routers

Improve Your In-Home Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is great when it works, but all too often there are problems that cause disconnects or slowdowns. If you have a large house, or there are too many walls that make it hard for signal to travel through, you may need more than just one wireless router.

One option for improving your reception is to set up a secondary Wi-Fi access point to extend your current Wi-Fi router. You'll want to buy an extender from the same company that made the router you already own. Set up the extender in "bridge mode" and it will rebroadcast the signal and extend its range.

Is smartphone tethering secure?

Episode 1360

David from El Segundo, CA
Tiny Hardware Firewall

David tethers his computer through his mobile device, but he's wondering if it's secure. Leo says it's probably more secure because cell phones are encrypted now. Using the Wi-Fi through his phone is a different matter, if he's at a public hotspot. At that point, his traffic is out in the clear and easily grabbed. If he's going to use a hotspot, Leo advises using the Tiny Hardware Firewall and a VPN. The Tiny Hardware Firewall is like a router that then connects to his phone.

Why did the 2.4 GHz band on my router become unusable?

Episode 1355

Alan from Kentucky
WiFi

Alan is having issues with his wireless routers since a power surge, especially on the 2.4 GHz band. Leo says that's because 2.4 GHz is overcrowded. Everything seems to use it. That's why having a dual band router is beneficial. It could also be that the power surge fried his 2.4 GHz band. Routers also wear out, and over time, it starts getting slower and more unreliable. It's probably time to get a new router.

Can I use DDNS with a VPN instead of paying extra for a static IP?

Episode 1355

JC from Mississippi
Netgear AC1750

JC was looking for a new router to get some more advanced networking features, such as VPN and VLAN. He found the Netgear AC1750 with VPN support for $130. He found out that the VPN support also supports DDNS, which can be used for free as long as you go in every 30 days and click the link to renew it. You could also pay $50 a year for it. He was paying $45 a month for static IP addresses along with the necessary equipment and taxes to have it in his house.

FTC Takes Router Manufacturer D-Link to Court

Episode 1352

Gavel

The Federal Trade Commission is taking router manufacturer D-Link to court over product security and privacy issues. This all relates to the lack of security for Internet of Things devices. The FTC alleged that the company “failed to take reasonable steps to protect their routers and cameras from widely known and reasonably foreseeable risks of unauthorized access.”

Read more at theverge.com.

Why is my router disconnecting my devices?

Episode 1349

Mary from Lisbon, ND
Acer RT-AC3200

Mary bought an Acer RT-AC3200 and she's having trouble with it. All her devices were disconnected from the 2.4Ghz band. The 5Ghz band is OK. It isn't congestion either because she lives out in the country. She's rolled back her firmware and Asus even sent her another modem. Leo says that sometimes the antennas may loosen and that could cause connection issues. Leo has had similar issues and it may be that the band gets overloaded and drops out everything. It could also be interference from the house itself.

How can I bridge my UVerse Router?

David from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1348

David is trying to put his router into bridge mode, but he's having issues doing it. Leo says that if he's using the cable router and modem, they may have disabled the router protocol that would do that. The chatroom agrees. He can't do that with an AT&T UVerse modem. It just won't let him have his own router.

Leo says David is better off going with Spectrum and buying his own DOCSIS 3 modem. Then he can do it himself and have more freedom. UVerse is very strict because of QoS.

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.