networking

Secure Your Internet of Things Devices Online

Episode 1455

Internet of Things

Everything we have in our home seems to have a computer built into it these days, and they're networked and connected to the internet. This is called the "Internet of Things." Some devices are more secure than others, and even then, many just don't get updated with security features. Security expert Brian Krebs has an article on the best way to secure your digital "stuff" online. Check it out at krebsonsecurity.com here.

What's a good alternative to a Linksys router?

Episode 1453

Chris from Newtown, PA
Linksys Velop routers

Chris has been using the Linksys WRT3200 routers for his clients. Now he's getting notified of bad firmware in the routers. He contacted Linksys and they will replace them, but with 2 Velop Mesh Routers. What are his options? Leo says that if they're free, he'd take that. They're very good routers, so Leo wouldn't hesitate. Mesh routers may be a better option moving forward. They will get updated frequently and have much better reach for his clientele.

Why can't Windows see my network storage?

Episode 1453

Keith from Orange County, CA
Synology DiskStation DS216

Keith has two NAS drives attached to his network and none of his Windows-based computers can see the shared data folders, but his Android devices can. Leo says that since Keith's Chromebook and Android devices are based on Linux, it can probably see it without any emulation or extra drivers. The NAS could have a non-standard file sharing protocol that won't allow Windows to see it because it can't understand it.

Why can't I connect to the internet on my laptops in Windows?

Episode 1452

John from Biddeford, ME
Wi-Fi

John is having problems with two Windows laptops (one 8.1 and one Windows 10). They will connect to the hotspots, but they won't connect to the internet. Leo says that's called "captive portal" and it requires logging in to gain access. It could also be a security update that is preventing it. It could be closing down a port that he needs to access the internet. He could try reinstalling the network driver.

Do I need a new router?

Episode 1445

Dave from Big Bear, CA
Netgear R7000P

Dave gets slowed down online when his son gets on the computer. He can't do anything. Does he need a new router? Leo says that's likely the case since Dave's router is about 8 years old. Leo says that sometimes the DSL modem needs to be replaced as well. So he should contact his ISP and ask them for a newer one. But definitely buy a new router, since they do wear out after a few years. Leo would recommend an 802.11AC version. It's better at managing bandwidth. Leo also likes mesh routers. They're a little more expensive, but they will give him great wireless coverage.

Why isn't my mesh network faster?

Episode 1443

Paul from Columbus, OH
ARRIS SURFboard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

Paul has Spectrum internet and is using an Eero mesh router. His bandwidth was upgraded to 100 Mbps down, 12 up, but he hasn't noticed an improvement in speed when streaming. Leo says that he'll want consistency over speed when it comes to streaming. Every device wants to be first on the network to get priority and "shape the bandwidth." It's all about quality of service. He may want to look at his cable modem. If it's older, it could be the weak link in the chain.

How can I update my iPhone without wireless?

Episode 1439

Howard from Mission Viejo, CA
Apple iPhone X

Howard just got an iPhone X and he had to restore his iPhone 4 data to it. Leo says the fastest way to do that is to plug it into iTunes, back it up, and then restore to his new phone. It should take about 5 to 10 minutes. But his problem is that his network is wired and he can't get updates because it's Wi-Fi only. Is that true? Leo says not really. He can connect to iTunes, download the updates, and install them.

KRACK Wi-Fi Flaw: What You Need to Know

You may have heard about the latest Wi-Fi vulnerability in the news called “KRACK” or “Key Reinstallation Attack.” This is a security flaw in the WPA2 protocol that could allow a third party to intercept network activity between a router and a device. It does this by taking advantage of a problem with the way the client (your mobile device or computer) authenticates with the access point (the router).

Why is my router dropping out?

Episode 1427

Perry from Ocean Beach, CA
ARRIS SURFboard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

Perry has a NetGear C6900 modem/router and it just drops out for several seconds from time to time. Leo says that routers and cable modems do wear out over time, and if he gets a lot of drop outs, it could be time to replace it. But Perry's router is only six months old, so that shouldn't be happening. Leo says he could try updating the firmware. PadreSJ says that the NetGear Combo units start having memory issues that cause server busy errors. Perry should go into his settings to find the logs and see if he is getting errors like that.

Why can't I get WiFi in my apartment?

Episode 1422

David from Burbank,CA
WiFi

David lives in a fifth floor apartment with 100 Mbps WiFi available. He can't get it on his floor, though. What can he do? Leo says that WiFi is generally limited by distance and David is just too far away from the access point. He needs one on his floor. If he can get his own modem, that's what he should do. He could also try getting a group together to get WiFi extenders and put a few on every floor. That would help.