You probably know that you cannot use your own gateway if you subscribe to AT&T Fiber internet plans. AT&T will rent your gateway and charge a $10 monthly rental fee. You don’t have the option to accept their slow wi-fi speeds or poor coverage. Instead, you can use your AT&T compatible router to connect to the residential gateway. While you won’t be able to save money, you will get better overall performance.
You can rent a DSL modem from AT&T if you are enrolled in one of their DSL plans. However, you will continue to be charged the rental fee. You will, again, just get better performance.
Today we are here to talk about the benefits and drawbacks of owning your equipment with AT&T. We also present our selection(s), which include the best AT&T compatible modems for AT&T DSL and the best AT&T compatible routers for AT&T fiber. Let’s start by describing AT&T’s internet services and plans.
AT&T Internet Plans and Services
AT&T It is the most popular and widely used US internet service provider. Ironically, it is also the most criticized. AT&T offers DSL, fiber, and fixed wireless internet depending on where you live.
AT&T’s DSL internet service is sometimes referred to by the acronym IPBB internet (Internet Protocol Broadband). It is a high-speed DSL network which uses. ADSL2+VDSL is a bonded VDSL. This network is available to more than 120,000,000 users in 21 states. AT&T boasts the most DSL coverage in the United States.
Depending on the area you live in, there will be a different type and speed of DSL network. Rural areas and suburban areas will have slower max download/upload speeds, ADSL2 or ADSL2+ networks, while larger cities will have VDSL network or bonded VDSL and higher max speeds (upto 100 Mbps). Here are some of AT&T’s IPBB internet plans.
AT&T offers some basic internet plans with very low download/upload speeds for the most distant areas. These plans are subject to data caps. This data limit is 150 GB.
The average price for each bundle is $45 per month, as you can see. Taxes and rental fees, however, are not included. What speed you’ll get is totally dependent on where you live. Data limitations apply to all plans. This implies you’ll only be able to access 1 TB of data. If you go over this limit, you’ll be charged $10 per 50 GB (up to $100) in outage fees. If you want unlimited data, you’ll have to pay an extra $35 each month. You are not required to sign an annual contract, which is an advantage.
The fibre network of AT&T is significantly smaller than its DSL network. 36 million individuals in 21 states have access to it.
AT&T provides three fibre internet services with speeds ranging from 300 to 940 Mbps. Prices range from $35 to $60 each month. Taxes and rental costs are excluded. There are no data limitations on these plans, and you are not required to sign an annual contract (but the prices will be higher if you do not). Prices may climb after the 1-year promotional period if you sign the contract.
Besides DSL and fiber service, AT&T also offers fixed wireless internet service. This service is available for almost 9,000,000 people in 21 US states.
Fixed wireless internet is intended for people in rural locations who do not have access to DSL. Although AT&T assures at least 10 Mbps, speeds can go up to 25 Mbps. Data limits apply, with a maximum of 350 GB. The monthly fee for fixed wireless service is $70.
AT&T customers have access to the AT&T Smart Home Manager App to manage their network. Access to more than 30,000 wi-fi hotspots across the US is also possible.
AT&T does not offer cable internet service. Don’t buy a cable modem/gateway if you don’t want it to work.
The Advantages of Renting Equipment From AT&T
Many people rent equipment from their ISPs, even though it is expensive. This could be due to many factors. Customers may need to rent equipment from ISPs. AT&T requires that you rent your residential gateway if you subscribe to one of its fiber internet plans. This isn’t the only reason people rent the equipment.
It’s also easier for customers to rent equipment. You don’t need to look for the right modem to match your internet plan. It’s also easier to rent equipment. Your ISP provides unlimited support (or at least you are supposed to).
The advantages of buying equipment on your own
The money savings is the most obvious advantage of purchasing modems/routers yourself, rather than renting. But, this is not the most important benefit if your AT&T customer, especially if it’s fiber internet. You must use AT&T’s fiber gateway, as you know. If you have one or more of the DSL plans, the modem can be purchased. Instructions on how to set up a third-party DSL router on the AT&T official website. DSL users might be able to save some money. AT&T should be contacted to confirm if you will be charged monthly rental fees.
