Networking

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

How can I rip my CDs and put them on a media server?

Synology NAS

Episode 1488

Walt from Irvine, CA

Walt has a few hundred CDs and he'd like to rip them, put them on a music server, and then donate them. Leo recommends ripping in a lossless version called FLAC. FLAC is a great because if one needs to re-burn to a CD, they can. If using iTunes, he should use Apple's own lossless codec. Using a Mac that stays on all the time would work, but Leo recommends using a Network Attached Storage device and have that run as the music server. It can also do double duty backing up the network. Leo recommends the Synology brand.

What router should I use to run a VPN?

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pfsense215.jpg

Episode 1487

Al from California

Al wants to get a router that can run Tomato or DD-WRT, so he can run VPNs through it because mesh routers aren't open source. Leo says a better option is to use an old computer as his router. pfSense is a good open source router app that can do that. It'll give him far more powerful hardware that can do what he would want it to do. He can even use a Raspberry Pi for it.

Why is my internet access so slow?

INSIIDER

Episode 1486

John from Los Angeles, CA

John has a problem where after about 10 minutes, his router drops to a slow crawl. He's done Windows Repair, reinstalled Windows, and even replaced his router. What else can he do to solve the issue? Leo says that it's possible that the computer is doing something in the background. Leo doesn't like having to rely on the routers provided by an ISP. They're usually old, haven't been updated, and he'd end up paying monthly for them. John should see if there's a router log. He can look there to see what's taking up all the bandwidth.

How can I rip all my DVDs and play them on a network?

Synology DiskStation

Episode 1483

James from Las Vegas, NV

James has 300 DVDs that he'd like to put on a media server and watch using Amazon Alexa to launch them. Rich says that the first thing James would need to do is "rip" them to a hard drive. He can use a combination of HandBrake and VLC Media Client to get them into digital files. Then he can put them on a network attached storage device.

Should I replace my router?

eero.com

Episode 1479

Brian from Indio, CA

Brian wants to know why he should replace his router. Leo says that routers wear out, like when they are getting hot. That's an indicator it's working harder to push the traffic where it needs to go. He'll want to look for a router that that updates its firmware. He'll also want a reliable manufacturer who cares about updates. Leo also recommends a MESH router, which are great for homes that have issues with WiFi reception.

Get a mesh system at Eero's website (sponsor of TWiT)

Can I mix hard drives in my NAS?

QNAP NAS

Episode 1476

Josh from Sutter, CA

Josh wants to know if he should buy all one brand of hard drives for his QNAP NAS or if he could mix them. Leo says that there's no problem with mixing drives, but he should make sure that the drive size is consistent, as most RAIDs will manage according to the smallest size. If he's buying it all at once, then it makes sense to buy the same drive, but if he's getting a great deal on different hard drives, then by all means, he should save the money.