routers

Why is my Wi-Fi slower than connecting directly to the router?

Joseph from Florida

Episode 1343

Joseph wants to know why his Wi-Fi speed is slower than it should be. Leo says it could be a variety of reasons, like distance from the access point, the amount of metal in his home, and the number of devices on the same network and bandwidth. The fastest speeds are received by being hardwired directly into the router.

Why can't I connect to my wireless devices with my router?

Bret from Fort Worth, TX

Episode 1342

Bret is having issues accessing wireless cameras due to blocked ports on his router. Leo says what he wants to do is "port forwarding," and it may be that he'll want to use a higher, five digit port to connect to them. The lower port numbers may either be reserved or in use, like 8080. He should try going higher. He'll also need to use ports that his devices understand. So Bret should look in his manual to see what ports the device supports.

Why can't I attach my NAS to my new router?

Paul from Lake Forest, CA

Episode 1339

Paul says ever since he upgraded his router, his Mac's NAS doesn't connect. Leo says to drag the NAS out of the Finder side bar, and then remount it. Then he can add it back to his Finder. Paul should also look for "Connect to Server" under the "Go" menu. He can figure out his IP address for the server by browsing to it. It may also mean that the router is blocking it.

How can I connect my VOIP Box?

Episode 1336

Jean from North Hollywood, CA
Ooma

Jean doesn't have a cell phone and she's decided to move from a landline to VOIP with Ooma. She doesn't know how to set it up, though. Leo says as long as she has internet access, it should work fine. When she connected it to her modem, everything shut down. Leo says she should keep her landline for emergencies because VOIP doesn't have 911 service. So she should keep the least expensive landline called "lifeline service." During a power outage, it will still work.

Secure Your Wireless Network

After the DDoS attack over the weekend that brought down many major websites on the net, it's a good idea to check your own router and make sure that it's as secure as it can be. These Denial of Service attacks rely on 'bot nets' that are actually made up of unsecure computers on unsecured networks all over the world. Here are some basic steps you can take to make sure your network is protected:

Why is my streaming so unreliable?

Ray from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1326

Ray is having trouble streaming. It buffers a lot. Leo says that if his router is a few years old, it could slow down and become less reliable. Rebooting the router will bring it back, but then it'll happen again. So he should get a new one. His TV's Wi-Fi may also be getting "promiscuous," meaning it is jumping to a stronger signal every time it finds one. He can also go into his router and adjust the "lease time for DHCP" to make it longer before it acquires a new IP address. He can also get a dual band router, which will have 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz.

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.

Why can't I connect to the internet with my new router?

Terri from Diamond Bar, CA

Episode 1309

Terri bought a new NetGear router but she still can't connect to the internet. Her ISP, Frontier, says that she needs a firmware update. Is this true? Leo says it may be. Terri is using DSLExtreme and Frontier together and it may be that there's an older version of the firmware that's causing the hiccup. Updating the firmware is easy to do. She should go to Netgear.com and download it. Follow the instructions, log into the router, and then run the firmware update utility.

What is wrong with my router?

Episode 1308

Tony from San Diego, CA
Asus AC3200

Tony's router is starting to get flakey. Leo says that we've become used to using cheap routers. However, the cheaper the router, the faster it will wear out. If Tony buys a better quality router, it'll be more consistent and last longer. Netgear makes good routers.

The problem could also be Tony's modem. He'll want a DOCSIS III modem. For that, Leo likes the Arris Surfboard SB6141 which is $70 on Amazon.