Equipment is often purchased to save money, but also for better performance. Primarily, faster wi-fi speeds. You can also adjust your network settings more easily.
Only AT&T-compatible routers can be purchased if you are connected to a fiber network. To make your router work, you will need to bypass the router section of the gateway. While you won’t be able to save money, you will get more performance.
DSL users can purchase both modem and router themselves. This may save them money and help them to be more efficient. You will receive more performance, as in the above case.
Should I rent the modem/router from AT&T, or should I buy it?
Television Viewer Protection Act was created to prevent internet service providers from charging rent fees for equipment that you own. It was also designed to prevent ISPs charging rental fees for equipment you own. Some ISPs even publish lists of compatible routers and modems that they offer. AT&T was one of the ISPs that chose to ignore the Act and continued renting equipment and charging rental fees.
Our recommendation is to buy a new router and connect it to the AT&T residential gateway. This will increase your wi-fi range and speed. You don’t need to buy a new router if you are already subscribed to AT&T fiber internet and are happy with your current speeds and coverage. The router can be upgraded by being purchased and connected to the gateway. The rental fee is payable.
You can purchase an AT&T compatible modem/router if you have DSL. It will most likely work with AT&T DSL service. However, we cannot guarantee that AT&T will not charge you rental fees. Please contact customer service before you buy anything.
DSL gateways can also be purchased. Buy one from AT&T. A wi-fi extender can be purchased from AT&T. But, it is not possible to buy the residential gateway for fiber internet service. You must rent it. We don’t know why.
Compatible DSL Modems with AT&T (Compatible With AT&T DSL Internet)
You will need a different type of DSL modem depending on what speed you are subscribed to. VDSL or VDSL2 modems are the most common. If your speed is greater than 25 Mbps, you will almost certainly be on a VDSL connection. This table will help you to determine which type of DSL modem you need. Call AT&T customer support to find out which type of DSL line you have. Your modem must work with the type of line you have in order to make it work.
If AT&T has bonded VDSL in your area, make sure that the modem that you’re looking at buying supports it. Bonded VDSL refers to when an ISP combines two VDSL/VDSL2 lines into one virtual connection. Bonded VDSL can be used by ISPs to increase the connection speed. You can verify if AT&T uses bond VDSL by calling customer service. There is no physical difference between non-bonded DSL connections.
Notice: Although AT&T has published instructions for installing a third-party DSL Modem, this is not meant to mean that they will charge monthly rental fees. Before purchasing any modem, contact AT&T customer service.
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Best AT&T Compatible Modem Under $250 – ZyXEL C3000Z
Suitable for all AT&T DSL internet plans
The CenturyLink C3000Z gateway (modem and router in one device) is built for CenturyLink DSL internet, however it should also function with AT&T.
A power adapter and an Ethernet cable are included with the gateway. There are several indicators (Power, DSL 1 and DSL 2, Internet, WAN/LAN, Ethernet, USB, 2.4GHz, 5GHz) and a WPS button on the front side. On the back, there’s a 12V DC input, a USB connector for external storage or printing, one WAN port, and four LAN Ethernet ports. These ports can handle gigabit speeds. A DSL port is located at the bottom.
ADSL, ADSL2+, and VDSL2 connections are supported by the modem. It can also support VDSL2 with vectoring and bonded VDSL. Bonded VDSL has a maximum speed of 100 Mbit/s. The C3000Z may also function as a router and is compatible with some fibre internet providers (but not AT&T).
The router part supports both 802.11ac as well as 802.11n. This router supports dual-band technology. Maximum speed supported on 2.4 GHz bands is 450 Mbps and maximum speed on 5 GHz bands is 1.7 Gbps. WPS, WPA/WPA2, WPS and DoS protection are some of the features that this router offers.
Best AT&T Compatible Router Under $300 – Actiontec T3200
Suitable for all AT&T DSL internet plans
Although the Actiontec T3200 is designed for Windstream internet services, it should also function with AT&T bonded VDSL.
A power adapter and two Ethernet cables are included with the T3200. There is no telephone cable available. On the bottom of the front panel is a WPS button. Two LEDs – internet and wi-fi – are located on the left side. A DC input and a reset button are located on the back. Four LAN ports and one WAN port are available. For DSL lines, two LEDs are supplied (bonded DSL couple). There are no Gigabit Ethernet ports on the Ethernet ports.
