Do I Need a Wireless Router With an AT&T DSL Wireless Gateway?

By Melanie Jo Triebel

Some modems provide only Ethernet output, while others also support Wi-Fi.
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If you're transitioning from dial-up to broadband Internet service, or seeking a new broadband service provider, you can often feel overwhelmed wondering what you will need to use the service. If you want wireless networking within your home, you have an additional layer of questions. Fortunately, the AT&T Gateway DSL modem's dual role simplifies the process considerably.

AT&T DSL Service

AT&T offers two types of high-speed broadband Internet service: DSL and U-verse. AT&T's DSL service, like other DSL, is digital Internet transmitted over traditional copper phone wires. The company's U-verse line of services, however, including U-verse Internet, are delivered via fiber-optic technology. AT&T's DSL Internet service can be bundled with home phone service, while U-verse Internet can be bundled with home phone service and/or digital television service.

AT&T Gateway Modems

The standard or default modem for AT&T's DSL Internet service is a 2Wire DSL Gateway Model 2701HG-B, which the company generally refers to simply as a "Gateway." In fact, many AT&T DSL plans come with a free Gateway, although extras such as vertical stands must be purchased separately, and AT&T provides technical support to customers using the Gateway modem for AT&T DSL service.

Wireless Service

The AT&T Gateway modem is equipped for both Ethernet connections and wireless connections. This means that, in effect, the 2Wire DSL Gateway Model 2701HG-B is both a DSL modem and a wireless router and can create a Wi-Fi network in your home. Thus, unless your home has unusual features that prevent the Gateway from working properly, you will not need to purchase a wireless router.

Wireless On-The-Go

AT&T offers its DSL customers free access to the AT&T wireless network. This means that AT&T DSL customers can also access wireless Internet service any place the AT&T wireless network has coverage, or a hot spot. You don't need a wireless router to access this service; you simply need a laptop or other mobile device which is equipped to receive wireless Internet signals.