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Beginner’s Guide to AT&T Internet Equipment

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Available AT&T Hardware

AT&T offers a wide variety of hardware to accommodate the needs of every person that wants to scour the world wide web. Whether it’s a high-speed connection for multiple devices or streaming your favorite series—the Wi-Fi Gateways, Extenders, and Optical Network Terminals (ONT) will serve your needs.

Not one to limit their customers, AT&T is happy to provide a wide variety to choose from, but how do you know what you’ll need? 

If you have a lot of space to cover, but don’t have as many devices, perhaps a Gateway and an extender combo would give you the range you need to stay connected. If you’re trying to earn those big bucks from home, an ONT might be the way to get a supremely secure connection and not have to sacrifice speed or how many screens you use at once.

AT&T Wi-Fi Gateways

A Wi-Fi Gateway is exactly what it sounds like: a way to access the internet. To get through a door, you’ve got to have a key, right?

Gateways can provide a home’s worth of connectivity since it’s a router and a modem rolled into one. AT&T provides a gateway upon installation of internet services. Below are several different models currently on offer: 

  • BGW320
    • Not only is this a gateway, but it actually has integrated ONT tech. Be prepared for a full install when using this gateway. Some customers might have external ONTs already set up and will have to have them removed to allow the BGW320 to work as intended.
  • BGW210
    • The BG210 comes with built-in band-steering technology that automatically selects the best available network for your device(s). 
  • Pace 5268
    • Capable of supporting cable internet plans of up to 300Mbps.
  • NVG599
    • While this gateway has 0 USB-Ports, it has several ETH Ports. 
  • NVG589
    • Frequently hailed by customers as AT&T’s best residential gateway.

The router/modem combo (Gateway) can be rented for an additional $10.00/mo. All internet services include a gateway unless otherwise requested; if you cancel your service for any reason, you’ll have to return the gateway. If you’re interested in outright buying the gateway, AT&T offers the option to do so for $100.00.

AT&T Wi-Fi Extenders

Wi-Fi extenders are a lifesaver. These bad boys increase the range of Wi-Fi coverage throughout the home. Adding one or more extenders will make surfing the web in those hard-to-reach areas of your home a thing of the past.

If you opt for the Extended Wi-Fi service, AT&T will include the AirTies 4971 extender with your service. Canceling your service for any reason would require returning the extender. Extender models: AirTies 4920 or AirTies 4921, may be kept, as they were available for purchase.

It’s good practice to consider upgrading to the newer model: AirTies 4971 if possible. The older models may not work as well as time goes by, and an upgrade can significantly improve your connection to the internet.

AT&T’s low monthly rental fee of $7.00 per extender is seriously something to take advantage of. 

AT&T Optical Network Terminal (ONT)

Optical Network Terminals (ONT) provide internet to your home by way of light and electrical waves. The fiber light waves turn into electrical waves, then forcing the electrical signal through the Ethernet line and all the way to your Wi-Fi Gateway!

To put it simply: an ONT is an outlet for fiber technology to connect you to the internet.

The ONT is generally only set up once during the initial installation at your home. More often than not, they’ll be found in out-of-the-way pieces of your home (outside/garages/closets, etc).

ONT’s are only required when you have fiber installed in the home. When considering options, be sure to remember:

  • Internal ONT
    • An internal ONT can be plugged into any phone jack you prefer, allowing for convenience and easier assistance during troubleshooting.
  • Internal ONT with Fiberjack
    • Internal ONT with Fiberjack can increase your Wi-Fi strength so significantly that you can not only stream from one device, but multiple. This is perfect for those households with multiple usage, from movies, to gaming, to working and more.
  • External ONT
    • Having an external ONT offers the freedom for technicians to install your wiring and service the product without having to enter your home for future service calls or outages.

ONT equipment should never be removed. Doing so would disrupt your internet connection, in addition to potentially damaging the equipment. If you notice an abnormality with your ONT, fiber jack, or both, be sure to reach out to AT&T for servicing immediately.

Like a gateway is the key to accessing the internet with your Wi-Fi connection, an ONT does exactly the same with the fiber-optic network. Using an ONT may be slightly more costly when it comes to installation (you must lay wire if it’s the first-time installation), but it will turn out to be a faster and more secure connection in the long run, and who can put a price on protection?

AT&T Internet Equipment Wrap-Up

In today’s world, it can be hard to do most things without the internet. Why not give yourself the best and easiest hardware to work with?

Gateways bring your devices together to create your home network. Extenders strengthen your Wi-Fi signal and allow it to reach multiple floors of your home. Of course, an ONT, whether it’s Internal, External, or Internal with Fiber Jack, and the addition of the fiber optic network can bring the power of AT&T’s worldwide network into your home.

AT&T does have a one-time $99.00 installation fee, but it’s worth the money. Their special technicians will be able to check out the location and see what equipment may be best suited for your needs. They have zero trouble accommodating their customers when it comes to hiding cables expertly. In addition to amazing customer service, the monthly rental fees for some of their equipment may be waived depending on participating programs in select areas. 

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