A tale of the “Evil Empire” Part 1


ATT is EvilOk, here is your official GEEK warning.  First, however, there will be DRAMA.  Everyone is welcome to read that.  Then there will be Geek stuff sprinkled with drama (little d).  The Geeks can read that.  Or the really bored can read it.   Hey, my blog gets the “hits” either way.  🙂

So, dear reader, you are officially warned that I’m gonna GEEK out on you.  You’re not going to get a DRAMA warning as it should be obvious by now that there is ALWAYS drama in my life.

So,  I’m going to geek out on you and talk about computers and such.  Nope, narry a mention of weight loss or food or fitness or health will be made in this post.  Why you ask, oh faithful readers?  Why the digression?

Well because Uhm… pardon me while I pull this soap box out of the corner and put it front and center so I can go on a bit of a rant (ok, ok, I’ll through in some hard-core facts for you too)

<Scccccrrrrrrraaaapppppeeeeeee> Now  where was I?  Oh, yes….

AT&T is EVIL

There.  I feel better now that I’ve got that off my chest. 🙂  Ok, maybe they’re not evil, I’m sure there are lots of very nice people working for AT&T, but the company seems to have this philosophy that is bent on maximizing their profits while ignoring the most basic tenants of customer service.  More about that in Part 2 when I compare AT&T and Jitterbug/Great Call

The sad part is that they are not the worst Internet Service Provider out there!  Eeek!  According to Consumer Reports (May 1, 2011) which ranked 28 different companies/services AT&T U-Verse, which is a bundled service including Internet, Phone, and Television came in 3rd.  Their DSL Internet by itself (which is what I subscribe to) came in 20th. 

Now why does that not surprise me?
(Note dear readers, this is what is called Sarcasm)

When I moved into my current apartment, (Actually it isn’t an apartment…it’s a room that I rent from my best friend in his condo which is in an old apartment complex that went condo).  Nonetheless, when I moved in here six years ago, all my telecommunication services from Cingular, Southwestern Bell, and AT&T Long Distance had been merged through corporate buyouts back into  Ma Bell Risen.

Kinda like a Zombie Baby Bell if you think about it.

Southwestern Bell, which eventually became SBC Global then they bought AT&T and  SBC went away and only AT&T was left.  But somehow during all this my old Yahoo account ended up merged with my free Yahoo email accounts with my pay accounts…  SIGH)  Yahoo used to be so awesome.  Now it is a piece of tripe.

According to Wikipedia:

“AT&T Yahoo! is an information service sold by AT&T Internet Services. It is a partnership between AT&T and Yahoo! to provide co-branded dial-up and DSL Internet service.”

Starting with SBC Global, their customer service began to stink.  And then STINK then ***STINK****.   It became harder and harder and harder to get to someone on their customer service lines who could understand my Texas accent and who would talk to me like a person holding an actual conversation where I asked for assistance and they provided it.  It got even worse when SBC bought AT&T and changed its name to AT&T.  Now all you get is scripted responses that don’t tell you anything and don’t fit the situation.  More on that in Part 2.

So I switched my cell phone to Jitterbug, which I love (more in Part 2).  Killed my land line and switched to DSL only.  We won’t go into how much MORE that same service now costs me than it did when I switched to DSL and how the increase in cost has come with ZERO increase in services, bandwidth speed, AND WE WILL NOT discuss how the cost increases far out strip the cost of living index.  Evil I tell you.  AT&T is EVIL!

My DSL Router Died

Now, fast forward into the present, as in now, well a few days ago.  My DSL Modem/Wireless Router/Ethernet Hub died.  Against my will I went to the AT&T website to find out how much it would cost and learned that the AT&T stuff would only work with AT&T service.  Aaaaaarrrrggggghhhh!!!!    And I just couldn’t bring myself to pay AT&T or one of their partner companies any money.  The mark up to get a replacement through AT&T is horrendous!

So I went shopping and bought a “Cisco Linksys X2000 Wireless-N Router with ADSL2+ Modem.”  I used to be a Systems Librarian in charge of all computer operations for the library where I worked.  Cisco is a brand that I know and trust.  Excellent company.  Buy it, configure it and it works forever.

So expecting no problems, I got it home, plugged it in and THUNK.  Well there wasn’t a “thunk” but there wasn’t any Internet access either.  SIGH   Knowing that the problem must be that AT&T is deliberately using some weird configuration that the Cisco installation disk can’t detect, I realize I have to go online to find the data.  But, yes, you see the problem right?  No Internet because my router is dead.

