modems

Why Can't I Suddenly Get WiFi?

WiFi!

Episode 1789

Seraphine from Los Angeles, CA

Seraphine is suddenly suffering from no WiFi. She was "borrowing a cup" from a neighbor, but now she can't get it. Leo says it's possible that the modem has died and you need another. Or you have a bad cable. It's also possible that the WiFI router is bad. If it's a router/modem combo, even more so.  The lights on your modem mean something, and if you look at the manual, it'll tell you if there's something wrong. Routers can also wear out. It may be time to replace it. 

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. 

Can I use my own router for FIOS?

Verizon

Episode 1651

Andrew from Brewster, New York

Andrew has Verizon FIOS and wants to know if he can use his own router. Leo says that Verizon bundles the router/modem together. Leo says you won't save any money since you have to use Verizon's modem/router anyway. But if you want to do your own router, you can turn off HDCP in the Verizon router and then use your own router for a better experience.  Here's a YouTube video on how - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2Jr_0P0zwY

Is My Modem Fried?

ARRIS

Episode 1646

Johnny from Atlanta, GA

Johnny has an ARRIS modem that he bought in 2017 and has gigabit service. But after a power outage, his internet didn't come back up. A technician came out and said that the power outage fried out his modem, even though the power light is on. Leo says it can happen when the power surges into a home as it gets turned back on. That's why people need a surge protector. Leo also says that if they fried the modem, the power company should get him a new one.

How Can I Connect Back to My Network After a Power Outage?

Cox

Episode 1640

Karen from Silverado, CA

Karen had her power shut off recently due to the wildfires and now she can't connect to her network via WiFi. Rich says this is common and can happen when turning things back on. If she doesn't reboot both in the right order, she won't be able to connect. So Rich recommends turning them off again and unplugging them. Then plug in the modem, and the router afterward.

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.

Will a mesh router work with my VOIP phone service?

Netgear Orbi mesh router

Episode 1557

Gwen from Pomona, CA

Gwen has internet through Spectrum. She's looking at getting a NetGear Orbi mesh router. Will she have issues with her phone service? Leo says that she will because Spectrum requires their router to use their phone service. But she can hook them up in tandem and have them coexist. It works with Comcast in a similar fashion. Leo says this is why you don't want to bundle services. It causes issues like this.