Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.
Paul has a NetGear cable modem/router and he suddenly can't access it to make any changes. Leo says that routers are really cheap computers and sometimes it can get bit-rotted just like any other computer. Paul should try doing a factory reset. Then he should be able to log in and re-enter all of his settings. It's a good thing to do once in a while anyway.
Gary has a ton of devices attached to his network, including home automation devices. It's called the "Internet of things," where all those devices are accessible to the Internet. But is it secure? Leo says it's possible that his network can be breached through them, but that's theoretical. It hasn't happened yet. More likely, his router will be overwhelmed by all the connections. So it may be time to upgrade it.
Sam can't connect his wife's iPad to his Wi-Fi Network. He tries to input his password, but it says the password isn't correct, even though his other devices use it just fine. Leo says the iPad probably remembered an incorrectly entered password. Sam should go into Settings, and choose "forget this network." This will erase the password so he can reacquire the network and input the correct password. That should solve the issue. Another possible solution is to shut it all the way off, wait a few minutes and turn it back on.
Doug does a lot of traveling on the road and he uses a open Wi-Fi hotspots a lot. He's worried about the security of using those hotspots, though. Leo says that using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a good solution, as it burrows a secure tunnel through the hotspot so that all of his data is encrypted. He'd be totally safe and secure. The downside though it that using a VPN will slow him down a lot, and they are a challenge for some to set up. And the reality is, more and more of what he'll be doing online is encrypted anyway.
Mitch is mad that after updating to Windows 10, Windows Media Center is no longer there. Leo says that he's furious with Microsoft about that, killing off the XBMC without giving anyone a choice. But Leo says there's more to it -- likely copy protection issues.
John often logs into public Wi-Fi hotspots, but he hasn't been able to connect with his cell phone and his MiFi. Leo says that is probably due to not agreeing to terms of service or watching an ad. It's called a "captive portal." Mobile phones are supposed to handle it properly, and if it's not connected, he should see an "!" signaling that it isn't connecting.
Jay bought a new router to add to his network but he's not improving his experience at all. Leo says if he's looking to expand his network, then it's a good idea to set one in bridge mode to just pass on the signal. It may be that Jay's DSL modem can't be a bridging router. Steve Gibson says that two routers handling the Network Address Translation will work fine. So Jay shouldn't do anything and see what happens. Maybe a simple reset will work. But Leo says putting one in bridge mode is best.
John wants to lock down his internet for his kids. Leo says that the trick is to block it with OpenDNS from the router itself. Change the DNS settings on the router to block it. Then he'll need to lock it down on his system to prevent changes.
Paul's UVerse router is starting to get finicky, so he got a new one and wants to use the old one in bridge mode, but it won't work. It keeps asking for a password. Leo says it's unusual for a factory to set a router with a password from default. The password should be in the manual. Paul should try doing a factory reset.
George wants to extend his Wi-Fi signal out to the front porch. How can he boost the signal range of his Wi-Fi network? Leo says a Wi-Fi extender or repeater is his best bet and it's always best to go with the same manufacturer as his original Wi-Fi router. So a D-Link would be D-Link Extender, NetGear with NetGear, Apple Airport Extreme with Airport Express. The idea is to place the extender midway between the base station and where he'll want it to go. This will enable him to double the distance of his Wi-Fi network.