routers

Why is my Wi-Fi so bad?

Wi-Fi

Episode 1371

Steve from Redlands, CA

Steve's Dell Inspiron laptop drops Wi-Fi all the time. Dell claims to have fixed it via remote access, but it didn't work. Leo says that it's likely the person at Dell tech support had very little training and was following the directions in the notebook. All too often it doesn't fix the problem. What he'll need to do is call them back and ask to have his case escalated to tier 2 or even tier 3 level support.

How can I update my Nexus 6?

Google Nexus 6

Episode 1371

Mike from St. Cloud, MN

Mike has a Google Nexus 6 that isn't updating. He's tried to get Nougat on it, but it won't update. Leo says that the Nexus 6 may not be getting updates anymore, especially through Verizon. Leo says he may have to root the phone to get it updated. Google didn't offer a major update to the Nexus 6, and the security update for March was pulled because it broke Android Pay. They do plan to update to version 7 soon.

Improve Your In-Home Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is great when it works, but all too often there are problems that cause disconnects or slowdowns. If you have a large house, or there are too many walls that make it hard for signal to travel through, you may need more than just one wireless router.

One option for improving your reception is to set up a secondary Wi-Fi access point to extend your current Wi-Fi router. You'll want to buy an extender from the same company that made the router you already own. Set up the extender in "bridge mode" and it will rebroadcast the signal and extend its range.

Is smartphone tethering secure?

Tiny Hardware Firewall

Episode 1360

David from El Segundo, CA

David tethers his computer through his mobile device, but he's wondering if it's secure. Leo says it's probably more secure because cell phones are encrypted now. Using the Wi-Fi through his phone is a different matter, if he's at a public hotspot. At that point, his traffic is out in the clear and easily grabbed. If he's going to use a hotspot, Leo advises using the Tiny Hardware Firewall and a VPN. The Tiny Hardware Firewall is like a router that then connects to his phone.

Why did the 2.4 GHz band on my router become unusable?

WiFi

Episode 1355

Alan from Kentucky

Alan is having issues with his wireless routers since a power surge, especially on the 2.4 GHz band. Leo says that's because 2.4 GHz is overcrowded. Everything seems to use it. That's why having a dual band router is beneficial. It could also be that the power surge fried his 2.4 GHz band. Routers also wear out, and over time, it starts getting slower and more unreliable. It's probably time to get a new router.

Can I use DDNS with a VPN instead of paying extra for a static IP?

Netgear AC1750

Episode 1355

JC from Mississippi

JC was looking for a new router to get some more advanced networking features, such as VPN and VLAN. He found the Netgear AC1750 with VPN support for $130. He found out that the VPN support also supports DDNS, which can be used for free as long as you go in every 30 days and click the link to renew it. You could also pay $50 a year for it. He was paying $45 a month for static IP addresses along with the necessary equipment and taxes to have it in his house.

FTC Takes Router Manufacturer D-Link to Court

Gavel

Episode 1352

The Federal Trade Commission is taking router manufacturer D-Link to court over product security and privacy issues. This all relates to the lack of security for Internet of Things devices. The FTC alleged that the company “failed to take reasonable steps to protect their routers and cameras from widely known and reasonably foreseeable risks of unauthorized access.”

Read more at theverge.com.