Connecting to and Configuring the Built-in Wi-Fi
The heart of the in-building Internet and/or Phone service is the 2Wire Gateway, provided by AT&T. It serves as an Internet modem, VoIP phone gateway, and network router. Plus it enables the set-top boxes to communicate with your computers. It even has a preconfigured 802.11g Wi-Fi access built-in, which is what we’re going to discuss now.
Once installed, the 2Wire Gateway will start beaconing a default network name (SSID) of 2WIRE and the last 3 digits of the gateway’s serial number for the Wi-Fi access, such as “2WIRE254”. This network name (SSID) should be printed on the 2Wire Gateway, along with the Serial Number. If you’d pop open a laptop or boot up a desktop PC with Wi-Fi capability you should see it on the list of available wireless networks.
Unlike a normal wireless router or gateway you might buy from a store, the 2Wire Gateway comes with Wi-Fi security already enabled for you. Your neighbors won’t be able to connect to or eavesdrop on your network via Wi-Fi. The gateway comes with Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA or WPA2) PSK encryption enabled. It even has a default encryption key preconfigured. This should be printed on the 2Wire Gateway.
To connect to the gateway and access the local network and Internet, you’d simply select the 2WIRExxx network from the list of available wireless networks and enter the preconfigured encryption key, such as shown below.
Remember, the 2Wire Gateway also has 4 Ethernet ports if you want to plug in computers rather use Wi-Fi.
Once connected, you can optionally change the default network name (SSID), encryption key, and other settings by logging into the gateway’s web-based control panel. You’d simply open your web browser and enter the gateway’s default IP address: 192.168.1.254. Then click Settings, LAN, and Wireless. See an example of the wireless settings below.
Note: The model number of the 2Wire Gateway I used is i38HG; the control panel of other models or firmware versions might vary.
If you make any changes, be sure to hit Save. When prompted for the password, enter the default password, printed on the 2Wire Gateway.
If AT&T forced me to use one of these obnoxious devices I would never switch. As annoying as having more boxes sitting somewhere is, you're better off with a dedicated cable modem and a router/wireless setup of your choice.