Networking

Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.

Am I safe from the VPN Filter hack?

Episode 1497

Neil from Phoenix, AZ
Asus AC3200 Router

Neil is worried that the VPN Filter hack will affect his Asus router because his model isn't protected. Should he be worried? Leo says first thing he can do is update his firmware. Asus keeps their firmware up to date regularly and uses open source DD-WRT firmware. So if there isn't one, he can patch it himself. But Asus routers are great because they update them constantly. Neil should reload the most current firmware, even if he has already updated it. That will wipe out any additional problems.

Why is my Wi-Fi so slow?

Episode 1496

Ron from Carlsbad, CA
Netgear Orbi

Ron has UVerse and an extender and it slows to a crawl when he streams. Leo suspects that it's his modem that's causing the problem. It's likely an out of date modem that's slowing the network traffic down. Rebooting could help. A better Wi-Fi router could help too. Routers do wear out over time. Leo recommends the NetGear Orbi. He can set up the AT&T router to work in bridge mode and then use the new router to route the traffic. It'll be a lot better.

How can I extend my HDMI signal on my TV?

Episode 1495

Jeff from Marshall, IL
HDMI Extender

Jeff wants to extend the range of HDMI to other parts of his house. But when he does, he starts to lose signal. What can he do? Leo says that Baluns are good for that. It stands for "Balanced/Unbalanced" and it will convert HDMI to ethernet and back to HDMI so that he can stretch it hundreds of feet with no signal loss at all. Jeff should check out Monoprice.

How can I get control of my Exchange server?

Episode 1493

Lori from La Crescenta, CA
Password

Lori can't get access to her Exchange server. Her password doesn't work ever since an employee who was running it left the job. Leo suspects he changed the passwords before he left. But if she has physical possession of the server, she should be able to change the passwords. If the employee has access to her server, then he has control, even outside of the company. So Lori will have to go to him or the company he represents and get the passwords. If he's proven to be untrustworthy, then they'll probably have a hard time getting that information.

What's a good router to buy?

Episode 1493

Tim from San Diego, CA
Synology Router

Tim bought a new NetGear 7900 router, but he had to reboot it every few days. So he returned it and doesn't know what to buy now. Asus is a company that offers a similar router design. It's an open source based router that uses DD-WRT and Tomato. That's what Leo would buy. NetGear also has the problem of being susceptible to the Russian virus, along with TP-Link and several others. Leo suspects that's because they aren't updated as often.

How can I add Wi-Fi to my security gate?

Episode 1490

John from Fallbrook, CA
TP-Link AC1750 WiFi Range Extender

John has a private gate and he needs to connect it via Wi-Fi so he can have a doorbell camera there, but his Wi-Fi range is limited. Leo says that since he has power out there, Leo recommends powerline networking to do it since the electrical lines are already laid. The doorbell camera may be hard because of the speed from the powerline, but Leo thinks it's doable. He recommends TP-Link. The downside is that he'll need to have it all on the same circuit.