networking

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.

Why does my office network refuse to reroute URLs?

Dave from LaMesa, CA

Episode 1202

Dave's office is having trouble rerouting URLs within his office network. Leo suspects there's a redirect block on the network. It could be a rule that's been put on the network. Another option is to flush the DNS cache to wipe out that file so it can properly reroute. He can open a command line (windows Key +R) and type IPConfig /flushDNS. This way it won't rely on the list of DNS settings on his router or network and then moves on to the DNS registrar for the proper DNS address. It then will put the proper DNS in his router and it shouldn't happen anymore.

How many connections can my router handle?

Episode 1201

Ashley from Minnesota
Asus Router

Ashley is concerned about the "internet of things," where so many devices are internet enabled, and the router being able to handle so many connections. Leo says that most routers can handle 50-100 connections. So that's not an issue to worry much about.

Having said that, a dual band router does connect better. What's the best router to get? Leo says getting an 802.11 AC router, which can aim at the devices (called beam forming). Leo also likes open source routers like those that can run DD-WRT software. Asus is a good brand.

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

Matthew from Virginia

Episode 1196

Matthew is having issues with WiFi when he moves to the second floor. Leo says it's important to remember that WiFi is about 150' in distance. But things can get in the way and dilute the signal, especially metal. An extender will help but you want an extender that is made by the same as your router. Leo has three of them. ActionTec is what Matthew's router is and they do address extenders here. That's the most affordable option. Then there's powerline networking that uses the electrical cable in your walls as networking cables.

Why can't I see all of my computers on my network?

Greg from Tampa, FL

Episode 1194

Greg has several PCs in two different locations and wants to network them together. But he can't really see all of the computers on it. Leo says that networking is a dark art that only an IT guy can address when dealing with as many computers and networks as Greg has. Since Greg started with a simple home network that has grown, Windows may be looking for a work domain that doesn't exist.

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

Garrett from Manhattan Beach, CA

Episode 1191

Garrett has an iPad 2 and he's having trouble connecting via Wi-Fi consistently. He'll connect and then when he goes into his room, it drops. Leo says that Wi-Fi is a radio signal and it has a range of about 100-150', but it can also be affected by what is in the walls. If he has metal in the walls, then he'll have issues connecting. Leo also says the connection may be congested by a crowded 2.4 GHz frequency band. Modern routers give the choice of 2.4 or 5 GHz.

How can I keep my laptop from connecting over Wi-Fi when it's hardwired with ethernet?

Noah from Wyoming, MI

Episode 1189

Noah is trying to connect his laptop to his router via ethernet, but his laptop keeps connecting via Wi-Fi instead. Leo says on the Mac, he could order the connections so that the laptop would try ethernet first and then go to Wi-Fi. On a Windows Machine it's a bit more complicated. It could be a driver issue. He should update his drivers.

How can I wirelessly stream live with multiple cameras?

Garrett from Miami, FL

Episode 1187

Garrett needs to create a wireless solution for routing camera signals into his board. What does Leo think of Teradek? Leo says it's a great company. Leo uses LiveU. They bond together 3G and 4G cellular to stream more reliably with multiple cameras. Teradek even hardware encodes the video and bonds the 4G networks to send it out.