Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.
Michael has a computer that drops off the network from time to time, causing him to restart either the computer or the router. Leo says it's probably not the router since other computers aren't effected. If a computer drops off the network, then there's probably an issue with Mike's ethernet card since it's wired in. He should first replace the ethernet cable. That's the cheap and easy fix.
Jeff has a 3000' square foot house and has several Apple Airport Expresses to relay the signal from his Airport Extreme. Leo says that Jeff should have the Express in 'Bridging mode' and should let the Airport Extreme choose the channel because it will adjust according to congestion. Just select the option to extend the network and let it handle everything else.
Ron is buying his wife a new laptop for their anniversary and he's looking at a Lenovo which has AC Wi-Fi. He doesn't think his router can handle it, since it's pretty old. Leo says that routers do wear out and the AC router will give him better reception and speed. Every four or five years, it may be necessary to get a new router.
Tom is having issues connecting his iPhone to his router, and he's looking to get an Asus One router. Leo says that's a great idea because it uses DD-WRT, which is an open source firmware and it's more secure, faster, and offers more options. Leo says that the plaster and metal joists could be acting as a faraday cage to prevent connectivity. And it's not unusual for a weaker signal to have issues in iOS. It just sounds like the signal isn't good and you coudl get an extender, but Leo recommends getting one from the same brand.
Aaron has an office printer that he'd like to hook up to his upstairs router and print from his network. Is there an easy way to do that and print via Wi-Fi? It isn't a Wi-Fi enabled printer.
Leo says that the Lantronix Wireless xPrint Server will make any printer wireless. It also works with Google Cloud Print, allowing Aaron to print from anywhere in the world.
(Disclaimer: Lantronix is a sponsor).
Rod wants to change careers and get into the technology field. Leo says that following his interest is a good place to start. Starting his own app development may be a good idea, but it's not for everyone. Most people don't make a lot of money doing that. While he can learn to program, that doesn't mean he has the aptitude. IT Services is a growing field if he's good with people. Networking is also a great skill to have if he's mechanical.
Mike has a pair of Samsung internet enabled TVs. His Internet speed is about 2 Mbps down. He has upgraded his router, but he's still getting a lot of buffering while streaming. Should he upgrade his internet speed? Leo says that may be the best option. The lowest cost internet is on the edge of using video. And as such, Netflix is probably downgrading the quality.
Fred is remodeling his home and he's got open walls right now. What cabling should he install so he's set for the future? Leo says he should install Cat 6 Ethernet cable. That would really future proof his home with fast data networking. Or he could just go with wireless networking. He should at least run conduit in the walls and as the technologies change, he can then reinstall whatever cable he needs. Fiber optic cable is pretty cheap, but the switches are expensive. That's why Ethernet is still the best way to go.
Don is planning to do home automation and wants to know if he should use Ethernet in the walls. Leo says sure, he could, but everyone is using wireless these days. Wiring is only really needed for high definition video. Everything else is wireless.
Ken is wondering if he should use Watchguard on his Wi-Fi network for added security. Leo says he doesn't need this. These are internet security devices, or firewalls, that he'd run in his house. Routers are not very well designed and are commodity products, so they tend to have security flaws. Getting a better router would be a better way to increase security. Leo suspects Watchguard would be more than he actually needs.