So I do what any geek would do.  I check to see if any of neighbors have left their wireless routers unsecured!  But alas no one had.  Why isn’t there some brainless idiot near me with an unsecured wireless home network when I need a brainless idiot?  I ask you is it too much to ask for a clueless non-geek to live nearby?  Noooooooo!!!!  Everybody near me is evidently Internet savvy and have set up their wireless routers correctly so I can’t shamelessly steal their Internets.

But I digress.  🙂

So instead, I snuck into my room mate’s bedroom (he was at work) and used his computer to get online.  And dear readers, I searched and I FAILED to find the info!  SIGH

The bottom line here is that NOWHERE on the Internet is there in a single spot a simple list of the doomahickies and whatchamacallits that you need to type in or click or flip or toggle to get the friggin Linksys X2000 to connect to an AT&T Internet Connection.

AAAANew ATT LogoAAAAaaaaarrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhh.

I think it is a conspiracy.  I think that the Dark Lord heading up AT&T’s evil empire has released it minions to scour the Internet and delete the information when someone, like the every so kind and helpful moi, posts it.  So, dear readers, if I don’t post for a few days after this appears, send out a rescue party.

So, here is the info, which I cobbled together from half a dozen different sources of information.  Someone out there had better buy me a beer when they find this post.

Ok, Here is the GEEK part.  Geeks or desperate homeowners with a new Linksys X2000 who need this info can keep reading.  Everyone else just jump down to those little “like” and “Share” buttons and do your thing.  Unless you want to keep reading.  Me being me, the instructions are not your typical Geek 1-2-3 kinda thing.  😉

Configuration Settings:

To connect to AT&T DSL using a Linksys X2000 Wireless-N Router with ADSL2+ Modem

Here’s what is going to happen.  Or rather this is what happened to me and I’m making a huge leap here and assuming that it will happen to other folks.  (all the way down at the bottom is a screen print that shows everything but here is the blow-by-blow:

  1. You’ll get your box home, rip off the plastic like a kid on Christmas morning and drool just a bit as you look at the sleek curves of your new DSL Modem Whatsit also known as the Linksys X2000.  Some market guy made a lot of money by telling Cisco that X = sexy and that a router with X in the name will sell better than a router with K in the name.  But I digess.
  2. Throw away the piece of trash that AT&T sold you way back when and plug in the cables into the right holes in your new awesome Cisco Modem/Router Thingie, also know as the X2000

  3. Stick in the CD-ROM that came with your new toy into your computer.  Let it do its installation thing.  Enjoy the nice graphics while it does its thing.

  4. Odds are that if you are with any other company other than AT&T everything will work just fine.  For those of us who haven’t switched,  yet,  you’ll hit the green “advanced settings” button when the installation program chokes because the Evil Empire has deliberately made life difficult.

5.  That will open an internet browser and take you to what looks like a web page but is actually the control panel for your wireless router/DSL Modem.  Book mark this.  Save it in your Settings and name it something that you’ll recognize when you need it again.  You won’t need it often but when you do, that bookmark will be a life saver!  Uhm, were you paying attention?

BOOKMARK THAT CONFIGURATION PAGE!  ITS IMPORTANT!

6.  Now, here is the part where I save you oodles of time:  Here are the settings you’ll want to fiddle with.  On the “Setup” / “Basic Setup” tab, set things up like this:

Language –  Uhm if you’re reading this I bet you’ll choose English.

Internet Setup

(  ) Auto   ( *ADSL   (  )Ethernet  <<<  Choose ADSL

Internet Connection Type

Note:  The strings of characters in the drop down box represent the different types of protocols different Internet Service Providers use.  The one you want is RFC2516 PPPoE.   As long as the X2000 is the only gadget between your computer and the phone line coming out of the wall then you’re good to go.  If you’re plugging the X2000 into something else and that something else is what the phone line plugs into then you’re doing something called bridging and well go Google it to find someone who has posted help on how to do that.  Good Luck.  🙂

Multiplexing :   (  * )  LLC  (   ) VC  <<< Choose LLC

QoS Type: UBR

PCR:  0 << the number zero, not the letter 0 which follows n and is before p

SCR:  0 << the number zero, not the letter 0 which follows n and is before p

Autodetect:   Disable

VPI: Reside in AL, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN use “8”  Any other state use “0” (zero)

VCI: 35

DSL Modulation:  MultiMode

Username:   You would think this would be simple? Nope,  not gonna be simple.  We’re talking about AT&T here.

Eventually you’ll put your email address:  john.doe@att.com or hoochiemama@sbcglobal.net  or whatever.

Password:  THIS IS NOT YOUR PERSONAL PASSWORD (see the note below)

Eventually you will put whatever “Network Password” the registration process spits out into this field.  I told you this wouldn’t be simple.

