Networking

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

How can I improve my Wi-Fi signal?

TP-Link EAP225

Episode 1550

Bruce from Carlsbad, CA

Bruce has Wi-Fi coverage in his house because it's long and narrow. He doesn't want extenders. So he's thinking of using Cat5 ethernet. Can he take an ethernet connection and convert it to Wi-Fi? Leo says that the TP-Link EAP225 access points will do the trick. He can also turn his router into bridge mode for that. But he can also use Powerline Networking, where he can use his electrical grid for networking and get internet access in every room. He can just plug in the Powerline adapters.

Why is my Wi-Fi dropping out?

Netgear AC2600 Router

Episode 1549

Clarence from Chesapeake, VA

Clarence has issues with his laptop's Wi-Fi intermittently dropping after adding a new modem and Netgear router. Leo says to connect the laptop directly to the router and see if it drops out. If it doesn't, then he'll know the internet connection is fine, and the Wi-Fi radio in the laptop is flakey. If it keeps happening, then that would lead to his router, or even modem. Another possibility is the power-saving may be turned on in the Wi-Fi settings of his laptop. Just disable power-saving and it should be OK from there. It could even be congestion from other internet devices.

Should I buy a new router?

ASUS Tri-Band Gigabit (AC3200) WiFi Router

Episode 1548

Gordon from Long Island, NY

Gordon hears that after about 3 years, routers become less secure and outdated. So does he have to replace his ASUS AC3200 router? Leo says often, news agencies read copy from an electronic press kit. Routers are getting hacked, but if he bought a good router from a company that updates the firmware regularly, then he's OK. ASUS uses DD-WRT, which is updated regularly. So all he has to do is keep them updated.

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.

What's a good alternative to Drobo?

Synology 4-bay RAID

Episode 1541

Rick from Edmonton, Canada

Rick bought a Drobo 2, and it's a bit flakier than his gen 1 Drobo. If it gets jostled, it has to reboot and rebuild. He's concerned that it's a single point of failure and he'll lose his data. Leo says that Drobos are a RAID (called Beyond Raid) where if one drive fails, it rebuilds form the other drives. So it's not really a single point of failure. But if all the drives go bad, then he's in a world of hurt.

Should I get a mesh router?

Netgear Orbi

Episode 1538

Bianca from Wisconsin

Bianca is thinking about getting a mesh router because her Wi-Fi is slow and unreliable. Leo says that a mesh router will definitely do the job, and they're better than a Wi-Fi extender because the extender is only half as fast. But mesh routers aren't cheap. Mesh routers also have a great quality of service with bandwidth shaping, and also parental blocking features. NetGear's Orbi is good, as is the Eero.

Why can't I put files on my external hard drive with my router?

Asus AC3200 Router

Episode 1537

Dan from Cleveland, OH

Dan wants to be able to transmit his movies over his network, but he can't see the drive he has hooked up to the router. Leo says that it sounds like the drive is set to Read-only through the Asus router Dan uses. It also depends on his file sharing settings in Windows. ScooterX says that Windows uses SMB, which is the most common file sharing standard. Heres a tech note on how (asus.com). But it will likely be very slow.