Brett wants to get a good router for under $100. Leo says that he likes DLink, and they also have a great router for travel called the Pocket Router. This will charge a phone and act as a hotspot for all wireless devices. Leo uses an Apple Airport Extreme though, which is more expensive, but works really well.
Leo says the problem with new routers is that the software has all sorts of security issues. Since this is the first thing on the network, it's important that it be a secure line of defense.
DD-WRT and Tomato are more secure firmware alternatives to what comes on the router by default. These are both open source, very well written, and are kept up to date. So it is a good idea to replace the router's firmware with DD-WRT, if his router supports it.
Brett wants to know why there's a delay when he's watching TWiT through Chromecast. Leo says it's just the natural delay of compressing and steaming it out, which is normal. Brett also says it's very loud. Leo says he can just turn it down from his device that he's casting to the Chromecast.
Naomi wants to change her router name, and is wondering what else she can do to secure it. Leo says to avoid personal details, and avoid using the name of the router. Leo uses the names of rock stars. She can really name it anything, even "FBI Surveillance Van." If she configures it properly, it's as secure as wired, just not as fast. For pure performance online, she should use a wired connection through Ethernet. If she doesn't need the wireless, then just disable it in the settings.
Leo's list of what to do to lock down your Wi-Fi router:
Thomas wants to host a Minecraft server for his friends. Is port forwarding secure? Port forwarding is where you tell the router to send traffic coming in from a specific port to a certain machine. This limits a little bit of the potential damage from opening up a server to the outside world, but it will ultimately depend on that Minecraft server to be secure. It's important that Thomas keeps his Minecraft server secure and up to date. If someone can figure out how to get around his network via the server, he could infect his network.
Paul got an email from his Cable company saying he's been upgraded to 50MBPS, but he'll need a new modem. Leo says that they're probably moving to the DOCSIS 3 standard, which is considerably faster. Leo also suggests buying his own modem because $7 a month to rent one adds up over time.
Andy has a cheap N router and wants to know if his connection would be faster with an AC router. Leo says no. AC is actually faster than the Internet connection itself. It works for AC enabled hardware and in-network transfers, but it won't really make his internet faster.
There are a few different ways to get better Wi-Fi coverage throughout your home or office. A router should be able to cover at least 150 feet with Wi-Fi signal, but it could be less if there's a lot of interference from wiring in the walls or other devices. Simply moving the router to a new location could help.
Another thing to try is a Wi-Fi extender. Make sure that the extender is the same brand as your router so that it will be compatible. You can even use a second router in "bridge" mode to extend another router's signal.
Ivan needs to setup website blocking to protect his son. The problem is that the modem/router provided by the ISP doesn't allow him to change any of the settings. He might be able to disable the router portion of his modem/router, and buy a replacement for the router. Then he could change the DNS settings. The chatroom says he could set up a "DMZ" to his own router.