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Netgear settings for AT&T

Posted on 2010-08-26
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
I just got off the phone with AT&T. According to their diagnostics, the internet signal they're providing is sound from their perspective. I can logon to the internet and my modem seems to br functioning correctly, but I frequently lose my connection and am having to constantly shut the modem down and reboot.

According to AT&T, there are some settings in my wireles modem / router that are unique to ATT. I have a Netgear N150. I've looked on the internet and I can't find anything.

Thoughts?
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Question by:brucegust
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by:cdowdy
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Is this a DSL connection? If so, educate yourself about the modem they have provided you. Most of these modems have a light that says DSL or LINK. This light generally remains lit steady and indicates your connection with the DSLAM. If the light begins flashing, it can indicate that you have lost sync with the DSLAM and usually a reboot fixes this temporarily. Before you go too far with it though, which AT&T service do you have and what is the modem model that they have provided you?

As far as your personal router, unless you are using pppoe and have your router set to only connect on-demand, there should be no reason that I can think of that you would be consistently losing connection due to your equipment.
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by:brucegust
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Hello, cdowdy!

The unit that I have hasn't been provided for me by Bell South, rather it's one that I've purchased on my own. The manual for said wireless router / modem can be found at ftp://downloads.netgear.com/files/DGN1000_SM_15Oct09.pdf. I'm referencing that not so much so you can do for me what I need to do for myself, as much as it gives you a comprehensive snapshot of what I have and what I may be missing.

I'm looking through the manual, seeking specific ATT settings and I don't see anything mentioned.

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cdowdy earned 221 total points
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Ok, so yours does have a "DSL" light to indicate its status with the DSLAM. I don't see mentioned in the manual whether or not there is a log that you can view, so you may need to poke around in the web interface and try to find one, they can be really helpful.

 I would say that you should look to see if the DSL light is flashing when you experience the issue of no connectivity. This will indicate loss of sync with the DSLAM, probably the number one cause of DSL connectivity issues.. So, if this happens a lot, keep a close eye on that DSL light and see if it begins flashing when you are having issues.
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by:kbirecki
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Here's a possibly related aspect to look at: do you see a pattern to when your connection drops?  Do you have a Panasonic cordless phone?  Panasonic cordless phones have a conflict with certain Netgear wireless routers that cause them to drop their connection when an incoming call rings the panasonic phone.
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by:brucegust
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I don't have a Panasonic phone and I will keep an eye on the indicator light to see if if flashes just before my signal drops.
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by:cdowdy
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kbirecki s correct that some2.4ghz (most are) cordless phones can interfere with your wifi on your home. Microwave ovens can as well. However, if you are losing connectivity to your wireless network, you'll likely see popups in windows.

My suspicion is that you are probably losing sync to the DSLAM as this is the most common issue with DSL service. DSL is a service that the telco's will commonly attempt to provide you even if you are too far or for some other reason have too low a signal from the DSLAM. Further, it is usually better to get your dsl modem from the provider so that if there are problems with the service, they don't constantly blame your equipment. But, I'm getting ahead of myself here...

If you are not sure whether it is the DSL service causing your issue, or your wifi, you can do this (assuming Windows):

Click Start
Then, in the search box (win 7/vista) or the run box (XP)  type:
>cmd
this will open a command prompt, then use this prompt to type the following:
>ping 8.8.8.8 -t

this will start a continuous ping to google that will begin timing out if your DSL goes down..
At the same time, open another command prompt using the cmd command above and start another ping to your netgear modem using the same ping command:
>ping <ip address of your modem> -t

Running these 2 pings concurrently in separate windows will help you troubleshoot whether the connectivity issue is between your pc and your wireless modem, or between your modem and your ISP.
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by:kbirecki
kbirecki earned 223 total points
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Adding some comments to cdowdy's excellent suggestion, I was just going to say the same thing: ping test.  I also recommend, for testing purposes, eliminate the wireless for a short period by connecting only by a wired connection to the router.  This way when you get a sense of whether your connection is dropping or not on a wired-only connection, you narrow down to whether or not it's the wireless connection possibly due to environmental conditions) or not.  This won't eliminate whether or not environmental conditions like cordless phones or micro's are having any effect.  This does help eliminate the possibility that the ISP can blame your wireless since it's not part of the connection.

