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How do you put an AT&T 2Wire 3800HGV-B router into bridge mode? So that I can use it with my Apple Time Capsule or Airport Extreme controlling the network?

January 19, 2012

In this time of strife & conflict amongst Americans, it is wonderful that there is one thing that we can all unanimously agree on: that AT&T sucks.

Now look, I’m not saying that Verizon is any better (they’re far worse, actually), but I think that AT&T is the company that sets the bar for being SUCKABLE to which all corporate conglomerates strive to achieve.

After spending 2 hours on hold or being transferred amongst various AT&T representatives in India who didn’t understand a thing about what I was trying to do, and after scouring the useless users manual for any hint of a solution, and after searching multiple online forums for people frantically searching for the same answers as me… I finally had to just roll up my sleeves, dig in, and figure it out for myself (with the help of my great clients at Aware Awake Alive).

All I wanted to do was something very simple for my clients:

Put a router (the 2Wire 3800HGV-B router, commonly used for AT&T U-Verse installations) into bridge mode, so that an Apple Time Capsule (or an Airport Extreme) could control the NAT on the network instead of the 2-Wire router controlling the network.

Super-simple, right?

Not according to the 3 Indian representatives and 1 American representative I spoke to at AT&T. They all told me that this wasn’t a configuration that they supported… that you can’t use any other routers on your network except their own. Well, of course, they’re morons because of COURSE it can be done.

And actually, it is very simple, once you know where to look.

To put your 2Wire 3800HGV-B router into bridge mode, all you have to do is follow the steps below. (Please note: This procedure may or may not work with other models of 2Wire router, depending on what firmware those routers are running.)

1. Use your computer to get on the same network as your 2Wire router, either wireless or hardwired in with an Ethernet cable.

2. Go to your web browser and type in 192.168.1.254, which will take you to the 2Router administration page.

3. Log in with the password printed on the side of your router.

4. Go to Settings>System Info>Event Notifications, and check the box called “Router-Behind-Router Detection” then click “Save”.

5. Try to surf to any web page, and you will get a 2Wire warning asking you if you’re sure you want to configure your router. Just ignore the warning, tell it to go ahead and do the configuration.

6. Click on the “Home” tab at the top, then at the bottom, choose to “Restart Your System”. Make sure that your “router behind router detection” setting was saved through the restart.

7. If you’ve previously had your Airport Extreme or Time Capsule on this network before, you might have had a Double NAT Error in your Airport Utility. This is due to the 2Wire Router issuing an internal IP address (instead of an external IP address) to your Apple device. To fix this, go into the 2Router administration area, and choose “Settings > LAN > IP Address Allocation”. Find your Airport Extreme listed in the list, then choose:
Firewall: Disabled
Address Assignment: Public
WAN IP Mapping: Router WAN IP ADdress
Then, click “Save” at the bottom.

8. You’re all set! Now you can plug your Airport Extreme or your Time Capsule (or Airport Extreme) into one of the “Local Ethernet” ports on the back of the 2Wire router, and your Time Capsule is now in charge of your network (after you configure your Time Capsule properly). Your Apple router is now in charge of all NAT and port forwarding.

9. One final note about configuring U-Verse in your home: We also had real difficulty figuring out which ports to plug the split RJ-11 DSL wires into on the 2Wire router. The solution involved LEAVING ONE OF THE RJ-11 DSL WIRES UNPLUGGED FROM THE 2WIRE ROUTER. Only ONE of the RJ-11 DSL wires gets plugged into the 2Wire router, and it gets plugged into the “Phone Line” port instead of the “Broadband” port. You have to leave the “Broadband” port completely empty in order for the 2Wire modem to work properly. Then, plug your telephone into the “Lines 1 & 2″ port. Leave the “Alt Line” port empty. Also, we figured out that your U-Verse TV service will not work unless ALL components (video and audio) are turned ON. We turned off the stereo which provided the audio to the TV, and it completely cut out the TV service. When the stereo came back on, the TV service came back on.


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38 Comments leave one →
  1. January 23, 2012 8:41 PM

    Do you know if this setup allows you to access everything on a single netowrk, including the new iPad Uverse app to access the wired set top boxes from the Airport SSID?

