Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.
John often logs into public Wi-Fi hotspots, but he hasn't been able to connect with his cell phone and his MiFi. Leo says that is probably due to not agreeing to terms of service or watching an ad. It's called a "captive portal." Mobile phones are supposed to handle it properly, and if it's not connected, he should see an "!" signaling that it isn't connecting.
Jay bought a new router to add to his network but he's not improving his experience at all. Leo says if he's looking to expand his network, then it's a good idea to set one in bridge mode to just pass on the signal. It may be that Jay's DSL modem can't be a bridging router. Steve Gibson says that two routers handling the Network Address Translation will work fine. So Jay shouldn't do anything and see what happens. Maybe a simple reset will work. But Leo says putting one in bridge mode is best.
John wants to lock down his internet for his kids. Leo says that the trick is to block it with OpenDNS from the router itself. Change the DNS settings on the router to block it. Then he'll need to lock it down on his system to prevent changes.
Paul's UVerse router is starting to get finicky, so he got a new one and wants to use the old one in bridge mode, but it won't work. It keeps asking for a password. Leo says it's unusual for a factory to set a router with a password from default. The password should be in the manual. Paul should try doing a factory reset.
George wants to extend his Wi-Fi signal out to the front porch. How can he boost the signal range of his Wi-Fi network? Leo says a Wi-Fi extender or repeater is his best bet and it's always best to go with the same manufacturer as his original Wi-Fi router. So a D-Link would be D-Link Extender, NetGear with NetGear, Apple Airport Extreme with Airport Express. The idea is to place the extender midway between the base station and where he'll want it to go. This will enable him to double the distance of his Wi-Fi network.
Helen has an iPad, but she can't log into her Wi-Fi with her Zoom modem/router. Leo says that's an odd issue, especially since it can see the tablet. Leo says to try and "forget" the Wi-Fi in her iPad settings and then try and reconnect. That way she can re-input the password. It could be remembering the wrong password.
Frederick has AT&T for his internet access. He's switching to Time Warner Cable and he's wondering if he'll get the 100 Mbps with the modem they'll be renting him. Or should he buy one himself? Leo says Time Warner will tell him what modems they support and he can then buy that. Leo recommends a DOCSIS 3 modem.
Should he get a modem/router combination unit? Leo says no. Use the router separately and daisy chain them together. He'll save a lot of money over the course of the year by just buying it himself. Leo likes the Arris modems.
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. Leo says to try plugging the desktop directly into the router with an ethernet cable, and see if the speed improves. If so, then he's narrowed it down to the router. Leo says it could the hardware, but he could try reinstalling the Wi-Fi connection. There may also be conflicting Wi-Fi drivers at work between the hardware driver and the Windows driver. That can confuse Windows and slow things down.
Don just picked up the Dell XPS 13 per Leo's recommendation with the touch screen and he loves it. Leo says when buying a PC these days, it makes sense to "load it up" to future proof it and use it longer.
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.