routers

Why Is My WiFi So Slow?

Eero

Episode 1760

Frank from New York

Frank has a security camera that he's got connected to his WiFi. And his network is really slow now. Leo says that may be due to constantly uploading videos. When he couples that with the congestion of multiple devices sharing the network, it can slow things down. Leo recommends going with a mesh router so that the congestion is much better managed. What about an extender? Leo says that extenders essentially cut bandwidth in half, so it'll make it worse. Go with the mesh router. Leo recommends Eero and Netgear Orbi.

Can I Connect a Drive to My Router & Create a NAS?

NAS

Episode 1758

Chuck from Costa Mesa, CA

Chuck wants to know if he can connect a USB drive to his router. Leo says the router has to support it. It's not really "plug and play." And if it does support it, it may be pretty slow. But it can be accessed from any computer on the network, so it's kinda like a cheap NAS. If the router is open-source compatible, then Leo recommends going with DD-WRT or Tomato for the firmware. They have NAS features that could be most helpful.

Can a modem overheat?

Netgear Modem

Episode 1738

Steve from Palm Beach, FL

Steve has a DOCSIS 3.1 modem and wants to know if there's anything faster. Leo says that DOCSIS 3.1 can handle up to 1GB down and DOCSIS 3.2 is coming. Should it run hot? Leo says no. If it's too hot to touch, that's a problem and could indicate the modem may be wearing out faster. But cable modems don't wear out as fast as your router does, so you may need a new router. But the main reason to update a router is to get a more secure system. Most consumer routers don't get updated and have unpatched vulnerabilities.

Look for a router that will offer automatic firmware updates. 

Can I use two routers on the same network?

Netgear Orbi

Episode 1718

Bob from Honolulu, HI

Bob has the Orbi Mesh Router and has a second router for work. Leo says you want one router to be in charge. Leo says your cable ISP wants to be in charge because they use their router to provide WiFi to anyone walking by. Then your work wants to be in charge because it can control everything. In general, you only want one router handling all the DNS address assigning. Leo recommends putting the Orbi in Bridge Mode, and that will prevent both routers from fighting to run the network (called "double natting").

How can I build my own router?

Raspberry Pi 4

Episode 1716

Roger from Bowling Green, FL

Roger has decided to build his own router as a project using an older computer. What would be the best operating system for it and how should he configure the LAN? Leo says that's a project that Leo has wanted to do for a while now. Steve Gibson has also talked about the DIY router project and uses PF Sense and the NetGate SG1100 with an ARM chip to run it. He likes it a lot and it's open source. It's the way to go. You could also use a Raspberry Pi.

When can I get a WiFi 6 router?

WiFi 6

Episode 1690

Tom from Warren, OH

Tom wants to know when he'll be able to get 6Ghz WiFi? Leo said that FCC just approved WiFi 6 as a standard. And WiFi 6 routers are just coming out. WiFi 6 is faster and more reliable too. Leo recommends Ubiquity. But Leo says WiFi 6E routers will be coming by the end of the year, and they'll be able to see through walls and will be great for Mesh routers. And nobody will be on it because it's so new.

How can I use my Windows 7 machine on my network without access to the Internet?

Windows 7

Episode 1690

Al from Charlon, MS

Al wants to block all internet traffic coming into his Windows 7 computer so he can use it in his local area network. Leo recommends using the Windows firewall, allowing traffic through 192 for access to your network, and block everything else. You can also do it through the router.