Networking

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

Why doesn't my Airport see the names of my devices?

Chris from Miami

Episode 1114

Chris bought a fourth Airport Express, but now the wireless client is broadcasting WiFi information by numbers, not names. So he has no clue what devices are what. He says it happened after upgrading the software. Leo says that's baffling. But he has a hunch it's the device's MAC address. The Chatroom says that the ARC table is full. Leo also recommends rebooting and resetting the router to clear that out. But since Chris has done that, it can't be the ARC table. So this is a mystery. Leo says that you don't see names in that table. It's normal.

How many Airports can I use on my Wi-Fi network?

Episode 1112

Chris from Miami, FL
Wi-Fi

Chris has a Wi-Fi issue in his house, and he's been told that he can only have three Airports in his home because it would cause problems. Leo says there shouldn't be a limit with WDS if the other Airports are just passing along the data and extending the network. If they're all on the same channel, then the limit will probably be in force since collisions could occur. The trick is to get the channels that are overlapping as far apart as possible, around 100 feet away. This is to reduce Wi-Fi congestion. It can work, but it could be a bit less reliable.

How can I stop my computer from losing the network?

Episode 1108

Michael from Long Beach, CA
Ethernet cable

Michael has a computer that drops off the network from time to time, causing him to restart either the computer or the router. Leo says it's probably not the router since other computers aren't effected. If a computer drops off the network, then there's probably an issue with Mike's ethernet card since it's wired in. He should first replace the ethernet cable. That's the cheap and easy fix.

How can I extend the Wi-Fi signal from an Apple Airport Extreme?

Episode 1106

Jeff from Los Angeles, CA
Apple Airport Express

Jeff has a 3000' square foot house and has several Apple Airport Expresses to relay the signal from his Airport Extreme. Leo says that Jeff should have the Express in 'Bridging mode' and should let the Airport Extreme choose the channel because it will adjust according to congestion. Just select the option to extend the network and let it handle everything else.

Should I replace my router?

Episode 1106

Ron from North Carolina
Asus AC Router

Ron is buying his wife a new laptop for their anniversary and he's looking at a Lenovo which has AC Wi-Fi. He doesn't think his router can handle it, since it's pretty old. Leo says that routers do wear out and the AC router will give him better reception and speed. Every four or five years, it may be necessary to get a new router.

How can I get my iPhone to connect to Wi-Fi?

Episode 1105

Tom from Warren, OH
Asus Router

Tom is having issues connecting his iPhone to his router, and he's looking to get an Asus One router. Leo says that's a great idea because it uses DD-WRT, which is an open source firmware and it's more secure, faster, and offers more options. Leo says that the plaster and metal joists could be acting as a faraday cage to prevent connectivity. And it's not unusual for a weaker signal to have issues in iOS. It just sounds like the signal isn't good and you coudl get an extender, but Leo recommends getting one from the same brand.

How can I make my printer accessible on my Wi-Fi network?

Episode 1102

Aaron from Tustin, CA
Lantronix XPrint Server

Aaron has an office printer that he'd like to hook up to his upstairs router and print from his network. Is there an easy way to do that and print via Wi-Fi? It isn't a Wi-Fi enabled printer.

Leo says that the Lantronix Wireless xPrint Server will make any printer wireless. It also works with Google Cloud Print, allowing Aaron to print from anywhere in the world.

(Disclaimer: Lantronix is a sponsor).

How can I get started with a career in the tech field?

Rod from Hemet, CA

Episode 1102

Rod wants to change careers and get into the technology field. Leo says that following his interest is a good place to start. Starting his own app development may be a good idea, but it's not for everyone. Most people don't make a lot of money doing that. While he can learn to program, that doesn't mean he has the aptitude. IT Services is a growing field if he's good with people. Networking is also a great skill to have if he's mechanical.

Do I need to upgrade my internet bandwidth to stream Netflix?

Mike from Santa Monica, CA

Episode 1099

Mike has a pair of Samsung internet enabled TVs. His Internet speed is about 2 Mbps down. He has upgraded his router, but he's still getting a lot of buffering while streaming. Should he upgrade his internet speed? Leo says that may be the best option. The lowest cost internet is on the edge of using video. And as such, Netflix is probably downgrading the quality.

What cable should I run through my house for fast networking?

Episode 1094

Fred from Upland, CA
Cat 6 Ethernet

Fred is remodeling his home and he's got open walls right now. What cabling should he install so he's set for the future? Leo says he should install Cat 6 Ethernet cable. That would really future proof his home with fast data networking. Or he could just go with wireless networking. He should at least run conduit in the walls and as the technologies change, he can then reinstall whatever cable he needs. Fiber optic cable is pretty cheap, but the switches are expensive. That's why Ethernet is still the best way to go.