DOCSIS 3.1

Should I Get a New Router/Modem Combo?

TP-Link Archer C4000

Episode 1807

Bill from Statesville, NC

Bill wants to know what's better: a router/modem combo or a separate router and modem. Leo prefers to separate a two. You want to get a cable modem that is DOCSIS 3.1 and make sure that your ISP supports it. You'll also need to call them and get them to accept the MAC address of the modem. Bill is also having issues with download speeds on his iPad. If you're having WiFi issues, then try putting the router higher up. Also, reposition it. Another option is to try powerline networking with TPLink. But it would help if you were getting at least 100MB per second down.

Why Does My Internet Signal Drop Out?

AC1750

Episode 1806

Jerry from Santa Rosa, CA

Jerry bought a new Netgear AC1750 WiFi Modem/Router for his home network, replacing his cable modem. Leo says he wants to be sure it uses DOCSIS 3.1. It's much faster. But his streaming audio buffers all the time. Leo says the problem isn't the router, it's the internet connection. Get the ISP to come out and check the signal into the house. Then he can decide if the problem is his or theirs. It could also just be congestion.

What Router Should I Buy?

Routers

Episode 1782

Rick from Capistrano Beach, CA

Rick has been having issues with his wifi router. He has dropouts, and he has to unplug it and plug it back along with his modem. Leo says that when a router starts to fail a lot, that indicates that it's wearing out and it's time to replace it. Leo says that if you are renting from your ISP, he recommends turning in your cable modem and request a new DOCSIS 3.1 model. Or buy your own and save the rental fee.  Should he get a mesh router? Leo says that if you have a house that's greater than 1300 sq. feet, then it's worth it. But smaller than that, and a regular router is fine.

Why's My Router/Modem Buffering When I Stream Music?

Router

Episode 1766

Joe from Mission Viejo, CA

Joe tries to stream Pandora to a wireless speaker, but it breaks up during every other song. His carrier replaced his modem/router with a newer model. While the solution made it better, the problem still persists.

Leo says he doesn't have to use the carrier's modem/router on the network. He can buy his own. Leo says that he can save money that way as well, as it pays for itself. Leo recommends getting a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. Leo's favorite is the Netgear CM1000. 

Can a modem overheat?

Netgear Modem

Episode 1738

Steve from Palm Beach, FL

Steve has a DOCSIS 3.1 modem and wants to know if there's anything faster. Leo says that DOCSIS 3.1 can handle up to 1GB down and DOCSIS 3.2 is coming. Should it run hot? Leo says no. If it's too hot to touch, that's a problem and could indicate the modem may be wearing out faster. But cable modems don't wear out as fast as your router does, so you may need a new router. But the main reason to update a router is to get a more secure system. Most consumer routers don't get updated and have unpatched vulnerabilities.

Look for a router that will offer automatic firmware updates. 

Should I buy a WiFi 6 router?

WiFi 6

Episode 1696

Ted from San Diego, CA

Ted wants to know if he should get a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. Leo says that not everyone is supporting the DOCSIS 3.1 standard, especially for WiFi 6. But it'll certainly be future proof your system for the foreseeable future. How about a WiFi 6 router? Leo says that WiFi 6 routers are out, sure, but they just announced WiFi 6E, and those routers will be out later this year. And any current WiFi 6 router won't support it. Another thing to consider is that you won't get WiFi 6 benefits if your devices are only WiFi5 compatible. So it depends on what your current gear supports.

Do I Need to Use the Router and Modem Provided by my ISP?

Netgear

Episode 1638

David from Bethesda, MD

David has a router/modem combo. Is this common? Leo says it's common for an ISP to provide those. But keep in mind that he'd be paying about $10 per month to rent it, and it's likely not as up to date or fully featured as one you can buy. That's why Leo recommends buying a separate router and modem. DOCSIS 3 or 3.1 should work. NetGear is recommended by TheWirecutter. Just make sure the gear is supported by the ISP, and call the ISP and they have to "ping it" and disable the rental gear.

Can I Remotely Partition a Hard Drive?

Windows

Episode 1618

Irwin from New York, NY

Irwin is trying to partition a laptop hard drive remotely. But he can't do it and reinstall Windows. Leo says one thing to try is defragging the hard drive to give it all the unoccupied free space it needs in order to reinstall Windows. The Chatroom says one thing to do is use the GPT partition. But Leo advises against it. Windows knows what it's doing when it's installing Windows, so trust it to give it the proper partition. Should he go to DOCSIS 3.1? Leo says yes. It has some power management features that will reduce buffer bloat and save energy. And DOCSIS 4 is on the way.