Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.
Joslyn is getting ready to move and she wants to know how she can determine how strong a Wi-Fi signal is where she may live. Leo says DSL Reports will give her reviews on how good her internet is in any given area. But that won't tell her how good it is inside where she's going to live. If the building was built with a lot of metal, she'll have a hard time.
George is using a Tiny Hardware Firewall and he sees that it would let him customize the settings. Can it be made more secure? Leo says that the Tiny Hardware Firewall is pretty darn secure as is. Leo hasn't played with the configurations, but he wouldn't want to, either. He just uses it in default mode and he's completely safe.
Edwee wants to create a server using Raspberry Pi. Leo says that the Raspberry Pi is very cheap at $35, but it can do a lot of great things. It uses Raspian OS, which is like Linux. There are some network attached storage operating systems that the Raspberry Pi can run, including NextCloud and OwnCloud.
James wants to get an A+ certification, but he's wondering if it's worth getting. Leo says that the main thing a certification shows an employer is that he set out to do something and proved that he completed it. That's really the main benefit and if he is looking for work in the IT field, it's not bad to have, especially if he's trying to get his first job. It's really only a test that he'll study for and take. It doesn't necessarily mean he is skilled or competent. A passion for the subject and a willingness to learn is of more benefit than just studying to pass a test.
Mike is frustrated that his internet access is going through a lot of buffering, especially when he's streaming. Leo says a router needs to control his ethernet connection, not a modem. It's the one assigning IP addresses. Then he can put routers all over the house, but have them set in bridge mode so that they just pass the bandwidth along. Mike should try using different names for his routers, too. That way, he can join the nearest ones directly. Getting a mesh router is also be a good idea. They aren't cheap, but they definitely solve the problem.
Gina's iPhone 6 is having problems connecting to the internet via Wi-Fi. Leo says to make sure she can't get on anyone else's Wi-Fi. If that's not the case, then there is clearly something wrong with the phone or its Wi-Fi settings. It's possible that the settings are preventing it from connecting, but it's also likely the hardware has failed. The only real people who can solve a hardware issue are Geniuses at the Apple Store. Gina should set up an appointment and have the Genius take a look at it.
Is powerline networking a decent option these days? Leo says that it's improved a lot since it was introduced 20 years ago. It was horrible back then. Now it's much better. He won't get the full throughput, though – Only about 60%. And he'll have to be on the same fuse box. Leo also recommends the Plume routers because they have ethernet connections as well, so he could plug in there.
Melissa's Wi-Fi is really slow of late. Leo says that everyone is experiencing bad Wi-Fi these days because we're doing more with it and dozens of devices are typically connected to it. Congestion is a serious problem. To eliminate her ISP as the problem, she should connect directly to her router and see how it performs. If it's just the same, then she'll know that the ISP needs to fix the problem. But if it improves, then it's her Wi-Fi network.
Autumn has been having buffering problems while trying to watch YouTube videos. Leo says there are a number of things that could be causing this. It may not even be her internet, it could be her computer. Autumn says her computer is a five year old Lenovo that doesn't seem to be slow otherwise. It's not unusual for DSL to have trouble with bandwidth as well. The problem with DSL is that the company that sells it is at the mercy of the phone company.