AT&T U-Verse: Configuring the 2Wire Modem

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I needed more bandwidth. Mostly, uplink bandwidth more than downlink, but an upgrade to both was desired.

Given that AT&T is not currently being terribly evil, I decided to go with their U-Verse service that just became available in our neighborhood.

For $65/month (ouch, but… no, just ouch), I’m getting a consistent 17-18mbps down and 1.4-1.5mbps up with very low latency. Beyond the obvious bump in download and upload speed, it certainly makes screensharing to the office far more pleasant.

Of course, with a new network connection comes a new modem. My previous service (SBC/AT&T DSL) used a crappy Motorola based modem that pretty much did nothing (other than crash when routing iChat video unless I moved to using PPPoE on an AirPort Extreme).

Note: The 2wire modem doesn’t implement the standards necessary to support Back To My Mac. At the moment, it seems that BTMM simply will not work with AT&Ts U-Verse. The 2wire modem can be configured to support Back To My Mac; the configuration leaves your network a tiny bit more exposed to the Internet and, thus, I’ll leave these instructions as is and keep the other article up to date with the BTMM specific configuration.


The AT&T U-Verse standard modem is a 2wire 3800HGV-B Gateway. (If you have ever wondered why you see so many 2WIRE### 802.11g networks, that is the default name of the wireless network created by these modems. Mine is turned off.)

Of interest, the installer (who was very competent and did a great job) offered to show me how to edit the various settings and indicated that AT&T effectively encourages customers to take on the task of administrating their network themselves.

Even though the box tries to ease administration, I’d bet there is money to be made fixing their screwups.

Of course, the dumbed down interface is also really annoying for anyone who [thinks they] knows networking.

Fortunately, there is a parallel UI that is actually useful. It can be reached via http://gateway.2wire.net/xslt?PAGE=J01 (which will only work if you are behind a 2wire modem).

What the 2wire modem does not have is straight up DMZ mode where you can tell the modem to forward all traffic to a particular IP address behind the NAT based firewall. Instead, it has something called “DMZPlus” which will only work if the target host grabs an IP via DHCP, at which point the modem will hand it a “shared” IP that is the same as the external or “public” IP address of the modem.

But that means that the system has an IP address that is no longer visible to the NAT’d systems on the rest of the network. In particular, it appears that it completely screws up everything related to Bonjour.

So, can’t use DMZPlus. Instead, it is necessary to:

– make the desired internal host grab an IP address entirely via DHCP

edit the firewall settings on the 2wire box to forward the application’s you need, creating custom user defined settings, if desired.

In my case, I just need access to SSH so I can continue to do remotely triggered rsync based backups of my media library and some other data.

And it works! Woot!

Note: If you have a machine on your network that is accessible via both ethernet and wireless, the 2wire modem will quite unhelpfully not give you any way of telling the difference between the two interfaces when configuring the firewall.


Michael asked: I How did you discover that U-Verse became available in your neighborhood?

Funny story, that.

An AT&T frontline sales person was going door to door and telling us that u-verse fiber had been installed.

Dude was really pushy and rude. Would not take NO for an answer, nor understand why the combination of “no salesfolk” & not going to buy a service without doing some reseearch. He kept saying “is it because of me?”.

Uh, no, not really… but since you asked so many times. Yes, it is you. Now go away!

(seriously — it was almost scary how pushy the dude was)



6 Responses to “AT&T U-Verse: Configuring the 2Wire Modem”

  1. bbum's weblog-o-mat » Blog Archive » AT&T U-Verse: Configuring the … | TD Tele Entertainment says:

    [...] The rest is here:  bbum's weblog-o-mat » Blog Archive » AT&T U-Verse: Configuring the … [...]

  2. Alderete says:

    How did you discover that U-Verse became available in your neighborhood? I am dying to improve my network connection, but not enough to switch to Comcast Internet. But the U-Verse eligibility checker says I’m not. But I can’t find any page that says where U-Verse is currently, so I can’t tell if it’s imminent, or hopeless…

  3. bbum’s weblog-o-mat » Blog Archive » AT&T U-Verse: Canceling the TV Portion says:

    [...] This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License. Amazon.com Widgets « AT&T U-Verse: Configuring the 2Wire Modem [...]

  4. Aaron says:

    Oh, cry me a river about your $65 for 18Mbit low latency service, you urban dweller :-)

    Out here in the sticks (Cannon Falls MN) I pay nearly that much for 2Mbit/384kbit DSL. The really annoying part about that is I’ve been paying the same amount for the same service for the last 7 years. The DSL modem’s stats show it could support 5Mbit/2Mbit or so but they won’t sell me any more bandwidth because they’ve never put any more upstream bw into the local telco office. At least it’s reliable.

  5. bbum’s weblog-o-mat » Blog Archive » AT&T U-Verse: Configuring for Back To My Mac says:

    [...] Upon switching to AT&T’s U-Verse service, I had a bit of “fun” configuring the 2wire modem. [...]

  6. Twitter Trackbacks for bbum’s weblog-o-mat » Blog Archive » AT&T U-Verse: Configuring the 2Wire Modem [friday.com] on Topsy.com says:

    [...] bbum’s weblog-o-mat » Blog Archive » AT&T U-Verse: Configuring the 2Wire Modem http://www.friday.com/bbum/2009/08/09/att-u-verse-configuring-the-2wire-modem – view page – cached #RSS 2.0 RSS .92 Atom 0.3 bbum's weblog-o-mat » AT&T U-Verse: Configuring the 2Wire Modem Comments Feed bbum's weblog-o-mat BBEdit & command line editing Learning to Ride A Bicycle All Over Again AT&T U-Verse: Canceling the TV Portion — From the page [...]

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