How can I get my router working again?

Episode 1032 (1:07:54)

Paul from Lake Forest, CA

Paul's dad finally got internet access, but he didn't have a router to protect him against attacks online. So Paul gave him his old router. Everytime he has issues, he calls AT&T and they tell him to disconnect the router, though! Leo advises making sure that the router firmware is updated. Rebooting the router often helps. It could also be an issue with AT&T's internet service.

Leo says to write down a troubleshooting procedure for his dad that he can follow. Go from easy to more involved. Unplug the router and the modem, then plug the router back in, and then plug the modem back in. They'll handshake and most of the time, that'll fix it. Routers do run out of gas after awhile, and since this was an old router, it could just be time to get a new one.

Leo advises doing a few things to make Wi-Fi safer. First, turn on encryption on the router, and not WEP. It should be WPA2. This means the first time it's used, the user has to enter a password. UPnP (Universal Plug n Play) should be turned off. WAN administration should be turned off as well, and by all means don't use the default password. It's also a good idea to change the name of the router from the default, and it shouldn't be your personal name or home address. Turn off WPS as well because it's insecure.