Also, one thing to watch is the response times on the ping replies.  You want reasonably consistent times <100ms, <50ms in an ideal world.  Browsers can handle higher connection times, but you should be able to successfully complain to your ISP about consistent times higher than that, and especially dropped connections ("request timed" out or "destination host unreachable"), and they should fix it.  If you use a VPN or remote client to any place, you want the connection <100 ms anyway for a reliable connection.  

Regarding AT&T telling you their connection is sound, cdowdy's suggestion is exactly what you should do next.  I've had cable providers tell me the same thing and when I tell them the ping results show the connection >100ms consistently, they *always* have backed up and addressed the problem, even running a new connection to the house if necessary.  I've guessed that's either because they realize 100+ms response times are bad, or (more likely IMO) the first level tech you usually get on the phone the first time realizes I know more than they do about connectivity and they can't push me off like a newbie.

A good rule of thumb: "plain vanilla", keep it simple.  Eliminate as much as possible when you test (especially when/if you call your ISP) and only change one thing at a time until you find what breaks.  If you can connect directly to the cable modem, do that first.  Then test for a good period of time and add one component at a time from there.
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by:brucegust
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cdowdy, how can I determine the IP address of my modem?
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by:cdowdy
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No problem...

do the command prompt thing as above and type this:

>ipconfig

Look at the default gateway ip address and that will be your modem. It will also be the address that you type into your browser to access the GUI for your modem.
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by:Nathaniel_ScrivNET
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@brucegust

I would recommend buying a separate DSL Modem and separate router. Bridge the modem and let the router manage the PPOE connection. The all in one DSL Modem/Router/Wireless units are nothing but trouble in my experience.

Also, make sure that you have proper filters on EVERY phone line that share the DSL number. Even if a non filtered  phone is on the hook noise can make the DSL modem drop intermittently.
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by:kbirecki
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Have you tried a "wired" test by connecting your computer to the modem/router directly and run a continuous ping to your router and to someplace on the internet like 8.8.8.8 as cdowdy suggested?  Eliminating the wifi will help determine where the problem is.

Coincedentally, late last week we started having trouble with our wifi at home (we have an AT&T UVerse 2Wire RG (it is DSL) and a Panasonic cordless phone).  As soon as we placed or received a call, our wifi connection dropped.  We hadn't had that trouble before and nothing changed on our network.  Upon further investigation, some (probably many) cordless phones in the 2.4GHz range can change to other random frequencies (channels) in that range and interfere with wifi.  What I found was a suggestion to change the wifi to one of the less commonly used channels - 1, 6, or 11.  Our was on 11 so I changed it to 6 and since then, we've had no problems during phone calls.  Strange, but true.  Maybe changing your channel config on the wifi would be something to consider.  

One aspect you can't control is neighbors.  Depending on how close your modem/router is to your neighbors, you may also be having a problem with interference from their cordless phones.  That's another reason a wired ping test is a good place to start.
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by:kbirecki
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The point Nathaniel mentions about filters is worth looking into as well.  In my case, my house phone cabling is connected to a box outside the house and the installation tech put one filter on the whole-shebang before it connects to the modem.  In this manner, I don't need filters on each line, but filters are necessary.
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by:brucegust
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Hey, Folks!

I finally just bit the bullet and completely rebuilt my hard drive and I'm working just fine now. I think, in light of the vast improvement that I'm now enjoying, what I had was a collection of renegade apps running the background and that was what was compromising my connectivity.

I'm going to distribute points equitably and I do so appreciate your time and input.

Thanks!
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