Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.
Kevin has a Toshiba laptop and his network adapter went belly up. Can he use a third party adapter? Leo says that Kevin should be able to. Reliance on proprietary adapters went by the wayside thanks to pressure from the EU.
Keith wants to know how strong his WiFi network is. Leo recommends WiFi Analyzer. For the Mac, there's WiFi Explorer. It will give him a line graph with signal strength according to channel. It's $20.
He can find other WiFi analyzer apps at netspotapp.com. It may be that all he needs to do is reset his WiFi settings.
Tamar has an Amazon Echo Dot. She'll be listening to streaming radio and then it will just stop working. Leo says that he's had the same problem and it could be that it hears the word stop and stops. But it could also be that the stream stalls and the Echo gives up. Leo discovered that when he used the Echo Show and could see the error message. When a stream stops, it could be a random stop of the stream to force it to restart. This is largely due to having to pay royalties for music that they play. But if it's stopping suddenly and after just a few minutes, then that's not normal.
Seth used to work in the film industry and the backup storage that they have is up to 10 petabytes of storage and growing. A single film digitized can generate 4TB of space at 5-6K resolution. Leo says that's really not bad because storage is pretty cheap these days for maintaining archives.
Jose has issues with WiFi reaching to the back bedroom in the house. He gets practically no signal at all on his phone back there either. He's told it would be a major issue to move his base station to make it better. What should he do? Leo says that it's a common problem that is largely due to congestion from everyone in the neighborhood. The key is to get an extender. He'll want one that's from the same company. It will cut his bandwidth in half, however, so that's not an ideal solution.
Tom is having issues with Google's DNS server not responding. DNS is the phone book for the internet. It takes the URL and converts it to the unique IP address for that website. It will look in local memory first, then the router, and then the Internet Service Provider for the address. It can even go beyond that to the master servers that house all domain names and DNS lookups. If it can't find it, you get an error message that there's a kink in the chain. That could mean there's something broken on your PC, or even your ISP's servers.
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.
Ken has an Eero mesh router, but he's concerned because he has several "internet of things" devices and he hears that mesh routers don't like them. Leo says that is the current problem, and it may be that the devices aren't smart enough to handle the mesh way of handling the network. They're working on it and Leo says that a fix will some sooner or later. But in the meantime, hardwiring to the router may be the best solution.