Networking

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

How can I secure my WiFi router?

TP Link Router

Episode 1684

Bruce from Carlin, NV

Bruce wants to know how he can secure his WiFi router. Leo says to first enter the router address (198.x.x.x) and then change the default password. Then, turn off Administer via WLan. This will prevent someone from the outside controlling your router. Step 3, turn off UPNP (aka universal plug-in play). This prevents a device inside of your network, like an Xbox, opening up your router to the internet when you don't want it to. Lastly, turn on WPA2 security encryption.

How can I print wirelessly with Linux?

CUPS

Episode 1684

Lee from Santa Claus, IN

Lee has a printer and he'd like to wirelessly print through the router with Linux. Can he do that? Leo says Modern printers use WiFi to connect directly to the printer, but some routers have a special windows program for a print server. But it may no support your printer. Leo says that there is a driver called CUPS that may be able to do it. Look by router brand and model in the CUPS database. If it's there, then you can use CUPS to do it. Another option is to use VMWare or maybe even WINE to use the Windows version.

Why can't I connect WiFi with my new router?

Nest Camera

Episode 1682

John from St. Petersberg, FLA

John has been upgrading his parents' network with a new router, some smart devices like NEST Cams, etc. He's running into some issues, though. He suspects it's the modem/router combo. Leo says it likely is: you'll need to find the IP address and log into it. Likely Admin/Blank for a user name and password. Then turn off the wifi and DHCP. The DHCP is also doing double NAT, so turn that off. It's called putting the router side into "bridge" mode. Let the modem send the bandwidth to the Google home router and it will handle it all.  That should fix it all. 

How Can I Connect Our Spare House to WiFI?

Orbi

Episode 1681

Janelle from Oregon

Janelle has a Netgear Orbi and she's been having issues with her RING doorbell dropping out front. Leo says that RING works best on 2.4 GHz, but that's also very congested. Leo suggests going into the RING settings and set the RING to connect to the 2.4 GHz band. And if she can name the band, it can be easier to connect. But she also may have a neighbor that has a powerful router that is knocking the connection offline.

How can I share files on my Windows network?

Windows 10

Episode 1678

Collins from Mayfield, Kentucky

Now that Windows has killed Workgroups, what's the best way to share files for his network? Leo says that file sharing is still available in Windows through File Explorer. But make sure you share with permissions to keep your network secure. What about a NAS? Leo says that a NAS will work, but they can get expensive with having to buy enclosures separate from the drives the data is housed in. 

Why's My Apple TV Trying to Connect to My Mac?

Bonjour

Episode 1675

Jack from Garden Grove, CA

Jack got an antivirus notification that an Apple TV that was trying to access his network. He said no, but it keeps requesting it. Leo says that if Jack has an Apple TV, it's probably trying to connect. It uses a utility called BONJOUR to connect. It's perfectly safe to talk to your mac. And since Jack has a router, his router is a perfect firewall to prevent outside connections. That's how he'll know it's the  Apple TV that's trying to connect. So let it. And get rid of the AVS.

Why's My Streaming So Slow on the TV?

Verizon

Episode 1675

Gordon from Columbus, OH

Gordon cut the cord in favor of streaming through Verizon. After he did that, his streaming speeds plummetted. But it doesn't with his computer. Leo suspects that the issue is due to the WiFi connection to the TV. Most TVs have terrible WiFi radios in them. Leo recommends having a wired connection to television. Use a streaming box, like a ROKU to handle the WiFi and then connect wired to the TV. Another option is to get a MESH Router.

Is my wifi secure?

WiFi Signal

Episode 1674

Mike from Yakama, WA

Mike is worried that his WiFi network is compromised since his encryption was bypassed. Leo said that WEP was hacked, and routers went to WPA. And then WPA2. But the latest news is that "Krack attacks" have gotten into WPA2. Leo says it's largely sensationalized headlines and that it's very hard to do and requires a lot of time being on the network itself. Also, by now, most routers have been patched against Krack. So it's not really anything to fret over. And WPA3 is on the horizon, with new routers turning it on with a software upgrade.

Here are some things you can do: