networking

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.

How can I hardwire my computer to my network for gaming?

Episode 1343

Marion from Pasadena, CA
Ethernet Cable

Marion's sister is heavily into gaming and wants to hardwire her PC to the network to get better gaming performance. Leo says that hardwiring is always going to be a bit faster than Wi-Fi because of wireless congestion. Leo says ideally, the best way to do this is to lay conduit from room to room and snake CAT6 ethernet all over the house. That requires opening the wall and is usually best when building a home. She also may need a switcher to handle the traffic around the house.

Why can't I connect to my wireless devices with my router?

Bret from Fort Worth, TX

Episode 1342

Bret is having issues accessing wireless cameras due to blocked ports on his router. Leo says what he wants to do is "port forwarding," and it may be that he'll want to use a higher, five digit port to connect to them. The lower port numbers may either be reserved or in use, like 8080. He should try going higher. He'll also need to use ports that his devices understand. So Bret should look in his manual to see what ports the device supports.

How can I get started in IT?

Keith from Houston, TX

Episode 1340

Keith is an IT professional and how he got into the business is through ITDRC.org. It's a group of IT pros who deploy in the event of national disaster. That's a great way to get started and develop serious experience and serve the community at the same time. Leo says that HAMs have been doing that for a century with radio. So it makes sense that computer technology would follow suit.

Why can't I attach my NAS to my new router?

Paul from Lake Forest, CA

Episode 1339

Paul says ever since he upgraded his router, his Mac's NAS doesn't connect. Leo says to drag the NAS out of the Finder side bar, and then remount it. Then he can add it back to his Finder. Paul should also look for "Connect to Server" under the "Go" menu. He can figure out his IP address for the server by browsing to it. It may also mean that the router is blocking it.

Access Devices on Your Home Network Without a Static IP

If you have a device on your network, such as a security camera or even a server that you want to access remotely, this can be difficult without a static IP address. An IP address is a number assigned to each device on a network that uses the internet. For most home users with residential internet service, this number can change periodically. When that number changes, it is referred to as a Dynamic IP address. It's possible, however, to pay more to get a Static IP address, which doesn't change. When the address is static, it's much easier to access devices and servers remotely.

Why does my modem drop off the internet?

Robert from Las Vegas, NV

Episode 1314

Robert got a new modem and now he has a random disconnect problem. He then can't get on the internet. Leo says that it could be that Robert is having issues with the router in the modem. He should go into the settings and make sure to turn off the router option. It could be running into competing routers. Leo says that the ISP could be changing the settings remotely as well. That's why Leo advises buying his own DOCSIS III modem. Another thing to do is check the network settings to see if his computer is configured to act as a router. If so, that would point to malware.

How can I improve my Wi-Fi coverage?

Episode 1302

Fred from Upland, CA
Plume Wi-Fi

Fred gets really bad bandwidth with Wi-Fi. Leo says that's a common problem and three companies, including Plume, have started up to address it. Leo says that Eero is currently the only one that has a device out to solve the issue. It costs about $500 for three extenders that he would place all around his home, creating a mesh Wi-Fi network. Luma is a little less expensive, though.