Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.
At his job, Justin has gotten into IT work and now he wants to get some formal education. Leo says that since Justin has worked in it for the last 5 years, he's got to be pretty accomplished. But he doesn't have a certification. Leo says that certs are for guys just starting out, not for experienced people. Leo says if he really wants his certifications, he should check out IT Pro.TV, which has an online monthly video subscription that will take him through everything he needs to know. Justin could go to a local Junior College as well.
Jonathan is thinking about digitizing home videos for his family and is wondering what form of media to put them on since his family uses iPods and tablets, etc. Leo says that in that case, putting them up on YouTube is a good idea and he can just keep the channel private. It also means that anyone can watch it. Making it available for download means that he'd have to format it for different versions depending on what device is being used. Leo says he won't have that issue with streaming.
Bernie has a bunch of old slides that he transferred to DVD, and then ripped them to his Network Attached Storage, along with image files of discs (ISOs). How can he view them on his network? Leo says that VLC is an amazing video product that will allow him to view it.
What about Apple TV? Leo says no, it can't understand ISOs. But Bernie can use his Mac with Mountain Lion or later to airplay them to Apple TV. He can just open the ISO with a Mac program like Disc Utility and then once it's mounted, he can stream it from the Mac using AirPlay.
Dave has a home office in his garage and he wants to get Wi-Fi out there, rather than having the wired connection. Leo says that he should be able to get Wi-Fi for at least 150 feet. If he has a lot of wiring in the walls, then he could end up with slower Wi-Fi, or even a dropped signal. The easiest thing to do is to find a repeater that's the same brand as his Wi-Fi router. They're essentially routers that are in "bridge" mode.
Paul's dad finally got internet access, but he didn't have a router to protect him against attacks online. So Paul gave him his old router. Everytime he has issues, he calls AT&T and they tell him to disconnect the router, though! Leo advises making sure that the router firmware is updated. Rebooting the router often helps. It could also be an issue with AT&T's internet service.
Carol recently moved her Wi-Fi router to another area in the house that she likes but now she doesn't have very good reception. Leo says that a Wi-Fi signal booster is a good idea, but she needs to contact her router manufacturer and see which ones work best. She'll want to stay with the same "family" of products, if possible.
Nick called to ask Leo his take on Nano Routers. They're cheap, and only cost around $30. Leo says these are travel routers, basically. There's no reason a router has to be big, it's just a computer. Leo hasn't used the TP-Link specifically, but he has used similar products. A router is a router, and its size doesn't really affect its functionality.
Lenny is a Ham (KP4XN) and wants to know what Leo thinks of EchoLink. Leo says he's used it before. It's a system that uses the internet to connect one operator to another. It uses ham radios that transmit to a repeater station which goes over the internet to an other repeater station where it comes off the internet and through a radio tower.
Russell wants to know if he can use Time Capsule as a Wi-Fi extender. Leo says that Time Capsule is just an Airport Extreme with a hard drive built in. So it should be a simple matter of accessing the Wi-Fi part of the device. Leo says that when setting up the Time Capsule, set it up as a router to extend the existing Wi-Fi network. This will make the Time Capsule a bridge to extend the existing Wi-Fi signal, also called WDS (wireless distribution system).