Networking

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

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.

How can I build my own router?

Raspberry Pi 4

Episode 1716

Roger from Bowling Green, FL

Roger has decided to build his own router as a project using an older computer. What would be the best operating system for it and how should he configure the LAN? Leo says that's a project that Leo has wanted to do for a while now. Steve Gibson has also talked about the DIY router project and uses PF Sense and the NetGate SG1100 with an ARM chip to run it. He likes it a lot and it's open source. It's the way to go. You could also use a Raspberry Pi.

Why can't I reformat my backup drives?

Synology DiskStation DS620slim 6-Bay NAS Enclosure

Episode 1712

Kyle from Oskaloosa, Iowa

Kyle has a home theater PC loaded with media and backups on ten different hard drives that he swaps out. Leo calls that a JBOD (just a bunch of discs). But Kyle is having an issue with the drives getting errors while erasing and starting a new backup. Leo says that the flaw could also be in the backups themselves. It also changed to MBR (master boot record) and cut the drive storage in half. He also can't reformat it with GUID using Windows 10. Is there a special utility he can use? Leo says there is an MBR to GUID command in Windows.

Are ASUS Mesh Routers Private?

ASUS

Episode 1701

Carlo from Ontario, CA

Carl bought a new Asus Mesh Router and he's worried about privacy since they also use Trend Micro drivers. Should he be concerned? Leo says there's always a risk, but Asus is a reputable company and if they made a deal with Trend Micro, they would mention it in their privacy statement. But he doubts that there's much if anything to worry about. There's too great a risk to lie about such things. 

Should I buy a WiFi 6 router?

WiFi 6

Episode 1696

Ted from San Diego, CA

Ted wants to know if he should get a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. Leo says that not everyone is supporting the DOCSIS 3.1 standard, especially for WiFi 6. But it'll certainly be future proof your system for the foreseeable future. How about a WiFi 6 router? Leo says that WiFi 6 routers are out, sure, but they just announced WiFi 6E, and those routers will be out later this year. And any current WiFi 6 router won't support it. Another thing to consider is that you won't get WiFi 6 benefits if your devices are only WiFi5 compatible. So it depends on what your current gear supports.

What's causing my mesh network to slow down?

eero Station

Episode 1696

Ryan from New York City. NY

Ryan has noticed his WiFi speed has drastically dropped off as of late. Leo says that with everyone at home now, there's a lot of people working at home, streaming, and doing other things online that cause a lot of congestion. Ryan says what's odd is that his mesh router network gets faster if he unplugs one of the satellites. Leo says your mesh network shouldn't slow down if you have an extra satellite connected. The benefit of Mesh is that it has its own backchannel for access point communications. Leo also says that Google's mesh router speed is definitely slower than others like Eero.