Networking

Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.

Should I get a mesh router?

Netgear Orbi

Episode 1538

Bianca from Wisconsin

Bianca is thinking about getting a mesh router because her Wi-Fi is slow and unreliable. Leo says that a mesh router will definitely do the job, and they're better than a Wi-Fi extender because the extender is only half as fast. But mesh routers aren't cheap. Mesh routers also have a great quality of service with bandwidth shaping, and also parental blocking features. NetGear's Orbi is good, as is the Eero.

Why can't I put files on my external hard drive with my router?

Asus AC3200 Router

Episode 1537

Dan from Cleveland, OH

Dan wants to be able to transmit his movies over his network, but he can't see the drive he has hooked up to the router. Leo says that it sounds like the drive is set to Read-only through the Asus router Dan uses. It also depends on his file sharing settings in Windows. ScooterX says that Windows uses SMB, which is the most common file sharing standard. Heres a tech note on how (asus.com). But it will likely be very slow.

How can I create secure Wi-Fi in my apartment building?

Ubiquity Edge Router X

Episode 1534

Scott from Colorado Springs, CO

Scott is looking for a secure internet solution for his apartment tenants. Leo says he'll want to have a business version, which will give him a more reliable and faster connection. Leo suggests buying four different routers in bridge mode with a main Ubiquity Edge Router X. That will enable you to route traffic through the other four routers via a VLan connection. They will have a secure and isolated connection, while still sharing the connection. The other option is to let your tenants secure their own internet connection.

Should I buy a mesh router?

Netgear Nighthawk

Episode 1532

Dave from Binghampton, NY

Dave wants to replace his Airport Extreme with a mesh router. Leo says that's a good idea since Apple has stopped making routers. Mesh routers are good because they are always updated and provide great coverage around a large house. The downside is that to get additional features and updates, he'll have to pay around $100 a year for that support.

How can I extend my Wi-Fi?

Netgear Orbi

Episode 1530

Greg from Homosassa, FL

Greg has to extend his Wi-Fi in order to stream to the TVs around the house. What kind of extender should he get? Leo says the farther he is away, the less signal and speed he'll get. So he'll need to boost the signal. If he's using a modern Wi-Fi router that uses 802.11AC, then it'll be easier. But if he has to use a router provided by the cable company, he should try and see if he can put the router/modem in bridge mode and use his own router. Then he should turn off the modem's Wi-Fi radio as well.

Why isn't my NAS visible on my network?

Western Digital NAS

Episode 1529

Paul from Lake Forest, CA

Paul's WD NAS can't be seen on his network after changing the cable connector. There's a red light that says "I'm not working." Leo says he could try to use another computer with the dashboard software and connect directly, bypassing the router. If he sees it, then there's some issue connecting through the router. Leo says that Western Digital's NAS is terrible. Definitely not his preferred NAS. They fail more often than others. Leo prefers Synology.