networking

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.

How Can I Stop Zoom From Dropping?

Zoom

Episode 1727

Amy Rose from Tulare, CA

Amy is a second-grade teacher and they are getting ready to head back into the classroom for doing zoom calls to her student. The problem is, her wifi hubs keep dropping the internet signals. She's told her cordless phones are causing the problem. Leo says it could be, depending on what frequency the phone is operating at. 2.4 GHz is a very congested spectrum and cordless phones operate on that, so it could be interfering. 

But Leo suspects there could be other problems as well. 

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 can I build my own router?

Raspberry Pi 4

Episode 1716

Roger from Bowling Green, FL

Roger has decided to build his own router as a project using an older computer. What would be the best operating system for it and how should he configure the LAN? Leo says that's a project that Leo has wanted to do for a while now. Steve Gibson has also talked about the DIY router project and uses PF Sense and the NetGate SG1100 with an ARM chip to run it. He likes it a lot and it's open source. It's the way to go. You could also use a Raspberry Pi.

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. 

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 can't my Windows 10 machine see my XP machine on my network?

Windows 10

Episode 1684

Bernie from San Dimas, CA

Bernie has two desktops, one with Windows 10, the other with Windows XP. But they can't see each other on the network. But his Windows 7 laptop sees both. Leo says there are so many things it could be; he recommends going to practicallynetworked.com. It could be the XP machine is using SMB 1.0. Windows 10 stopped using it because it wasn't secure. So chances are, that's it. You can still turn it on though.

Why can't I connect WiFi with my new router?

Nest Camera

Episode 1682

John from St. Petersberg, FLA

John has been upgrading his parents' network with a new router, some smart devices like NEST Cams, etc. He's running into some issues, though. He suspects it's the modem/router combo. Leo says it likely is: you'll need to find the IP address and log into it. Likely Admin/Blank for a user name and password. Then turn off the wifi and DHCP. The DHCP is also doing double NAT, so turn that off. It's called putting the router side into "bridge" mode. Let the modem send the bandwidth to the Google home router and it will handle it all.  That should fix it all. 

Why's My Apple TV Trying to Connect to My Mac?

Bonjour

Episode 1675

Jack from Garden Grove, CA

Jack got an antivirus notification that an Apple TV that was trying to access his network. He said no, but it keeps requesting it. Leo says that if Jack has an Apple TV, it's probably trying to connect. It uses a utility called BONJOUR to connect. It's perfectly safe to talk to your mac. And since Jack has a router, his router is a perfect firewall to prevent outside connections. That's how he'll know it's the  Apple TV that's trying to connect. So let it. And get rid of the AVS.