Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.
Mike is going to be in the Philippines and will have to quarantine for a week. How can he watch Netflix and other streaming? Leo says to use a VPN. Virtual Private Networks will mask your location and bypass any geographic restrictions. Most will let you choose a location for your server so that it makes you appear to be in the proper country. Leo recommends ExpressVPN. It works quite well with overseas streaming restrictions. Leo also recommends a travel router like the Tiny Hardware Firewall, which comes with its own VPN.
Charles wants to know if he should upgrade to a WiFi 6 mesh router. Leo says if you want to future proof, it may be a good idea, but he won't get more than 10% better performance. And it's not so much the devices are faster, but that WiFi 6 networks are better at managing all the devices that can connect to the network. Up to 73 of them. And most of the devices aren't WiFi 6 compatible. And WiFi 6e is coming quickly, followed by WiFi 7. So it's OK to skip a generation.
Richard wants to connect his smart plugs to his Google Nest mesh router. But they aren't connecting. Leo says that Google Nest Mesh is a dual-band / tri-band and the smart plugs are looking for just 2.4 GHz. It's possible that they have mistakenly attached to the 5 GHz band because its signal may be stronger. Some routers allow you to turn that radio off and the plugs should connect. Once it's paired, you can then turn the 5 GHz band back on.
David can't see his Google Home device and his Chromecast on his wifi network. Leo says if you're on the same network, and can see both, you should be able to see them. But Google Home uses Bluetooth to signal its presence online, so you have to turn on Bluetooth in order to see it, along with WiFi. You don't have to join it, but you do have to turn it on. You also have to look for Load Media Router Component Extension. Here's a how to, from ScooterX.
Sean wants to know what an ARP is. He keeps getting that message when running ESET. Leo says that there's likely ARP Spoofing that is "spoofing" IP addresses that your computer allows through. It's known as ARP poisoning, and it points to malware spying on your network. But it isn't likely. More often, it's your ISP that's causing the issue. If you're using a router from your provider, it's likely in need of updating, or it's misconfigured.
Frederico wants to know what network-attached storage (NAS) he should get and what he can do with it other than backing up. Leo says that he uses the Synology line and you can use it to put an email server on it, a media server, and of course, backup. It's ideal for keeping everything you want protected off the cloud. Leo also recommends turning off SSH (secure shell). It's a popular target for hackers. In fact, only turn on services you use and need. You can also turn on Geographic Blocking to avoid any traffic outside the US. You can also white-list countries and IP addresses.
Henry has a Synology NAS at home and at the office. But he's having issues with Windows users in his company being able to access it remotely. How can he do that? Leo says that remote access via SMB may have a security issue that causes Synology not to support it. There is an open-source version called CIF that should work, however. It can also support NFS. Leo can log into his using Windows, Mac and Linux with no problem. Make sure you have all the ports open that you need. CIF uses 139 or 445. NFS 5005,5006. Synology also supports SSH.
Joey has a server running OpenNAS. But is FreeNAS a good option? Leo says that FreeNAS has been renamed TrueNAS, but it's essentially the same. Leo would certainly recommend it, and if you have the hardware, go for it.
The classic router botnet virus Mirai is back, and it's infecting routers to create a denial of service attacks with 17.1 server requests per second. The fix is to reboot your router. But even then, it's easy to get reinfected. Thus, Leo says to reboot it regularly.
Sam wants to know if you can bond multiple modems to create faster broadband. Leo says that's called "modem bonding" and usually requires multiple internet connections to make it work. There are also special routers that do the same thing: Zeisel makes them.