networking

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 itsamples.com

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.

Should I use powerline networking in my house?

Larry from Battle Mountain, NV

Episode 1265

Larry is thinking of going with powerline networking in his house. Leo says that thanks to the Powerline Alliance, powerline networking has gotten a lot better in the last few years. It's not as fast as Ethernet, however -- it's about half the speed. But it's still pretty good. Leo does it for his house and it works great. But instead of 20MB throughput, he'll get half that.

What do I need to take advantage of the CAT 5 wiring in my condo?

Barry from Fort Meyers, FL

Episode 1261

Barry just moved into a condo wired for CAT 5 Ethernet. What does he need to make it all work? Leo says he'll need something that will connect to the internet -- a switch or hub that will plug into his router. The chatroom says he may need at least three routers to work with fiber to create a public and private network. That way he can do some home automation as well. Barry should check out PracticallyNetworked.com for help.

What's the best way to wire my house for the Internet?

Ed from Chino Hills, CA

Episode 1254

Ed is building a house in a remote area. Should he install Cat 5e or Cat 6 cable? Leo says that the faster it is, the more expensive it is. It's about 30% faster with each level. So Leo says to future proof your home, buy the 5e, but he should put in conduit so he can replace it with faster cables down the line. It won't speed up internet access, it'll just speed delivery of data within the house. Most people will just be using Wi-Fi, though.

Is it secure to connect to the internet through a third party router?

Mike from Grants Pass, OR

Episode 1252

Mike lives in a remote area and he usually accesses the Internet via his mobile phone. He also has point-to-point internet, which is not only expensive, but he's concerned with security because the service requires a router connection in bridge mode with DHCP. Leo says that routers can be secure as long as he connects with encryption via WPA2. Routers are essentially dumb boxes that can protect him from attacks. But that depends on how they handle their security. It can be just as secure as his home network, or it can be wide open.