Networking

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

Why can't my laptop connect to the internet?

Episode 1561

Joe from Filmore, CA

Joe's laptop won't connect to the internet. Leo says that some laptops have a function key that will set your laptop into Airplane mode. So check that out. Other than that, there may have been a corrupted WiFi driver that's preventing the internet from talking to your router/modem. But Joe erased some "unnecessary files" and Windows told him to do it. Leo says that's not the case here. But Microsoft has a tech note about this same issue.

Will a mesh router work with my VOIP phone service?

Netgear Orbi mesh router

Episode 1557

Gwen from Pomona, CA

Gwen has internet through Spectrum. She's looking at getting a NetGear Orbi mesh router. Will she have issues with her phone service? Leo says that she will because Spectrum requires their router to use their phone service. But she can hook them up in tandem and have them coexist. It works with Comcast in a similar fashion. Leo says this is why you don't want to bundle services. It causes issues like this.

Can I have a static IP with my mesh router?

Eero

Episode 1555

Tom from Orange, CA

Tom updated his Wi-Fi to an Eero mesh router system, but it changed his static IP address and it's causing problems. How can he fix that? Leo says that all he'll need to do is reserve the IP for those devices. It's in the Eero settings. But the fact that Eero keeps an eye on his network worries him from a security point of view. Leo says that they do that for quality of service, as they are always adjusting the router for the best possible performance. If he doesn't trust Eero to do that securely, then he shouldn't be using it.

Can my mesh router work with my Comcast router/modem?

Eero

Episode 1555

Bobby from Plymouth, MA

Bobby wants to know how he can get his Eero mesh router to work with his Comcast modem/router. Leo says that's called Double NAT and it's problematic. Leo recommends getting his own modem and using that. Comcast has a list of modems that are supported and they cost under $100. He'll want one that supports DOCSIS III or better. The added benefit is that he'll save on the rental of the modem.

(Disclaimer: Eero is a sponsor)

How can I improve my Wi-Fi signal?

TP-Link EAP225

Episode 1550

Bruce from Carlsbad, CA

Bruce has Wi-Fi coverage in his house because it's long and narrow. He doesn't want extenders. So he's thinking of using Cat5 ethernet. Can he take an ethernet connection and convert it to Wi-Fi? Leo says that the TP-Link EAP225 access points will do the trick. He can also turn his router into bridge mode for that. But he can also use Powerline Networking, where he can use his electrical grid for networking and get internet access in every room. He can just plug in the Powerline adapters.

Why is my Wi-Fi dropping out?

Netgear AC2600 Router

Episode 1549

Clarence from Chesapeake, VA

Clarence has issues with his laptop's Wi-Fi intermittently dropping after adding a new modem and Netgear router. Leo says to connect the laptop directly to the router and see if it drops out. If it doesn't, then he'll know the internet connection is fine, and the Wi-Fi radio in the laptop is flakey. If it keeps happening, then that would lead to his router, or even modem. Another possibility is the power-saving may be turned on in the Wi-Fi settings of his laptop. Just disable power-saving and it should be OK from there. It could even be congestion from other internet devices.

Should I buy a new router?

ASUS Tri-Band Gigabit (AC3200) WiFi Router

Episode 1548

Gordon from Long Island, NY

Gordon hears that after about 3 years, routers become less secure and outdated. So does he have to replace his ASUS AC3200 router? Leo says often, news agencies read copy from an electronic press kit. Routers are getting hacked, but if he bought a good router from a company that updates the firmware regularly, then he's OK. ASUS uses DD-WRT, which is updated regularly. So all he has to do is keep them updated.