Networking

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

What router should I buy?

Eero

Episode 1456

Ron & Jackie from Irvine, CA

Ron and Jackie are having trouble getting wireless signal upstairs. What can they do? Leo says that any router will be compatible, but with all the congestion and a second story, Leo would recommend a mesh router system. The old router system is just not designed to handle the load. Mesh routers start at $300, but they are completely worth it because they will have no dropouts or dead spots and they are regularly updated to remain secure. Mesh routers will also automatically manage the network according to the quality of service.

What's a good alternative to a Linksys router?

Linksys Velop routers

Episode 1453

Chris from Newtown, PA

Chris has been using the Linksys WRT3200 routers for his clients. Now he's getting notified of bad firmware in the routers. He contacted Linksys and they will replace them, but with 2 Velop Mesh Routers. What are his options? Leo says that if they're free, he'd take that. They're very good routers, so Leo wouldn't hesitate. Mesh routers may be a better option moving forward. They will get updated frequently and have much better reach for his clientele.

How can I turn off the router in my modem and use my own?

TP-Link Archer C7

Episode 1453

Dan from Corona, CA

Dan has AT&T and a new TP-Link router. Can he use his own with the AT&T DSL modem that has a router built-in? Leo says yes. He can turn off the AT&T's router radios and network address translation. He could try putting it into bridge mode. He'll have to open up the browser IP address and look for a place that will enable him to turn off the router altogether. He'll also have to disable DHCP. If he can't do that, then he can put the TP-Link into bridge mode and it will just pass the signal along. He should also look for a passthrough mode.

Why can't Windows see my network storage?

Synology DiskStation DS216

Episode 1453

Keith from Orange County, CA

Keith has two NAS drives attached to his network and none of his Windows-based computers can see the shared data folders, but his Android devices can. Leo says that since Keith's Chromebook and Android devices are based on Linux, it can probably see it without any emulation or extra drivers. The NAS could have a non-standard file sharing protocol that won't allow Windows to see it because it can't understand it.

Why can't I connect my Wemo to the internet?

Belkin Wemo

Episode 1452

Armando from Whittier, CA

Armando is trying to connect Wemo to his wireless router, but when he connects an additional one, it won't take his password. Leo says 2.4 Ghz is extremely congested now, so Leo recommends going into his router settings and changing it to allow his router to make changes automatically. That will enable it to choose the best channels. Doing it manually is tough and he'd need a Wi-Fi analyzer to do it. If he wants to do that, InSSIDer is a good one.

Do I need a new router?

Netgear R7000P

Episode 1445

Dave from Big Bear, CA

Dave gets slowed down online when his son gets on the computer. He can't do anything. Does he need a new router? Leo says that's likely the case since Dave's router is about 8 years old. Leo says that sometimes the DSL modem needs to be replaced as well. So he should contact his ISP and ask them for a newer one. But definitely buy a new router, since they do wear out after a few years. Leo would recommend an 802.11AC version. It's better at managing bandwidth. Leo also likes mesh routers. They're a little more expensive, but they will give him great wireless coverage.

Why isn't my mesh network faster?

ARRIS SURFboard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

Episode 1443

Paul from Columbus, OH

Paul has Spectrum internet and is using an Eero mesh router. His bandwidth was upgraded to 100 Mbps down, 12 up, but he hasn't noticed an improvement in speed when streaming. Leo says that he'll want consistency over speed when it comes to streaming. Every device wants to be first on the network to get priority and "shape the bandwidth." It's all about quality of service. He may want to look at his cable modem. If it's older, it could be the weak link in the chain.

How can I update my iPhone without wireless?

Apple iPhone X

Episode 1439

Howard from Mission Viejo, CA

Howard just got an iPhone X and he had to restore his iPhone 4 data to it. Leo says the fastest way to do that is to plug it into iTunes, back it up, and then restore to his new phone. It should take about 5 to 10 minutes. But his problem is that his network is wired and he can't get updates because it's Wi-Fi only. Is that true? Leo says not really. He can connect to iTunes, download the updates, and install them.

Do I really need a router?

NETGEAR Nighthawk AC2300 Smart WiFi Router

Episode 1432

Jim from Long Beach, CA

Jim has an internet enabled TV and he is about to subscribe to the internet, but does he really need a router? Leo says yes! It sits between him and the outside world and rejects security assaults by hackers. The router will also handle multiple devices, so if he has mobile phones, smart devices, a desktop or laptop, he's going to need a router to handle all that traffic. And his internet company will likely give him a router that can handle all that.