Paul is concerned about internet of things and security. He wants to know if Plume would be a good, secure mesh router that can protect his network from the outside hacking his IoT. Leo says that Plume requires a yearly subscription to keep it up to date. Leo says it's somewhat justified because it can keep his network more secure. He's paying for security on his network, but his IoT devices may not be getting updated, so they're not secure. And his internet is only as secure as his weakest device.
David has a Netgear router and he wants to upgrade the firmware. Netgear won't do it because his support has expired. Leo says that older routers all need to be updated manually, but he doesn't need a service agreement to update it. He'd just download the firmware and install it. In fact, there should be a utility within the router settings to update the firmware. Most newer models autoupdate. So if staying updated is important, and it is, it would pay to get a new router. It'll be faster too. Mesh routers will be the best option.
Doug just bought a new, two story house and he needs a mesh router. What's the best? Leo says that mesh routers have taken over because Wi-Fi congestion causes devices to drop off. It's not uncommon to have over 50 devices connected to Wi-Fi! And that doesn't include neighbors. So Doug will need a better router to handle that traffic. Leo says the three best mesh routers for his money are the Netgear Obi, the Plume, and the Eero.
Matt is building a new house and has run cat 5 ethernet around the house. But should he also use a mesh router? Leo says he uses Eero at home, but here is one mesh system that's great specifically for Matt's situation: Plume. Plume sells tiny little access points that plug into the wall with an ethernet port. It's still part of a larger mesh network, but it creates very localized access from the ethernet.
Kevin needs to have more than two ethernet ports on his router and his mesh router only has two. Leo says he can get an ethernet switch or hub that can expand the amount of ports. Leo has one with 24 ports! They're all easy to use, and the best part is they're all the same. NetGear makes a good one. But any one will do.
Tim bought a new NetGear 7900 router, but he had to reboot it every few days. So he returned it and doesn't know what to buy now. Asus is a company that offers a similar router design. It's an open source based router that uses DD-WRT and Tomato. That's what Leo would buy. NetGear also has the problem of being susceptible to the Russian virus, along with TP-Link and several others. Leo suspects that's because they aren't updated as often.
Ryan bought a new router for the neighborhood pool, but it can't really handle a lot of traffic. What high density router should he buy that can shoulder the load? Leo says that mesh routers are probably Ryan's best bet for the home and neighborhood use. And if he needs better signal, he can just plug in more satellites.
Al wants to get a router that can run Tomato or DD-WRT, so he can run VPNs through it because mesh routers aren't open source. Leo says a better option is to use an old computer as his router. pfSense is a good open source router app that can do that. It'll give him far more powerful hardware that can do what he would want it to do. He can even use a Raspberry Pi for it.
Brian wants to know why he should replace his router. Leo says that routers wear out, like when they are getting hot. That's an indicator it's working harder to push the traffic where it needs to go. He'll want to look for a router that that updates its firmware. He'll also want a reliable manufacturer who cares about updates. Leo also recommends a MESH router, which are great for homes that have issues with WiFi reception.
Get a mesh system at Eero's website (sponsor of TWiT)
Beth has a two story house and she has no problem streaming anything or using the internet, except on her laptop. Leo says that if her Roku is running HD, then she's getting decent bandwidth. Would a mesh router help? Leo says it may, but it's an expensive way to find out. Beth should run a speed test on her router to see how it goes. She should do it closer to her base station, and then again down into the lower floor and see if it improves or gets worse. That would tell her something. Leo says that since Beth is using Frontier, it could be her Frontier router. They're just terrible.