Networking

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

What Ethernet cable should I put in my walls?

Episode 1144

Avis from Santa Ana, CA
Ethernet cable

Avis is remodeling her home and she wants to wire her home for three computers, security cameras, and her home theater. Leo says that will require a high speed connection with all that video data. It's hard to future proof, but as long as she has the walls open, she should put conduit in. That way, when she needs to upgrade, it's a lot easier to run new cable through it.

Why did the Wi-Fi stop working on my laptop after installing HP driver updates?

Episode 1143

Jerry from California
Wi-Fi

Jerry began having Wi-Fi issues after updating drivers from HP. Leo suggests looking in the system tray to see if there's a red "x." If there is, then he'll know the problem is a connection. He should go through the settings, update his password, and make sure it's in Ad Hoc mode, not infrastructure. Right click on the tray icon and select "Properties." That'll take him to settings.

Another option is to roll back to the old drivers. Jerry can also go into the system BIOS and make sure Wi-Fi wasn't disabled there.

How can I connect my laptop to my wireless network?

Episode 1142

Brandon from Huntington Beach, CA
Wi-Fi router

Brandon is trying to connect an older laptop to Wi-Fi, but it isn't working. Leo says that if other devices can connect, then chances are that the laptop may not support WPA2, which the network runs on. He could try WEP, but it's been cracked, so it's not really all that secure if there's someone with maligned intent. But if it's all he can get, it's better than nothing.

How can I connect to my Wi-Fi router with ethernet cable?

Episode 1138

Richard from Hacienda Heights, CA
Ethernet

Richard's Verizon Wi-Fi router won't work as a wired router, only Wi-Fi. Leo says that's bizarre because he would need to connect his router to the modem. Leo advises asking Verizon if it's possible to buy his own modem. He should get a DOCSIS 3 modem. The added benefit is that he won't be paying rental fees on it.

Richard should keep going back to Verizon and make them fix it. If they can't, then he has a case to go with another provider. The hardware layer is working if there's a "link light" lit. So it may be trouble on Verizon's end.

Are there advantages to plugging my external drive into my router instead of my computer?

Episode 1132

Mark from Chatsworth, CA
USB hard drive

Leo says this would just be different. Instead of being a local drive to his computer, it would become a network mounted drive. Copying files would go over the Wi-Fi network, which would be fairly slow compared to being plugged into directly to the computer. The advantage is that the drive would become accessible to other computers on the network, turning it into a NAS, or Network Attached Storage.

Why is Apple's Time Capsule so slow to back up?

Episode 1128

Aiden from Ireland
Apple Time Capsule

Aiden made the switch to a Mac and his Time Capsule takes forever to backup. It works just fine in Windows, though. Leo says there are a number of different protocols, and Windows uses that SMB, which is the default language. Apple uses its own protocol called AFP, which is based on the older AppleTalk. Leo advises going into the settings and turning all the protocols on. That will allow it to use the fastest available.

What's the future of online gaming?

Episode 1126

Joshua from Nashville, TN
Microsoft

Joshua owns and operates Minecraft servers and he wants to know what the future has in store for online gaming. Leo says that since Microsoft bought Minecraft, it's possible that Microsoft could require Minecraft be run from Azure. But Leo doesn't think there's much cause to worry because the Minecraft culture is very independent. Gamers won't really feel Microsoft's presence in Minecraft for at least a year, but there's not much cause for concern. Since online gaming is social by nature, the future is bright.

Do I need a router to use my phone as a hotspot?

Episode 1124

Laurie from Glendale, CA
Cell Phone Tower

Laurie wants to know if she needs a router to use her phone as a hotspot. Leo says no, the phone acts as a router. Her speeds will depend on how many devices she's using with that hotspot, and how many other people are using that tower. Laurie uses it because it's cheaper than paying for internet access at home. Leo also says that mobile phone operating systems are also more secure than desktops.

Do I need a router to use my Apple TV?

Episode 1124

Dennis from Arkansas
Apple TV

Dennis is looking to get broadband. He's got an AppleTV and wants to connect it to his router. Leo says that the best thing to do is request from the broadband company a modem only, and then use his own router. Then it's easy to connect the Apple TV to the router. The chatroom says that it may be necessary to port forward the Apple TV or DMZ it, but Leo doesn't think so.