Rooting your AT&T U-verse modem... for TOMATO

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by mpegmaster, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. mpegmaster

    mpegmaster Addicted to LI Member

    Unhappy with the performance of your U-verse modem let's dig in and see if a bit of hacking could improve the situation. Motorola makes this exclusively for AT&T and there are no other modems on the market which can used instead. Luckily we are able to fix almost everything that was causing us grief. This can be done in one of two ways. The first is a hardware hack that gains access to a shell though the UART. The second is a method of rooting the device from its stock web interface.

    We think the biggest improvement gained by hacking this router is true bridge mode.:)

    The hardware is more than capable of behaving this way but AT&T has disabled the feature with no option for an unmodified device to use it. By enabling it the modem does what a modem is supposed to do: translate between WAN and LAN. This allows routing to be handled by your "TOMATO" router (novel idea huh?).:cool:

    Details are from... HACKaDAY.COM ;)


    Oh ya... Season Greetings!!!

  2. digiblur

    digiblur Networkin' Nut Member

    Not buying that garbage uverse is another way too. But if that is all that is available then I will give you a pass.

    Absolutely horrible HD service.. Yuck..

    Sent from a little old Note 2
  3. lefty

    lefty Networkin' Nut Member

    This will be good info to know for future reference, but for now the u-verse service here still sends out the 2wire modem which has dmz+ mode and also has config for 'router behind router' detection. So it works fine with any 3rd party firmware router.
  4. jerrm

    jerrm Network Guru Member

    You're right about the HD quality, but I don't use the TV or voice components.

    Like anything, it all depends on the local provider, but I'd keep UVerse over Comcast here even if it was twice the price. Cable blows the data rates for UVerse away when it works, which is most of the time, but outages are all too common.

    I can't remember remember when the last problem I had with UVerse was (a looonggg loooonnnngggg time ago), but I do remember it was only a few hours. The neighbor's Comcast has been out for days before, and is down much more often. Stability is more valuable than speed.

    I do wish I could dump the 2Wire gateway though. Properly configured dmz+ makes it more or less invisible, but I have to wonder if it has contributed to the occasional weird behavior.
  5. digiblur

    digiblur Networkin' Nut Member

    Sounds like uverse here. The few that can get it have issues all the time. The ATT guy spends lots of time here trying to track down issues in the wiring in this neighborhood. A few weekends ago my neighbor told me his was down for 3 days. No phone, no Internet, no tv, no thanks on the bundle with all the eggs in one basket.

    Sent from a little old Note 2
  6. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    And if you bundle all those eggs into your Comcast basket, the situation will be the same (the only thing you might get is analog SD channels, but Comcast is killing those off in 2013).

    Also, generalizing about HD quality isn't going to net anyone anything, because the quality settings are assigned at the local level, not national. Let me assure you that there are Comcast regions with horrifically bad HD quality, just as there are Comcast regions with incredibly good HD quality. What I've noticed is quality that tends varies from channel to channel, even varying from program to program, as the provider juggles bandwidth. And I say this as someone who's had Comcast and UVerse in multiple regions.

    There is no perfect provider for everyone everywhere, there is only the perfect provider for you.
  7. jerrm

    jerrm Network Guru Member

    And it can vary neighborhood to neighborhood here. It's good to have choices.
  8. Mangix

    Mangix Networkin' Nut Member

    Couple of notes:

    This is for the Motorola NVG510, which is a modem designed for the ADSL2+ flavor of U-Verse, which has a total of 4 flavors. Every other flavor requires some kind of 2Wire modem which today, cannot be hacked in any meaningful way. And since most U-Verse customers are on FTTN VDSL2, this is close to worthless.

    I would be very curious about the Motorola 2310 though. That one does VDSL2 and may be more easily hackable.
  9. lefty

    lefty Networkin' Nut Member

    With a 2wire, you don't need to hack it in order to use a 3rd party firmware router with it. The 2wire (2701, 3800, and 3801HGV's) modems/gateways that at&t send out have dmz+ mode in it and 'router behind router' detection already. All you have to do is set the tomato or dd-wrt router's WAN to DHCP, set its LAN to something else other than subnet (the 2wire uses this by default) and viola, go to go, and since its in dmz+ mode the tomato router will get your public WAN IP. I actually like my friend's U-Verse service, and set it up for him in the manner i describe above, although i use comcast myself, it has almost made me convert back to at&t services because its simply cheaper than my comcast package.
  10. Mangix

    Mangix Networkin' Nut Member

    Couple of more notes...

    The 2Wire 2701HG-B offers a true bridged mode where as the newer 2701HGV-B does not. DMZ+ is not a truly bridged mode. It works fine in most cases but it is still the case that the 2Wire gateway still does routing in DMZ+ mode. In addition, the 1024 session limit is still present.

    A true bridged mode is best.
  11. lefty

    lefty Networkin' Nut Member

    VDSL in true bridge mode is better if all you plan on using from AT&T is internet. If you have their internet/TV package, true bridge mode becomes quite a headache then because you'd have to segment off your LAN using VLANs (only if your router supports port based VLANs with 802.11q tagging) to stop the multicast flood that the TV service uses. With DMZ+ mode you don't have to do that, when you run your tomato router with the 2wire in dmz+ mode - you are only using 1 port on the 2wire's switch for the tomato router, so the other ports are still available, which you can then plug their set top box in one of the ports and work with no special configuration required have the TV part of the service working.
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