Ivan needs to setup a blocking of websites to protect his son. Leo says that if the router/modem is provided by the ISP, you may be able to buy an approved model from a third party. If not, there may be ways around it. Try and disable the router portion of the combo and just replace the router with a router of your own. Then you could plug in your own WiFi router to the modem via Ethernet. Then you can change DNS settings. The Chatroom says to set up a "DMZ" to your own router. Can I alter the firmware? Leo says he wouldn't. Just leave the box alone and go with a third party router.
Dan has a Kindle Fire HD and he can't connect his tablet to the Internet. Leo says that since Dan bought his own modem, he'll need to call the cable company and give them the MAC address so they can activate that router for use on their service. Once that's done, he'll plug in the cable modem to the router and then put the router into "bridge" mode. Leo advises spending time at Practically Networked. There's some great tutorials there.
Carol recently moved her Wi-Fi router to another area in the house that she likes but now she doesn't have very good reception. Leo says that a Wi-Fi signal booster is a good idea, but she needs to contact her router manufacturer and see which ones work best. She'll want to stay with the same "family" of products, if possible.
Russell wants to know if he can use Time Capsule as a Wi-Fi extender. Leo says that Time Capsule is just an Airport Extreme with a hard drive built in. So it should be a simple matter of accessing the Wi-Fi part of the device. Leo says that when setting up the Time Capsule, set it up as a router to extend the existing Wi-Fi network. This will make the Time Capsule a bridge to extend the existing Wi-Fi signal, also called WDS (wireless distribution system).
Rob has a Netgear R600 router and the signal keeps dropping. Leo says that routers are commodity computers that have no cooling. Because they're always on, it's not surprising that they can become unreliable. Since they're cheap, he could just toss it and buy a new one.
Mark recently installed an automated home lighting system through Insteon that he can control with his smartphone, and it's been working fine. However, he recently became concerned when he realized he could get right into the web interface with no password just by browsing to that port. Leo says this sounds like an exploit and is the fault of Insteon. Leo advises emailing Insteon to notify them of this security hole. He should also keep this lighting controller up to date if they do release a fix.
Michael is going with DSL Extreme and he needs a WiFi router for it. Could his old AT&T Wi-Fi modem work instead? Leo says it could act as a router, but it has to have Ethernet into it. He should make sure that he's enabled it for bridge mode. It'll either work or it won't, but Leo says that Michael should just get a wifi router instead. Leo recommends Dlink.
Bill used to have a trial version of Network Magic, but since learned that it's been discontinued. He was wondering if there was a similar program he could get that would do the same thing. Leo says that Network Magic was needed when networking was newer, and setting up these networks was much more complex. The truth is, programs like these aren't really needed anymore, because routers are easier to set up now. Leo recommends just following the instructions that come with the router, and leaving it at that.
Andrew wants to get WiFi to all corners of his house. Leo says that's a non-trivial effort. He advises using WDS and repeaters. WDS stands for 'Wireless Distribution System' and is a standard spec devised to do just that. He'll need repeaters everywhere to extend the signal. It helps to have the same brand repeater/extender as the router he uses. Andrew says one wireless access point isn't getting a reliable connection. Leo says it's because it's weak. So putting a repeater about halfway would be a good idea. Leo recommends using a Wi-Fi analyzer utility to see which channels are best.