Dean wants to buy his own router. TheWirecutter likes the Netgear CM500. Leo likes the ARRIS Surfboard. The key is to get a DOCSIS III modem. He'll also want to check with his ISP to see what modems they support. Most support these two main brands. But he'll also want to have a separate router and modem. Routers will change more often than the modem will because they wear out.
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.
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.
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.
Art bought an Amazon Fire TV and wants to know if he can hardwire it for security. Leo says that a standard Fire TV is Wi-Fi only. The Fire TV Cube offers an adapter dongle for it. And if his Fire TV has an ethernet port, he can do it. But if it doesn't, then he can't.
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.
Don bought his own cable modem. What does he need to do to install it? Leo says that he shouldn't have to do anything other than connect it up and then contact his cable provider and give them his MAC address. They'll ping it to activate. He'll want to be sure his modem is supported, though. NetGear should be.
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.
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.