  2. January 23, 2012 8:49 PM

    Sorry, I don’t know the answer to that, but I would imagine that it would continue to work. Please test it out and let me know!

  3. April 7, 2012 8:38 AM

    How to do this on the new ATT U-verse router.

    I just got U-verse yesterday and bridge mode didn’t work at all with my SSG-5 Firewall. After some trouble shooting I figured out that I needed to open the SSG-5 to DMZ mode. Basically you have to turn off the U-verse Firewall. The steps are quite simple.

    Select – Settings > Firewall > Applications > Allow all applications (DMZplus mode)

    Then, pull your Firewall out of the U-verse router, wait 30 seconds or so, reconnect it and it will get a public IP address just like it did when you had a cable modem or otherwise…

  4. April 7, 2012 9:03 AM

    Thanks for the excellent information! :)

  5. June 13, 2012 11:24 AM

    Hi, I followed steps 1 -5. However I am having a problem. After Rebooting the System (Settings|Diagnostics|Resets and click Reboot System), if I go back to the Event Notifications area, the Router-Behind-Router options is unchecked again (I’m assuming it should stay checked)

    Any ideas why the settings are not taking? My TC still saying Double NAT

    P.S. My Rg is a 3801HGV model and I have been with customer support from AT&T and they said the same thing, it couldn’t be done.

  6. June 13, 2012 11:27 AM

    Sorry, I don’t know… hopefully someone else has the answer for you! AT&T’s routers are insanely frustrating beyond belief!!

  7. September 12, 2012 10:52 PM

    Wow, that was simple as heck once you find the right thing, what a weird place to put that option,

  8. September 28, 2012 10:33 AM

    This is great – but could you please tell me what the Apple Airport Configuration should be? Many thanks

  9. September 28, 2012 10:35 AM

    Whatever you want it to be… you’re effectively just connecting your Airport to a “dumb modem” at that point.

  10. October 5, 2012 10:49 PM

    Great info Scott, I’ve tried to add an N router (CiscoE4200, AsusRT-N66U) as my main router but I could never get the 2wire 3800hgv-b into bridge mode and finally gave up. I added them as separate networks but it didn’t give me the range or speed that I expected so I switched to Netgear R6300AC which provides a wider range & stronger wifi signal but I could use more. If I put the 2wire in bridge mode, I take it the Netgear would be superior in providing NAT & port forwarding but will I get more speed or range & what other improvements would I gain? Thanks

  11. October 6, 2012 10:19 AM

    Sorry, I don’t know anything about the Netgear router. But I imagine you’d get more speed & more range & other improvements from it.

  12. October 15, 2012 6:45 PM

    Thank you for this tip, Scott. I was reading a few other things that weren’t getting me the true use of my route that I wanted, and that silly little checkbox is all it took to get my network to work the way I wanted to. I wish their support technicians knew about it, because they all give the standard line of not being able to put their router in DMZ mode.

  13. October 15, 2012 6:52 PM

    You’re welcome! :)

  14. October 17, 2012 9:52 AM

    Scott, TV does not work now. I saw your note about that. Where are these switches for turning on the components? On the back of the 2Wire router itself, or the web interface? Our TV service is provided by Coaxial coming out of the back of the 2Wire, but I can change to Ethernet if possible.

    Thanks again!

  15. October 17, 2012 10:00 AM

    I was referring to the hardware components that you might have in your house, such as a stereo. When we turned on the stereo (which controlled the audio coming through the speakers), the TV service came back on again. Sorry that I can’t guide you more than that… I wrote this blog post while sitting in front of all that equipment at a client’s house. (I don’t have any of this equipment at my house, and my Internet service is through Time Warner.)

  16. December 16, 2012 3:17 PM

    When putting the 2Wire in bridge mode by following your directions I still have access to the att network on 2Wire. Does that mean that I did not put the 2wire into bridge mode successfully?

  17. December 18, 2012 5:17 PM

    I’ve seen that before and I think that it actually IS in some sort of bridge mode (so you CAN still use it with a Time Capsule managing the network), yet for some reason it is still broadcasting its own WiFi network as well. I don’t actually know how to disable its own WiFi network in a situation like that. But I think the end result is that it will still work.