VDSL2+, ADSL2+, and VDSL2 connections are supported by the modem component. It also supports bonded VDSL, allowing it to work with any AT&T high-speed internet package. The T3200 can also function as a router and is compatible with some fibre internet services that allow you to connect directly to the router.
Both the 802.11ac and 802.11n protocols are supported by the router. It’s a router with two bands. Although the router’s manual claims that it supports speeds of up to 1G, there is no reliable information on maximum speeds on the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. The range is rather good, reaching up to 300 feet indoors.
Suitable for all AT&T DSL plans
Like the first modem on the list, Technicolor C2000T is designed for CenturyLink, but it should also work with AT&T. It’s a DSL gateway with additional features, such as VoIP or IPTV. C2000T does not work on dual-band frequencies (it only works on the 2.4 GHz band).
The C2000T includes a power adapter and a phone cable. There are a number of LED indicators at the front. These include power, DSL1/DSL2, Internet/WAN, Ethernet 1-4 and Ethernet 1-4. In the right corner, there’s a WPS push button.
You will find a DSL port, phone ports, HomePNA coax connector and two VoIP ports on the back. There are also 4 LAN ports and 1 WAN/LAN.
The modem conforms to VDSL, VDSL2, VDSL2, bonded ADSL2+ and bonded VDSL standards. 100 Mbps is the max speed of a DSL network, (bonded VDSL). The modem has a HomePNA connector that allows IPTV and telephone ports for VoIP.
The router part of the C2000T gateway only works on a 2.4GHz band (802.11b/g/n). It is not a dual-band router. Some fiber internet services are compatible with the router (those that do not require a dedicated gateway). It can handle speeds up to 940Mbps.
Compatible AT&T Routers (Compatible With AT&T Fiber Internet).
Wi-fi routers can be a lot easier than DSL modems. You won’t save money by renting AT&T’s residential gateway. However, you can get an additional router if your wi-fi speed or coverage is not satisfactory. You can use any router, just make sure it supports the speed you pay for and has sufficient coverage for your home.
Note:To use your third-party router, you will need to modify some gateway settings. The FAQs provide a more detailed explanation.
Suitable for Internet 300 plan
The TP-Link Archer A7 is one of the most affordable routers available. It’s a straightforward and simple device to set up. There are a few LED indicators on the front. There are four Gigabit LAN ports, one Gigabit WAN port, a power button, a USB 2.0 port, and a WPS/Wi-Fi push button on the rear of the device. The router has three powerful antennae for enhanced wi-fi range.
The A7 supports both 802.11b/g/n and 802.11ac protocols. It has the ability to function as a dual-band router. On the 2.4 GHz band, the maximum speed is 450 Mbps. You can possibly reach 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz spectrum.
2,500 feet2 is the maximum coverage area. If that’s not enough, you can also use compatible TP-Link One Mesh extenders with this router (like RE300).
The TP-Link app, TP-Link Tether, can be used to make all sorts of adjustments. This app lets you create guest networks, set parental control settings, prioritize devices, and much more.
Finally, A7 works with Alexa (it doesn’t have Alexa built-in).
These plans are compatible with Internet 300 and Internet 500.
Linksys MR8300 6 router is small and powerful. It’s easy to install and delivers very reliable performance.
There’s a single LED on the top. All inputs are located on the back. There are four Gigabit LAN ports and one Gigabit WAN. One USB 3.0 port allows you to connect external storage or a printer. The WPS push switch is located on the right. Four external antennas are available for an enhanced range. The advertised coverage is 2.000ft2. You can also combine it with compatible Velop mesh wi-fi extenders.
It supports the 802.11ax standard (also known as a wi-fi6). It is a tri-band router – it transmits on one 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands. The maximum speed at 2.4 GHz is 400Mbs. 867 Mbps is the maximum speed at the other two bands.
Linksys’ MR8300 router supports all the latest technologies, which are meant to improve performance and user experience. It supports a variety of wireless networks, including Wi-Fi 6 routers. MU-MIMOAnd OFDMA.
You can use this to access all advanced settings, such as parental control or guest network. Linksys app.
