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AT&T Fiber, GT-BE98 Pro, and Nodes, Change of Setup.

jzchen
Level 15

I've made quite a bit of upgrades to my home network since moving to AT&T Fiber from Giggle Fiber (Cable Modem service).  AT&T requires use of it's provided/proprietary gateway, in my case a BGW320-500.  I have since switched my GT-BE98 Pro to Access Point Mode and added my 5 AiMesh nodes:  GT-AXE16000, RT-AX86U, RP-AX58, RP-AX56, and RT-AC68U.  See Scenario 2 (Ethernet Backhaul):

[AiMesh] How to set up ASUS AiMesh or ZenWiFi Mesh Ethernet backhaul under different conditions ? (A...

Only the RT-AC68U seems to accept/connect to clients readily, which pretty much makes the rest of my WiFi network poorly performing, as well as my GT-AXE16000 seems to have 6 GHz stuck in backhaul mode:  SSID_dwb.

After a while of living with this I added a TP-Link Deco BE95, then ACER Predator W6, both in Access Point Mode.  (No, they don't work perfectly either).

I just removed the GT-AXE16000 from being an AiMesh node and switched it to Access Point Mode.  I use(d) ASUS Device Discovery version 1.4.8.3 to find my routers, which strangely does not find the RT-AC68U, but that's okay, and was able to complete AXE16000 setup using the IP address provided, on a computer connected to a LAN port on the AXE16000.

I'm going to leave the RT-AC68U as a node to the BE98 Pro, then (probably, haven't yet), move the rest to being nodes to the AXE16000.  All Access Points have WiFi Agile Multiband enabled where available, (only ASUS routers so far have this setting, at least in Access Point Mode).

Interestingly this does not require any sort of change in Ethernet Port connections because of the way ASUS designed how AiMesh works over wired backhaul.

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10 REPLIES 10

Saltgrass
Level 13

Your setup is very impressive.   I just have the one node and it can be a problem at times, especially during this testing phase.

I am running 6 GHz Wireless Backhaul but I do not show the SSID_dwb.  Perhaps I told Windows to forget that network and I only show one SSID, which is the MLO one.  I did see it during some of the earlier testing and I do show the Hidden Network.

Smart connect has options to apply rules to different versions of Wi-Fi.  Perhaps something there may help with the AC node.

I was looking at the AT&T site and it had a recommendation on which speed you would need, depending on number of devices you might be running.  I don't remember exactly what it showed, but it would be interesting to check what is says about the 1 Gbps service.

The more folks go to Fiber, the less expensive it may be.  Perhaps AT&T will bump you up to the 2 Gbps speed for the same price as you have now.

Take Care.

Maximus Z790 Hero,
Intel i9-13900k
Intel BE200

Thank you for sharing/your input.  I remember dial-up, then DSL and Cable Modem.  DSL had those filters that one needed to install to get it to work.  Our house has so many telephone (RJ-11) jacks I ended up splicing one into the output of the home alarm.  DSL was really sensitive to sharing with a router.  Cable Modem even back then seemed to tolerate it much better, even though it is supposedly "shared".  I equated bandwidth with wire gauge/thickness.  RG-6 cable is much thicker than telephone cable...

Onto the reason I mention that background info:

I started with the BE98 Pro on Cable Modem 1 Gig service 1079 down / 44 up.  When I switched to AT&T Fiber 1 Gig that was the highest option available.  (Similar to Frontier in the other house 1 Gig was the maximum when we signed up, but soon after up to 5 Gig was made available there).  Similarly in this case I had no issues with my ASUS network (beyond the initial setup challenge).  Again once I switched to AT&T Fiber I find a much thinner gauge fiber optic line, vs the trusty old Cable wire, as soon as my Cable Modem month ended and I depended solely on AT&T, boom, I noticed increased frequency of issues with my network.

So I guess the stability of the WAN side with Cable Modem service made up for issues with the ASUS network, and issues on the WAN side are amplified (significantly) on the LAN side (including WiFi).

I am having a little trouble understanding why you would be having network issues when using AT&T.  The router side is the same so it should not change.

I read through the Pass Through process for the Gateway and noticed they disabled the Wi-Fi on the Gateway.  There were one or two other things also, so you probably did all of that.