  18. January 1, 2013 7:40 PM

    I have the same issue as scrappi. My question is should put my AE in bridge mode?

  19. January 29, 2013 9:38 AM

    ONE MORE STEP

    If you follow this and your additional router says connected but you still cant connect, make sure you check your DNS entries. In my case, by setting the router in DMZ the Asus router I have did NOT pull the proper DNS entries.
    If your router is getting an IP and showing it properly DMZ passed under the AT&T settings, just choose to manually enter the entries on your additional home router.
    (just a tip!)

  20. January 31, 2013 10:10 AM

    Very helpful, thanks for taking the time to post these tips.

    The only thing that you didn’t mention (per Scrappi’s comment) is that it’s advisable while on the AT&T Router Admin Page to go into Settings / LAN / wireless and disable the wireless network? In my house there are 5 iPhones, 3 iPads, 1 iTouch, 2 Nintendo 3DS, 1 Wi, 1 Xbox Kinect, 1 iMac, 1 Macbook Pro, 1 laptop PC, 1 desktop PC, 2 wireless printers, and 3 wireless DVRs. Having two different wireless LANs in the same house can create confusion, and the Time Capsule LAN is much faster anyway . . . no sense loading the 2WIRE router with less efficient wireless traffic.

    Thanks again for the valuable post.

  21. February 2, 2013 10:31 AM

    Thanks for the fantastic tip. I left a donation and it was well worth it. I’ve been trying to figure this out for a while and it was great help.
    BTW, on my router there is no “password” but rather something idiotically called a “device access code.” Also, after rebooting and surfing, I was presented with a Warning page which asked me to verify the new configuration in a foolishly unintuitive way.
    Thanks for your great work.

  22. February 21, 2013 9:41 PM

    After checking the Router-behind-Router Detection box, how can you confirm if the 2 Wire router has been disabled and the Time Capsule is the only router controlling your network?

  23. March 29, 2013 1:51 PM

    I know this is old, but wanted to chime in here and hoping someone can help out.

    I have been debating with a friend whether my 2Wire router is now in Bridge mode or not. he claims it’s not, because I should be going the PPPoE route. I have an Airport Extreme.

    As of right now I have unchecked the router behind router on the event notification screen, I have selected my router in the DMZ/Pinhole/Applications screen and set DMZPLUS for it, on another screen I checked ALL traffic except NetBios for inbound, and unchecked NetBios for outbound, wireless has been disabled. On the Airport extreme side, I have set it to handle DHCP (not in bridge mode, but handles the IP addresses). There was a screen I recall where I had to set the NAT IP address to 10.0.1.253 and that was the kicker to make this thing work. But I have a green light, and traffic is flowing fine.

    however, the reason i am still researching this is because my Remote Desktop doesn’t work. I assigned a permanent IP address in the Extreme to my computer, and port forwarded 3389 to that same IP). Inside my network, the remote desktop worked fine when i tested, but outside the network it seems to connect, but then windows rejects it.

    This is a screenshot of what I see: http://i.imgur.com/RtRBQI3.png

    So I am wondering if the PPPoE is still something I need to do, or if I “do” have it in bridge mode and just need to fix this last issue.

  24. March 29, 2013 1:57 PM

    This post at the bottom is what I did which made my internet start working with this configuration

    http://forums.att.com/t5/Setup-and-Self-Install/help-how-do-i-setup-an-airport-extreme-behind-3800hgv-b/m-p/2350261#M684

  25. April 1, 2013 1:24 PM

    If you want to hear of the worst experience I spoke to three different Level 1 CSRs and a supervisor in the Philippines who mandated that I needed to speak with fee based Tier 2 support who required an in-home visit to do this. #WayToScrewYourCustomers #ATT

  26. April 1, 2013 2:00 PM

    FWIW, I got mine acting like a bridge now. It’s working great with my Netgear 6250 AC Router.

  27. pamjasperx permalink
    June 19, 2013 10:55 AM

    A couple years ago, I used Scott’s post to set my 3800 up as modem and my Time Capsule up to do NAT and provide “N” wireless. It worked great.
    Yesterday, I had a technician in to install a device to convert the home security system over to broadband “dial out” from landl ine. It should have been simple. It wasn’t … it took all day and the first thing done to get tech support was to remove all my apple network gear and return the RG to the ATT. The security system was successfully configured and I had a network based on the RG doing the NAT, wireless and wired connections. 192.168… took over. I sent the Tech off because it had been a long day and his knowledge of what needed doing was actually less than mine.

