Ron is buying his wife a new laptop for their anniversary and he's looking at a Lenovo which has AC Wi-Fi. He doesn't think his router can handle it, since it's pretty old. Leo says that routers do wear out and the AC router will give him better reception and speed. Every four or five years, it may be necessary to get a new router.
Tim is having an issue that he can't connect with his mac. Leo says he should try and reset the router by unplugging it and plugging it back in. If that works, then the router just needed to be reset. But you can also reset the wifi on your laptop by turning it off and on. Tim tried that and it disconnects after a few minutes. Then that indicates a bad router and Tim should contact his ISP to get a replacement.
Tom is having issues connecting his iPhone to his router, and he's looking to get an Asus One router. Leo says that's a great idea because it uses DD-WRT, which is an open source firmware and it's more secure, faster, and offers more options. Leo says that the plaster and metal joists could be acting as a faraday cage to prevent connectivity. And it's not unusual for a weaker signal to have issues in iOS. It just sounds like the signal isn't good and you coudl get an extender, but Leo recommends getting one from the same brand.
Tom is looking to get an Asus Dual Band Router. He's heard good reviews about it. Leo says that routers these days are a dime a dozen; a commodity. There isn't much difference between them, quite frankly. The dirty secret is that they all run the same chip sets. But Asus has started to use the open source firmware solutions like DDWRT. Going with open source firmware allows updates to happen more frequently that keep it secure.
Jerry's Wi-Fi router isn't as fast as he'd like. Jerry should check out SpeedTest.net to see how fast he can get. He may also be able to move the router around to get a clearer signal and faster speeds.
Ken is wondering if he should use Watchguard on his Wi-Fi network for added security. Leo says he doesn't need this. These are internet security devices, or firewalls, that he'd run in his house. Routers are not very well designed and are commodity products, so they tend to have security flaws. Getting a better router would be a better way to increase security. Leo suspects Watchguard would be more than he actually needs.
George has a D-Link router and it won't read his printer on the network. Leo says it may not support it. Leo advises getting an XPrint server. Some routers just don't support printers directly. Most supported are wireless, but an old USB printer may not.
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.