Networking

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

What Router Should I Buy?

Routers

Episode 1782

Rick from Capistrano Beach, CA

Rick has been having issues with his wifi router. He has dropouts, and he has to unplug it and plug it back along with his modem. Leo says that when a router starts to fail a lot, that indicates that it's wearing out and it's time to replace it. Leo says that if you are renting from your ISP, he recommends turning in your cable modem and request a new DOCSIS 3.1 model. Or buy your own and save the rental fee.  Should he get a mesh router? Leo says that if you have a house that's greater than 1300 sq. feet, then it's worth it. But smaller than that, and a regular router is fine.

How Can I Bond Two ISPs So That One Takes Over Automatically When the Other Drops Out?

Speedify VPN

Episode 1781

Gary from Buffalo, NY

Gary has two internet services, T-Mobile and Spectrum. One is for work. He wants to be able to hook them up, so if one goes down, the other picks up. But there's a lag when he uses Zoom. Leo says you can do it with Speedify. It's a VPN that does what's called "failover." But it causes that latency because it goes through different servers. Leo does it with his Ubiquity router Edge Router X and two WAN ports. There's zero latency. TPLink also does that, and they make good stuff. 

Is WPA2 Secure?

WiFi

Episode 1776

Jeff from Pasadena, CA

Jeff is getting a warning about his WPA2 WiFi encryption. Should he move to a new router? Leo says that WPA2 was cracked, but he'd really have to have someone targeting him to really worry about it. WPA3 is the new standard and routers are starting to include it, but Leo doesn't think there's anything to worry about. He could check the router's firmware update to see if they offer it now. How about separating the SSID for the 2.4Ghz and 5.0Ghz bands? Leo says he can do that, but won't really have to.

Why's My Dual-Boot PC so Slow Online?

Device Manager

Episode 1776

Nathan from Cleveland, Ohio

Nathan recently created a dual boot PC using Windows and Majaro Linux. But now his bandwidth speed on that PC is really slow compared to his other devices. Leo says that if the slowdown is evident on both Linux and Windows, then that points to a potential hardware issue. Leo recommends to boot into Windows and go into the Device Manager to make sure the PC is using the proper drivers. They should be by Intel. He can also do a Linux LSHW (list hardware) command, or LSPCI command which will show what ethernet and Internet commands are being used.

Why Am I Getting a Password Error With My iDrive Backup?

iDrive

Episode 1775

Alan from Murietta, CA

Alan uses iDrive for his cloud backup, and he's recently started getting a "password mismatch" error. Leo has had similar issues, and he thinks it's either security software or ad blockers that is causing that kind of issue. Sites are trying to find out more about you, and the blockers on our system and browsers are fighting against that. That prompts the page developers to try and bypass it. Leo suggests turning off wifi on your mobile device and see if you can do it. If so, you know there's something in the network router that's blocking it.

Why Does My Voice Break Up on WiFi Calling?

CM1000

Episode 1774

Jeff from Laguna Beach, CA

Jeff recently cut the cord and set up Ooma for his phone service with WiFi calling since he has lousy cell reception. But the problem his voice is cutting out. Leo says that the router is the likely culprit. This is because it affects two different devices. But it's possible that Jeff's internet company is being anti-competitive, favoring their own internet phone service over any others. One possible solution is to not use their modem and router. He can buy his own modem and router and then save a monthly rental fee at the same time. Leo recommends DOCSIS 3.1. Leo likes the NetGear CM1000.

How Do I Improve My WiFi Reception?

Spectrum

Episode 1772

Carmen from Springhill, FL

Carmen's WiFi is terrible and she's been told it's because of "firewalls" in the house. Will a WiFi booster help her problem? Leo says it's more likely the crappy router she's been given by her ISP. She can try moving it around, and up to a higher position. That could help. The higher the router is, the better the reception she'll get. So if Carmen's router can be above her head, that would be better. She also wants to ask the ISP for a newer WiFi modem. Call Spectrum and demand the latest box. Ask for a WiFi 6 router.

Why Does My Computer Drop Off the Internet Often?

WiFi

Episode 1770

Suzanne from Redondo Beach,CA

Suzanne's laptop drops off the internet all the time, giving her an error that she's offline. Leo says that it could be many different things. Her router could be dropping out. Routers wear out and after a few years, problems like dropouts on wifi or the internet can happen. Try surfing on another device to replicate it. If so, then it's not the computer. If not, then she can focus on the computer as the culprit. Next, try using an ethernet cable to wire a connection and see if the problem persists. If so, then she knows it's a wifi issue and isn't the router or internet service provider.