Sam is thinking of getting an Alexa or Google Assistant to control his door locks and is worried about security and privacy. Leo says that all assistants are roughly the same. They listen for a keyword. And there's no evidence that either Amazon or Google are spying on you. Schlage makes one that is dedicated and doesn't need the assistant, so it has a directly line which can be more secure. But any iOT device can get hacked. Bottom line is, that no door lock is perfect. It's a deterrent, a suggestion. But if the bad guy wants to get in, he can.
Mark is moving to a new house and he's looking to get a mesh router system for it. Should he go with Google Wi-Fi or Eero? Leo says of the two, Leo recommends Eero. He's used both and he's found that Eero is the best of the two, although he also uses Plume. The Netgear Orbi is good as well. At this point, all of them are pretty good.
Dave wants to replace his Airport Extreme with a mesh router. Leo says that's a good idea since Apple has stopped making routers. Mesh routers are good because they are always updated and provide great coverage around a large house. The downside is that to get additional features and updates, he'll have to pay around $100 a year for that support.
Greg has to extend his Wi-Fi in order to stream to the TVs around the house. What kind of extender should he get? Leo says the farther he is away, the less signal and speed he'll get. So he'll need to boost the signal. If he's using a modern Wi-Fi router that uses 802.11AC, then it'll be easier. But if he has to use a router provided by the cable company, he should try and see if he can put the router/modem in bridge mode and use his own router. Then he should turn off the modem's Wi-Fi radio as well.
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.
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.
Cindy wants to know what the best mesh router is. Leo says there's a bunch of them, including Plume, Eero, and the Netgear Orbi. They're all very good for people struggling with dead zones in their own home, or if there's a lot of WiFi congestion in the area. Mesh routers work by having a base unit along with extenders positioned all over the house to pass the signal around (much like a "mesh").
Jeff is thinking about buying an Eero mesh router. Is it worth it? Leo says that Eero is a great mesh router, and he uses it. They aren't the only game in town, however. Plume is not as fast, but it's more consistent. The NetGear Orbi is a more tradition router style option, but it does the same thing.
(Disclaimer: Eero is a sponsor)
Joslyn is getting ready to move and she wants to know how she can determine how strong a Wi-Fi signal is where she may live. Leo says DSL Reports will give her reviews on how good her internet is in any given area. But that won't tell her how good it is inside where she's going to live. If the building was built with a lot of metal, she'll have a hard time.
Melissa's Wi-Fi is really slow of late. Leo says that everyone is experiencing bad Wi-Fi these days because we're doing more with it and dozens of devices are typically connected to it. Congestion is a serious problem. To eliminate her ISP as the problem, she should connect directly to her router and see how it performs. If it's just the same, then she'll know that the ISP needs to fix the problem. But if it improves, then it's her Wi-Fi network.