networking

How can I set up a home network?

Tom from Houston, TX

Episode 1216

Tom would like to set up a home network and he's pretty confused on how to do it. Where can he go to get some insider tips? Leo says that a great source is PracticallyNetworked.com. They not only have product reviews, but also tutorials that explain nomenclature and how to go about setting up a network. They keep it up to date, too. Start with "Backgrounders," to learn the basics. Then he can move on to how to set one up.

How can I share my internet access securely?

Anthony from Ontario, CA

Episode 1214

Anthony shares his internet access with a tenant who wants hardwire access to the modem. Leo says that makes it difficult to isolate, and he'll need a second router, or better yet, a third router. He should segment them on the network so that the tenant doesn't have access to Anthony's data. Leo recommends checking out PracticallyNetworked.com for how to do it.

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

Luis from Tarzana, CA

Episode 1212

Luis can't connect to his Wi-Fi at his house, but he can connect to other Wi-Fi networks. Leo says that the first thing to do is connect via ethernet, just to make sure he can connect wired. Then he should try and join the Wi-Fi while he's right next to the router. If he can't connect, he should try rebooting the router. Then reboot the laptop. Then try wired again. It could be a handshake issue.

Why can't I visit certain websites on my home network?

Max from Hawthorne, CA

Episode 1208

Max's computer has problems accessing websites from his home, but outside of his home, he gets it. Leo says reinstalling OS X and starting over may fix it. What an odd bug. The odd thing is that it's location based. Leo has a hunch it's a network issue, perhaps with the router. He might try resetting that as well. He should also make sure his OS is up to date.

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.