routers

Why is Wi-Fi so slow on my laptop?

Netgear Orbi Router

Episode 1474

Beth from Manhattan Beach, CA

Beth has a two story house and she has no problem streaming anything or using the internet, except on her laptop. Leo says that if her Roku is running HD, then she's getting decent bandwidth. Would a mesh router help? Leo says it may, but it's an expensive way to find out. Beth should run a speed test on her router to see how it goes. She should do it closer to her base station, and then again down into the lower floor and see if it improves or gets worse. That would tell her something. Leo says that since Beth is using Frontier, it could be her Frontier router. They're just terrible.

Is it more secure to have my devices connected to a separate guest network?

Plume Wi-Fi

Episoide 1473

Andre from Irvine, CA

Andre has a few Nest devices connected to his router, and one is connected to a guest network. Is that more secure? Leo says no. While guest access doesn't have access to passwords, they do have access to his entire network. Nest is secure, though. Plume offers a great feature - internet-only access to a guest network.

Why is my internet so slow in the evening?

ASUS C3200

Episode 1471

Jeff from Hamilton, MT

Jeff wants to know why his internet slows down at night. Leo says that he ends up sharing bandwidth with his neighborhood and if it's slowing down in the evening, it's because everyone is on Netflix. He also has to factor in Wi-Fi congestion. Jeff could bypass the Wi-Fi router and plug directly into the modem and see if it speeds up. If it does, then he'll know it's Wi-Fi congestion. If not, then he'll know it's his because of heavy use in the neighborhood.

How can I improve internet access in the house?

Eero

Episode 1469

Jeff from Granada Hills, CA

Jeff has an older Acer AC1900 router. Now he's looking at a mesh router. Leo says mesh routers are great for larger spaces, and he can add three satellite units, which could cover 1500 square feet. It provides multiple access points because the Wi-Fi is "meshed" throughout the house. Eero even works with Echo and he could assign devices to users and then have Echo pause the internet access for them. Eero also has great parental controls. It's not cheap, though, but he can get two for about $200 though, and that should be enough.

How can I keep track of my bandwidth?

Ubiquity Edge Router X

Episode 1469

Al from Upland, CA

Al recently signed up for satellite internet because he lives in a rural area. DSL was an option, but it was very limited. He has to be very conscious of data use. Is there a way to keep track of how much data he uses? Leo says that Windows 10 keeps track of data used, and his cell phone will give him an idea as well. His ISP may have a way to do it, and may even send him an email warning when he's approaching his bandwidth cap. Personally, the best way to do it is through the router. Many routers keep track of this information in the menu settings.

How can I extend my Wi-Fi range to the back of my home?

TP-Link Powerline Gigabit Wi-Fi Kit

Episode 1467

Nichole from Los Angeles, CA

Nichole is having problems getting a clear Wi-Fi signal in the back of her home. Leo says that's largely due to congestion. Everything from a mobile phone to a tablet, to even a microwave are using that 2.4 Ghz band, and so there's a lot of congestion. One way to fix that is to get a dual-band router. The 5.0 GHz band is a lot less congested, but it doesn't have as good of a range. So she can use it for some of her traffic, and use the longer range signal for the back of the house. Or she could use a mesh router.

Is my cell phone safe from an internet attack on my router?

Hacker

Episode 1460

Bonnie from Riverside, CA

Bonnie uses Eset's Smart Security, But she recently saw that an external intruder was blocked. She's worried that while her PC was safe, her other devices may have been compromised. Leo says that Bonnie's router probably blocked the bad traffic that comes lurking. There are bots that are looking for security holes, though. Getting attacked is normal, but the router will handle 90% of the attacks. The rest is covered by antivirus. Her cell phone IP address changes constantly, so it's mostly pretty safe.

Can I connect an external antenna to my Wi-Fi router?

Archer T2UH

Episode 1460

David from British Columbia

David's office uses a shipping container as an office and they have to use an external antenna to pick up the wireless signal, but it only connects to one computer. Can the external antenna be connected to a router? Leo says yes, it can, but the Wi-Fi standard is unique and router connectors vary. He'll need to go somewhere that can bundle the router with an attachable antenna to get the right match.

Should I have to pay to have my router updated?

Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 router

Episode 1456

Mark from Northridge, CA

Mark got the Nighthawk router and now he's hearing he has to buy a service agreement to have it updated for security after owning it for 90 days. Leo says that's outrageous. Security updates should be included in a $200 router. Paying $129 a year is ridiculous. But we expect really cheap gear now and with a single tech call, they can lose their profit margin. It's just the nature of the technology business. Security is a basic need, though, and that should be factored in.

What router should I buy?

Eero

Episode 1456

Ron & Jackie from Irvine, CA

Ron and Jackie are having trouble getting wireless signal upstairs. What can they do? Leo says that any router will be compatible, but with all the congestion and a second story, Leo would recommend a mesh router system. The old router system is just not designed to handle the load. Mesh routers start at $300, but they are completely worth it because they will have no dropouts or dead spots and they are regularly updated to remain secure. Mesh routers will also automatically manage the network according to the quality of service.