A VPN (a virtual private network) prevents an ISP from spying on your web traffic. It hides the user behind remote servers to facilitate secure browsing. But what if your Internet Service Provider blocks a VPN? Take AT&T, for example. Despite being a telecommunication giant, there are times when its VPN fails to connect. Even if it does, the connection keeps on dropping within minutes. Although the ISP has provided numerous solutions to this issue, they have been temporary. We want to show you how to fix disconnects on an AT&T VPN.
We also want to commend the ISP for recognizing its firewall might be blocking the VPN. Hence, new users won’t have to suffer. However, those who are yet to resolve the issue can use the IP Passthrough method. With that said, let’s dive into ways to fix AT&T VPN disconnects.
Why does a VPN disconnect on an AT&T internet?
There might be certain underlying factors contributing to a VPN disconnection. If we have to, examining and finding the cause can only be done via trial and error. Here are a few common contributors. Trying to troubleshoot them can deal with most issues.
- High latency — Sometimes, the VPN server is physically too far (latency) from the VPN client, resulting in the data traveling an astounding distance. Due to this, there is often a loss of data packets.
- Overcrowded servers — VPNs with limited bandwidth can cause servers to overload due to crowding visitors. When this happens, the servers can crash, resulting in disconnection.
- VPN blocking — some ISPs directly block VPNs. They recognize the data patterns and prevent the firewall from accepting said traffic. Since the VPN gets blocked at the terminal, there is no chance of it working.
- Hardware/client issues — Lastly, there are physical and digital factors. VPNs run due to a combined effort of physical and digital infrastructure. A faulty part can render a VPN network useless.
Quick fix for AT&T VPN disconnects
You can solve AT&T VPN disconnects using these quick solutions:
- Try obfuscation — VPNs with obfuscation can bypass VPN blocks with ease. Utilize them.
- Use closer VPN servers — You can also switch your VPN servers. Try to use one located closer to you.
- Get a VPN network with high bandwidth — Try a VPN that doesn’t have a bandwidth cap.
- Change VPN protocols — Some VPN protocols are better at speed, and some are slow yet secure. You can choose speed over security. Or use protocols like WireGuard that offer both.
- Update VPN client — An older version of a VPN client can have numerous issues and bugs. Keep your VPN up-to-date and avoid VPN failure.
- Change port — People also practice VPN blocking by closing ports, which can result in disconnection. Hence, change your port to fix AT&T VPN issues.
Configuring IP Passthrough and DMZPlus
The ISP allows users to remedy the VPN situation using two distinct approaches. The first is permitting selective traffic without dropping the firewall, and the other is configuring a separate channel for VPN traffic. Let us learn more about these methods in our article.
What is IP Passthrough?
IP Passthrough allows AT&T users to connect any third-party networking component to the official gateway. Doing so will stop the firewall from recognizing the traffic as malicious. Also, the passthrough approach is a working alternative to the bridging method. However, one has to heed the following points before adopting this method.
- You can only use a single device at a time in the passthrough
- When you put a device in one, the firewall protection from AT&T will be gone
- Putting a device into passthrough will render it a WAN (Wide Area Network) IP instead of a LAN (Local Area Network) IP
IP Passthrough on Motorola NVG 510 and 589
The two gateway models supported by AT&T are Motorola NVG 510 and 589. You can use passthrough on these gateways via three different methods:
- Manual config
Here are the necessary steps to fix AT&T VPN disconnections through the IP Passthrough method using DHCPS-dynamic.
- Launch a web browser on a computer connected to the AT&T gateway.
- Now, enter the following address: http://192.168.1.254.
- Then scroll down on the RG GUI page and locate the Firewall tab.
- Toggle the IP Passthrough mode.
- You might get prompted to enter the DAC (Device Access Code). Input it to authenticate your move.
- Now, go to the “Allocation Mode” and select Passthrough.
- Then, select DHCPS-dynamic from the drop-down menu.
- Save your configurations and wait for the gateway to restart.
Note — Before attempting to put a device into Passthrough, ensure that the device can access the DHCP servers. The dynamic approach is only suitable for a single device that connects first. If you want to attach more devices, you have to use the DHCPS-fixed option.
DHCPS-fixed can connect multiple devices to the device put into Passthrough.
- Run a web browser on an active AT&T connection.
- Then, enter the following into the address bar: http://192.168.1.254.
- You are on the RG GUI, so scroll down and select Firewall.
- Toggle the IP Passthrough option.
- Keep the DAC handy. If prompted, input the code.
- Now, go to the Allocation mode and select Passthrough.
- Then, select DHCPS-fixed.
- Here, you have to enter the MAC address of the device you will set up to receive the Public IP address and to which other devices will connect.
- Save your configurations and restart the network.
Note — Ensure that the device put into Passthrough can obtain a Public IP address through the DHCP.
3. Manually configuring a LAN device
Users can also configure a LAN device manually by using the AT&T-provided WAN IP Address and gateway information.
- Open a web browser on a computer directly connected to the RG.
- Then, enter this address http://192.168.1.254.
- On the RG GUI, select Firewall and then toggle IP Passthrough.
- Now, enter the DAC and select Passthrough from Allocation Mode.
- Here, select Manual and save the configuration.
- After the restart, enter the following on your device:
- WAN IP Address
- Default Gateway
- Subnet Mask
Note — AT&T shares the above-mentioned WAN IP, default gateway, and the Subnet mask. They get assigned through DHCP.
Finding a Fix for AT&T disconnects on Motorola DMZ and DMZPlus
Now, you can also opt for the DMZ and use the VPN that way. We are including the steps to use Motorola Default Server on DMZ and DMZPlus.
1. Using Motorola Default Server
Motorola Gateways include an option to run the Default server mode. It allows the Gateway to forward all externally initiated IP (Limited to TCP and UDP) to a particular device. Hence, the device configured for the Default server will continue as a LAN instead of a WAN. Now we need to get into configuring the Default server Allocation Mode. First, launch a web browser on a computer and make sure it has access to the AT&T internet. Now:
- Enter http://192.168.1.254 in the address bar.
- Then, as we have done above, select Firewall and then IP Passthrough.
- After that, select Default Server from Allocation mode, after inputting the DAC.
- Lastly, enter the IP address of the device you want as the default server.
2. Utilizing Pace Gateways
Now, let us examine the DMZPlus, specifically 2Wire/Pace Gateways. When a user utilizes the 2Wire/Gateways, they are running DMZPlus. Hence, the device you want to be placed must connect directly to the AT&T Gateway.
- Start the process by running a web browser on a device with an active AT&T network.
- Then, enter http://192.168.1.254. Wait for the GUI to load.
- Now, select Firewall and then choose Applications, Pinholes, and DMZ.
- Locate the Select a Computer tab.
- Now pick the device you want to put in the DMZPlus mode.
- Save your configurations.