Thursday, January 07, 2016

Getting a Netgear D7000 Router to work with AT&T DSL (and Google Chrome)

I wanted to replace my Netgear D6200 (AC1200) router with a Netgear D7000 (AC1900 Nighthawk), the latter purchased from Fry's in Palo Alto. The assistant in Fry's said it would work with AT&T, but that I must call AT&T first otherwise it wouldn't work. Note this router does not work with UVerse. This is my fourth Netgear Router - the first one failed after years of use, the 2nd one was too feeble and the 3rd one was barely adequate as in bad weather the signal gave red signals on our repeater.  Furthermore, the new router had 2 USB 3.0 ports whereas the old one only had one USB 2.0 port.
You can manage the user interface from a web browser or Netgear's Genie App. I chose to manage it using Google Chrome by typing the URL (or - which I usually change to

Setup Problems

I set my new router to exactly the same settings as my old router and it didn't connect. The Internet light was orange and the DSL light was unlit. I tried both the new VDSL filter and old ADSL filters that came with the older routers. I could not get it to light up. I even tried putting in a Polarity Reverser for the phone line (the router works on wires 2 and 3) lest the cable was bad.

Calling AT&T

So I called AT&T. First I called a "special number" that had been sent to me by email when I last had DSL problems. This was only Tier 1 support outside of office hours - despite the fact it says it works until midnight Eastern Time. I then called the regular support number  - they said I needed the AT&T service that deals with third party devices - (866) -293-3464. This took me through the same line tests as the regular support number, but finally a friendly technician came on the line.
We went through the settings and discovered:

  • the DSLconnection only worked when there was no filter
  • when it did connect the password was wrong

DSL Connection

To make this work try it without the filter on the line. I replaced the filter with a line splitter.  It seems the D7000 needs to be rebooted if you unplug and reconnect the DSL cable.  The router is also very slow to boot up - the last thing to come on is the DSL light. So be patient when booting it. I will just use a line splitter for the phone and not the VDSL or ADSL filter so I can run a rarely used fax on the same line.

Google Chrome Was Changing The Password

When I typed the email address it came up yellow. I then typed the AT&T assigned password. It had 6 characters but the number of "*"s replacing it was more than 6.  AT&T said this was normal  (in fact it is not, you should get 6 stars for 6 characters). So what was happening?  AT&T Tier 2 support told me that the password was wrong. I suddenly twigged.  Google Chrome was changing the password after I had entered it. That is why the login credentials were colored yellow.  Either that or AT&T had a dynamic password system turned on - that only affected that particular router - seems unlikely.
The remedy was to remove the login ID and password and select Apply, then retype them. AT&T had the right password. I also changed to Microsoft's Edge browser just to check that it too had the right password.

The Parameters

I am in Portola Valley, CA and these are the parameters I need for AT&T DSL.
  • Country - USA
  • Internet Service Provider - Other (seems to work better than AT&T). Note: first time I set it to Other the fields for choosing service provider disappeared to 1 character wide on reboot and I had to reset the D7000 to factory settings using a paper clip (push it in for 5 seconds or more - I think this is OK now though - maybe I hit Next too fast in the Setup Wizard - better not to use the Wizard).
  • Transfer Mode - ADSL (ATM)
  • DSL Mode - Auto (actually ADSL2+ was what the D6200 supports and you could probably select that too)
  • Internet - enable by checking the box - LLC-BASED
  • VPI - 0 (this needs changing from the default)
  • VCI - 35
  • Don't check Use VLANID
  • Does your Internet connection require a login - type Yes and supply credentials
  • Encapsulation - PPPoE
  • Service name - can leave blank
  • Connection Mode - Always On
  • Idle Timeout (minutes) - can leave at 0
  • Internet IP Address and Domain Name Server (DNS) Address - Get Dynamically from ISP - unless you are paying for a static address as you might if you have a website
  • NAT (Network Translation Address) - Enable (you probably need this if you have a bunch of devices using the router)
  • Router MAC Address - Use Default Address
So you may not have to call AT&T after all.