Networking

Should I buy my own modem and router?

Episode 1227

Frederick from El Segundo, CA
Asus AC3200

Frederick has AT&T for his internet access. He's switching to Time Warner Cable and he's wondering if he'll get the 100 Mbps with the modem they'll be renting him. Or should he buy one himself? Leo says Time Warner will tell him what modems they support and he can then buy that. Leo recommends a DOCSIS 3 modem.

Should he get a modem/router combination unit? Leo says no. Use the router separately and daisy chain them together. He'll save a lot of money over the course of the year by just buying it himself. Leo likes the Arris modems.

Why is internet so slow on my desktop?

Episode 1224

Che from Orlando, FL
Dell XPS 8700

Che just bought a new Dell XPS Desktop and it's started to slow down drastically. He does a speed test, like Leo taught, and the desktop is much slower than his laptop. Leo says to try plugging the desktop directly into the router with an ethernet cable, and see if the speed improves. If so, then he's narrowed it down to the router. Leo says it could the hardware, but he could try reinstalling the Wi-Fi connection. There may also be conflicting Wi-Fi drivers at work between the hardware driver and the Windows driver. That can confuse Windows and slow things down.

Why can't I connect to the Internet?

Episode 1222

Jill from Jasper, GA
ASUS RT-AC3200

Jill got a new wireless router and now it's kicking her off the internet, replicating the same problems of her previous router. Leo says that a router dropping the connection from time to time is often a sign of a failing router. Leo advises getting the Asus 3200. Cheap routers are a false economy as they don't perform well, so Jill should spend a little money and get a better router.

How can I get better Wi-Fi reception?

Phillip from Camarillo, CA

Episode 1222

Phillip's girlfriend is having issues with her Wi-Fi. Leo says that it could be an interference issue with metal frames and dead zones in her home. Would a range extender work? Leo says that they can if she gets one from the same manufacturer as the original router. But if the main home is using a router from the carrier, then that could be a problem. It would be better to buy a new router with the extender and match them together. Another option could be powerline networking.

How can I set up a home network?

Tom from Houston, TX

Episode 1216

Tom would like to set up a home network and he's pretty confused on how to do it. Where can he go to get some insider tips? Leo says that a great source is PracticallyNetworked.com. They not only have product reviews, but also tutorials that explain nomenclature and how to go about setting up a network. They keep it up to date, too. Start with "Backgrounders," to learn the basics. Then he can move on to how to set one up.

How can I share my internet access securely?

Anthony from Ontario, CA

Episode 1214

Anthony shares his internet access with a tenant who wants hardwire access to the modem. Leo says that makes it difficult to isolate, and he'll need a second router, or better yet, a third router. He should segment them on the network so that the tenant doesn't have access to Anthony's data. Leo recommends checking out PracticallyNetworked.com for how to do it.