AT&T self-installation guide
AT&T’s internet setup is designed to be fairly seamless. We’ll walk you through the different types of AT&T self-installation available to make the process as guess-free as possible.
How to self-install your own AT&T internet
AT&T is one of the largest internet service providers (ISP) in the country. To serve a wide range of customers nationwide, an AT&T self install is designed to be completed in a few easy steps.
Purchase AT&T internet
AT&T offers a variety of internet plans and speeds of up to 940 Mbps based on your location. Regardless of whether fiber or DSL service is available in your area, you can count on affordable, reliable home internet service. To purchase an internet plan, choose the plan you prefer from the following options of download speeds:
- Fiber Internet 300: 300 Mbps
- Fiber Internet 500: 500 Mbps
- Fiber Internet 1000: 940 Mbps
- Internet 10: 1 Mbps
- Internet 18: 1 Mbps
- Internet 25: 2 Mbps
- Internet 50: 10 Mbps
- Internet 100: 20 Mbps
Once you’ve chosen your plan, you can choose to pick up your equipment curbside at a local AT&T store or choose free delivery, which typically takes two to three business days, although it can take as long as five business days.
Setting up your AT&T compatible modem
Find your Coax cable connection for modem setup
While you wait for your equipment delivery, it’s time to get started with the AT&T modem setup. AT&T has three ways to connect. Fiber works with an optical network terminal, which is a small box. DSL may only require connecting to a phone line. In other cases, a coaxial cable will connect the modem to the wall source that carries internet connectivity into your household.
Most homes are already wired with a coaxial outlet. To find it, look around for a wall outlet with a round connector your coax cable will screw onto. It will be the location for your new modem, so be sure to set up a small table or stand within the coax cable outlet’s reach.
Modem placement is key to the strongest Wi-Fi signal possible, especially if you live in a larger or multi-story home. You may not be able to move the outlet, but at the very least, you can ensure the modem can transmit its signal as best as possible. Make sure you place your modem off the ground. Three feet is the ideal height. Avoid corners or areas with obstructions. To maximize your signal, you may need to buy a longer coax cable to move the modem’s location, or maybe consider adding a Wi-Fi extender to achieve longer reach.
AT&T modem set up or your own modem
Some ISPs allow you to use your own modem. However, AT&T is not one of them. You won’t be able to use your own modem and will need to lease AT&T’s gateway for $10/mo. An AT&T internet setup takes about 10 minutes, which is fairly fast, thanks to the color coding of cables and ports at the back of the modem.
To start an AT&T modem setup for DSL service:
- Look for your AT&T activate date on the packing slip and wait until 2 p.m. or later on that date to do an AT&T self installation.
- Add single-port filters (supplied) on phones, faxes and any devices with a dial tone.
- Connect the green cable provided to the wall jack and the DSL Broadband port of your new gateway.
- Connect the yellow Ethernet cable from one of yellow Ethernet ports to your computer (optional).
- Connect the power code to the back of the modem and plug it into the wall.
- Power up the modem.
- Wait five minutes until the lights to stop flashing and remain a solid green.
A fiber AT&T internet setup is a little more involved and could take 20 to 30 minutes. You’ll need to locate the Optical Network Terminal (ONT) in your home. AT&T customer support may be able to tell you the location of the ONT. It’s often located in the garage, near phone cables, by a wall jack or in the basement. The AT&T self install guide includes photos so you can see what it looks like. Or you can contact AT&T customer support at (800) 288-2020 if you need further help.
AT&T modem setup for fiber service:
- FInd the ONT.
- Pinch the sides of the box to slide and remove the cover to reveal the green fiber connector.
- If not connected yet, plug in the green fiber connector to the green port labeled PON.
- Connect the yellow Ethernet cable to the yellow port.
- Connect the black power cord to the terminal and plug it to an electrical outlet.
- Power on the device by pressing the ON/OFF button.
- Wait a couple of minutes for the lights to turn solid green.
- Replace the cover.
- Connect the yellow Ethernet cable to the modem’s red ONT broadband port.
- You could connect other yellow Ethernet cables to the yellow Ethernet ports at the back of the gateway to hardwire other devices such as a computer.
- For digital phone service, connect the gray cable provided to the gray phone lines and to your phone.
- Connect the power cord to the back of the modem, plug it into an electrical wall outlet and power on the device.
- Wait 10 to 15 minutes for the lights to go solid green.
AT&T may supply you with a two-in-one device that’s a combination of modem and router. Although AT&T does not allow you to supply your own modem, you could buy your own router. Take a look at an AT&T router set up next.
AT&T router setup and connection to modem
AT&T supplies you with a gateway/router combination, which doesn’t require any extra work to connect. However, if you choose to add your own router, the following AT&T router set up can help. Just remember that AT&T does not provide tech support for non-AT&T routers.
- Locate your AT&T DSL username and network password. You can reset it if you’ve forgotten it.
- Configure the modem for bridge mode.
- Power off the device and disconnect any devices wired by Ethernet cable. Make sure the router is also powered off.
- Connect an Ethernet cable from the modem’s ethernet port to the internet port of your router.
- Use another Ethernet cable to connect from the router’s Ethernet port to a computer.
- Power on the modem and router.
- Start your computer.
- Navigate to the router’s IP address from a web browser. Refer to the router’s instruction manual for the address. It typically looks like 192.168.1.0 or 192.168.1.254.
- Login to the router.
- Once you’re in the interface, select the Internet Connection type of PPPoE.
- Enter your AT&T DSL username and password.
- Save your settings.
Connect your devices to your wireless network
Once your gateway and router are set up, you’re ready to connect your wireless devices. The Wi-Fi network name and password is on a label at the bottom or side of the modem. You can also share SSID login details from an iPhone to other iOS devices.
AT&T activate your internet connection
Although you’re almost done, you’ll need to perform an AT&T activate to get everything to work. Once you’re done registering, your internet should work in just a few minutes. All you need to do is open a browser and follow along in the AT&T activate process. You’ll need to enter your AT&T Access ID and password, or enter your account number and the 4-digit passcode you created/were given.
Pro tip: Use your own equipment to speed up the AT&T internet setup
Allconnect recommends using your own equipment for more features and faster speeds. However, ISPs do not service equipment they didn’t provide.
The bottom line
AT&T provides a wide range of home internet services for customers nationwide. The gateways they issue customers are a modem-router combination that should work for most home applications. If you need to cancel service in the future, you’ll need to return the gateway to end the monthly rental fees.
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Written by:Cynthia Paez Bowman
Cynthia Paez Bowman is a finance, real estate and international business journalist. Besides Bankrate.com, her work has been featured on Allconnect.com, Business Jet Traveler, MSN, CheatSheet.com, Freshome.com a… Read more
Edited by:Robin Layton
Editor, Broadband Content