George is using a Tiny Hardware Firewall and he sees that it would let him customize the settings. Can it be made more secure? Leo says that the Tiny Hardware Firewall is pretty darn secure as is. Leo hasn't played with the configurations, but he wouldn't want to, either. He just uses it in default mode and he's completely safe.
Dan recently moved north and he's signed up with Frontier, but he's having Wi-Fi issues. It keeps dropping and he has to reset the router. He's been told that the 5 GHz cuts off after an hour. Leo says that's not normal. In fact, Leo typically recommends using 5 GHz because it's less congested.
Is powerline networking a decent option these days? Leo says that it's improved a lot since it was introduced 20 years ago. It was horrible back then. Now it's much better. He won't get the full throughput, though – Only about 60%. And he'll have to be on the same fuse box. Leo also recommends the Plume routers because they have ethernet connections as well, so he could plug in there.
Christian wants to know the difference between a router and a modem. Leo says that they handle two different jobs but some people get a modem that also works as a router from their ISP. Modem means "modulate-demodulate," and in the early days, it would take the bits and turns them into sound and then back again over a telephone line. Now they send the data digitally. Then it converts it into RF signals and back to bits.
David has multiple TVs and computers and would like to link them all together with a switch. Should it be managed or unmanaged? Leo says that networking is a high end technical topic. A router manages the traffic and routes it through to the proper device. Routers use QOS or "quality of service" to do it. A switch is still needed, though, and it reduces traffic. A managed switch would allow him to run protocols and control the network properly. Most people don't need a managed switch.
Paul's daughter has a really old router and it's starting to flake out, so it's time to get a new one. Leo says she should get a dual band router that supports not only 2.4 Ghz, but also 5Ghz. She'll want one that supports 802.11ac. The reason to get a dual band router is that everyone is on 2.4 these days, and while 5 GHz is limited and won't go through walls, it is barely used.
Bill is a retired electrician and wants to learn networking and computers. Leo says it depends on how he best learns. There's a ton of great books, but ITPro.TV has a great video course on networking and IT subjects. Another good site is PracticallyNetworked.com. There's great tutorials there on networking.
(Disclaimer: ITPro.TV is a sponsor)
Isaac is a cop and wants to know if routers collect data of what connects to it or sees it. Leo says only if the device was connected to that router. Just seeing it is another matter, and that's unlikely. Android has an app called WiFi Collector from NirSoft, but that's the opposite direction from what Isaak wants. Leo says that the WiFi Pineapple from HakShop could work for this.
John downloaded a VPN program called Jailbreak and now his Windows 7 machine can't connect to the internet. Leo says the VPN is probably at fault here. VPNs act as a go-between between him and the servers he surfs to.
Marcello has noticed since Spectrum bought TIme Warner, he has trouble connecting to the internet. They disconnected his router and it works, though. What happened? Leo says that when Spectrum took over, they probably enabled the router side of his modem and that put it in conflict with his router.