles and videos trying to formulate an opinion and finally decided to reach out here.

Thanks for any input

Comments

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

We currently have around 27 devices running thru our router ... highest speed available is 75 mbps ...

Short answer: You're S.O.L.

Calculate 75 Mb/s (9.375 MB/s) divided by number of simultaneous active devices.
e.g. Even if there are only 10 devices connected and you have a decent load balancing SOHO router, that just leaves 7.5 Mb/s (0.9375 MB/s) for each device. And in the real world, users rarely get the full bandwidth mentioned in the ads by their ISP.

[comment deleted]
  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

What equipment did ATT give (likely rent) you? If it's a single box, it's not just a router. It also has a modem in it, so you would need to account for that as well if you want to replace it. You don't want to buy a router and then find out you have no place to plug in the phone line or coax cable (I don't know if your ATT is using phone or cable). Do note this is assuming you are dealing directly with ATT's line coming into the house.

Also, your best option for WiFi depends on how much space you are trying to cover and through what materials. I don't know if you have researched mesh networks, but it might be something to read up on depending on your house layout. There are certain use cases where they can be, well, useful.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

They provided the arris bgw210 duel band with 4 ethernet ports router. Since then one of their techs said the arris AC5268 was their best router and they shipped it to me. Upon researching this router I’ve found it’s older than the bgw, so I didn’t install. Talked with another tech who said the NVG599 is their latest and greatest router which is sent to their gigabyte customers (I don’t have gigabyte access) Which is currently being shipped. But I haven’t read any stellar things regarding this router either. Regardless of which of these routers they send it appears they all suck and my question still remains.

If I use the att provided router as a bridge or ip passthrough to a “better router” (nighthawk, Asus) will is we better performance? Or will the performance of the “better router” be limited to the capabilities of the provided ATT router? Keeping in mind that ATT requires their provided router be used in order to use their services.

Thanks for the replies

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

First, go back and re-read Warlock's answer.

How many of those 27 devices are active when you're having issues? Even if your router is infinitely fast, it can't create more bandwidth than you have in the pipe coming to the house. 75 Mbit/sec works out to about 9 megabytes/sec and that's when you are really getting all 75 Mb/s, which often you aren't.

Now, if you're getting response problems, and only one or two other devices are active, and they aren't saturating your 9 MB/s all by themselves, then you might possibly have a router issue. You could try that Arris unit since you presumably have it around, and see what happens. I think it's unlikely to make a difference though.

If you do have a slow or bad router, which I kind of doubt, putting a fast one behind the slow one isn't going to help you at all -- unless your real problem is local wifi coverage and bandwidth. That's something totally different, and your best solution is likely to be a mesh or mesh-like wifi setup (netgear orbi, ubiqiti, a few others).

Added: I don't have AT&T as an ISP, so I'm kind of guessing here; but I doubt that you have to use their router unless it's also providing television MOC service. Even then, I think there are alternative answers, but that starts to get a little complicated and I've never had to figure it out.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Coming from experience working at a company that deals exclusively in routers, avoid wifi extenders like the plague. If you need better area coverage, mesh routers are gonna be a better bet, like eero or Velop (eero is awesome, totally check it out). Just my two cents.

Wifi extenders work by grabbing the SSID and password of your router's WiFi network, and then broadcasting a second network with the same SSID and password (or a different one if you so choose and the firmware allows) as a sort of fake subnet of your router. By that I mean it impersonates a network device and all your traffic comes from the extender, rather than your computer, as far as your router is concerned. This can cause problems if you have Port forwarding set up, as it is typically tied to MAC addresses and then configured to a fixed IP.

Mesh networks work differently, because all the APs have different IP addresses but only one unit is actively routing packets. The other units basically create chains for the packets to travel across to reach your devices. This makes it so your router can still individually identify your devices instead of seeing just an extender.

It boils down to this, in my opinion. If you need more wifi range, an extender is an option, but you'll need to make sure it's configured properly and make sure it's a model that does what you need it to do, and no more and more less. Based on your description, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DT48WZS/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_apa_i_iSjEDb2W2BPRH looks like it would work well for your situation. With 27 devices though, that may pose too much of a throughput challenge. Which is why I mentioned mesh routing. Mesh lets each AP node manage its own device connections, so when you have a limit of 30 devices (arbitrary) on your router, a mesh system could have that multiplied by the number of nodes on your network. I use eero myself (I actually joined their firmware beta because it's really cool) and with 2 nodes I have 88 devices connected with no speed issues at all (I do have gigabit but I'm still getting about 375-450 Mbps down on each device). Other mesh options include Google WiFi, Linksys Velop, and Orbi.

If I'm mistaken on anything I've said here, anyone feel free to call me out. Just thought I'd chime in

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

They gave you a free AC5268 right? Do you have any ethernet in your house? You could just take that to the area you are lacking coverage in and connect it to the lan port of the BGW210. Then disable the router in the AC5268 and use it as a wifi access point. Either on it's own SSID or make the SSID the same and same password and your devices will choose which is best to connect to based on signal strength. I seriously doubt that either isn't up to par for bandwidth since you are only getting 75Mbps from AT&T.

For testing lag, you might try to open a command line and run tracert to an ip address. it will show you each point in the connection and the ping times etc. So your PC to your wifi , the wifi to the router, the router to x qty AT&T locations, locations in between and finally the end point which might end up being 20 device connections away. Then you can see where the lag is occurring if in your network, in AT&T or in 3rd parties.

The BGW210 specs seem to say that it has 1 extra channel support on 2.4GHz for the 3x3 mimo. Now depending what capabilities your wifi adapter in the PC has will depend what it can connect with, if it is wireless N or if wireless AC, and if you have 1x1, or 2x2 or 3x3 or 4x4 mimo, AC wave 1 or wave 2 etc.

AC5268 WIFI Specs: 5 GHz 802.11ac 4x4 MIMO Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz 802.11n 2x2 MIMO Wi-Fi 2

BGw210 wifi specs: Concurrent Wi-Fi support for 3x3 802.11n on 2.4GHz, and 4x4 802.11ac on 5GHz

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks to all who responded I ended up going with an eero mesh system and it seems to have solved my issue for now. 👍

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

I realize I'm a little late to the party on this one.... but have an idea to consider ...

Many wireless systems support the hosting of multiple wireless networks from the same access points. Each of these separate networks gets a unique SSID on the wireless side, and can be optionally assigned a unique VLAN on the physical side. Many wireless systems also allow the configuration of QOS and/or traffic shaping to prioritize one WiFi network over an other. Many will also allow you to configure a unique VLAN for each wireless network, which would allow you apply more QOS/traffic shaping at the router.

Create an "internet of sucky things" network to connect all the garbage to.. (toasters, fridges, watches, phones, etc...). Create a "internet of proper things" network to connect computers to.

Set up traffic priority for the "proper" things network.

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