This bit of information is CRUCIAL.  You need the NETWORK password.  The password they want in the password box is a special password that you use only here in the DSL Modem configuration and nowhere else.  It is NOT the password you use to log onto your email account when you’re at a friend’s house or in a library!!!!!!

So, to get that elusive network password this is what you do:

The Username and password that you’ll use to REGISTER & DISCOVER THE NETWORK PASSWORD are:

Username: attreg@att.net
Password: attreg

Service:   (leave this blank)

( *  )  Connect on Demand – Max Idle Time 20 Minutes

Host Name (leave blank)

Domain Name (leave blank)

MTU:  Manual   Size:  1492

IP Address, Subnet Mask, and URL address should already be filled in.  Leave them alone.  Don’t change them, don’t fiddle with them.  Don’t even think about changing them if you’re an average user.  If you’re an Uber-Geek then you’re probably not reading this anyway.

DHCP Server: ( * ) Enabled

DHCP Relay Server:  Leave it alone.  In fact.  Just leave everything else on the page alone.  They are defaults and they work fine so don’t fiddle with them unless you have a good reason.

I fiddled with one.  Changing the default “50” to “10” on Maximum Number of Users for no real reason other than it bugs me to have 50 IP numbers reserved for use when I know that I’ll be using maybe 5-6 at the most at any time.

So, there you go.   Everything is set up.  We’re ready to go hunting for that “Network Password”

Click “Save Settings”  The screen will black for a bit and return you to your Setup page.

Click on “Status” over on the far right near the top.  That will take you to a page where in the middle it will say “Connecting”  “Connected”  “Disconnected”  If it says anything but “Connected” then click on the “Connect” button.  Give it a few seconds and eventually if everything was entered correctly and you don’t have any loose cables, the screen will refresh and it will say “Connected” with a whole bunch of numbers that you don’t need to worry about.

Open a new tab in your browser and try to go to any website, like http://www.google.com.  AT&T, the evil empire, will grab your attempted surf and redirect you to a registration sign up process.   During this process you’ll be asked for your DSL phone number.  My DSL is just a DSL line.  I don’t have an actual phone number but I do have a string of numbers that look like a phone number that I typed into the spot.  Whatever the number is for you, type it in.  Let the evil empire do it’s thing, go grab a beer from the frig or moan and groan to your roommate about the evilness of the evil empire.   I did both.  Eventually the screen will refresh and you’ll get this screen that says:

Name:  your name
AT&T Member ID:  your email address
Homepage/Email Password:  *********
Network Password:  (a string of letters and numbers)  Mine was six characters long
DSL Telephone/Account Number.

Print this off.  Ahem, are you paying attention out there?  Am I typing loud enough?

PRINT THIS OFF!!!!!  Save it!  Put it under lock and key.  Keep it.
Treasure it.  DO. NOT. LOOSE IT!

You’ll need it in just a bit.   The evil empire has some more “configuration” to do.  Hit yes, continue, yes, etc until it has done its work.  I would recommend NOT installing the “extra” software they try to get you to install.

Your work however is not done yet.

Use the bookmark to the Router/DSL Modem’s configuration page (You did create a book mark didn’t you?) and make two changes:

Username:  delete the attreg@att.net and replace it with your email address

Password:  delete the ****** and replace it with the Network Password.

Click “Save Settings”

If all works right, that’s it.  You can start surfing the net.  I would however suggest that you print all this off and put it in a safe place so that when you need it you can find it.

To the right is the promised screen print.  Click it to make it big so you can read it.

See ya on the dance floor!

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About TxCowboyDancer

Eight time Country Dance World Champion. I love to dance. In the middle of a journey, transforming myself from "unemployed and out-of-shape" to "in-shape and full time dance instructor, writer and graphic artist."

Posted on Tue, Apr 3, 2012, in Misc and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. I just got at&t dsl service. They now make you pay $100 for their MOTOROLA!?!!!? gateway. I figured I’d set theirs up, switch to my x2000, and send their garbage back for a refund. Well, it’s hard to do that when theirs shows up and is already broken. I was on tech support the night my service was turned on and he claimed the x2000 can’t work on att and that he’d send me a replacement motorola. I called the next day, the same day as i’m writing this on my cell phone since I have no internet. Today the tech told me the x2000 wouldn’t work and that it was a good thing I called because the other tech put in the order wrong. Brilliant! Now, I’m waiting on a service tech to come to my home and see if they can fix the service, or I guess I should say
    start the service. At&t sucks. Its just too bad the
    qually terrible comcast is my other option for twice the price. Its unfair what they get away with.

    Like

    • I feel your pain my friend. I’ve found that as long as everything works then AT&T is fine but if you actually have to *talk* to someone or have any kind of issue that requires interacting with the company then you’re in trouble. Good luck.

