Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.
Paul's daughter has a really old router and it's starting to flake out, so it's time to get a new one. Leo says she should get a dual band router that supports not only 2.4 Ghz, but also 5Ghz. She'll want one that supports 802.11ac. The reason to get a dual band router is that everyone is on 2.4 these days, and while 5 GHz is limited and won't go through walls, it is barely used.
Bill is a retired electrician and wants to learn networking and computers. Leo says it depends on how he best learns. There's a ton of great books, but ITPro.TV has a great video course on networking and IT subjects. Another good site is PracticallyNetworked.com. There's great tutorials there on networking.
(Disclaimer: ITPro.TV is a sponsor)
Isaac is a cop and wants to know if routers collect data of what connects to it or sees it. Leo says only if the device was connected to that router. Just seeing it is another matter, and that's unlikely. Android has an app called WiFi Collector from NirSoft, but that's the opposite direction from what Isaak wants. Leo says that the WiFi Pineapple from HakShop could work for this.
Susan is having trouble streaming with her Blu-ray player and her TV. Leo says it could be that the Blu-ray's Wi-Fi isn't working too well. She may need to move her hotspot closer to the TV itself. It may also be that there's congestion on the 2.4 Ghz band, and her TV won't pick up the 5.0 Ghz band. She should try using her mobile phone as a hotspot and see if it picks it up. If it does, then the Wi-Fi spot is either too far away or is congested and swamped by other signals.
What's going on with AirPort development? Leo says that Apple has reassigned most of the engineers who handle the Airport to other products, so it sounds like Apple is moving away from it. Since routers do wear out and become unreliable over time, it's probably time to replace it with a different brand.
Gloria wants to cut her phone service and use Ooma. Is that a good idea? Leo says that with one computer plugged into the internet, she can, but she'll also need a router so she can give access to others. A simple wireless router from Asus or DLink would work well. She should go for the dual band or tri band router. The WireCutter suggests the TP-Link Archer C7 (v2). She can find out more about it at thewirecutter.com.
John downloaded a VPN program called Jailbreak and now his Windows 7 machine can't connect to the internet. Leo says the VPN is probably at fault here. VPNs act as a go-between between him and the servers he surfs to.
Kirk created an administrator password and has forgotten it. Leo says that if he created it with his Microsoft account, he can recover it. But if he didn't, then there are ways to crack a Windows 10 login. He can use OphCrack or ConBoot to get around it. Here's a few articles to can show him how:
Wikileaks has announced Vault 7, a massive collection of documents that show how the CIA uses malware and other hacking techniques to spy online. Some of the techniques includes using smartTVs as a spying device since they use cameras and microphones built into the TVs. Samsung warned of this in their terms of service for their TVs last year. But Leo says that the CIA doesn't really have a switch to turn on all TVs, and if they did, the data they'd receive would be so massive and 99.9% of it would be useless. It could be used for targeted eavesdropping, though.