Networking

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

Why can't I connect to the Internet?

Episode 1222

Jill from Jasper, GA
ASUS RT-AC3200

Jill got a new wireless router and now it's kicking her off the internet, replicating the same problems of her previous router. Leo says that a router dropping the connection from time to time is often a sign of a failing router. Leo advises getting the Asus 3200. Cheap routers are a false economy as they don't perform well, so Jill should spend a little money and get a better router.

How can I get better Wi-Fi reception?

Phillip from Camarillo, CA

Episode 1222

Phillip's girlfriend is having issues with her Wi-Fi. Leo says that it could be an interference issue with metal frames and dead zones in her home. Would a range extender work? Leo says that they can if she gets one from the same manufacturer as the original router. But if the main home is using a router from the carrier, then that could be a problem. It would be better to buy a new router with the extender and match them together. Another option could be powerline networking.

How can I set up a home network?

Tom from Houston, TX

Episode 1216

Tom would like to set up a home network and he's pretty confused on how to do it. Where can he go to get some insider tips? Leo says that a great source is PracticallyNetworked.com. They not only have product reviews, but also tutorials that explain nomenclature and how to go about setting up a network. They keep it up to date, too. Start with "Backgrounders," to learn the basics. Then he can move on to how to set one up.

How can I share my internet access securely?

Anthony from Ontario, CA

Episode 1214

Anthony shares his internet access with a tenant who wants hardwire access to the modem. Leo says that makes it difficult to isolate, and he'll need a second router, or better yet, a third router. He should segment them on the network so that the tenant doesn't have access to Anthony's data. Leo recommends checking out PracticallyNetworked.com for how to do it.

Why can't I connect to my Wi-Fi network?

Luis from Tarzana, CA

Episode 1212

Luis can't connect to his Wi-Fi at his house, but he can connect to other Wi-Fi networks. Leo says that the first thing to do is connect via ethernet, just to make sure he can connect wired. Then he should try and join the Wi-Fi while he's right next to the router. If he can't connect, he should try rebooting the router. Then reboot the laptop. Then try wired again. It could be a handshake issue.

Is Time Warner Max as fast as they hype?

Episode 1208

Ron from North Carolina
Motorola SB6120 SURFboard DOCSIS 3.0 Modem

Ron wants to know if Time Warner Max delivers the high speed it promises. Leo says that it should, and it's all driven by Google, who's putting gigabit internet everywhere. Time Warner Cable and AT&T have started to up the performance of users' broadband to compete. But if Ron doesn't have a DOCSIS III modem, then he's not getting the benefit of that faster internet access. Ron should talk to his provider about getting one or he should just buy it himself. In the long run he'll save money by buying it himself, since he's paying to rent that modem anyway.

Could my car be hacked?

Episode 1206

Clyde from Sherman Oaks, CA
Car Dashboard

Clyde heard about the Jeep that got hacked and worries that it could happen to his car since he connects his phone to the car with USB. Leo says that simply connecting the phone to the car stereo isn't sufficient for this. The Jeep hack involved using the car's built-in 3G access. The real flaw is that the entertainment unit of the car and the computer running the car (braking, ignition, etc), are not physically separated. They are connected in many cars through the CamBus, or internal car network.