Right now, Spectrum is showing a symmetrical, 1 Gbps option like you have, but doesn't yet show anything higher.  I believe Spectrum is going another way from AT&T, to implement the higher bandwidths.  I may go with the 1 Gbps version but the old copper line to the house will be replaced, correct?

There is still a chance I might go to AT&T.  😉

Maximus Z790 Hero,
Intel i9-13900k
Intel BE200

I started using the BE98 Pro on 11/30/24 as I literally received it direct from ASUS.  At that time, through January 10, I was using it solely with Giggle Service (their full name is "Giggle Fiber" but technically provide cable modem service).  During this time the only difficulty I faced was setup.  When I saw AT&T lowered their price to the same as my cable service I signed up.  I did not cancel the cable modem service because they do not prorate months.  So I had Dual WAN load balancing set up with Cable Modem 2.5 G to 2.5 G port, and gateway 5 G to 10 G port on the GT-BE98 Pro.  I used that set up until January 30 when I returned the cable modem one day early.  I then moved the connection to the 2.5 G WAN port since my service is 1 Gig only anyways.  Issues started to develop after that time.  Well, if everything was fine with cable modem, then dual cable modem fiber, and suddenly starts showing up when I'm solely on fiber, I can't exactly suspect anything else except the fiber service correct?

For the offered cable modem service you can look up DOCSIS 4.0 for cable service.  Here's an interesting article I just found by Googling:

Difference between DOCSIS 3.0 DOCSIS 3.1 and DOCSIS 4.0 (rfwireless-world.com)

I don't know if they'd have to replace the RG6 (with/without messenger) wire.  If latency/ping is important to you then nothing beats fiber (the speed of light).  Hands down it's going to win, so long as you run fiber to as close to the router as you can/all the way if possible.  Bandwidth wise I'm still on the fence, from my practical experience.

I just got a chance to skim the article I'm guessing that Spectrum will switch to DOCSIS 3.1 from 3.0, to be able to offer you symmetric 1 Gbps speed.  (When I cancelled Giggle service I complained that they aren't offering anything to compete with AT&T lowered rates, and the guy noted they may offer 2 Gbps service soon)...

You may want to keep your WAN on the 10 GB port.  Since you were able to use that port without problems, I thought it might possibly be more Fiber friendly.

 

Maximus Z790 Hero,
Intel i9-13900k
Intel BE200

thomwithah
Level 8

It sounds like you're running a sort of scenario 2~3 hybrid, with your modem acting as your router and a switch. That may be fine for your setup, but you would be sacrificing some performance and (perhaps unneeded) functionally. 

I would recommend setting the BGW320-500 to pass through the IP to your GT-BE98 Pro and setting that up as your primary router. Make sure to disable the WiFi radios on the BGW320-500. Then, as much as it may be a pain, factory reset all the routers and update their firmware. With wired backhaul you should be able to use all bands of each MESH node with the same SSID. The GT-BE98 Pro will be able to do manage this and deliver MLO on that SSID.

I replaced my GT-AXE16000 with the GT-BE98 Pro, and turned the GT-AXE16000 into a node as part of the MESH. I also have a couple of ET12 and other nodes. They're all on the latest (public) firmware as of today. They all work seamlessly, except that the 10G LAN-6 port of the GT-BE98 Pro seems to initially connect at 10Gbe, but then slows to 5Gbe (and occasionally 2.5Gbe). That was never an issue with the GT-AXE16000. I am running a dual WAN setup (with failover) with a 1G connection on LAN-5, as the failover service is just 1G, but I will be trying some alternative port connections later. 

The most recent GT-BE98 Pro firmware may go a long way to resolving some issues. It's the only firmware I've tried it on, but it seems to run the backhauled MESH setup very well (save for this 10Gbe issue I'm having on  LAN-6).

Thank you for sharing this.  I may have to wait until my final exams are finished this Wednesday, before I take time to reconfigure the network.

My TP-Link BE95 has a SFP+ port and I consider at times breaking off from using the BGW320, but then I do not want to get in trouble for not following AT&T requirements.

Right now I have a 5-port 10 GbE switch connected to the BGW320 5 Gb LAN and connect everything there...

