modems

Where do the lights on my modem mean?

ARRIS SURFboard modem

Episode 1512

Sam from Carlsbad, CA

Sam has an ARRIS cable modem and when he's plugged it into his router, he's not sure what the lights mean. Leo says that one is for connecting to the cable company for internet access. If it's off, he's not getting access. There's also a "link light" which will be solid when connected via ethernet, and when data goes back and forth, it blinks. Then there's the uplink and downlink lights. The manual should tell him what they mean. If one is off, then he'll know where the problems are.

Why is my mesh router crashing?

Eero

Episode 1509

Ben from Houston, TX

Ben got a new UVerse modem and an Eero Mesh Router and it was working fine until last week. Now he's having issues with the router, where it drops off the network again and again. Leo says that the UVerse modem is likely a router-modem combo, and he'll need to put the router into bridge mode. And in order for the mesh router to use its advanced features, it needs to be the main router.

Should I buy my own router and modem?

TP-Link Archer C8

Episode 1508

Jean from North Hollywood, CA

Jean wants to know if she should buy her own modem or not. She has DSL. Leo says that since she has DSL, she should just stick with the modem that DSL Extreme provided to her. Generally when Leo talks about replacing the modem to avoid the rental fee, he's talking about cable modems. He wouldn't mess with a DSL modem. As far as the router goes, Leo would recommend Jean get the TP-Link Archer C8, which is less than $80.

What's the difference between a TV converter box and a cable internet box?

Cable

Episode 1490

Paul from La Jolla, CA

A TV converter box is the set top box that comes with a cable subscription, and it takes the signal coming in through the copper cable and turns it into something the TV can understand. He would use the converter box to switch channels. The internet box is a bit different, and would give him the cable internet access. Often times companies will combine the two and offer a converter box and a cable modem. He would get more channels on the hybrid cable TV and internet box, but he'd have to pay for the internet access to use that.

How can I turn off the router in my modem and use my own?

TP-Link Archer C7

Episode 1453

Dan from Corona, CA

Dan has AT&T and a new TP-Link router. Can he use his own with the AT&T DSL modem that has a router built-in? Leo says yes. He can turn off the AT&T's router radios and network address translation. He could try putting it into bridge mode. He'll have to open up the browser IP address and look for a place that will enable him to turn off the router altogether. He'll also have to disable DHCP. If he can't do that, then he can put the TP-Link into bridge mode and it will just pass the signal along. He should also look for a passthrough mode.

Why is my router dropping out?

ARRIS SURFboard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

Episode 1427

Perry from Ocean Beach, CA

Perry has a NetGear C6900 modem/router and it just drops out for several seconds from time to time. Leo says that routers and cable modems do wear out over time, and if he gets a lot of drop outs, it could be time to replace it. But Perry's router is only six months old, so that shouldn't be happening. Leo says he could try updating the firmware. PadreSJ says that the NetGear Combo units start having memory issues that cause server busy errors. Perry should go into his settings to find the logs and see if he is getting errors like that.