If you have walls open (such as in an unfinished house), implement Cat-6 cables and wire your home with ethernet before it gets logistically difficult to do so. Wired is always faster than Wireless from the same source.
If you are looking to lengthen the range of your WiFi using an external antenna that can aim in a particular spot, check out RadioLabs.com (Leo's favorite source for WiFi antenna solutions). This can solve issues that Mesh Wifi would not, so for large home areas try a product from RadioLabs. Make sure to include the "S" at the end or else you'll end up at a different podcast website!
Wifi router setup: Change the password. Turn off WAN Administration (so bad guys can't log into your router). Turn off UPnP (an Xbox technology that is less useful on most routers). Turn On WPA2 encryption (or WPA3 if present) for a password requirement. Turn on automatic firmware updates, or check up monthly for the latest firmware. A security flaw in your router would be a big problem!
While working from home, we'll all need better WiFi if we want to move our laptops around from desk to couch and back. For improving your WiFi reception, try moving the router higher up to a shelf/wall so that people (bags of water) do not impede the signals while they're sitting or walking around. Also, try a mesh router to extend the WiFi out with a fast backchannel. While ethernet is often the best option to connect, there are indeed ways to plan your device/router placements in a more optimal way. Check out this article by Leo's friend Jim Salter:
Patrick wants to know how secure a guest network would be? Leo says that while it's convenient for when he has guests, if their computer is compromised, so is his network. Some networks can create an isolated connection via VLAN, where all the guests would get is an internet connection.
When you get a new router, there are a few things you can do to make sure it's set up securely.
The first thing you'll do is connect it to your computer and check the manual to find out how to configure it.
Once it's connected to your computer, you'll use the browser to navigate to a special address as instructed in the manual. It should be something like 192.168.1.1. This will take you to the login screen for the router.
David has Airport Extreme routers at home, and he wants to know how much data is being used on his network. Leo says this is one of the drawbacks of the Airport Extreme routers: they lack some of the more modern features that other routers have. One way he could do this is by replacing the Airport Extremes with a more modern router that can monitor bandwidth. Leo uses the Asus AC3200 which has a built-in bandwidth monitor and can even tell him which computer is using the most.
Gloria has a Roku Stick and she's been told she needs a router to use it. Leo says that yes, she'll need wireless internet access. If her router doesn't have Wi-Fi built-in, then her choices are to either get a regular Roku and plug it into her modem via an ethernet cable, or buy a router which will handle wireless traffic from the Roku stick. It'll also allow her to connect to her laptop wirelessly. Leo says that if she calls her cable provider, they'll replace her modem with a Wi-Fi modem/router. They'll set it all up.
Ken's ISP in the Dominican Republic locks down his router so he can't make any changes at all. Leo says as long as he can change the password and give it encryption, he'll be OK with everything else. But Ken says it causes his cell phone to lose connection when he's using VOIP on his SIP phone. Leo says he'll need a QOS feature that will prioritize internet telephones.
Once your wireless router is set up, all of your devices will remember the Wi-Fi password automatically. While this is convenient, it can be problematic if you've forgotten the password -- especially when it comes time to set up a new device on the network. Fortunately, it's possible to look up your Wi-Fi password without resetting the router.