U-Verse Static IP Setup

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In testing AT&T U-Verse, it quickly became apparent that at this time there is confusion as to their support of "Static IP addresses". Front-line representatives will likely spend the majority of their time denying any support of such services. Almost all AT&T first-level technicians and sales representatives will state "U-Verse does not provide or support Static IP Addresses". This is false.


Contents

Getting Static IPs

For $15/ month, they have an 8 Static IP package, which is pretty surprising considering that "they don't provide Static IP addresses". You may need to specifically reference this package so that they will include it.

AT&T claims that adding this service to an existing account requires a truck roll. This appears untrue. Minor changes to the provided router (2-Wire 3800HGV) can be performed locally to set the box up once the static IP address block is known.

If you order static IPs initially however, then supposedly the technician will configure everything for you. This may not be reasonable to expect the AT&T onsite technician to be able to do all of the networking steps required given the reason most folks need static IPs.

Top Things to know

  1. The router cannot be configured in "bridge mode"
  2. The router must provide DHCP to your devices to work properly/reliably (this includes your servers/static devices)
  3. The router firewall must be specifically disabled by device for alternate firewall/routers behind it
  4. Public IPs must be explicitly assigned to DHCP devices (otherwise they get a private IP in the NAT range specified)
  5. AT&T continually calls their "static IPs" "sticky IPs" meaning DHCP assigns the same ones to your devices repeatedly. This is not entirely true across the board.
  6. DO NOT change your IPTV boxes to use Public IPs (they're the ones w/o DNS names in your device list)

Installation

The AT&T technicians will take care of wiring (if necessary and for a charge in some cases), terminating/routing existing wiring (no charge), connecting the new U-Verse service to your local NID outside your home/apt, connecting the router/gateway/firewall into your network, connecting television devices (just set-top boxes w/ IP addresses) to your televisions and programming remotes (yes, even for your TV and ancillary equip), and supposedly setting up your "static IP addresses". In truth, they do quite a bit of wiring, configuration and work. However, the Static IP area is one in which there is a great deal of confusion within AT&T.

By default, the provided 2-Wire 3800HGV equipment gets DHCP from the WAN and gives NAT'd DHCP to the LAN. So just plug it all in and w/ default configurations everything works. However, the following changes must be made for Static IP support.

Get your Static IP Addresses

AT&T support must provide you (or the installer) with the static IP addresses your account is given. You will receive 8 addresses total, of which 6 will be used somewhere during the installation. The first and last will never be input by yourself or the technician anywhere. The following example IP range was provided to me by AT&T w/ descriptions of how they should be used:

IP Address given to you by AT&T What it is for
X.15.1.160 Unusable
X.15.1.161 DHCP assignable to your equipment
X.15.1.162 DHCP assignable to your equipment
X.15.1.163 DHCP assignable to your equipment
X.15.1.164 DHCP assignable to your equipment
X.15.1.165 DHCP assignable to your equipment
X.15.1.166 AT&T Gateway WAN address
X.15.1.167 Unusable

In all of the online docs I've seen thus far AT&T has assigned ranges that start from 0-7 as the final digits. So in all likelihood, you will use .6 for the AT&T gateway's public WAN IP and .1-.5 for your equipment.

NOTE: DO NOT set your own equipment up to use static IP's (it will probably work w/ a little finagling but the router may become confused over time). Leave all of your equipment on DHCP (internal PCs and "external" routers/servers). You will assign/reserve public IPs to specific devices on the AT&T router.

Configure the AT&T Gateway

Using a PC on the LAN that has gotten it's IP from the AT&T gateway (which will be assigned the 192.168.1.x range by default), open Internet Explorer and go to 192.168.1.254 (default IP in all U-Verse installs). There is no login at first, but you will need the password that is printed on a sticker on the side of the AT&T equipment. Click on Home Network (I know...counterintuitive), then on Advanced Settings. You will be prompted for the password from the side of your equipment, enter it and continue.

Scroll down on this page to the section titled "Public Routed Subinterface". Check Enable and put in the 7th number in your series of assigned IP's (probably the one that finishes with .6). Put in a subnet of 255.255.255.248. You can save from here but some of the other settings might be utilized. In most cases nothing else will be checked under this area.

2WireAdvNetwork.jpg

After saving those settings, then on the right of this screen hit the "Edit Address Allocation" link below your device list.

2WireEditList.jpg

This will give you a listing of all the devices on your network which have requested DHCP assignment from the gateway (see why I told you to leave it all DHCP before?). By default, all devices get internal, NAT'd, private IP addresses in the 192.168.1.x range.

2WirePublicCfg.jpg

Select the equipment you want to have a public IP address. If you do not want it firewalled (why else are you using Public IPs?), then uncheck the "Firewall Protection" box. Hit the Address Assignment dropdown and select "Public (select WAN IP Mapping)". Then under WAN IP Mapping, hit the dropdown and select your public IP (don't use the first one - "Public from pool:..."). Hit save and that should be it. You might have to wait a bit for your equipment to pick up the new IP or just reboot your device(s) if necessary.

So now your "external" 3rd party equipment (that for the stickler is actually still physically "inside" your network) will get a public IP from the AT&T gateway and remote parties should be able to route to the public addresses given to you. Traffic flows into the main AT&T gateway, then is passed un-NAT'd, un-Firewall'd onto your equipment through the AT&T gateway w/o interference.

Closing thoughts

While this is a little different from the standard classic "bridge mode" setup provided previously by DSL carriers, it is a compromise to fully support IPTV and not have interference from your own 3rd party network routers, etc. This model allows a setup of segregated networks on the same WAN connection and/or public servers while still retaining complete control over the data stream for delay & jitter-free presentation of Television and telephone services.

It is a TBD for myself to review the bandwidth management capabilities of this setup for non AT&T devices. For example, I test telephone systems and non-AT&T SIP trunks w/ remote IP telephones. Can the 2Wire be configured to support this? Who knows.

The lack of documentation on the 2Wire is primarily to keep our dirty little fingers out of the provider's pie (AT&T in this case). Not a bad idea, but definitely frustrating for the non-home user trying to set up a real home-office.

Overall, the price/performance offering still makes this worth considering. Even though you will be treated as the ugly stepchild every time you call and ask about "static IP" support. Just explain quickly that you have Static IPs, and that AT&T *DOES* provide these (tell them to look at your account information), and they'll probably pass you along to Level 2 support where everybody seems to understand this notably better.

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