    Here is what I did:
    1) Finished unplugging all Airport Express, Extreme, and left the Time Capsule unplugged.
    2) Wirelessly connected to the RG
    3) Checked Router_Behind_Router, Saved
    4) Browsed, got warning, configured
    5) Quit and restarted my browser
    6) Restarted RG and confirmed R_B_R was saved
    7)Changed settings for the Time Capsule to disable firewall, address assignment public and saved. Here is where it went in the ditch.
    Error: “Attempt to assign two different devices the same address”
    Internet connection was lost. I recovered by setting the R_B_R back to unchecked and everything is back to ATT configuration. I really want off of this as the Apple gear is the basis of my backups, fast N network, streaming music, shared printers etc. I don’t want the RG doing NAT and wireless.
    Something simple is being missed in these instructions as they would apply to me setting up the Time Capsule a second time. I have looked at the device list and do not see any devices which have the same IP. Is there a way to delete the devices I have unplugged off of the list just in case one of these is causing a problem?

  28. July 16, 2013 5:05 PM

    Maybe this will help Pam since I just had something similar. I had another device set wrong at public address, firewall disabled. I set it back to firewall enabled, private address then saved it.
    Then I went to the device that, I really wanted to be set that way and it took it.
    Oh yeah, I hate ATT.

  29. September 24, 2013 7:38 PM

    I’ve gone back and forth between bridged mode and dmzplus (this assigns the Airport Extreme the public IP, disables the firewall, and sets the WAN IP address). I really want to use the Airport for DHCP and firewall management but the problem is my iPhone’s Uverse app can no longer see the Uverse DVR if I have it set in dmzplus mode. This, I would assume, is because dmzplus requires the Airport be in a different subnet. I’ve wondered if adding the Airport as a “cascaded router” would help but it didn’t.

    Any idea how I could use the Airport for DHCP and NAT yet still see the Uverse TV box?

  30. myother permalink
    October 21, 2013 8:53 AM

    Reblogged this on MY DBA Notes.

  31. December 6, 2013 4:25 PM

    I suppose for us mere mortals, I should add to adjust the AE after setting up the 2Wire, go to network in the airport settings, change the router mode from OFF (bridge mode) to DHCP and NAT. Restart the extreme.

  32. January 3, 2014 2:38 PM

    Worked on a 3600HGV, thanks!

    We know it’s working when the router’s WAN IP matches the public IP

  33. February 13, 2014 11:28 PM

    I have the 3800-HGVB RG and wanted to get a faster wireless network, so I bought a D-Link 826L dual band router, and set it up in AP mode. I tried doing it with the WAN port as a real router, but I was never able to get my firewall settings to open the needed ports correctly, so I gave up and went the other route, which I must say, went without a breeze and everything was connected perfectly. My firewall still works perfect and all my devices connect without any problem.
    However… I made some tests and it turns out, streaming to an apple TV and to an android box, using XBMC, was way way faster with the wireless G network of the uverse RG, that with any of the two networks from the new DLink (2G and 5G). For instance, the time it took to start a movie using the uverse router was about 1 min 40 secs; and I was never able to get the same movie started with any of the other networks, in both devices sooner than 3 mins, sometimes more than that.
    Do you have any idea why is that? The two routers are next to each other, and really not too far from the room with the TV, actually, the apple TV says the signal is excellent when I connect to either router. I tried different channels, different security methods, and other things, but nothing made it faster.
    I wonder if somebody has any advice. Thanks very much.

  34. June 15, 2014 12:01 PM

    found this page: http://www.sbbala.com/uverse/pg2.html

    ATT U-verse RG Router Guide. Use the RG as a Modem.

    Says that: WAN type should be set to Dynamic IP (DHCP-Assigned)
    For us DSL witchers were on PPPoE. So we need to change our router settings on this.

    Also says there is a setting in the AT&T RG for: Allow all applicaitons (DMZplus mode).

    I don’t see these notes in the info above.

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