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AT&T U-Verse

Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:56 pm

I am moving to an apartment complex that only has two options available to me for internet and both of them are with AT&T. I can go with their DSL service, which I really don't want to do, or I can go with U-Verse.

I have a few questions regarding U-Verse so if someone has it and could help me out, that would be greatly appreciated. I have tried on two occasions to call AT&T and ask, but I can only get sales on the phone, and they can't really answer technical questions. So I figured I would ask people who had it.

As I understand it, and I could be way off on this, all U-Verse services connect through one piece of equipment which they call the 'wireless gateway'

That being the case, can I access the routers configuration settings? Can I put my own password on the router? Can I set up port forwarding or are those features blocked?

I am one year in to a three year Networking Security program at a community college. I like to be able to play around with the things that I learn in class. Plus, being an Information Assurance/Network Security major, I am becoming very security oriented. I was told that I would NOT be able to password protect my router. I have a problem with that.

I have a router of my own that I have been using for a couple of years now. Its just a standard linksys router, nothing special. I had the idea I could just plug my router into their router and not use the wireless functions of the AT&T router. But it seems like that would slow my connection way down. I may be wrong about that though. As I said, I'm still learning about this stuff so please correct me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, I have more questions about it but they all steam from those key concerns.

Any help you could provide me would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: AT&T U-Verse

Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:03 pm

I find it hard to believe that your wired connection would slow down your wireless network... In general, wired connections always have a much higher bandwidth and lower latencies than wireless networks. Unless they are giving you more than 1 Gbps on the U-verse device, I don't think you'll have any trouble.
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Re: AT&T U-Verse

Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:10 pm

If his Linksys and the U-Verse both are doing wireless on the same channel then that would slow the wireless connections down.

I don't have experience with U-Verse, but from what I've heard it's a single feed to a box that then separates out TV (IPTV), phone (VoIP) and Internet. I would expect the Internet to be a kind of pass-through thing (i.e. not NAT) so you wouldn't need to bother about port forwarding and stuff. If it does do wireless then I would hope they allow you to shut it off!
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Re: AT&T U-Verse

Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:15 pm

Uverse makes you buy a wireless gateway. The signal comes from a fiberoptic cables outside the house I believe, which then hit your phone line which then hits the gateway. So thats why its a "propietary" piece of hardware.

The gateway functions as both a wireless router and a simple 4 port ethernet router. You can turn off the wireless function and have it function just via the hard lines (there is an internet address on the gateway and from there you can access the settings).

You can also take one of the hard lines and route that to a wireless router of your own downstream and things will be just fine too.

As for the wireless function on the gateway, you can password protect it, encrypt, etc etc just like any conventional wireless router. There are even some special security functions I don't use for those who feel the need for even more protection.

Overall its a pretty basic setup and not really much different than say anything you pay for from comcast except its cheaper. Pings are little worse than comcasts cable setup but not noticeable in gaming or in general use.
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Re: AT&T U-Verse

Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:55 pm

I had a not-so-great experience with U-verse a while back. This probably won't be an issue for you, but it was an installation and removal nightmare, largely due to incompetent service providers. The product itself has a lot of features I liked, but in the end the frequent lock-ups, dropped packets, frequent retrains and noticeably inferior picture quality on HD content (compared to Directv) cased me to drop Uverse for ATT DSL and Directv. U-Verse tries to deliver HD content with only 5-6 Mb of dedicated bandwidth, compared to 25Mb for the Directv stream.

The fiber drop was about 2500 ft from my house and this was an early roll-out in my area, which may have had a lot to do with the problems I saw. I still like the features of the product, but they still have pricing problems and until they fix the picture quality issues I'll stay with what I have.
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Re: AT&T U-Verse

Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:17 pm

I have U-Verse and can answer any questions that Sunburn74 might have missed.

The U-Verse RG (residental gateway) comes with a preset password which you can use to log in and control the various functions just like any other wireless or wired router except that it also has some information screens for any telephone or video service. It does not have a bridge mode like you might expect for using your own router but it has an equivalent called DMZ+ which allows you to forward the routable IP address to any single LAN or WLAN device identified by MAC address while still allowing other private LAN devices. You could also just use port forwarding.

I use an external BSD based router with the public IP assigned to it via DMZ+ and it works fine. The only issue I have had is that protocol 41 (native IPv6 tunneled in IPv4) only works to the anycast gateway which implies that the router works fine but that AT&T is blocking the use of third party 6to4 gateways. After they implement traffic caps here, I will be canceling my service.

I do not have the TV service but do have 2 phone lines so they gave me a 2wire model 3600HGV (no video support) along with a Belkin battery backup power supply so my phone service does not die during power outages.
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Re: AT&T U-Verse

Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:37 am

Great thanks for the information everybody. That helps me out a lot.

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