17 Nov 2020
The AT&T gateway device is shitty as hell. It did not like to work with the WiFi extender I had. Repeatedly kicked devices out of the network. Slow to boot and reboot. Couldn’t change the DNS server settings to run my network through pi-hole. Clunky UI. Bulky device and power adapter. Couldn’t handle Gigabit speed - which should have been a basic requirement for a gateway that’s connected to a fiber optic network! It was begging to be replaced. It’s not so simple though. The gateway authenticates with the ONT device which is connected to the fiber optics line from outside. I found some solutions that involved rooting the gateway but that’s a risky prospect. I added a router between the gateway and my devices instead.
Followed this guide here to connect my router. I went for a cheaper tp-link Archer A8 model instead of $200+ devices that promised so many features that I didn’t need.. especially WiFi 6. If my hardware can’t handle that much speed then what’s the point? A sole annoyance with this router is that there are two places where one can set the DNS server address but the most obvious setting, where one selects ‘Use the following DNS Addresses’ instead of the ISP provided values, does not accept any local network address. This is a problem because my pi-hole is on the same network. The second place is the DHCP setting which does accept and apply the DNS address of our choice. I can’t help thinking that I could have gone for a model that supports dd-wrt / openwrt but I did not want to manage and worry about one more device. I just want to set this only once and forget about it.
The WiFi speeds have improved and remained consistent throughout the day today. I will be monitoring it for couple of weeks and see how it goes.
Day 49 - Join Me in #100DaysToOffloadtag: 100daystooffload router