networks

How can I secure my WiFi router?

TP Link Router

Episode 1684

Bruce from Carlin, NV

Bruce wants to know how he can secure his WiFi router. Leo says to first enter the router address (198.x.x.x) and then change the default password. Then, turn off Administer via WLan. This will prevent someone from the outside controlling your router. Step 3, turn off UPNP (aka universal plug-in play). This prevents a device inside of your network, like an Xbox, opening up your router to the internet when you don't want it to. Lastly, turn on WPA2 security encryption.

How can I share files on my Windows network?

Windows 10

Episode 1678

Collins from Mayfield, Kentucky

Now that Windows has killed Workgroups, what's the best way to share files for his network? Leo says that file sharing is still available in Windows through File Explorer. But make sure you share with permissions to keep your network secure. What about a NAS? Leo says that a NAS will work, but they can get expensive with having to buy enclosures separate from the drives the data is housed in. 

Is my wifi secure?

WiFi Signal

Episode 1674

Mike from Yakama, WA

Mike is worried that his WiFi network is compromised since his encryption was bypassed. Leo said that WEP was hacked, and routers went to WPA. And then WPA2. But the latest news is that "Krack attacks" have gotten into WPA2. Leo says it's largely sensationalized headlines and that it's very hard to do and requires a lot of time being on the network itself. Also, by now, most routers have been patched against Krack. So it's not really anything to fret over. And WPA3 is on the horizon, with new routers turning it on with a software upgrade.

Here are some things you can do:

Why can't my wireless printer connect?

Epson Printer

Episode 1641

Bob from Tijuana, Mexico

Bob recently moved south to Tijuana, Mexico, and now his wireless printer won't connect. He's using the same equipment except for his new WiFi router. But still, no luck. Rich says that Bob will need to reset the printer to factory settings and then reset it up with his network to get the new settings. The printer is looking for an address that doesn't exist anymore. So remove the printer and then reboot and add the printer again.

Why can't my laptop connect to the internet?

Episode 1561

Joe from Filmore, CA

Joe's laptop won't connect to the internet. Leo says that some laptops have a function key that will set your laptop into Airplane mode. So check that out. Other than that, there may have been a corrupted WiFi driver that's preventing the internet from talking to your router/modem. But Joe erased some "unnecessary files" and Windows told him to do it. Leo says that's not the case here. But Microsoft has a tech note about this same issue.

Secure Your Wireless Network

After the DDoS attack over the weekend that brought down many major websites on the net, it's a good idea to check your own router and make sure that it's as secure as it can be. These Denial of Service attacks rely on 'bot nets' that are actually made up of unsecure computers on unsecured networks all over the world. Here are some basic steps you can take to make sure your network is protected:

Why can't I connect to the Internet?

ASUS RT-AC3200

Episode 1222

Jill from Jasper, GA

Jill got a new wireless router and now it's kicking her off the internet, replicating the same problems of her previous router. Leo says that a router dropping the connection from time to time is often a sign of a failing router. Leo advises getting the Asus 3200. Cheap routers are a false economy as they don't perform well, so Jill should spend a little money and get a better router.

How can I extend my router to handle more wired machines?

Episode 1205

Casey from Los Angeles, CA

Casey has a router with four ports, but he has more printers and computers than that. Leo says to get a router extender that he can plug into one port on the router, which can extend it to handle up to 10 additional ports. Any brand will do. A router switch is a bit more intelligent -- it can switch automatically between them to keep the network running faster. But an extender will work.