Ethernet

Why does my printer drop off my network?

Dave from Minnesota

Episode 1507

Dave has an HP 6700 printer, which keeps disconnecting from his network. Clearly, since Dave has replaced the router and modem, then the culprit is the printer. Try a wired connection, but it also drops off the network. So that eliminates WiFi congestion as being the problem. It sounds like something has gone wrong with the Network settings on the printer and since printer is several years old, it may be time to replace it. You could also try downloading the latest firmware and installing it. That can often solve issues like this. Do that before you go buy a new printer, at least.

Why does my video stream stutter sometimes?

Episode 1501

Louis from Santa Ana, CA
Ethernet Cable

Louis is watching baseball games streaming online and sometimes the feed stalls. Leo says that's called buffering, and sometimes a packet drops and the feed will wait to see if it shows up out of order. Then it will insert it and move on. Sometimes, though, it just gives up and continues. There are some causes of this, including congestion from a wireless connection. But Louis can get a dual band router and use the 5Ghz band, or just connect to the router with an ethernet connection. The stream will be more reliable that way.

Would a mesh router work well with multiple ethernet connections?

Episode 1500

Matt from Rochester, MN
Plume Wi-Fi

Matt is building a new house and has run cat 5 ethernet around the house. But should he also use a mesh router? Leo says he uses Eero at home, but here is one mesh system that's great specifically for Matt's situation: Plume. Plume sells tiny little access points that plug into the wall with an ethernet port. It's still part of a larger mesh network, but it creates very localized access from the ethernet.

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.

Add More Ethernet Ports to Your Router

While Wi-Fi is more popular and prevalent than ever, it's still no match for a hardwired ethernet connection. But many of the new routers, especially mesh routers, don't have many ethernet ports built into them. Fortunately, if you have at least one ethernet port, you can expand that to as many as you need with a "Switch". Netgear makes some quality switches, but any unmanaged networking switch should work just fine. They all are very easy to use, as long as you get an unmanaged Switch.