modems

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

Episode 1490

Paul from La Jolla, CA
Cable

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?

Episode 1453

Dan from Corona, CA
TP-Link Archer C7

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?

Episode 1427

Perry from Ocean Beach, CA
ARRIS SURFboard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

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.

Can I own my own modem?

Episode 1419

Cecil from Hemet, CA
Motorola Surfboard DOCSIS III

Cecil has been dealing with issues with Spectrum and he's replaced the router. Can he replace the modem too? Leo says yes. He can buy his own modem and save himself a $10 a month rental charge in the process. He'll want to check with Spectrum to see what routers Spectrum supports, and based on those, he can buy his own. Most support the Surfboard DOCSIS III. There's also the NETGEAR Nighthawk.

What's the difference between a router and a modem?

Episode 1381

Christian from Nashville, TN
Modem vs router

Christian wants to know the difference between a router and a modem. Leo says that they handle two different jobs but some people get a modem that also works as a router from their ISP. Modem means "modulate-demodulate," and in the early days, it would take the bits and turns them into sound and then back again over a telephone line. Now they send the data digitally. Then it converts it into RF signals and back to bits.

Can I use DDNS with a VPN instead of paying extra for a static IP?

Episode 1355

JC from Mississippi
Netgear AC1750

JC was looking for a new router to get some more advanced networking features, such as VPN and VLAN. He found the Netgear AC1750 with VPN support for $130. He found out that the VPN support also supports DDNS, which can be used for free as long as you go in every 30 days and click the link to renew it. You could also pay $50 a year for it. He was paying $45 a month for static IP addresses along with the necessary equipment and taxes to have it in his house.