Networking

Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.

Can a modem overheat?

Netgear Modem

Episode 1738

Steve from Palm Beach, FL

Steve has a DOCSIS 3.1 modem and wants to know if there's anything faster. Leo says that DOCSIS 3.1 can handle up to 1GB down and DOCSIS 3.2 is coming. Should it run hot? Leo says no. If it's too hot to touch, that's a problem and could indicate the modem may be wearing out faster. But cable modems don't wear out as fast as your router does, so you may need a new router. But the main reason to update a router is to get a more secure system. Most consumer routers don't get updated and have unpatched vulnerabilities.

Look for a router that will offer automatic firmware updates. 

How can I backup and organize all my photos in the Cloud?

Shutterstock

Episode 1736

JC from Sherman Oaks, CA

JC has a ton of pictures on his computer and they aren't organized. It's a real mess on his hard drive. How can he organize them in the Cloud so that they are not only backed up but easier to access? Leo says that Google Photos is ideal, but they only backup unlimited hires JPEGs, not the uncompressed RAW versions that JC wants. But it's a good backup to the backup.

Should I Wire My Home for Ethernet?

TWIG

Episode 1733

Frin from Phoenix, AZ

Frank has been watching Leo's podcast This Week in Google (TWIG), where he talked about wiring his home with Cat6 Ethernet. Everything is wired for better streaming and no congestion. It also included home theater equipment called "Araknis" which enables a tech person to dial in and fix anything wrong or set it up. Leo wasn't a fan because he never got credentials to do it himself. So, he had it removed in favor of Ubiquity's Unify system. It works great.

Frank was thinking about getting the Araknis though. Leo says it's expensive. Leo recommends the Ubiquity UDM Pro. 

Should I wire my house with ethernet?

eero Mesh Router

Episode 1728

Vip from Monument, CO

Vip wants to know if he should wire his home with ethernet cable while he has the walls open. Leo says ABSOLUTELY. And use Cat6 while you're at it to future proof it. Hardwired is always preferable to WiFi and it'll be faster, have far fewer dropouts, and no congestion. Leo just did it himself. We're lifting a lot more data now with WiFi and IoT smart devices. There's a lot of congestion. 

If you have a challenging wifi environment and can't afford to wire your home, Leo advises going with a Mesh router: eero, Netgear's Ubiquity, even Asus has gone mesh.

How Can I Extend My WiFi Range In My House?

Wifi

Episode 1725

Barry from Ulyssees, KY

Barry's recently bought a new home that's only about 400 feet from his. But when he tried to use WiFi, he couldn't pick it up. Leo says that WiFi's limit is about 150' in direct line of sight with no obstacles. What he'll need to join both is a specialized antenna. Check out RadioLabs.com. They sell wifi range extenders that can help. He may also need a WiFi amplifier, depending on needs. 

What Synology NAS Should I Upgrade To?

Synology 5 Bay NAS DiskStation DS1520+ (Diskless)

Episode 1723

Adriana from North Carolina

Adriana has a Synology NAS and she's had it for five years. She's ready for a new model with a little more "oomph" to it. Leo says she can go up to 32 drives in Synology NAS models. The naming configuration is based on the number of bays, expansion, and the year. So a Synology 2720 is a two-bay device, expandable to seven, made in 2020. She can also configure two drives for redundancy. Leo recommends a Synology 1520. Or the 418. That will house 5 drives.

What is the best option for extending WiFI range in my house?

eero Mesh Router

Episode 1722

Frank from West Springfield, VA

Frank has never needed a WiFi extender in his home, but his girlfriend's house could use one. So he installed one, but it doesn't seem to be doing much better. Leo says the reason is because an extender has to spend half it's time talking to the router. They can't speak to both devices at the same time. Mesh routers, by contrast, have a dedicated backchannel that is always on, that talks to the router without impeding the bandwidth speed. They can be a bit more expensive depending on how many satellite units you need for the house. 

How Can I Increase the Range of My WiFi Router?

RadioLabs.com

Episode 1721

G. Scott from Finland, MN

G. Scott calls back in to find out how to improve his WiFi Range around his land. His garage and shed are over 50 feet from the house. Leo says his favorite website for WiFi Antennas is RadioLabs.com. They sell WiFi equipment for that very need. And they aren't too expensive either. Would Mesh work? Leo says not really. Not for huge distances. It's more for coverage around the house where a satellite receiver can help in dead zones or congestion.

Can I use two routers on the same network?

Netgear Orbi

Episode 1718

Bob from Honolulu, HI

Bob has the Orbi Mesh Router and has a second router for work. Leo says you want one router to be in charge. Leo says your cable ISP wants to be in charge because they use their router to provide WiFi to anyone walking by. Then your work wants to be in charge because it can control everything. In general, you only want one router handling all the DNS address assigning. Leo recommends putting the Orbi in Bridge Mode, and that will prevent both routers from fighting to run the network (called "double natting").

Why can't I get online with the new version of Windows 10?

Windows 10

Episode 1716

Mike from Burbank, CA

Mike recently upgraded his old Acers to Windows 10. But after running the Microsoft System File Checker, he's having issues accessing features in his account, particularly settings. So he did a repair reinstall. Now he can't get back online to the Internet. 

Leo says to go into the device manager (Windows + X) and see if any devices are missing or have a red "x" or "!" in the corner. It could be a driver issue. Also, look in the settings to see if sleep is enabled and turn it off.

But your WiFi card may not be supported anymore. Luckily, they're cheap.