mesh routers

Should I wire my house with ethernet?

eero Mesh Router

Episode 1728

Vip from Monument, CO

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.

What is the best option for extending WiFI range in my house?

eero Mesh Router

Episode 1722

Frank from West Springfield, VA

Frank has never needed a WiFi extender in his home, but his girlfriend's house could use one. So he installed one, but it doesn't seem to be doing much better. Leo says the reason is because an extender has to spend half it's time talking to the router. They can't speak to both devices at the same time. Mesh routers, by contrast, have a dedicated backchannel that is always on, that talks to the router without impeding the bandwidth speed. They can be a bit more expensive depending on how many satellite units you need for the house. 

Can I use two routers on the same network?

Netgear Orbi

Episode 1718

Bob from Honolulu, HI

Bob has the Orbi Mesh Router and has a second router for work. Leo says you want one router to be in charge. Leo says your cable ISP wants to be in charge because they use their router to provide WiFi to anyone walking by. Then your work wants to be in charge because it can control everything. In general, you only want one router handling all the DNS address assigning. Leo recommends putting the Orbi in Bridge Mode, and that will prevent both routers from fighting to run the network (called "double natting").

How Do I Connect My HDHomeRun to My Mesh Router?

HDHomeRun

Episode 1715

Johnny from Atlanta, GA

Johnny has an Eero mesh router and is attaching his HD HomeRun DVR to his network through powerline networking. Will he have issues with configuring it? Leo says that the HDHomeRun software should do it automatically. But if he's doing it manually, he can go into Eero settings under devices and see the IP addresses of each device. But the HDHomeRun has automatic discovery. It should connect to the network on its own with no manual entering. 

What's causing my mesh network to slow down?

eero Station

Episode 1696

Ryan from New York City. NY

Ryan has noticed his WiFi speed has drastically dropped off as of late. Leo says that with everyone at home now, there's a lot of people working at home, streaming, and doing other things online that cause a lot of congestion. Ryan says what's odd is that his mesh router network gets faster if he unplugs one of the satellites. Leo says your mesh network shouldn't slow down if you have an extra satellite connected. The benefit of Mesh is that it has its own backchannel for access point communications. Leo also says that Google's mesh router speed is definitely slower than others like Eero.

Can a Mesh Router go through concrete?

eero

Episode 1694

Sherry from Chocktaw, OK

Cherry wants to know if a mesh router would work in a house made of concrete blocks? Leo says that concrete blocks need rebar to stay standing, and rebar turns your home into a Faraday cage, which blocks wireless signals, and that means no WiFi outside of the main room. It's death to WiFi, so Mesh may not help at all. But that isn't the only solution. Leo says that if you have CoAx in your home, you can convert that to wired internet. You'll need a NOCA adapter (Networking Over CoAx cable). You can also string ethernet, but the simplest solution may be powerline networking.

Why do my JPEGs look so bad?

JPEG

Episode 1694

Sarafine from California

Sarafine has images that she puts on a thumb drive, and sometimes they become very pixelated. Leo says that s likely because the image is low resolution, and the metadata doesn't show that it isn't as sharp as it looks. Also, converting an image to JPEG is a mistake because it doesn't scale. So if you're using vector graphics, converting it to JPEG makes it pixelated as you change the size of it. What you want to do is change the size to what you want FIRST, and then convert it to JPEG.

When can I get a WiFi 6 router?

WiFi 6

Episode 1690

Tom from Warren, OH

Tom wants to know when he'll be able to get 6Ghz WiFi? Leo said that FCC just approved WiFi 6 as a standard. And WiFi 6 routers are just coming out. WiFi 6 is faster and more reliable too. Leo recommends Ubiquity. But Leo says WiFi 6E routers will be coming by the end of the year, and they'll be able to see through walls and will be great for Mesh routers. And nobody will be on it because it's so new.

What's the Best 4K Streaming Box?

Roku

Episode 1685

Mark from Los Angeles, CA

Which is better, the NVIDIA Shield or the Roku Ultra? Leo says both are 4K streaming devices. Leo really likes the Nvidia Shield. It's got the Integra processor and runs Android TV. But Roku has more channels and is 1/3 of the price. NVIDIA though, has better gaming, if you're into that. But if not, then the Roku Ultra is a better buy. How about mesh routers? Leo says that the Netgear Orbi has Wifi 6, but it's pretty expensive. The Eero is "smarter," in Leo's opinion.