Networking

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

What's the best way to wire my house for the Internet?

Ed from Chino Hills, CA

Episode 1254

Ed is building a house in a remote area. Should he install Cat 5e or Cat 6 cable? Leo says that the faster it is, the more expensive it is. It's about 30% faster with each level. So Leo says to future proof your home, buy the 5e, but he should put in conduit so he can replace it with faster cables down the line. It won't speed up internet access, it'll just speed delivery of data within the house. Most people will just be using Wi-Fi, though.

How can I get back control of my router?

Paul from Tarzana, CA

Episode 1253

Paul has a NetGear cable modem/router and he suddenly can't access it to make any changes. Leo says that routers are really cheap computers and sometimes it can get bit-rotted just like any other computer. Paul should try doing a factory reset. Then he should be able to log in and re-enter all of his settings. It's a good thing to do once in a while anyway.

Is internet connected home automation secure?

Gary from Buffalo, NY

Episode 1241

Gary has a ton of devices attached to his network, including home automation devices. It's called the "Internet of things," where all those devices are accessible to the Internet. But is it secure? Leo says it's possible that his network can be breached through them, but that's theoretical. It hasn't happened yet. More likely, his router will be overwhelmed by all the connections. So it may be time to upgrade it.

Why can't my iPad join my Wi-Fi network?

Episode 1240

Sam from San Diego, CA
Apple iPad Air 2

Sam can't connect his wife's iPad to his Wi-Fi Network. He tries to input his password, but it says the password isn't correct, even though his other devices use it just fine. Leo says the iPad probably remembered an incorrectly entered password. Sam should go into Settings, and choose "forget this network." This will erase the password so he can reacquire the network and input the correct password. That should solve the issue. Another possible solution is to shut it all the way off, wait a few minutes and turn it back on.

How can I protect myself on a public hotspot?

Doug from Alabama

Episode 1240

Doug does a lot of traveling on the road and he uses a open Wi-Fi hotspots a lot. He's worried about the security of using those hotspots, though. Leo says that using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a good solution, as it burrows a secure tunnel through the hotspot so that all of his data is encrypted. He'd be totally safe and secure. The downside though it that using a VPN will slow him down a lot, and they are a challenge for some to set up. And the reality is, more and more of what he'll be doing online is encrypted anyway.