Dave wants to know how to find out how much bandwidth he uses every month. Leo says that if your router supports DD-WRT firmware, you can. But your router may already keep track. So look in your router settings to find out. If not, and your router supports it, you can install DD-WRT firmware. Check out dd-wrt.com. But understand, that flashing the firmware on your router could void the warranty. If you need a new one, get the ASUS router, it uses a flavor of DD-WRT already out of the box.
Tom has four iMacs and each one is getting an error when connecting to ethernet, and can't connect to the Internet because of a "self-assigned address." But he can connect via WiFi. Leo says to go to the Network system preference pane and make sure that Ethernet is dragged to the top. Also, make sure it's using DHCP in the settings. One thing that may be causing the error is that the computer doesn't see the ethernet cable when booting up, and then gives the self-assigned address. It could also be the router itself.
Max's home is 1700 square feet and he's thinking of getting a Mesh router. Leo says he's a big fan of Mesh networks because they can handle congestion a lot better than an average router. Leo recommends Eero, but he also likes the Netgear Orbi, which is rated as the current fastest. But Eero does the quality of service (QOS) using bandwidth shaping. Also understand that MESH routers are more expensive but usually come with a base station and a satellite unit. However, if you want the fastest possible connection for your TV, you'll want to hardwire it in.
Alex would like to use his own router with AT&T U-verse, can he? Leo says only if you aren't getting your TV service from U-verse. That requires AT&T's proprietary router. You could turn the AT&T router into bridge mode or IP Pass through, and then use your router with it. That's possible. Will it affect the speed? Leo says no, but it could affect whether you can select your own DNS service. You can also try using DNS over HTTPS using Cloudflare to eliminate the ability for AT&T to see what you're doing. But that's advanced stuff.
Ryan got a new modem because his ISP is now giving him faster download speeds. But when he plugs in his router, it slows down to a crawl. Leo says that since the router is new, it should be fine. Try a different ethernet cable. If the cable is old, it may not handle the bandwidth. Then, try another computer and see if you can replicate the issue. If you can't, then that will point to something on your computer. It may be the ethernet port is too old. Also, update the firmware of your router.
Dave recently upgraded his network with new routers and created Steve Gibson's three router network for security. He wants to know what's the best way to do it to be more efficient and secure. Leo says that Steve Gibson over at GRC.com is the expert here. But there's an easier way to do it, with virtual LAN networks assigned within the physical network. Using the EdgeRouterX enables you to create up to 4 segmented networks that can't cross over. And it's only $59. Great deal. But since Dave has already bought the routers, PC Perspective is where you want to go.
Andy is having issues with his AirPort router. Every day he has to reboot both the router and the modem. What gives? Leo says the airport eventually will wear out and it's probably time to get a new router. Apple doesn't even update them anymore, nor do they make new ones. Leo recommends ASUS routers that run DD-WRT. New routers will also better handle how internet traffic is running these days.
David needs to extend the WiFi in his apartment building. Will an extender do the job? Leo says it will, but at the cost of cutting bandwidth speed in half, because the base station is relaying the signal and spending half the time talking to the router. Leo recommends going with a MESH router. Eero is a good one, as is NetGear Orbi. But there are plenty more. Just about every router company makes a mesh model now.
Jose wants to know if DD-WRT is a good alternative to the software running his router? Leo says if the router supports it, DD-WRT is a great option because it's open source. Tomato is another option: ASUS routers support them.