Mark's home wifi modem has run out of ethernet ports. So he bought a five port gigabit switch, but nothing really works. Leo says that everything has to have a unique IP address, so a switch won't work. You need a router, which will assign unique addresses to everything you need to plug into your network. Connect the switch to the router's ethernet port, and then the router will assign the IPs as needed.
Suzanne's laptop drops off the internet all the time, giving her an error that she's offline. Leo says that it could be many different things. Her router could be dropping out. Routers wear out and after a few years, problems like dropouts on wifi or the internet can happen. Try surfing on another device to replicate it. If so, then it's not the computer. If not, then she can focus on the computer as the culprit. Next, try using an ethernet cable to wire a connection and see if the problem persists. If so, then she knows it's a wifi issue and isn't the router or internet service provider.
Frank has been watching Leo's podcast This Week in Google (TWIG), where he talked about wiring his home with Cat6 Ethernet. Everything is wired for better streaming and no congestion. It also included home theater equipment called "Araknis" which enables a tech person to dial in and fix anything wrong or set it up. Leo wasn't a fan because he never got credentials to do it himself. So, he had it removed in favor of Ubiquity's Unify system. It works great.
Frank was thinking about getting the Araknis though. Leo says it's expensive. Leo recommends the Ubiquity UDM Pro.
Scott joins Leo to talk about streaming. Leo recently wired his streaming box with Cat6 Ethernet to get a much more consistent stream, and it made a huge difference. Scott agrees and says that Ethernet doesn't really have distance limitations like WiFi can. Some thing ethernet will only last up to 50 feet, but Scott says that isn't true, per se. It really comes down to your bandwidth, the kind of ethernet cable you have, etc. Ultimately, you can get up to a gigabit of bandwidth up to 120 feet with Cat6 Ethernet, and that's plenty for most people's needs.
If you have walls open (such as in an unfinished house), implement Cat-6 cables and wire your home with ethernet before it gets logistically difficult to do so. Wired is always faster than Wireless from the same source.
Vip wants to know if he should wire his home with ethernet cable while he has the walls open. Leo says ABSOLUTELY. And use Cat6 while you're at it to future proof it. Hardwired is always preferable to WiFi and it'll be faster, have far fewer dropouts, and no congestion. Leo just did it himself. We're lifting a lot more data now with WiFi and IoT smart devices. There's a lot of congestion.
If you have a challenging wifi environment and can't afford to wire your home, Leo advises going with a Mesh router: eero, Netgear's Ubiquity, even Asus has gone mesh.
While working from home, we'll all need better WiFi if we want to move our laptops around from desk to couch and back. For improving your WiFi reception, try moving the router higher up to a shelf/wall so that people (bags of water) do not impede the signals while they're sitting or walking around. Also, try a mesh router to extend the WiFi out with a fast backchannel. While ethernet is often the best option to connect, there are indeed ways to plan your device/router placements in a more optimal way. Check out this article by Leo's friend Jim Salter:
Dan has his TV set up with WiFi about 150' away from his WiFi. How can he improve the connection? Leo says the walls may cause interference. Ben could try setting his WiFi router higher up. But the better option, if possible, is to wire the TV directly to the modem. A mesh router will also help, since it can create a mesh of connectivity, with a separate backchannel. Each Satellite is connected by ethernet. It'll improve it, but it will still deal with interference. He can rewire the home with ethernet. That'll fix things. Also, powerline networking may work as well.
David lives in a poor cellular area and wants to connect his phone to his home internet. But he wants to do it wired. Leo says that WiFi is pretty fast these days and that's the way to do it. He could conceivably get a USB/Ethernet dongle and plug it directly into a router. Then it depends on the phone. Samsung has a DEX adapter. Amazon sells an iOS to an Ethernet adapter with a lightning connector. It would have to be Ethernet to USB-C and the device would have to have a driver to understand it. Most phones don't expect users to do that, so there are no drivers to support it.
Tom has four iMacs and each one is getting an error when connecting to ethernet, and can't connect to the Internet because of a "self-assigned address." But he can connect via WiFi. Leo says to go to the Network system preference pane and make sure that Ethernet is dragged to the top. Also, make sure it's using DHCP in the settings. One thing that may be causing the error is that the computer doesn't see the ethernet cable when booting up, and then gives the self-assigned address. It could also be the router itself.