Sam looked in the settings of his Netgear Orbi router and made a few changes. Now, many things he uses on his network don't work any longer. Leo suggests powering down the router, count to 30, and then power it back up. If that doesn't work, you can completely reset the router. There's a reset hole that you poke a paperclip into and hold it until the lights blink yellow. You'll need to reset it up and give it a new password, but it will be back to the factory settings. Also turn off WAN administration, and universal Plug n Play (UPnP). You'll be back up and running.
Tom's router has four ethernet ports. Should he use them to install multiple hubs with switches or multiple switches? Leo says that switches aren't very smart on the whole, and switches are really just another name for hubs. What he needs is a smart switch to really isolate the traffic and maximize speed. Leo has a 24-port switch connected to his Orbi router and he uses that to connect all his devices that need a wired connection. That includes his streaming box and TV.
Charles got a new Eero mesh router all set up (Eero is a sponsor of the TWiT Network), but now he gets a warning that his router can be seen online. Leo says that the best thing a router can do is be invisible by not responding to any online queries. It's called Stealth Mode. That's what GRC's Shields Up will test. Most routers have PING turn on by default. But you can turn it off in the security settings. Also, turn off universal plug n play and file sharing.
Andrew has Verizon FIOS and wants to know if he can use his own router. Leo says that Verizon bundles the router/modem together. Leo says you won't save any money since you have to use Verizon's modem/router anyway. But if you want to do your own router, you can turn off HDCP in the Verizon router and then use your own router for a better experience. Here's a YouTube video on how - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2Jr_0P0zwY
Jack's mom is moving into an assisted living facility, and he wants her to have her own WiFi. What router should he get her? Leo says it's a good idea to give her own WiFi access point. It'll protect her. NetGear makes great WiFi Routers. How about a basic wireless access point? Leo says that the router will be better for security, but a WAC is fine.
Should he get a Samsung Galaxy Note 10? Leo says that since Jack has a note 8, he can trade it in and get a great deal on a Note 10. Go for it.
Joe has switched his parents over to Comcast for internet access and TV, and he's having a hard time opening ports through the router for their alarm system. What can he do? Rich says to try what Xfinity recommends here - https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/port-forwarding-xfinity-wireless-gateway. If that doesn't work, then it may be that the port forwarding capability of Xfinity is limited. Rich also says to make sure the firmware is updated.
Karen had her power shut off recently due to the wildfires and now she can't connect to her network via WiFi. Rich says this is common and can happen when turning things back on. If she doesn't reboot both in the right order, she won't be able to connect. So Rich recommends turning them off again and unplugging them. Then plug in the modem, and the router afterward.
David has a router/modem combo. Is this common? Leo says it's common for an ISP to provide those. But keep in mind that he'd be paying about $10 per month to rent it, and it's likely not as up to date or fully featured as one you can buy. That's why Leo recommends buying a separate router and modem. DOCSIS 3 or 3.1 should work. NetGear is recommended by TheWirecutter. Just make sure the gear is supported by the ISP, and call the ISP and they have to "ping it" and disable the rental gear.
Karen wants to know if she should flash her firmware on her router to get it to work better. Leo says that in a way, you flash that firmware almost every time you update. But if you're talking about using third-party firmware, they can be very good, but they are limited in the routers they support. Check out DD-WRT.com and look in the router database to see if it's compatible. Most routers don't support it, sadly. What Leo recommends is ASUS routers, because they use their own flavor of DD-WRT.
Karen wants to know if putting a VPN on her router would keep her secure. Leo says that it would encrypt stuff in your network, but in order to get your traffic encrypted going out, you need to have the software on your desktop. Leo likes to use the Tiny Hardware Firewall VPN because it's in between your computer and the outside world. It's a great way to go.