Networking

Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.

Do I need a new router?

Episode 1445

Dave from Big Bear, CA
Netgear R7000P

Dave gets slowed down online when his son gets on the computer. He can't do anything. Does he need a new router? Leo says that's likely the case since Dave's router is about 8 years old. Leo says that sometimes the DSL modem needs to be replaced as well. So he should contact his ISP and ask them for a newer one. But definitely buy a new router, since they do wear out after a few years. Leo would recommend an 802.11AC version. It's better at managing bandwidth. Leo also likes mesh routers. They're a little more expensive, but they will give him great wireless coverage.

Why isn't my mesh network faster?

Episode 1443

Paul from Columbus, OH
ARRIS SURFboard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

Paul has Spectrum internet and is using an Eero mesh router. His bandwidth was upgraded to 100 Mbps down, 12 up, but he hasn't noticed an improvement in speed when streaming. Leo says that he'll want consistency over speed when it comes to streaming. Every device wants to be first on the network to get priority and "shape the bandwidth." It's all about quality of service. He may want to look at his cable modem. If it's older, it could be the weak link in the chain.

How can I update my iPhone without wireless?

Episode 1439

Howard from Mission Viejo, CA
Apple iPhone X

Howard just got an iPhone X and he had to restore his iPhone 4 data to it. Leo says the fastest way to do that is to plug it into iTunes, back it up, and then restore to his new phone. It should take about 5 to 10 minutes. But his problem is that his network is wired and he can't get updates because it's Wi-Fi only. Is that true? Leo says not really. He can connect to iTunes, download the updates, and install them.

Do I really need a router?

Episode 1432

Jim from Long Beach, CA
NETGEAR Nighthawk AC2300 Smart WiFi Router

Jim has an internet enabled TV and he is about to subscribe to the internet, but does he really need a router? Leo says yes! It sits between him and the outside world and rejects security assaults by hackers. The router will also handle multiple devices, so if he has mobile phones, smart devices, a desktop or laptop, he's going to need a router to handle all that traffic. And his internet company will likely give him a router that can handle all that.

Why can't I update Windows 10?

Episode 1427

Kyle from San Pedro, CA
Windows 10 Creator's Update

Kyle is having trouble updating Windows 10 to the Spring Creator's Edition on his HP PC. HP has had problems with the Spring Creator's Update and Leo has a hunch the fall update will have similar issues. Leo says not to force the update. Microsoft will only offer the update when the machine is ready to receive it. It locks up after about 35%. Leo says to get it as a stand alone update and update it that way. He should download it directly as a file and install from a thumb drive. If that doesn't work, he can try the latest update from Microsoft with the media creation tool.

Why is my router dropping out?

Episode 1427

Perry from Ocean Beach, CA
ARRIS SURFboard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

Perry has a NetGear C6900 modem/router and it just drops out for several seconds from time to time. Leo says that routers and cable modems do wear out over time, and if he gets a lot of drop outs, it could be time to replace it. But Perry's router is only six months old, so that shouldn't be happening. Leo says he could try updating the firmware. PadreSJ says that the NetGear Combo units start having memory issues that cause server busy errors. Perry should go into his settings to find the logs and see if he is getting errors like that.

What NAS should I get?

Episode 1422

Eric from Hutchinson, KS
DiskStation DS416

Eric is looking to get a new NAS and wants to know whether he should get a Drobo or Synology? He wants everything on RAID that can be swappable. Leo says that Drobo is USB and is essentially a very large, fast USB external drive system. But for network attached storage, Leo prefers Synology. It's a computer with massive storage on his network.So it really comes down to what he'll want to use it for.