modems

Can I use my own router for FIOS?

Episode 1651

Andrew from California

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.

Can my mesh router work with my Comcast router/modem?

Eero

Episode 1555

Bobby from Plymouth, MA

Bobby wants to know how he can get his Eero mesh router to work with his Comcast modem/router. Leo says that's called Double NAT and it's problematic. Leo recommends getting his own modem and using that. Comcast has a list of modems that are supported and they cost under $100. He'll want one that supports DOCSIS III or better. The added benefit is that he'll save on the rental of the modem.

(Disclaimer: Eero is a sponsor)

Why wouldn't my old routers work with a new cable internet installation?

Netgear Nighthawk AC2300

Episode 1546

Mikah from Maine

Mikah left Spectrum internet service, but a recent deal they offered him got him back into the fold. The deal, however, had to include their phone service as well. He was able to continue using his own modem for the internet. He was using an older router before they arrived, but after they came, his router wouldn't work anymore. He had a brand new router, but that wouldn't work at all. He went and got a Netgear Nighthawk AC2300 router, but he's wondering why his other two routers wouldn't work.

How do I stop drop outs in my internet access?

Episode 1535

Jonathan from New Jersey

Rich is starting to get a lot of drop outs of his internet access. He gets an alarm on his mesh router whenever it happens, and he's been told the problem is with Comcast, not his router. Leo says that it is then required of Comcast to fix it. Leo recommends getting your own cable modem. Check with Comcast and see which DOCSIS III cable modems are supported. Not only will you get a newer modem, but you'll also pay $10 a month less in modem rental fees.

Where do the lights on my modem mean?

ARRIS SURFboard modem

Episode 1512

Sam from Carlsbad, CA

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.