routers

How can I use my own router with FIOS?

Steve from Hermosa Beach, CA

Episode 1190

Steve has FIOS and the WiFi seems to be slow. How can he speed it up? He'd like to bypass the Verizon router and use his own. Leo says that you have to use the Verizon device to connect to FIOS, but you can disable the router part and use your own router to be sure. You need to connect them via Ethernet to make it work. The router is also built into the modem and using network addressing. Put the router part in "bridge mode" to just hand it off to your router.

How can I hack my router?

Ken from Dominican Republic

Episode 1187

Ken's ISP in the Dominican Republic locks down his router so he can't make any changes at all. Leo says as long as he can change the password and give it encryption, he'll be OK with everything else. But Ken says it causes his cell phone to lose connection when he's using VOIP on his SIP phone. Leo says he'll need a QOS feature that will prioritize internet telephones.

Why is my download speed so slow sometimes?

Bob from San Diego, CA

Episode 1187

Bob is having trouble with his download speeds. They just aren't consistent from computer to computer. Leo says it's important to understand that he's paying for *up to* the maximum download speed. It can vary wildly. But Bob says sometimes is slows down to a crawl on one of his computers. Leo says he can experiment by rebooting the computer and see if it goes back up to max download speeds. If so, that means there's a program running. That's called a "memory leak" and the computer is using up bandwidth by that program.

Will LastPass protect me from a hacked router?

John from Biddeford, ME

Episode 1186

John's router from the ISP is very easy to get into, and there's no way to change the password. Will LastPass protect him from a brute force attack? Leo says LastPass will only help him if he's able to change the password on the router. Then he could use LastPass to generate a secure password and store it for him. Leo says if he can turn off WLAN Administration, then he should at least do that. Even if an outsider were to log into his router, they only could really change the settings. But this still isn't a great solution.

Why does my VPN connection drop out?

Rob from Valley Center, CA

Episode 1185

Rob just moved and has a new cable provider. He works from home and has issues losing connectivity to his work using VPN. Leo says that the provider probably provides the modem. He should ask for DOCSIS III service. That will be more reliable and faster. Buying his own DOCSIS III modem will be newer and will save him money. Rob should ask them what DOCSIS III modems they support and buy his own. Another issue could be his router. Rebooting the router can clear out any bad issues. Routers do need to be replaced from time to time.

How can I get better Wi-Fi signal in my house?

David from Murrieta, CA

Episode 1178

David is having issues with his Wi-Fi upstairs. Leo says that if he's using the router from his ISP's modem, he should turn off Wi-Fi and get his own router. That often will solve the problem. He should make sure he has a DOCSIS 3 modem as well. In fact, while he's at it, he should just buy a modem as well. That way he will save the monthly rental fee he's paying his ISP for that modem.

Is my cable router safer than my own router?

Steve from Redondo Beach, CA

Episode 1177

Steve has his own Wi-Fi router but his cable company just gave him a new router with Wi-Fi built in. Is it more secure? Leo says they're about the same security wise. He'll want to be sure to turn on WPA2 password protection. And often routers have security flaws and rarely get updated. So Steve should make sure he has his router firmware updated.

Do I need firewalls if I have a router?

Joe from Canton, OH

Episode 1175

Joe just got a router and wants to know if he really needs firewalls anymore. Leo says no. Joe could turn on the Windows firewall, but any third party firewall isn't really needed because the router is essentially a "dumb box" that prevents attacks from incoming traffic.

Routers, though, aren't impervious to attack, so he'll need to keep the firmware up to date, or even use a third party firmware like Tomato or DDWRT.

How can I get a better signal to my Roku box?

Episode 1172

Archie from Hawthorne, CA
Roku

Archie has a Wi-Fi router and has connected his Roku, but he's not getting good enough reception and it buffers a lot. Leo says the farther the router is from the Roku, the less connection can be made. But Leo also suspects that the router isn't giving Archie as much bandwidth as he needs. It could be due to congestion.

If his router supports the 5 GHz band, it's a much better choice for streaming. He can also take the old router and put it in bridge mode and use it as a repeater to pass along the signal.