Networking

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

What is the fastest router?

Netgear Orbi

Episode 1514

Carl from Savannah, GA

Kyle wants to know what router is the fastest for the money. Leo says that Netgear Orbi is an excellent mesh system for someone looking for maximum speed. It has a 4GB ethernet as well. And for under 2000 feet, one is enough. Asus also has a good router for the hardcore hobbyist. Leo says what he really will want is an intelligent routing system, so it will delegate speed to the things he needs the most at that time.

Where do the lights on my modem mean?

ARRIS SURFboard modem

Episode 1512

Sam from Carlsbad, CA

Sam has an ARRIS cable modem and when he's plugged it into his router, he's not sure what the lights mean. Leo says that one is for connecting to the cable company for internet access. If it's off, he's not getting access. There's also a "link light" which will be solid when connected via ethernet, and when data goes back and forth, it blinks. Then there's the uplink and downlink lights. The manual should tell him what they mean. If one is off, then he'll know where the problems are.

Why is my mesh router crashing?

Eero

Episode 1509

Ben from Houston, TX

Ben got a new UVerse modem and an Eero Mesh Router and it was working fine until last week. Now he's having issues with the router, where it drops off the network again and again. Leo says that the UVerse modem is likely a router-modem combo, and he'll need to put the router into bridge mode. And in order for the mesh router to use its advanced features, it needs to be the main router.

Should I buy my own router and modem?

TP-Link Archer C8

Episode 1508

Jean from North Hollywood, CA

Jean wants to know if she should buy her own modem or not. She has DSL. Leo says that since she has DSL, she should just stick with the modem that DSL Extreme provided to her. Generally when Leo talks about replacing the modem to avoid the rental fee, he's talking about cable modems. He wouldn't mess with a DSL modem. As far as the router goes, Leo would recommend Jean get the TP-Link Archer C8, which is less than $80.

Do I need a better router for my Wi-Fi security cameras?

ASUS AC3200

Episode 1508

Sam from Costa Mesa, CA

Sam lives in a 2 story condo, but with the Wi-Fi enabled cameras he's buying, should he get a new router? Leo says Wi-Fi security cameras are often a challenge because they tend to be in the periphery, but a single router should be able to cover his 1500 square feet. Leo suggests that Sam move his router and modem connection to another spot. He could actually leave the modem where it is, and just connect the router with a longer ethernet cable. Leo also says that Sam's Asus router has added some mesh-like features in a recent firmware update. So he should try updating it.

Do I need a service agreement to update my router firmware?

Netgear Orbi

Episode 1504

David from Anaheim, CA

David has a Netgear router and he wants to upgrade the firmware. Netgear won't do it because his support has expired. Leo says that older routers all need to be updated manually, but he doesn't need a service agreement to update it. He'd just download the firmware and install it. In fact, there should be a utility within the router settings to update the firmware. Most newer models autoupdate. So if staying updated is important, and it is, it would pay to get a new router. It'll be faster too. Mesh routers will be the best option.