Jim has an internet enabled TV and he is about to subscribe to the internet. But does he really need a router? Leo says yes! It sits between you and the outside world and rejects security assaults by hackers. The router will also handle multiple devices, so if you have mobile phones, smart devices, your desktop or laptop, you're going to need a router to handle all that traffic. And your internet company will likely give you a router that can handle all that.
You may have heard about the latest Wi-Fi vulnerability in the news called “KRACK” or “Key Reinstallation Attack.” This is a security flaw in the WPA2 protocol that could allow a third party to intercept network activity between a router and a device. It does this by taking advantage of a problem with the way the client (your mobile device or computer) authenticates with the access point (the router).
Perry has a NetGear C6900 modem/router and it just drops out for several seconds from time to time. Leo says that routers and cable modems do wear out over time, and if he gets a lot of drop outs, it could be time to replace it. But Perry's router is only six months old, so that shouldn't be happening. Leo says he could try updating the firmware. PadreSJ says that the NetGear Combo units start having memory issues that cause server busy errors. Perry should go into his settings to find the logs and see if he is getting errors like that.
Cindy wants to know what the best mesh router is. Leo says there's a bunch of them, including Plume, Eero, and the Netgear Orbi. They're all very good for people struggling with dead zones in their own home, or if there's a lot of WiFi congestion in the area. Mesh routers work by having a base unit along with extenders positioned all over the house to pass the signal around (much like a "mesh").
Matt wants to get rid of his cable modem/router and get his own. Leo says that's a good idea. He'll most likely have to keep the modem, but he can disable the router in the firmware and use his own instead. Leo recommends an ASUS 3200.
Terry got the Luma mesh router and he gets pretty good 100 MB bandwidth everywhere but his master bedroom, which is about a third that. He even bought another module and it didn't help. Leo suspects that instead of a daisy chain extension, it's more like a star pattern, and that could end up with some dead or weak spots.
(Disclaimer: Eero is a sponsor).
Trevor has a Netgear modem connected to his Google OnHub router. Everything works fine except for an old laptop. Can he connect hardwired to a repeater? Leo says that a second Google device would work because they have two ethernet ports.
Jasper is having a hard time connecting his OnePlus phone to Wi-Fi, and the apps time out. Leo says that if it only happens at home, it may not be his phone. He should go connect to a different Wi-Fi hotspot and see if it's happening. If it connects OK, then it may be that his router is having trouble with his phone. Sometimes that happens and it requires a reboot of the router. Leo also says how he holds his phone can also affect how it receives a signal on the OnePlus. That may or may not be contributing to it.
Mike is frustrated that his internet access is going through a lot of buffering, especially when he's streaming. Leo says a router needs to control his ethernet connection, not a modem. It's the one assigning IP addresses. Then he can put routers all over the house, but have them set in bridge mode so that they just pass the bandwidth along. Mike should try using different names for his routers, too. That way, he can join the nearest ones directly. Getting a mesh router is also be a good idea. They aren't cheap, but they definitely solve the problem.