Last Updated on March 13, 2021 by Dave Farquhar
AT&T provides a residential gateway when you subscribe to U-Verse or AT&T Fiber. It’s pretty easy to use, but lacks a lot of features we expect in routers these days. So you may be wondering: Can I use my own router with AT&T U-Verse? Yes. Yes you can. Here’s how to use your own router with AT&T U-Verse or AT&T Fiber.
Why you would want to use your own router with AT&T
Overall I like AT&T’s fiber service. But AT&T’s residential gateway frustrates me for two main reasons. It doesn’t let you set DNS servers other than what AT&T uses. This means you either have to hard-code set your DNS settings on each device, or live with lower performance and worse privacy.
AT&T also doesn’t give you anything in the way of parental controls. Many third-party routers have a way to shut off access to the Internet to certain devices during certain hours. This is useful if you don’t want your kids getting up in the middle of the night and going online. Just knock their devices, game systems, and streaming boxes offline after bedtime.
But if you want to know how to use your own router with AT&T U-Verse or AT&T Fiber, you probably already know that.
Configuring your AT&T gateway for your own router
The gateway that AT&T provides doesn’t have a bridge mode, but it has another feature that’s an effective substitute.
But first, we have to take care of its networking.
It defaults to a 192.168.1.0/24 network and an address of 192.168.1.254. If your router doesn’t live on 192.168.1, you’re golden. But it seems like at least 50% of consumer routers also live on that network. If yours does, you’ll have to reconfigure the AT&T router so you don’t get a conflict.
Log in to the AT&T gateway. The password is on the underside of your router. It’s probably just a long number. Navigate to Settings > LAN > DHCP. Change the range to 172.16.0.0. Then scroll down to the end and click Save.
On some models of AT&T gateway, the setting may be in Home Network > Subnets & DHCP.
I’ve been told that on some newer AT&T gateways, you have to enter a full network range rather than choosing a network from a menu. If that’s the case with yours, enter 172.16.0.1 as the start address and 172.31.255.255 as the end.
You’ll lose your connection at this point. This is a pretty good time to plug in your third-party router. Then either unplug your laptop’s network cable and plug it back in, or renew your DHCP lease with the command sequence ipconfig /release followed by ipconfig /renew . Now you’re ready to reconnect. Point your browser at 172.16.0.1 and log back in.
Navigate to Settings > Firewall. Click Applications, pinholes and DMZ. You should see two devices on the screen: your laptop and your third-party router. Click on the router, then click Allow all applications (DMZ plus mode).
Now unplug your laptop’s network cable from the AT&T gateway and plug it into your third-party router. Visit your aftermarket router’s configuration page, probably at 192.168.1.1 if it’s like most routers. Find its network status page and check its IP address. You should see your public IP address, the same address you see if you visit ipchicken.com. If you see a 172.16 address instead, revisit your settings on the AT&T router and make sure you didn’t forget to click apply somewhere.
One more thing
You probably don’t want the AT&T wifi. You could use it as a guest network, perhaps, but it won’t have any kind of restrictions on it, so leaving it enabled it kind of defeats the purpose.
Click on Settings > LAN > Wi-Fi and then scroll down to Wi-Fi Interface. Select Disabled. If your gateway has both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios, which newer ones do, scroll down to the section labeled 5 GHz Wi-Fi Radio and do the same thing there.
And that’s how to use your own router with AT&T U-Verse or AT&T Fiber.
14 thoughts on “How to use your own router with AT&T U-verse or AT&T Fiber”
Hmmm… I am not seeing the IP Chicken address on my third-party router. That only shows the IP address assigned to it by my UVerse router.
I am using two laptops; laptop A is connected to the Uverse router, and laptop B is connected to my third-party router.
I see the IP Chicken address (showing on laptop B) on my UVerse router (laptop A), under Settings -> LAN -> Status -> Devices. (Under “Devices,” I see laptop A and my third-party router; the third-party router shows the same address as the IP Chicken address shown on laptop B.)
This all seems right to me, just thought I would mention it.
That’s what you’ll see if you don’t use DMZplus mode on your AT&T gateway. Depending on what you’re doing, how you have it set up may work just fine though.
Hi Dave, are these instructions for the Arris BGW210 Universal Gateway ?
The gateway that AT&T supplied me with was made by Pace. Same concept but the terminology is different. On an Arris BGW210, the setting you want is called IP Passthrough.
Thank you so much for your article. I bought a new TP-Link Router but have not been able to connect it to my AT&T Gateway. Can’t wait to give your instructions a try. Your explanation of a Bridge mode is great! I had tried to follow another suggested YouTube video with similar instructions with this concept of a Bridge; however, the same person later made another video why it would not work. It has something to do with at&t not supporting IPV6. I’m not computer savvy at all so I’m not really sure how that all works. I’m hoping your suggestion works for me. Thank you.
Thanks Dave for your article, just contracted AT& T fiber and waiting for installation. I am going to buy (again) Nighthawk RAX120 to use as the main router – i am eagerly awaiting to use your instructions and hope it works.
I have Google Fiber 1GB and as their network box is pathetically incapable of connecting more than 10 wifi devices and its speed drops down drastically or the device hangs, i bought RAX120 to connect directly from their fiberjack/connect to their network box & enable it under bridge mode. Google stated that their network box is mandatory to make the fiber connection and also one cannot make their network box in bridge mode and any 3rd party routers will be secondary. If RAX120 is connected to network box, it seems i cannot use VPN/readyshare/QoS etc and hence returned this device earlier.
Dave, does this replace the AT&T router or bypass it? I have the dreaded Arris BGW210.
It would be really cool and save $10 a month + fees + taxes if I could return their equipment. Is that even an option?
Hi Les. It bypasses it. AT&T routers have firmware that is required for the connection to their network, to keep you from replacing their equipment. Basically this turns the AT&T gateway into a modem. Unfortunately there’s no way to get out of that $10/mo fee.
Shouldnt this be illegal now? As of June 20th they require by law to allow personal device use.
Not sure. That’s something you’d have to take up with them.
Hello Dave. After doing this I am no longer able to get to the DHCP on the ATT router. The 22.214.171.124 no longer works but when I use 172.16.0.1 I am able to get to the page and see everything but when I chose DHCP the page just continues to spin/search but never times out. Is there a wire to reset? Just asking in case I ever need to.
The idea is to use DHCP from your other device if you want to do this. If you do this, you’re basically just using the AT&T device as a modem and letting the third party router do everything else. Presumably if you ever need to reset, you’d do so by holding the reset button on the router for a good 30 seconds to do a hard reset, but I can’t confirm if that works on every AT&T device.
Thank for the article Dave,
I am considering moving from Comcast to ATT fiber. I currently have my own Arris hardware as the modem and use google wifi in my home to handle DHCP, port forwards, DNS etc. Will I be able to do this to the ATT fiber gateway and keep my Google wifi setup?
As long as the Google Wifi can be configured to behave like a router, yes, it will work in a setup like this. Otherwise you may have to disable wireless on the AT&T device and let AT&T handle the rest. It may take some creativity but you can make the two work together.
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