Best AT&T Compatible Router Under $250 – NETGEAR Nighthawk RAX43
Suitable for all AT&T fiber internet plans including Internet 1000
The NETGEAR Nighthawk router series is one of the most popular on the market today. There’s a simple explanation for this: they’re extremely powerful, quick, and dependable. For under $250, Nighthawk’s RAX43 is our top pick. It includes an Ethernet cable as well as a power converter.
Two buttons (WPS/Wi-Fi) and numerous LED indicators (power/Internet, Ethernet 1-4, USB3.0) are located on the top. On the back, there are 5 Gigabit Ethernet connectors (4 LAN, 1 WAN) and a USB 3.0 port.
It has a 1.5GHz triple-core processor. It supports all the latest technologies, including MU-MIMO (5 independent wi-fi streams), OFDMA, and 1024-QAM, because it’s a wi-fi 6 router. For precise transmission, beamforming is used. WPA3, DoS attack prevention, Firewall, and other basic security measures are all included.
RAX43 is a router with three bands. Maximum download speed for 2.4GHz bands is 574 Mb/s, while maximum speed for 5 GHz bands are 3,600 Mb/s (1,800 Mb/x2).
Nighthawk App is available for quick network setups, parental control, guest network adjustments and more. You can voice control the router with Alexa and Google Assistant.
You can also activate the NETGEAR ARMOR software, which is powered by Bitdefender. This software is not available for free. You will need to pay a monthly subscription if you wish to use it.
This concludes our selection of the best AT&T compatible modems and routers. We hope you found this guide helpful and that it helps you to find the best AT&T compatible modems or routers for your internet plan. For more information, please visit our FAQ section.
Q. How do I connect a router from another company to the AT&T residential gateway.
A:Connecting a third-party AT&T compatible router behind your residential gateway is not enough. You will need to adjust the settings of your gateway to make it work. AT&T gateway does not have a bridge mode. You can’t use it as a modem and switch it to bridge mode. However, there is a workaround. Here are the steps:
Enter 192.168.1.254 to log into your gateway’s settings. Go to the Home Network tab to turn off your wi-fi. To turn off all SSIDs, click on the Wi-Fi tab.
Turn off the wi-fi by going to Firewall. Next, go to Packet Filter and disable it. Next, go to Firewall Advanced and change all options to OFF. Next, go to IP Passthrough and change the Allocation mode from Passthrough. Change the passthrough mode setting to DHCP fixed and save the settings. Next, switch off the router section of your gateway. Connect your router. Pay attention to the fact that your router and gateway should be on separate subnets. If your gateway is located on 192.168.1, you should set your router to 192.168.2.
Video Tutorial – How to Use Your Own Router with AT&T gateway
This solution is applicable to the new gateway, Motorola BGW-210. On older gateways, you will have to enable the DMZ+ mode.
This discussion is for subscribers to AT&T fiber only (not VoIPTV) and those who want to bypass the gateway.
Q. Will I save money if my modem/router is purchased from me and not rented from AT&T?
You are not. AT&T makes it mandatory that you use their equipment. This is despite the fact that many other ISPs permit you to own your modem and router. AT&T will require that you rent their gateway so you can connect to their fiber gateway. You won’t be able to save money but you will get better performance.
Q. What modems work with AT&T?
A. We can’t provide a single answer because there are so many factors to consider. There are many DSL modes that work with different connections. AT&T DSL customers have bonded VDSL connections (plans over 25 Mbps). This means you need to search for modems that support bonded VDSL. Contact AT&T customer support to find out the type of connection you have. You can begin looking for an AT&T compatible modem once you know what type of DSL connection it is (ADSL, ADSL2+ VDSL, VDSL2, or bonded VDSL). You can find our recommendations for the top AT&T compatible modems.
Q Is it possible to buy an AT&T modem?
A: According to all information available on AT&T’s official website, you cannot buy your modem for AT&T Fiber internet. You can only use AT&T Fiber internet without TV or phone service.
Q. Do you need to rent an AT&T modem for my business?
A: Unfortunately, yes. Some would argue that Television Viewer Protection Act prohibits ISPs requiring you to rent equipment. But AT&T doesn’t seem to care.