Ben has a Fire TV and wants to know if he can watch videos from his computer. Rich says that he can grab an external hard drive, then add it to Fire TV on the network and use VLC Media Client play the movies from that. Otherwise, he'll have to consider a network attached storage and a media client.
Adrian is living in a rural area having an issue with slow internet service. He got a new router, but the problem still persists. Rich says this could be because of living in a rural area. He should try and bypass the router and do a speed test. If it works better, then it points to the router as the issue. But Rich doesn't think it's the router, since Adrian bought a new one. Rich thinks there may be an issue between the modem and the router. He should do a factory reset on the modem (better yet, ask his ISP for a new one).
When you get a new router, there are a few things you can do to make sure it's set up securely.
The first thing you'll do is connect it to your computer and check the manual to find out how to configure it.
Once it's connected to your computer, you'll use the browser to navigate to a special address as instructed in the manual. It should be something like 192.168.1.1. This will take you to the login screen for the router.
Tony bought a new MESH router to use with his Verizon fiber optic internet connection. Leo says that Verizon uses a router/modem, so you'll need to change settings to bridge mode, so it can send the signal on to your new mesh router. Doctor Mom in the chatroom says you can put your Verizon modem into bridge mode, but you will lose some functions. It's just a matter if you can live with it.
Andy works as a remote IT guy and he's discovered that the company spies on his network. Leo says one way to solve this issue is to disconnect the XFinity router from the company computer. But if they insist on an always on connection, the Tiny Hardware Firewall may be a good solution. It'll connect to the VPN through a separate router and they wouldn't see any other traffic. Another way to do this, is to get rid of the XFinity router and use your own, like the Ubiquity Edge Router X, which gives you discreet lan options.
Sam lives in a 2 story condo, but with the Wi-Fi enabled cameras he's buying, should he get a new router? Leo says Wi-Fi security cameras are often a challenge because they tend to be in the periphery, but a single router should be able to cover his 1500 square feet. Leo suggests that Sam move his router and modem connection to another spot. He could actually leave the modem where it is, and just connect the router with a longer ethernet cable. Leo also says that Sam's Asus router has added some mesh-like features in a recent firmware update. So he should try updating it.
Dave has an HP 6700 printer which keeps disconnecting from his network. Clearly, since Dave has replaced the router and modem, the culprit is the printer. He even tried it on a wired connection, but it still dropped off the network. So that eliminates Wi-Fi congestion as being the problem.
Bob is looking for software that can test all his network switches to see which is going bad. Leo says that there is an article on Tom's Hardware on how to test network switches. That includes some software to test it. GL Communications makes software ethernet and packet checker called Packet Check.
While Wi-Fi is more popular and prevalent than ever, it's still no match for a hardwired ethernet connection. But many of the new routers, especially mesh routers, don't have many ethernet ports built into them. Fortunately, if you have at least one ethernet port, you can expand that to as many as you need with a "Switch". Netgear makes some quality switches, but any unmanaged networking switch should work just fine. They all are very easy to use, as long as you get an unmanaged Switch.
Kevin needs to have more than two ethernet ports on his router and his mesh router only has two. Leo says he can get an ethernet switch or hub that can expand the amount of ports. Leo has one with 24 ports! They're all easy to use, and the best part is they're all the same. NetGear makes a good one. But any one will do.