routers

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.

Why is my iPhone connecting to the Eero that's farther away?

Eero

Episode 1454

Peter from Brooklyn, NY

Peter recently switched from the Netgear Orbi routers to the Eero. Leo says he likes them both, though. The Netgear is more of a standard router than a mesh router, though. He has three base station units and a beacon. When he goes into the app, however, it's not connecting to the closest Eero unit. Leo says that the Eero is smart, so one of the things Eero and other mesh routers do is decide where things should go. Unless he's getting bad results, Leo thinks he should just let it be.

What's a good alternative to a Linksys router?

Linksys Velop routers

Episode 1453

Chris from Newtown, PA

Chris has been using the Linksys WRT3200 routers for his clients. Now he's getting notified of bad firmware in the routers. He contacted Linksys and they will replace them, but with 2 Velop Mesh Routers. What are his options? Leo says that if they're free, he'd take that. They're very good routers, so Leo wouldn't hesitate. Mesh routers may be a better option moving forward. They will get updated frequently and have much better reach for his clientele.

How can I turn off the router in my modem and use my own?

TP-Link Archer C7

Episode 1453

Dan from Corona, CA

Dan has AT&T and a new TP-Link router. Can he use his own with the AT&T DSL modem that has a router built-in? Leo says yes. He can turn off the AT&T's router radios and network address translation. He could try putting it into bridge mode. He'll have to open up the browser IP address and look for a place that will enable him to turn off the router altogether. He'll also have to disable DHCP. If he can't do that, then he can put the TP-Link into bridge mode and it will just pass the signal along. He should also look for a passthrough mode.

Why can't I connect my Wemo to the internet?

Belkin Wemo

Episode 1452

Armando from Whittier, CA

Armando is trying to connect Wemo to his wireless router, but when he connects an additional one, it won't take his password. Leo says 2.4 Ghz is extremely congested now, so Leo recommends going into his router settings and changing it to allow his router to make changes automatically. That will enable it to choose the best channels. Doing it manually is tough and he'd need a Wi-Fi analyzer to do it. If he wants to do that, InSSIDer is a good one.

Should I buy a hardware firewall?

CUJO smart firewall

Episode 1448

Tom from Madison, WI

Tom wants to know if the CUJO Smart Firewall is a good idea. Leo says that he already has a firewall with his wireless router. That handles about 80% of all bad traffic. Also using OpenDNS can filter out even more. Then he could have a software firewall to handle the rest. Everything that CUJO does, he can do with other services that cost less or free. Mesh Routers also offer the exact same protections.

Why is my internet dropping out?

Ethernet cable

Episode 1447

Rene from Los Angeles, CA

Rene's internet access disconnects several times a day. Leo says he has the same problem and he knows it's the ISP. It could also be his mesh router, however. But the only way to check that is to use another router to eliminate it from the mix. Could it be a DDOS attack? Leo doesn't think so unless he knows of someone who is targeting him to keep him off the net. That's unlikely, though. It's probably just his ISP having issues.

Do I need a new router?

Netgear R7000P

Episode 1445

Dave from Big Bear, CA

Dave gets slowed down online when his son gets on the computer. He can't do anything. Does he need a new router? Leo says that's likely the case since Dave's router is about 8 years old. Leo says that sometimes the DSL modem needs to be replaced as well. So he should contact his ISP and ask them for a newer one. But definitely buy a new router, since they do wear out after a few years. Leo would recommend an 802.11AC version. It's better at managing bandwidth. Leo also likes mesh routers. They're a little more expensive, but they will give him great wireless coverage.