wifi

Should I get a mesh router?

Netgear Orbi

Episode 1538

Bianca from Wisconsin

Bianca is thinking about getting a mesh router because her Wi-Fi is slow and unreliable. Leo says that a mesh router will definitely do the job, and they're better than a Wi-Fi extender because the extender is only half as fast. But mesh routers aren't cheap. Mesh routers also have a great quality of service with bandwidth shaping, and also parental blocking features. NetGear's Orbi is good, as is the Eero.

How can I prevent my router from dropping my internet connection?

DNS Benchmark

Episode 1533

Brian from Mission Viejo, CA

Brian has an Apple Airport and every time he gets on the network with his phone, the internet drops out. Leo says to check his DNS to see if it's properly configured. That can be found in network settings. He should also try rebooting his router. Steve Gibson has a tool called DNS Benchmark at GRC.com which can tell him how well his DNS settings are responding.

Do I need both Wi-Fi and a hardwired connection?

Ethernet cable

Episode 1532

Dee Dee from Pasadena,CA

Dee Dee is moving into an office that's promising free Wi-Fi and hardwired internet. Does she need both? Leo says that she's probably getting local service and she can connect either way. Hardwired connections will be faster and she won't have to deal with congestion. This could also mean they are just providing the wired infrastructure, and she'll still have to buy her own internet to use with it. Or, they may be offering a free public Wi-Fi. Leo recommends checking on that. She should also do a speed test, and ask if they have bandwidth caps.

How can I extend my Wi-Fi?

Netgear Orbi

Episode 1530

Greg from Homosassa, FL

Greg has to extend his Wi-Fi in order to stream to the TVs around the house. What kind of extender should he get? Leo says the farther he is away, the less signal and speed he'll get. So he'll need to boost the signal. If he's using a modern Wi-Fi router that uses 802.11AC, then it'll be easier. But if he has to use a router provided by the cable company, he should try and see if he can put the router/modem in bridge mode and use his own router. Then he should turn off the modem's Wi-Fi radio as well.

Why is my internet so slow?

Netgear R7000P

Episode 1524

Adrian from Loredo, TX

Adrian is living in a rural area having an issue with slow internet service. He got a new router, but the problem still persists. Rich says this could be because of living in a rural area. He should try and bypass the router and do a speed test. If it works better, then it points to the router as the issue. But Rich doesn't think it's the router, since Adrian bought a new one. Rich thinks there may be an issue between the modem and the router. He should do a factory reset on the modem (better yet, ask his ISP for a new one).

Can I use an external camera with an app on my iPhone?

Be My Eyes app

Episode 1518

Larry from Prescott, AZ

Larry wants to use his camera with Be My Eyes on his iPhone, an app for the vision impaired. Leo says the first thing he'll need is a camera that can connect over Wi-Fi. Then he would need an app to allow him to remotely control it from the iPhone. Leo says that iOS sandboxes each app for security purposes, so one app can't compromise others, so he likely won't be able to use a separate camera with that particular app.

What's the fastest Wi-Fi Router?

NetGear Orbi Pro Mesh Router

Episode 1515

John from Montgomery, AL

John is a fire fighter and they share the cost of Wi-Fi with multiple access points. But when they increased his data plan to 300 Mbps, the most his router will get is 80. Leo says that typically, Wi-Fi is 60% of what they say. So he should be safely expecting 180 Mbps. But at 2.4Ghz, he's only going to get 80. He's going to need a TriBand router. For pure speed, Leo recommends the NetGear Orbi Pro Mesh router. He can get one extra unit for every 1500 sq ft coverage.

Why is satellite access on cruise ships so slow?

Cruise Ship

Episode 1514

Don from San Pedro, CA

Ron is going on a cruise soon and he wants to know if the Wi-Fi on the ship will be usable. Leo says it's always slow because satellite connections are slow, with a lot of latency, and on top of that, he'll be sharing bandwidth with 4,000 people. The best he can do is get up in the middle of the night and use it. The worst part is, it's also very expensive. But when he's in port, he'll have access to mobile data.