Networking

Why can't I connect to my Wi-Fi network?

Luis from Tarzana, CA

Episode 1212

Luis can't connect to his Wi-Fi at his house, but he can connect to other Wi-Fi networks. Leo says that the first thing to do is connect via ethernet, just to make sure he can connect wired. Then he should try and join the Wi-Fi while he's right next to the router. If he can't connect, he should try rebooting the router. Then reboot the laptop. Then try wired again. It could be a handshake issue.

Is Time Warner Max as fast as they hype?

Episode 1208

Ron from North Carolina
Motorola SB6120 SURFboard DOCSIS 3.0 Modem

Ron wants to know if Time Warner Max delivers the high speed it promises. Leo says that it should, and it's all driven by Google, who's putting gigabit internet everywhere. Time Warner Cable and AT&T have started to up the performance of users' broadband to compete. But if Ron doesn't have a DOCSIS III modem, then he's not getting the benefit of that faster internet access. Ron should talk to his provider about getting one or he should just buy it himself. In the long run he'll save money by buying it himself, since he's paying to rent that modem anyway.

Could my car be hacked?

Episode 1206

Clyde from Sherman Oaks, CA
Car Dashboard

Clyde heard about the Jeep that got hacked and worries that it could happen to his car since he connects his phone to the car with USB. Leo says that simply connecting the phone to the car stereo isn't sufficient for this. The Jeep hack involved using the car's built-in 3G access. The real flaw is that the entertainment unit of the car and the computer running the car (braking, ignition, etc), are not physically separated. They are connected in many cars through the CamBus, or internal car network.

How can I extend my router to handle more wired machines?

Casey from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1205

Casey has a router with four ports, but he has more printers and computers than that. Leo says to get a router extender that he can plug into one port on the router, which can extend it to handle up to 10 additional ports. Any brand will do. A router switch is a bit more intelligent -- it can switch automatically between them to keep the network running faster. But an extender will work.

Why does my office network refuse to reroute URLs?

Dave from LaMesa, CA

Episode 1202

Dave's office is having trouble rerouting URLs within his office network. Leo suspects there's a redirect block on the network. It could be a rule that's been put on the network. Another option is to flush the DNS cache to wipe out that file so it can properly reroute. He can open a command line (windows Key +R) and type IPConfig /flushDNS. This way it won't rely on the list of DNS settings on his router or network and then moves on to the DNS registrar for the proper DNS address. It then will put the proper DNS in his router and it shouldn't happen anymore.

How many connections can my router handle?

Episode 1201

Ashley from Minnesota
Asus Router

Ashley is concerned about the "internet of things," where so many devices are internet enabled, and the router being able to handle so many connections. Leo says that most routers can handle 50-100 connections. So that's not an issue to worry much about.

Having said that, a dual band router does connect better. What's the best router to get? Leo says getting an 802.11 AC router, which can aim at the devices (called beam forming). Leo also likes open source routers like those that can run DD-WRT software. Asus is a good brand.