routers

Why won't my smart plugs connect to Google Nest?

Episode 1830

Richard from San Diego, CA

Richard wants to connect his smart plugs to his Google Nest mesh router. But they aren't connecting. Leo says that Google Nest Mesh is dual band or tri band and the smart plugs are looking for just 2.4 ghz. It's possible that they have mistakenly attached to the 5 ghz band because its signal may be stronger. Some routers allow you to turn that radio off and the plugs should connect. Once it's paired, you can then turn the 5 ghz band back on.

What Is an ARP?

How ARP Works

Episode 1826

Sean from Alta Dena, CA

Sean wants to know what an ARP is. He keeps getting that message when running ESET. Leo says that there's likely ARP Spoofing that is "spoofing" IP addresses that your computer allows through. It's known as ARP poisoning, and it points to malware spying on your network. But it isn't likely. More often, it's your ISP that's causing the issue. If you're using a router from your provider, it's likely in need of updating, or it's misconfigured. 

The Giz Wiz Gets Wired Up

Episode 1815

This week's gadget is ideal if your home has terrible wifi. It may be time to go wired. Dick has that problem at his apartment and the TP-Link Wireless Access Point TL-WA901N | 2.4Ghz N450 model was recommended by Leo to solve the problem. The company says: Designed to establish or expand a scalable high-speed wireless N network or to connect an Ethernet-enabled device such as a game console, digital media adapter, printer, or network-attached storage device to a wireless network. Supports Client, Multi-SSID, Range Extender, and AP operation modes to enable various wireless applications.

Should I Get a New Router/Modem Combo?

TP-Link Archer C4000

Episode 1807

Bill from Statesville, NC

Bill wants to know what's better: a router/modem combo or a separate router and modem. Leo prefers to separate a two. You want to get a cable modem that is DOCSIS 3.1 and make sure that your ISP supports it. You'll also need to call them and get them to accept the MAC address of the modem. Bill is also having issues with download speeds on his iPad. If you're having WiFi issues, then try putting the router higher up. Also, reposition it. Another option is to try powerline networking with TPLink. But it would help if you were getting at least 100MB per second down.

Why Does My Internet Signal Drop Out?

AC1750

Episode 1806

Jerry from Santa Rosa, CA

Jerry bought a new Netgear AC1750 WiFi Modem/Router for his home network, replacing his cable modem. Leo says he wants to be sure it uses DOCSIS 3.1. It's much faster. But his streaming audio buffers all the time. Leo says the problem isn't the router, it's the internet connection. Get the ISP to come out and check the signal into the house. Then he can decide if the problem is his or theirs. It could also just be congestion.

How Can I Improve My WiFi Range?

AC2900

Episode 1806

Walt from San Diego, CA

Walt is a farmer who has several high-tech water controllers that are connected by his Asus AC2900 router. But he needs a better range to reach the controllers that are at the extreme end. Leo says that WiFi goes about 100-150 feet. So those on the edge of that will fade out depending on the conditions. Leo thinks a mesh system would be beneficial, but Walt says that the controllers don't support MESH. Leo says that may be due to the 5GHz band. Orbi makes an outdoor router system that could work, but he'll have to make sure it doesn't connect to 5ghz.

What's the Difference Between a Mesh Router and a Network Extender?

Orbi

Episode 1802

Richard from Atlanta, GA

Richard wants to know how different a mesh network is from a network extender. Leo says that extenders repeat the signal and send it along the way. So the bandwidth gets cut in half because it's communicating half the time. Mesh, by contrast, has its own back channel to talk to the router and satellite units. Leo says it's a little primitive, but he could have two of the same wifi routers with the same SSID and password, and they could hand off the signal to each other. But the Netgear Orbi Mesh router is the better option. And it uses WiFi6. 

How Can I Keep My Router Secure & Network Safe?

nighthawk

Episode 1788

Vee from Huntington Beach, CA

Vee wants to know if she needs any more protection than her router to keep her safe online while she's teaching.  She doesn't need to add anything to the router itself, but the best thing is to guard her online behavior and keep everything online up to date. Update the OS regularly, when available, as well as the apps. Your browser should automatically update. Also, the router needs to be kept up to date and periodically, it pays to look for an update for it. Also, change the password from default. Turn off WAN administration. And turn off UPnP (Universal Plug n Play).

Router Manufacturers Delayed A Year Due to Chip Shortage

Computer Chip

Episode 1787

An ongoing chip shortage is causing many industries to fall behind in manufacturing. From cars to computers. The latest is router manufacturers, which are over a year delayed. What is the problem? It's multi-faceted. Covid is part of it. High Demand is another. There's a shortage of silicon right now. But it's also that container ship that was stuck in the Suez. But it's also an exclusive deal that Apple has made with some chip manufacturers which bought up all their stock. And even then, Mac and iPad production has been delayed. Additionally, there have been fires at several factories.