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cmhammock

join:2013-01-08

[Home Network] New Modem: reduced function

Have been using Westell C90 modem for 6 years. Have lately been having connection problems. Tech Support looked and decided modem was going bad and sent new modem. New modem is Westell A90 and it appears to have much reduced function. Apparently will only allow single device connection; does not work when connected to my ethernet switch. No NAT or passthru. No real DHCP configuration. ATT tech support says that if it can connect a single device, then it is working OK and they can do no more. They recommend their WiFi router (with 4 wired ports) for $100. I'm not comfortable this will do what I need. I have home network with 4 - 6 computers plus printers and need to connect all to internet and I need NAT/passthru. Will the wireless do this? What is your recommended solution for best way to do this? (Currently running 6 MB and need static IP it that affects your suggestions.)
Thanks!

cmhammock

join:2013-01-08

1 recommendation

Just a quick additional comment.... if the suggested "fix" is to get my own (full function) DSL Modem, which one do you suggest? My home network is mostly giga-bit speed and I have a WiFI access point so don't really need wireless router function. Am more interested in good (and easy to configure) NAT/passthru capability and "seamless" compatibility with whatever ATT runs.
Thanks


NetFixer
Freedom is NOT Free
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage

2 edits

1 recommendation

said by cmhammock:

Just a quick additional comment.... if the suggested "fix" is to get my own (full function) DSL Modem, which one do you suggest? My home network is mostly giga-bit speed and I have a WiFI access point so don't really need wireless router function. Am more interested in good (and easy to configure) NAT/passthru capability and "seamless" compatibility with whatever ATT runs.
Thanks

My recommendation would be to get a standalone router (assuming that you don't already have one), and try to put the new AT&T supplied "modem" into bridge mode. If one of your access points is actually a router in AP mode, you could use that device as your router; otherwise almost any brand name soho grade router should be usable for your network. You may however, need to get a wireless router whether you get a standalone router or a DSL gateway device (wired soho grade routers/gateways are sometimes hard to find these days, and are often more expensive than an equivalent wireless router/gateway) and just disable the WiFi radio if you prefer to continue using your access point.

On the newer AT&T supplied "modems" bridge mode is called doing "PPPoE on the PC or router" instead of bridge mode (but it is bridge mode). Some users have reported that this does not work with some routers, but you won't know for sure until you try it. Continuing to use the AT&T supplied "modem" will simplify things if you need to call AT&T support, because sometimes they will not even talk to you if you are not using one of their "modems" (I have had that conversation in the past with both AT&T and Covad).

If you need to get a new modem because bridge mode does not work on the new AT&T supplied "modem", I have in the past used a Zoom 5615 bridge modem successfully on AT&T ATM based DSL circuits. However, if AT&T decides to move you to an IPDSLAM circuit, you will be forced to use one of their "modems".

If you prefer to get another modem/router gateway box (or if you need to because you find that a bridge modem with PPPoE on an external router won't work for your connection), my recommendation would be to get a Motorola/Netopia 3347. That is an industrial strength very reliable device, and if you don't want to use its built-in WiFi radio, you can just leave it disabled (every one I have installed had the WiFi radio disabled by default). It is also on the AT&T officially approved list, so AT&T support should not hassle you for using one. The only drawback might be if you are a gamer and depend on UPnP in the router. The 3347 is intended to be a business class router, and its UPnP implementation does not always work very well for gamers.
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