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 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.

Why is my DSL so spotty?

Episode 1304

Frank from Pacifica, CA

Frank was sold on the notion that DSL was always on, but he's had cases where it get drops out quite often. Leo says that by comparison to dial up, DSL is always on. The drop outs are possibly due to being too far away form the central hub, as the farther away, the worse it gets. It could also be a signal that his router is starting to fail.

Why can't my Mac connect to the Internet?

Betty from Madison, WI

Episode 1296

Betty can't log into the internet with her Mac. It says there are no plugins to do so. Leo says to check your router connection to see if your WiFi router is turned on. You can do that in the Apple's Network system preferences. If you can't see your access point, you're not connected to it. If it's connected, then look if the internet connection is available. If the WiFi router isn't working properly, it'll be connected, but it won't go anywhere. It'll just be a local address starting with 168. Try resetting your router.

How can I get a better Wi-Fi signal?

David from Long Beach, CA

Episode 1296

David's landlady has wifi but she doesn't want to improve the signal so he can get a better connection. Leo says you can get a WiFi antenna to improve your signal,but if you can convince your landlady to put the access point in a better location, that would be the ticket. Check out for tips on which directional antenna to buy to get a better signal. You could also offer to buy her a newer 802.11 AC router. Leo likes the Asus C3200. It goes a long way.

Why doesn't OpenDNS work for me?

Pedro from Bronx, NY

Episode 1291

Pedro created an account at OpenDNS but it isn't working for him. Leo says that OpenDNS can protect kids with a custom "phone book" that has a list of approved domain names in it. OpenDNS can then filter out the undesired addresses that he wouldn't want. If he inputs the router server settings of OpenDNS properly, it'll filter the traffic correctly. But if his kids have figured out how to change the settings in the computer, it can override that, unless he's made the settings in the router itself.

Why can't I use my Nest Cam with my network?

Episode 1284

Frank from Pomona, CA
Nest Cam

Frank is having trouble installing his Nest Cam. It won't work unless he turns off his firewall. Leo says that's not good. But it's the nature of a firewall, as it blocks a conversation between incoming and outgoing traffic. That's why Leo recommends using a router instead. He can also use the DMZ feature, where he could allow the Nest Cam to bypass protection. Leo doesn't recommend it, but it can be one option.