networking

Improve Your In-Home Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is great when it works, but all too often there are problems that cause disconnects or slowdowns. If you have a large house, or there are too many walls that make it hard for signal to travel through, you may need more than just one wireless router.

One option for improving your reception is to set up a secondary Wi-Fi access point to extend your current Wi-Fi router. You'll want to buy an extender from the same company that made the router you already own. Set up the extender in "bridge mode" and it will rebroadcast the signal and extend its range.

Should I put ethernet cable in my new home?

Episode 1365

Mike from Los Angeles, CA
Cat6 cable

Mike is thinking of putting cable inside his house, but he's not sure what to wire it with. Leo recommends going the extra step and putting conduit in. That way he can rewire the house when the technology advances without yanking out the drywall again. These days, he'll want at least Cat6, maybe 6a for now. He shouldn't go for fiber now, though. It's pretty expensive.

How to Tell If Your Computer Has Been Hacked

There are a lot of ways that bad actors online can compromise your computer. As their techniques become more sophisticated, it becomes more difficult to know whether or not your system has been compromised. There are some signs to look for, however, to tell if your computer is affected by malware.

You can always scan your computer with antivirus software. Microsoft includes its own antivirus utility as part of Windows 8 and above. You can also use the Malicious Software Removal Tool by pressing the Windows Key + R, typing in "MRT," and pressing enter.

Why is my internet access so slow on my computer?

Episode 1356

Amy from Orange County, CA
HP Spectre

Amy is experiencing very slow access to internet and remote desktop, and sometimes it just times out. Leo suggests shutting down remote desktop to see if her browser works better, as it may be taking up resources. It's possible malware may be the culprit, but if she's not seeing anything with MalwareBytes, that's unlikely. It could be something simple like a bad network cable to her router. So she should start easy with swapping out the cable. Since her other computer works just fine, that eliminates the internet connection itself. So we know it's a problem with this particular computer.

Why did the 2.4 GHz band on my router become unusable?

Episode 1355

Alan from Kentucky
WiFi

Alan is having issues with his wireless routers since a power surge, especially on the 2.4 GHz band. Leo says that's because 2.4 GHz is overcrowded. Everything seems to use it. That's why having a dual band router is beneficial. It could also be that the power surge fried his 2.4 GHz band. Routers also wear out, and over time, it starts getting slower and more unreliable. It's probably time to get a new router.

Why is my router disconnecting my devices?

Episode 1349

Mary from Lisbon, ND
Acer RT-AC3200

Mary bought an Acer RT-AC3200 and she's having trouble with it. All her devices were disconnected from the 2.4Ghz band. The 5Ghz band is OK. It isn't congestion either because she lives out in the country. She's rolled back her firmware and Asus even sent her another modem. Leo says that sometimes the antennas may loosen and that could cause connection issues. Leo has had similar issues and it may be that the band gets overloaded and drops out everything. It could also be interference from the house itself.

How can I bridge my UVerse Router?

David from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1348

David is trying to put his router into bridge mode, but he's having issues doing it. Leo says that if he's using the cable router and modem, they may have disabled the router protocol that would do that. The chatroom agrees. He can't do that with an AT&T UVerse modem. It just won't let him have his own router.

Leo says David is better off going with Spectrum and buying his own DOCSIS 3 modem. Then he can do it himself and have more freedom. UVerse is very strict because of QoS.

Why is my Wi-Fi slower than connecting directly to the router?

Joseph from Florida

Episode 1343

Joseph wants to know why his Wi-Fi speed is slower than it should be. Leo says it could be a variety of reasons, like distance from the access point, the amount of metal in his home, and the number of devices on the same network and bandwidth. The fastest speeds are received by being hardwired directly into the router.