Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.
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.
Rudy wants to know how secure public apartment wifi is if everyone is using the same password? Leo says it's not secure at all. What it means though, is that anyone who knows the password can use the wifi. But it also means that if someone is malicious, they can use hacking tools to gain access to other people's computers and data. That's why Leo says that a VPN is a must for a situation like this. Or at least only surfing to HTTPS websites only, so the traffic is encrypted. Another option is to use a travel router. It's designed to join a public network and provides a barrier like a VPN.
Bill works from home. Lately, he's been running into interference on his wifi network. Leo says that's probably just congested as just about everything now in your home connects to the internet, especially security. And when you multiply it by all the houses in your neighborhood, and that WiFi band is dealing with rush hour. How to keep them all secure? Leo says the best you can do is keep all your devices updated. But change the name of your router and make sure it's using encryption.