After the DDoS attack over the weekend that brought down many major websites on the net, it's a good idea to check your own router and make sure that it's as secure as it can be. These Denial of Service attacks rely on 'bot nets' that are actually made up of unsecure computers on unsecured networks all over the world. Here are some basic steps you can take to make sure your network is protected:
Barbara is on a fixed budget and can't afford to pay for faster internet. She watches a lot of streaming and it buffers a lot, though. David says she can go into her Netflix settings and turn down the resolution settings to SD, which should limit the buffering. She could also watch in off hours.
Jim is legally blind and uses an internet radio. He doesn't understand how to use it, though, and it buffers a lot. Leo says that Wi-Fi has a distance issue where the greater the distance, the weaker the system, and the slower the bandwidth. That's why Leo recommends plugging it directly into his router and he won't see nearly as much buffering. Leo recommends hardwire connections for any streaming device.
If you travel frequently, you're probably relying on public Wi-Fi hotspots often. While they are convenient, you should be aware that some of the things you do while connected to that hotspot could be visible to others. Many of the tasks that people do online, including banking, Amazon, Facebook, and most email providers, are already encrypted using https. This means that everything on that connection is secure. You can find out if you're on an encrypted connection by checking the URL in the navigation bar.
Eric gets Wi-Fi where he lives but it's very weak. Would a repeater help? Leo said it could, but he'll need to place it half way between the router and his location, and that may not work well for his living situation. A USB Wi-Fi antenna could be a better choice because he can position and direct it.
Paul would like to wirelessly broadcast the same signal to five TVs. Dick DeBartolo uses Accell devices, which is a repeater for monitors. Leo says ActionTek does one using Wi-Fi, but it's not cheap at $200.
JC has been going through a lot of routers lately, and they just don't perform as promised. Leo says that you get what you pay for and the cheaper routers don't get their firmware updated all that often, if at all. Also getting a dual band router that can run at either 2.4 Ghz or 5 Ghz is beneficial because the 2.4 Ghz is very crowded.
Neil has the fastest internet tier that Cox offers, but he's still not getting a consistent 300 Mbps speed. Sometimes it's about 20% of what it should be. Leo says that a DOCSIS 3 modem is ideal, and it's also better if his cable modem doesn't also do Wi-Fi. He should be using a third party router.
George hears that Elon Musk wants to launch satellites to give everyone Wi-Fi access. Leo says it's true. He wants 4,000 satellites orbiting the earth so that there's nowhere on earth that you can't get high speed internet. He wants to launch them through SpaceX. Leo says that one of the problems with satellite internet, however, is the latency because of the distance it has to travel back and forth twice for each packet of data. Better than nothing, mind you, but there is a cost. Google is taking a different approach with balloons in Project Loon.
Shell wants to know if she should buy a Wi-Fi only iPad, or the iPad with 4G access. Leo says that Apple will charge an additional $129 for the LTE capability, plus she'll have to pay for an additional monthly data plan. It's far cheaper to get a Wi-Fi only tablet and then use her phone as a hotspot for about $20 a month. Even Leo didn't buy a data plan with his latest iPad Pro. He just went with the Wi-Fi version.