Is a wireless gateway and a wireless router the same thing?

I’m going to get DSL for the first time and I want to buy my own equipment. The AT&T website says I need a DSL Modem and an AT&T Wireless Gateway.

Is a wireless gateway what I have always been referring to as a wireless router(the thing that broadcasts the DSL hard line as a wireless network around the house)?

Does the fact that AT&T precedes ‘wireless gateway’ mean that its an AT&T brand gateway, or will any manufacturer do?

Are there combo DSL modem/wireless gateways?

Can someone give me a general description of a home DSL wireless setup? The way I’ve always understood it is that the phone line plugs into the back of my computer/modem. This is the computer from where I administer the network. I then connect that to a wireless router which broadcasts the DSL as a wireless network. Then other computers with a wireless adapter can connect. Is this right?

AT&T provides (at no extra cost) a modem/wireless router (single box) when you pay for a year, at least i saw that in the past, also maybe a rebate. If you get monthly then no rebate and can buy the modem/router for maybe $70.

phone line plugs into modem/router. computers connect to this with cables or wireless.

Yes there are, in fact if you go to Best Buy you’ll see one by 2Wire with AT&T plastered all over the Orange and White box. Get that one. It’s very very easy to set up. It’s virtually plug and play. This will probably be all you need as it’ll act as a router and modem. Plug your phone line into it, plug your computer into it and get it set up. From there you can have 4 wired devices and however many wireless devices you want (I assume it goes up to 255).

Also, as for “will anything do” yes, sort of. I’m not sure on the modem part of it, you may need to use an AT&T modem (or at least one that they work with), but once you have a signal coming out of them modem you’re can do pretty much anything you want with it. Send it to a Linksys router then a 2Wire switch and then a Dlink Hub connected to a Belkin NIC all wired with Monster Ethernet cables…no problem.

I don’t know about Best Buy, but AT&T is charging $100 for a 2Wire modem these days*…somewhat overpriced, I’d say.
*I know this because my DSL went down last week, and their “tech support” assured me I needed a new modem. I took my 5-year-old 2Wire unit to the AT&T store, the guy “tested” it and confirmed the diagnosis. Turned out they were both wrong; it was a network problem, which is what I suspected all along.

“Typically” you’d have the phone line going to the modem, then an Ethernet cable coming from the modem to your wireless router and that would be it. Everything would connect wirelessly from there. You do usually have to hard wire a connection to the wireless router for the initial setup, but that’s all. If you use the modem I linked to it’s also a 4 port and wireless router so that would be the only thing you need to. Also, the other reason I like that one is if you ever have a problem you don’t have AT&T telling you it’s the router manufacturers problem and the router people telling you it’s AT&T’s problem since AT&T will take care of it.

There is a slight latency improvement in having an all-in-one modem/router/AP, as it saves one or two hops. Also I have fixed some setups where the non network savy had multiple DHCP servers active, or didn’t have the subnets sorted out. Finally, one of the pieces will inevitably die, and a lot of people seem not to have the trouble-shooting skills to track down where the problem is. With a single box, tech support can’t blame the other pieces. For these reasons I recommend an all-in-one box if asked. (Do as I say, not as I do!)

I personally consider the AT&T equipment over priced. I choose a linksys 54G router and selected the DSL package that included their modem.

Thanks everyone.

So I’m assuming that ‘router’ and ‘wireless gateway’ mean the same thing?

The gateway is integrated into home routers. There’s also a firewall in most home routers. They do a lot of stuff. DHCP etc.

My ping time has been lower since I split mine into two devices: a wireless router and an old-fashioned modem-only DSL receiver.

Looks like I’ll be broadcasting the wireless from the basement(+2 stories). That 2Wire router is HyperG. Do you think it would be strong enough? I’m looking at buying the ATT DSL modem($65) by itself and a separate Belkin N600($70) router. I’m worried I’m just wasting money though. Any thoughts?

I doubt it’ll be an issue, though I’m not familiar with HyperG, is that the same as 802.11g?

I’d say go for it. If the signal is weak on the second floor, just move the modem and router up to the first floor, remember, you can plug it into any phone jack. Then your wireless modem only has to broadcast one floor in each direction. Of course, I’m assuming the issue is going to be that you have a computer in the basement that needs a wired connection, but if the basement isn’t finished and you don’t mind a bit of ethernet cable laying around it’s not that big of a deal if your handy to get one cable back down to that computer. Often times it’s as simple as drilling a hole right through the floor or running the cable into a cold air return and popping it out in the basement somewhere and running it back to the computer…

Or you could get a wireless adapter (USB) for the wired computer and not worry about the cable.

That was my assumption. It’s usually listed as ‘HyperG 802.11g.’ Don’t know if that’s redundant or what. Not really familiar with the lingo.

Looks like I’ll go with it though. Thanks.

Apparently, the word ‘gateway’ is somewhat old-fashioned and the role formerly subsumed under it has been split into two parts: A ‘protocol converter’ is something that converts between protocols to allow two different kinds of network to share traffic. For example, a modem works like this: It talks DSL on the phone line end and Ethernet on the Ethernet cable end so your in-house Ethernet LAN can use your DSL connection to reach the Internet. A ‘router’ is something that routes traffic within a network, shipping data down the best route to the machine it’s going to. It doesn’t convert between protocols.

(My cite is FOLDOC, which I happen to have installed on my laptop.)