networking

What cable should I run through my house for fast networking?

Episode 1094

Fred from Upland, CA
Cat 6 Ethernet

Fred is remodeling his home and he's got open walls right now. What cabling should he install so he's set for the future? Leo says he should install Cat 6 Ethernet cable. That would really future proof his home with fast data networking. Or he could just go with wireless networking. He should at least run conduit in the walls and as the technologies change, he can then reinstall whatever cable he needs. Fiber optic cable is pretty cheap, but the switches are expensive. That's why Ethernet is still the best way to go.

Should I use Watchguard for my Wi-Fi network?

Ken from Toronto, Canada

Episode 1081

Ken is wondering if he should use Watchguard on his Wi-Fi network for added security. Leo says he doesn't need this. These are internet security devices, or firewalls, that he'd run in his house. Routers are not very well designed and are commodity products, so they tend to have security flaws. Getting a better router would be a better way to increase security. Leo suspects Watchguard would be more than he actually needs.

Why can't my wireless camera connect to my server?

Walt from Huntington, WV

Episode 1068

Walt and is using an old server as a home computer. He uses Alarms.com to monitor his home security system, and it works wired. But when he changes over to the wireless configuration on the camera, one of his cameras will not connect.

Leo says that there may be a DHCP conflict that's preventing it, or the password based security is the issue. He should try turning off security on the router to see if it works. It may be the older camera can't be supported with the newer security standard used by the router.

Why can't my Mac print to my wireless printer?

Ray from Tennessee

Episode 1063

Ray has a friend who just bought a MacBook Air and he's having trouble connecting to his Canon wireless printer. He can print when it's hardwired, but not wirelessly. Leo says that he's used a Canon Pixma wireless printer for years. The question is, will it print with any other computer? If so, then it isn't a network issue. Leo says to remove the printer and then add it again. It may have had a problem when it was first added. Leo also recommends using the Apple drivers as opposed to the separate drivers from Canon.

Secure Your Wi-Fi Router

When it comes to securing a Wi-Fi router, there are a lot of things people often do that aren't actually effective. For instance, hiding the name of the router (the SSID), won't help. Another scheme that's particularly onerous is MAC address filtering. Every computer has a unique MAC address, and the router can be set up to only allow computers with known MAC addresses to access the network. This technique is used by businesses and schools, but it overlooks MAC address spoofing.

How secure is port forwarding for running a Minecraft server?

Thomas from Vancouver, BC CAN

Episode 1048

Thomas wants to host a Minecraft server for his friends. Is port forwarding secure? Port forwarding is where you tell the router to send traffic coming in from a specific port to a certain machine. This limits a little bit of the potential damage from opening up a server to the outside world, but it will ultimately depend on that Minecraft server to be secure. It's important that Thomas keeps his Minecraft server secure and up to date. If someone can figure out how to get around his network via the server, he could infect his network.

Can I create a media server out of Windows Home Server?

Earl from Reston, VA

Episode 1043

Earl bought an HP Windows Home Server and now that it's not supported by Microsoft anymore, he wants to know if he can convert it to a media server. Leo says sure! Just because Microsoft doesn't support Windows Home server doesn't mean it won't work anymore. It's fairly straight forward to set up. The real challenge will be digitizing everything. Once it's all digitized, it can be stored and made available by all computers on Earl's network. Paul Thurrott of winsupersite.com was a huge fan of Windows Home Server.

How can I get my computer to join a home group?

Thomas from Vancouver, WA

Episode 1041

Thomas has a Windows 8 machine and he wants to set up a home group for file and printer sharing. But his machine doesn't appear. Leo says that Microsoft has a technote on it, and it may depend on what version Windows he has. Some versions would allow him to join a home group, but not start one. Secondly, he should look at his security settings to make sure all machines are sharing. Add the machine name to the user name as well.