routers

How will DD-WRT improve my router's performance? (Part 2)

Brett from New Jersey

Episode 1057

Leo says the problem with new routers is that the software has all sorts of security issues. Since this is the first thing on the network, it's important that it be a secure line of defense.

DD-WRT and Tomato are more secure firmware alternatives to what comes on the router by default. These are both open source, very well written, and are kept up to date. So it is a good idea to replace the router's firmware with DD-WRT, if his router supports it.

How can I secure my Wi-Fi Router?

Naomi from Denver, CO

Episode 1050

Naomi wants to change her router name, and is wondering what else she can do to secure it. Leo says to avoid personal details, and avoid using the name of the router. Leo uses the names of rock stars. She can really name it anything, even "FBI Surveillance Van." If she configures it properly, it's as secure as wired, just not as fast. For pure performance online, she should use a wired connection through Ethernet. If she doesn't need the wireless, then just disable it in the settings.

Leo's list of what to do to lock down your Wi-Fi router:

How secure is port forwarding for running a Minecraft server?

Thomas from Vancouver, BC CAN

Episode 1048

Thomas wants to host a Minecraft server for his friends. Is port forwarding secure? Port forwarding is where you tell the router to send traffic coming in from a specific port to a certain machine. This limits a little bit of the potential damage from opening up a server to the outside world, but it will ultimately depend on that Minecraft server to be secure. It's important that Thomas keeps his Minecraft server secure and up to date. If someone can figure out how to get around his network via the server, he could infect his network.

Extend Your Wi-Fi Signal

There are a few different ways to get better Wi-Fi coverage throughout your home or office. A router should be able to cover at least 150 feet with Wi-Fi signal, but it could be less if there's a lot of interference from wiring in the walls or other devices. Simply moving the router to a new location could help.

Another thing to try is a Wi-Fi extender. Make sure that the extender is the same brand as your router so that it will be compatible. You can even use a second router in "bridge" mode to extend another router's signal.

How can I change the DNS on a cable router?

Ivan from Brisbane, Australia

Episode 1038

Ivan needs to setup website blocking to protect his son. The problem is that the modem/router provided by the ISP doesn't allow him to change any of the settings. He might be able to disable the router portion of his modem/router, and buy a replacement for the router. Then he could change the DNS settings. The chatroom says he could set up a "DMZ" to his own router.