Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.
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.
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.
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.
Phillip is thinking about getting a Ubiquiti access point for his home network, or an eero setup. What router should he get? Leo says Ubiquiti is Pro-sumer gear, but eero is better for the average consumer. Either is great, but the latter is more expandable. Check out Leo's HOT review of Ubquiti UniFi!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This week, Microsoft issued an emergency fix for Windows 10, which fixes a bug that could cause issues connecting to WiFi via WPA3. When you connect to a WPA3 network, users reported a bluescreen of death. Users reported the issue occurring after waking their computers from sleep. More information is outlined in the knowledge base article KB4601315 found here.