Networking

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

How can I add Wi-Fi to my security gate?

Episode 1490

John from Fallbrook, CA
TP-Link AC1750 WiFi Range Extender

John has a private gate and he needs to connect it via Wi-Fi so he can have a doorbell camera there, but his Wi-Fi range is limited. Leo says that since he has power out there, Leo recommends powerline networking to do it since the electrical lines are already laid. The doorbell camera may be hard because of the speed from the powerline, but Leo thinks it's doable. He recommends TP-Link. The downside is that he'll need to have it all on the same circuit.

How can I rip my CDs and put them on a media server?

Episode 1488

Walt from Irvine, CA
Synology NAS

Walt has a few hundred CDs and he'd like to rip them, put them on a music server, and then donate them. Leo recommends ripping in a lossless version called FLAC. FLAC is a great because if one needs to re-burn to a CD, they can. If using iTunes, he should use Apple's own lossless codec. Using a Mac that stays on all the time would work, but Leo recommends using a Network Attached Storage device and have that run as the music server. It can also do double duty backing up the network. Leo recommends the Synology brand.

What router should I use to run a VPN?

Episode 1487

Al from California
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pfsense215.jpg

Al wants to get a router that can run Tomato or DD-WRT, so he can run VPNs through it because mesh routers aren't open source. Leo says a better option is to use an old computer as his router. pfSense is a good open source router app that can do that. It'll give him far more powerful hardware that can do what he would want it to do. He can even use a Raspberry Pi for it.

Why is my internet access so slow?

Episode 1486

John from Los Angeles, CA
INSIIDER

John has a problem where after about 10 minutes, his router drops to a slow crawl. He's done Windows Repair, reinstalled Windows, and even replaced his router. What else can he do to solve the issue? Leo says that it's possible that the computer is doing something in the background. Leo doesn't like having to rely on the routers provided by an ISP. They're usually old, haven't been updated, and he'd end up paying monthly for them. John should see if there's a router log. He can look there to see what's taking up all the bandwidth.

How can I rip all my DVDs and play them on a network?

Episode 1483

James from Las Vegas, NV
Synology DiskStation

James has 300 DVDs that he'd like to put on a media server and watch using Amazon Alexa to launch them. Rich says that the first thing James would need to do is "rip" them to a hard drive. He can use a combination of HandBrake and VLC Media Client to get them into digital files. Then he can put them on a network attached storage device.

Should I replace my router?

Episode 1479

Brian from Indio, CA
eero.com

Brian wants to know why he should replace his router. Leo says that routers wear out, like when they are getting hot. That's an indicator it's working harder to push the traffic where it needs to go. He'll want to look for a router that that updates its firmware. He'll also want a reliable manufacturer who cares about updates. Leo also recommends a MESH router, which are great for homes that have issues with WiFi reception.

Get a mesh system at Eero's website (sponsor of TWiT)