I understand the desire to bypass the AT&T hardware. I had to do a lot of convincing when mine was installed. Both of myself, to use AT&T's hardware, and to have the AT&T tech install it the way I wanted. My AT&T modem is set up to use ethernet input, as opposed to direct fiber. Their ONT is in my low voltage cabinet. At the time it was installed they weren't doing that sort of installation anymore, but it was helpful if you wanted to bypass their modem. I had some issues with their passthrough mode initially, but since firmware version 4.25.4 it has met my needs, so I haven't bothered bypassing it. I know some folks had their bypass methods broken when AT&T implemented some changes, so I'm happy to have potentially avoided that mess. That's not to say I wouldn't prefer to ditch their equipment within the home, but at least it will do what I need currently. I can see in AT&T's modem log that it's still blocking traffic (via its firewall), particularly when testing Asus's Instant Guard, but that's not particularly impactful for my uses. 

All of that said, I don't know of a way that you could use the SPF+ port of your BE95 directly with the AT&T fiber. My understanding is you'd need a seperate router which would allow you to clone your BGW320's information. I'm pretty sure the BE95 doesn't allow that. Is there some custom BE95 firmware that supports that, or some other method I'm unaware of? Just curious, perhaps it could help me understand my own options better.

Anyhow, having recently redone my own (Asus based) network I can say it was much more simple and less time consuming than I first thought it would be. Physically I only has to swap the GT-BE98 Pro in place of the GT-AXE16000 then put the GT-AXE16000 in a spot that already had power and ethernet. At first I tried, just to try it, applying the saved GT-AXE16000 config to the GT-BE98 Pro. It worked, but I had to change some things anyhow to make use of things like MLO, so, just for good measure (and because of the poor auto negotiation of one of the the 10Gbe ports), I reset everything a built it from scratch again. It took a bit of time to set up my WAN - DDNS, Port Forwarding, VPNs, (some VLAN,) etc., but the most tedious bit IMO was reconfiguring all the static IP on the LAN (36). Still, all in I'd guess it took less than an hour including various equipment restarts.. I really wish that Asus would allow for the importing of the LAN's static IP information, especially since they already have an export function. 

IDK which 5-port 10 GbE switch you're using or how you might have it set up, but there's some chance that it may not perform as well as some of your other equipment in the role it's trying to fill. If you're going to set your BGW320 up to pass through its public IP and the you'd want that pointing to a router (GT-BE98 Pro) rather than a switch. If the switch in unmanaged or you don't want to bother with configuring it and the router, then you could just put the switch on the 10Gbe LAN port of the GT-BE98 Pro to connect to your other 10Gbe equipment. If the switch is manageable you may be able to create a WAN bridge through it to your router, and then have the router also assign IPs to the other switch attached equipment. That route would have you using 1 more 10Gbe port on the switch than otherwise necessary (3 free vs 4), though. 

I'm not sure you'd need it, but good luck on your exams nonetheless!!

I am currently using the BGW-320-500 as router.  IP Passthrough was buggy at first for me too, (installed Jan 11th).  If I rebooted the BE98 Pro it would not get a passthrough address, and I would need to reboot the BGW320 gateway so it would pass through the address.  Later this seemed resolved as you note.  The LAN ports still work, and I have a PS3 and Xbox 360 connected to it, so those connected to it directly would get IPs 192.168.1.xxx.  The LAN side of the BE98 Pro would get 192.168.50.yyy.  Now that I switched to AP mode everything on the network is conveniently 192.168.1.xxx.

For our conmection fiber is run to a wall plate where it is converted to a different fiber line, which is connected to a NOKIA 3FE46899-STCA.  (I find this by logging into the BGW320 -> Broadband -> Fiber Status).  Google it and it is a GPON ONU SFP(+) 40km.  I believe there's a programmable 20km unit available at fs.com, but I do not know what exactly to set PN nor SN to be honest...

There are a lot of limited features due to being in Access Point mode.  I'll try to sort it out.

Sad to read the save/restore process does not restore static LAN assignments.  That sucks.  (I don't have anything assigned statically to be honest.  I just live with it as such).

Thanks for the well wishes!  Finished one final this morning and have 3, plus presentation to go...