Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.
Che just bought a new Dell XPS Desktop and it's started to slow down drastically. He does a speed test, like Leo taught, and the desktop is much slower than his laptop. What gives? Leo says to try plugging the desktop directly into the router with an ethernet cable, and see if the speed improves. If so, then you've narrowed it down to the router. Leo says it could the hardware, but you could try reinstalling the WiFi connection. There may also be conflicting WiFi drivers at work between the hardware driver and the Windows driver. That can confuse windows and slow things down.
Don just picked up the Del XPS 13 per Leo's recommendation with the touch screen and he loves it. Leo says when you buy a PC these days, it makes sense to "load it up" to future proof it and use it longer. Don bought a house a few years ago that came with a so-called "network box" that can run a computer network all around the the house via Ethernet. But the problem is, he'd like to get a new WiFi Router. But Leo says that having a WiFi router isn't necessary when you have a house that's wired up for Network access.
Tom wants to know what brand to use for powerline networking, where you use your electrical wiring as a network infrastructure for your network. Leo says he's become a convert to powerline networking. It's gotten a lot better in the last few years. He just plugs in this special kit and he's getting about 20 MB per second, which isn't too bad.
Jill got a new wireless router and now it's kicking her off the internet, replicating the same problems of her previous router. Leo says that a router dropping the connection from time to time is often a sign of a failing router. Leo advises getting the Asus 3200. Cheap routers are a false economy as they don't perform well, so Jill should spend a little money and get a better router.
Phillip's girlfriend is having issues with her Wi-Fi. Leo says that it could be an interference issue with metal frames and dead zones in her home. Would a range extender work? Leo says that they can if she gets one from the same manufacturer as the original router. But if the main home is using a router from the carrier, then that could be a problem. It would be better to buy a new router with the extender and match them together. Another option could be powerline networking.
Anthony is buying a newly built home and it comes with Cat5 Ethernet cable. He's wondering how the Wi-Fi performance will be. Leo says it depends on the design, but he may need to get a few access points and salt the house with them here and there. Leo recommends staying within the family of his main router.
Tom would like to set up a home network and he's pretty confused on how to do it. Where can he go to get some insider tips? Leo says that a great source is PracticallyNetworked.com. They not only have product reviews, but also tutorials that explain nomenclature and how to go about setting up a network. They keep it up to date, too. Start with "Backgrounders," to learn the basics. Then he can move on to how to set one up.
Anthony shares his internet access with a tenant who wants hardwire access to the modem. Leo says that makes it difficult to isolate, and he'll need a second router, or better yet, a third router. He should segment them on the network so that the tenant doesn't have access to Anthony's data. Leo recommends checking out PracticallyNetworked.com for how to do it.
Luis can't connect to his Wi-Fi at his house, but he can connect to other Wi-Fi networks. Leo says that the first thing to do is connect via ethernet, just to make sure he can connect wired. Then he should try and join the Wi-Fi while he's right next to the router. If he can't connect, he should try rebooting the router. Then reboot the laptop. Then try wired again. It could be a handshake issue.
Ron wants to know if Time Warner Max delivers the high speed it promises. Leo says that it should, and it's all driven by Google, who's putting gigabit internet everywhere. Time Warner Cable and AT&T have started to up the performance of users' broadband to compete. But if Ron doesn't have a DOCSIS III modem, then he's not getting the benefit of that faster internet access. Ron should talk to his provider about getting one or he should just buy it himself. In the long run he'll save money by buying it himself, since he's paying to rent that modem anyway.