How would a gateway work for a home network?

A friend of mine has at&t internet at 18mbs . They have hulu for primary tv and its always buffering. They didnt want to upgrade there internet speed because it gets to expensive in our area. Turns out they have 16 total devices on the network. Some of which do not connect to their wifi because they are through Verizon. (they use for there business) but the technician said the router will try to connect to the device anyway because its always searching for devices to connect.

All of this is causing to much traffic and causes a lot of buffering and slow internet according to the at&t technician.

He suggest getting another router and set up a gateway to help with the speeds. They have 3 tvs that use hulu and various phones, tablets and security cameras that connect to the internet.

im curious on how would this gateway setup work for this issue?

8 Answers

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  • 2 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    If the ISP connection (AT&T) is only providing 18 Mbps, then you are going to struggle with more than one HD TV session running at once. Even at standard definition TV, at least half the ISP bandwidth will be accounted for by your 3 Hulu devices. If the security cameras are sending continuous video streams to the Internet, then that can be another sizeable chunk of bandwidth depending on the resolution and frame rate.

    As others have said, devices look for WiFi networks to connect to. It is not the router looking for devices. The router simply advertises its presence.

    There is no reason why a device that has previously used Verizon should not be able to connect to AT&T as an ISP.

    The only real answer is to get an ISP feed that is capable of handling the peak demand on the connection. You need to determine the bandwidth required by each device and sum this up. Add at least an extra 25% to 33% as a margin and go for that.

    In addition, putting a lot of devices on the same WiFi network at the same time is also a potential bandwidth bottleneck. Fixed high bandwidth devices such as TVs are normally better when they are connected to the router by Ethernet, assuming that they offer an Ethernet connection. Another possibility is to connect a wireless access point to the router and set up an additional WiFi network.

    For devices closer to the router, using 5 GHz instead of 2.4 GHz is another way of reducing WiFi bottlenecks; however, the ISP bandwidth from AT&T is the first thing to investigate.

    Note: The ISP connection simply provides a connection to the Internet. It does not carry Ethernet or WiFi. The ISP connection is converted to multiple Ethernet and WiFi feeds in a wireless router or gateway.

    I hope this helps.

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  • 2 years ago

    As far as the "Verizon Devices" if they turn WIFI connections OFF... the devices will then not connect to the WIFI from ATT anyway!

    ALL cellular phones or cellular devices that can use WIFI can also use the cell system. They just need to assure those devices are NOT using WIFI to connect... there is a setting that will turn that option off, they should use those settings.

    The ATT Gateway does not reach out to those devices, the device reach out to the ATT Wireless system and if it is OPEN without a password they will connect. If it is a secured system, the users will have to enter that password on the phone or tablet or whatever in order to connect. If they have 16 devices attempting to use ATT's 18mbs internet (which is really not very much these days) they need to limit the connections that do not have to use ATT or get a cable connection that is 100mbs! More than likely they needed to connect some of the VERIZON units to WIFI to cut down on the internet usage from VERIZON as it is very very expensive compared to wifi use. When using wifi those devices are not using Verizon's bandwidth. It is a CHOICE of the USER not the ISP!

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  • 2 years ago

    I'd,

    Use the AT&T thing only as a modem

    Use a decent router that can prioritize media

    Run Ethernet to where ever the media is consumed as it is FAR more reliable

    Pick channels for the WiFi that neighbors are not using.

    The new router will cost more then $200. If house is big, use a mesh network router. They start at $300

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  • keerok
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    The gateway setting will dictate which router to use to connect to the internet. Your router is the gateway in your network setup. To avoid having your router to continually search for devices, set it up to recognize only the devices you want to access it. Basically, there's a page in the router's setup utility where you can dictate the router to deny all access except those MAC addresses listed. You then proceed to enter all the MAC addresses of your devices there. The beauty of this setup is that your neighbors and visitors won't be able to access your router even if they know the Wifi password unless you list their MAC address in it. That means you should change the router's admin password to a strong one and don't give it to anyone else.

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  • 2 years ago

    A gateway is a network setting that tells your computer where to send traffic that is intended for another computer on the local network (e.g. another computer in your house.)

    I don't know what the AT&T tech was talking about. I don't think he knows either.

    The main problem is, your friend has too many things that are using data at the same time. 1 video stream (Hulu, Netflix, etc.) needs between 6-10mbps, depending on the particular video. So if all 3 TVs are streaming at once, he's not going to have enough bandwidth (speed) to handle that - let alone the traffic for the phones and tablets, etc.

    Unfortunately there really isn't a whole lot he can do. His main problem is the internet connection itself. Buying a newer router won't really help. All that will do is insure that the wifi connection between the TV/Phone/etc and the router is as fast as possible - but the internet connect itself is still only going to be 18mbps.

    Newer routers also have some traffic management features, such as allowing you to prioritize certain things - like streaming, but again, that internet connection is going to be the bottleneck.

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  • VP
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    - A "gateway" is tech-lingo for a device that's a combination of a modem AND a router. AT&T U-verse supplies its customers with proprietary gateways. Grab the make & model of the current router and tell us what it is -- then we can tell you if you can ask for a more modern one.

    - As BigE said, that AT&T tech is wrong about Wi-Fi routers "looking" for devices to connect to. It is the other way around -- for obvious reasons.

    - Wi-Fi signals are notoriously hard to 'shoot. What's the signal strength where the "buffering Hulu device" is located? Does a laptop used near that TV buffer when using Hulu?,

    - Internet speed gets worse as more and more users do streaming tasks, play online games, or download large files at the same time. How many of these things are going at the same time?

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  • BigE
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    So if their old gateway is somewhat old, the WIFI standard for 802,11AC was only standardized in 2017. Previous versions were "beta", but pretty sure a firmware upgrade will fix that.

    If their current gateway has not been upgraded or is not AC, it might not work well. So if the problem is WIFI contention, then getting an Access Point with the current AC standard can have an impact.

    What i would do:

    Shut off the WIFI of all devices and try the Hulu. Get on the gateway's admin interface, most have a usage meter, and take a look. Turn on clients and see what the meter shows. If the overall throughput stays the same and the HULU sucks, it could be WIFI contention.

    Forget what the tech says, the Wifi clients are the ones that search, not the gateway.

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  • Anonymous
    2 years ago

    It won't help their speeds, the speeds are still going through the single Internet connection. I'm not sure why the technician said to get another gateway, as the router itself is also the gateway.

    What might help is if you set up a caching server on a computer at home that you will keep running 24 hours. The computer server will mediate the traffic going to the Internet, and anytime two devices download the same things, then it will come through the caching server rather than directly from the Internet. It'll reduce the Internet traffic considerably. The only downside is that most of these run on Linux, and if you're not familiar with Linux, you might have some problems setting it up.

    • VP
      Lv 7
      2 years agoReport

      Probably not a solution a small business/non-techs can afford to implement and maintain.

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