Access Devices on Your Home Network Without a Static IP

If you have a device on your network, such as a security camera or even a server that you want to access remotely, this can be difficult without a static IP address. An IP address is a number assigned to each device on a network that uses the internet. For most home users with residential internet service, this number can change periodically. When that number changes, it is referred to as a Dynamic IP address. It's possible, however, to pay more to get a Static IP address, which doesn't change. When the address is static, it's much easier to access devices and servers remotely.

Why does my modem drop off the internet?

Robert from Las Vegas, NV

Episode 1314

Robert got a new modem and now he has a random disconnect problem. He then can't get on the internet. Leo says that it could be that Robert is having issues with the router in the modem. He should go into the settings and make sure to turn off the router option. It could be running into competing routers. Leo says that the ISP could be changing the settings remotely as well. That's why Leo advises buying his own DOCSIS III modem. Another thing to do is check the network settings to see if his computer is configured to act as a router. If so, that would point to malware.

How can I improve my Wi-Fi coverage?

Episode 1302

Fred from Upland, CA
Plume Wi-Fi

Fred gets really bad bandwidth with Wi-Fi. Leo says that's a common problem and three companies, including Plume, have started up to address it. Leo says that Eero is currently the only one that has a device out to solve the issue. It costs about $500 for three extenders that he would place all around his home, creating a mesh Wi-Fi network. Luma is a little less expensive, though.

Why can't my Mac connect to the Internet?

Betty from Madison, WI

Episode 1296

Betty can't log into the internet with her Mac. It says there are no plugins to do so. Leo says to check your router connection to see if your WiFi router is turned on. You can do that in the Apple's Network system preferences. If you can't see your access point, you're not connected to it. If it's connected, then look if the internet connection is available. If the WiFi router isn't working properly, it'll be connected, but it won't go anywhere. It'll just be a local address starting with 168. Try resetting your router.

How can I monitor my network activity in Windows 10?

Episode 1284

Chip from Cherry Hill, NJ
Network Activity Indicator

Chip just upgraded to Windows 10 and he misses the notifications of network traffic in his system tray. Leo says that was a feature that was dropped several generations ago because there is a rich ecosystem of third party developers that can provide the same functions.

Chip should check out the Network Activity Indicator from

Why does Linux kill my internet access?

Larry from Sherman Oaks, CA

Episode 1275

Larry's Debian Linux computer kills his UVerse internet connection. He can't even stream with the network. The problem is, he's blind and he can't troubleshoot it with his screen reader. Leo suggests trying a non graphical output version of MRTG. W3M also supports Javascript browsing. Leo suspects a host name error. The challenge is that running Linux means he's supporting himself, and the Linux community is smaller than Mac or Windows. A good Sys Admin may be able to figure it out. Leo suggests getting a logfile and putting it on the forum to ask them if they see what's going on.

Why can't I get on the internet?

Harry from Akron, OH

Episode 1270

Harry is reinstalling the Windows Vista OS on a friend's computer and now it's connected to "an unidentified" router with a local access only. He can't get online. Leo advises connecting via hardwire. If that works, then it's a setting that's not allowing it to get online. A driver may need to be downloaded as well. Getting the motherboard drivers from the manufacturer could solve it.