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When it’s time to replace your Internet modem

Photo for The Union John Hart
Jorn Hart | The Union

Monika is having trouble with her AT&T Internet connection. She wants to know, “Is there something I can do to make it work better and more reliably?”

When you sign up for DSL service with AT&T, the installation includes a modem, the hardware that connects your computer or home network to the AT&T DSL Internet service. Your modem may also include a wireless router so that you can connect wirelessly.

Most AT&T modems/routers include only a one-year warranty. After that period, you can purchase a replacement from AT&T, but that’s generally expensive, and it’s not your only option. You can also purchase a replacement modem/wireless router online, or at your local office supply or computer retailer.



The important detail to look for is that the device supports the standard ATT-ADSL connection (http://goo.gl/1NujV), and as long as you’re purchasing a new one, you might want to consider getting one that includes a wireless router, as well. AT&T will tell you that they won’t support a non-AT&T modem, but if you have problems connecting, you don’t need to tell them that you purchased a new one, and the manufacturer will provide support, as well.

In order to hook up the new modem, you will need to know the original username and password for the modem. Generally, the user name is an email address (like yourName@sbcglobal.net); the password is often your own home phone number, but you may have changed it. Hopefully you wrote this down, but if not, AT&T can reset your credentials. (Remember, don’t volunteer that you replaced the modem yourself!)




Follow the instructions provided with the new equipment and you should be connected to the Internet in no time.

Windows 8 login missing

Scott asked: I installed Windows 8, and I can’t figure out how to log in. I get the splash screen with a pretty picture, and then nothing. What am I missing?

Although I do like Windows 8, this is one of the many reasons I won’t be installing it on my father’s computer anytime soon. Personally, I recently thought you had to actually swipe with the mouse or your finger in a touchscreen to get rid of that lock screen, but the fact is all you have to do is touch the mouse or type a key and it goes away, and then you can log in just like on any other operating system. This is just one of the many “non-discoverable” features in Windows 8, making it enough different from Windows 7 to cause trouble for many users.

So don’t get fooled: Just touch the mouse or type any key, and you’re ready to log in.

Doug Behl and Ken Getzspent years answering technical questions in private, and are minimizing the questions by pre-emptively publishing the answers. Hear Doug and Ken’s tech tips on KNCO radio weekdays at around 8:21a.m. and 5:38 p.m.; find full write-ups including links to the products they mention at http://blog.techtipguys.com. Submit your own technical questions to questions@techtipguys.com.


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