mesh routers

What's a good router to buy?

Episode 1493

Tim from San Diego, CA
Synology Router

Tim bought a new NetGear 7900 router, but he had to reboot it every few days. So he returned it and doesn't know what to buy now. Asus is a company that offers a similar router design. It's an open source based router that uses DD-WRT and Tomato. That's what Leo would buy. NetGear also has the problem of being susceptible to the Russian virus, along with TP-Link and several others. Leo suspects that's because they aren't updated as often.

What router should I use to run a VPN?

Episode 1487

Al from California
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pfsense215.jpg

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.

Should I replace my router?

Episode 1479

Brian from Indio, CA
eero.com

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.

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Why is Wi-Fi so slow on my laptop?

Episode 1474

Beth from Manhattan Beach, CA
Netgear Orbi Router

Beth has a two story house and she has no problem streaming anything or using the internet, except on her laptop. Leo says that if her Roku is running HD, then she's getting decent bandwidth. Would a mesh router help? Leo says it may, but it's an expensive way to find out. Beth should run a speed test on her router to see how it goes. She should do it closer to her base station, and then again down into the lower floor and see if it improves or gets worse. That would tell her something. Leo says that since Beth is using Frontier, it could be her Frontier router. They're just terrible.

How can I extend Wi-Fi to my second floor?

Episoide 1473

Henry from Garden Grove, CA
Eero

Henry wants to extend his Wi-Fi upstairs. What extender should he use? Leo says he has a few options. Mesh routers are great because they have satellites that he can plug into each room, creating a wireless grid for his home. These usually come with a base station and a few extenders. They're a bit pricey, but they have the advantage of having full duplex communication, so the speed isn't cut as it's passing along the signal. They also have great security features, they're easy to maintain through the app, and they update automatically.

How can I improve internet access in the house?

Episode 1469

Jeff from Granada Hills, CA
Eero

Jeff has an older Acer AC1900 router. Now he's looking at a mesh router. Leo says mesh routers are great for larger spaces, and he can add three satellite units, which could cover 1500 square feet. It provides multiple access points because the Wi-Fi is "meshed" throughout the house. Eero even works with Echo and he could assign devices to users and then have Echo pause the internet access for them. Eero also has great parental controls. It's not cheap, though, but he can get two for about $200 though, and that should be enough.

What router should I buy?

Episode 1456

Ron & Jackie from Irvine, CA
Eero

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.

Why is my iPhone connecting to the Eero that's farther away?

Episode 1454

Peter from Brooklyn, NY
Eero

Peter recently switched from the Netgear Orbi routers to the Eero. Leo says he likes them both, though. The Netgear is more of a standard router than a mesh router, though. He has three base station units and a beacon. When he goes into the app, however, it's not connecting to the closest Eero unit. Leo says that the Eero is smart, so one of the things Eero and other mesh routers do is decide where things should go. Unless he's getting bad results, Leo thinks he should just let it be.