      Like

  2. I’d just like you to know that you are my hero! AT&T tried to screw me today with their evil ways but this setup saved the day. Thank you so much for posting this and if you were nearby I wouldn’t just buy you that beer, but a whole six pack. Cheers!

    Like

  3. Thanks a lot!!! You saved me from a huge struggle.

    Like

  4. Thanks for posting this – saved a huge amount of time!

    Like

  5. The only thing different from my settings was “VCI: 35”

    That did the trick for me I think. I’m not sure…but i’ll give u a thumbs up anyway 🙂

    Like

  6. I’m more of a NETGEAR guy. I’ve had super luck with them and more bad luck with Linksys/Cisco hardware failures. Would it be absurd to assume that the directions would also work with a NETGEAR ADSL2+ Modem/Router? I’m sick of the Motorola junk they sent me. When it works it works. When it doesn’t it seems to take a week to straighten out

    Like

    • I don’t know if the same settings would work or not. But hey, the worst that could happen would be that it doesn’t and you have to return the box to the store where you got it. I’d give anything a shot to avoid having to deal with AT&T. I just wish my cell phone company which is Greatcall (greatcall.com) offered Internet service. I’d switch to them in a heartbeat. Good luck. If those settings do work with the Netgear equipment, I’d appreciate it if you’d come back here and leave a note so that others might benefit from it. Cheers!

      Like

  7. Wow, I am glad I found you! I tried installing and of course, thunk, no workie. So I will try what you have gone through and hope it works for me. I not tech savvy here and thank you for putting it up for everyone else to see. I see I am late to the party, but I put off putting this router just because I figured it would not be easy to do. Why oh, why can’t it be easy?!?

    Like

    • I’m glad that the information is there for you. 🙂 I’ve had a few folks contact me who said that the instructions worked perfectly or with only one change…. (read the comments for the one guy who had to do something different.) It took me ages to figure it out. Once I had the settings, the whole process should take only a few minutes. Good luck.

      Like

  8. I suppose this doesn’t work with wireless? I tried everything above and nothing. Not even a evil at&t page to do the setup thing at the end. I fear I’m going to have to send back my X2000, put a bullet in my at&t service and go with another a new business till they also rub me the wrong way.

    Like

    • The wireless part of the router works on my ssystem. I connect my iPad and iTouch through it all the time. The router is connected the computer by a cable, not wireless though. I don’t know if that makes a difference. And… when I first set up the router, I had a PC. Now I have a Mac. I didn’t have to do an reconfiguring when I switched to the Mac. I just plugged it in. Good luck. If you figure it out, please return here and either describe what you did or post a link to your own web page where you describe what you did.

      Like

  9. Thank you for helping me validate my settings. I have an X3000 (from the UK & not sold in the US for reasons I’ve not been able to learn). The difference being additional ports: 1 ethernet & and 1 USB.

    There are 2 settings I can’t change: the PCR and SCR. Mine are set to 4000 and greyed out. I know a lot but not about with the workings of QoS or those 2 settings, so the difference between 0 and 4000 seems huge to me.

    Thanks in advance for your continued help.
    (btw, there’s available a newer model:
    Linksys X3500 – dual-WAN, simultaneous dual-band (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz), ADSL2+ Modem Router – Wireless-N @ 750Mbps)

    Like

  10. Hello again and just wanted to let you know that I was able to connect my X2000, and to say there was NO WAY on this planet that I would’ve been able to connect without your instructions. I finally chose a day I was gonna be able to give it my full attention to install without interruption. Before I looked around the internet and found your instructions, I had contacted the “Evil Empire” and was informed by their “tech” that I would have to connect my At&t issued Motorola modem to be able to use the X2000. Just want THANK YOU for posting online.

    Like

  11. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting!
    I truly enjoyed reading it, you can be a great author.
    I will make certain to bookmark your blog and will
    come back down the road. I want to encourage you to ultimately
    continue your great job, have a nice day!

    Like

  12. I’m replying for only one reason. This trackback down below leads to a website who stole one of my posts and put it on their website in its entirety without my permission. I have notified the domain company that hosts the website of their illegal activity. Copyright infringement is a crime. Don’t steal other people’s writing!!!!!!!1

    Like

  13. This person does NOT have permission from me to copy my entire article and post it on his Blog. He/She is in violation of US and International Copyright Laws. Someone who is beating a drum about how “evil” AT&T is, should really look in the mirror and see what a criminal looks like.

    Like

  1. Pingback: A tale of the “Evil Empire” Part 1 « 5-6-7-8! Dancing my way to a … | ATTSucks.me

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  3. Pingback: A tale of the “Evil Empire” Part 1 | 5-6-7-8 Dancing My Way to a … | ATTSucks.me

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