Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.
Frank has been watching Leo's podcast This Week in Google (TWIG), where he talked about wiring his home with Cat6 Ethernet. Everything is wired for better streaming and no congestion. It also included home theater equipment called "Araknis" which enables a tech person to dial in and fix anything wrong or set it up. Leo wasn't a fan because he never got credentials to do it himself. So, he had it removed in favor of Ubiquity's Unify system. It works great.
Frank was thinking about getting the Araknis though. Leo says it's expensive. Leo recommends the Ubiquity UDM Pro.
Vip wants to know if he should wire his home with ethernet cable while he has the walls open. Leo says ABSOLUTELY. And use Cat6 while you're at it to future proof it. Hardwired is always preferable to WiFi and it'll be faster, have far fewer dropouts, and no congestion. Leo just did it himself. We're lifting a lot more data now with WiFi and IoT smart devices. There's a lot of congestion.
If you have a challenging wifi environment and can't afford to wire your home, Leo advises going with a Mesh router: eero, Netgear's Ubiquity, even Asus has gone mesh.
Barry's recently bought a new home that's only about 400 feet from his. But when he tried to use WiFi, he couldn't pick it up. Leo says that WiFi's limit is about 150' in direct line of sight with no obstacles. What he'll need to join both is a specialized antenna. Check out RadioLabs.com. They sell wifi range extenders that can help. He may also need a WiFi amplifier, depending on needs.
Adriana has a Synology NAS and she's had it for five years. She's ready for a new model with a little more "oomph" to it. Leo says she can go up to 32 drives in Synology NAS models. The naming configuration is based on the number of bays, expansion, and the year. So a Synology 2720 is a two-bay device, expandable to seven, made in 2020. She can also configure two drives for redundancy. Leo recommends a Synology 1520. Or the 418. That will house 5 drives.
Frank has never needed a WiFi extender in his home, but his girlfriend's house could use one. So he installed one, but it doesn't seem to be doing much better. Leo says the reason is because an extender has to spend half it's time talking to the router. They can't speak to both devices at the same time. Mesh routers, by contrast, have a dedicated backchannel that is always on, that talks to the router without impeding the bandwidth speed. They can be a bit more expensive depending on how many satellite units you need for the house.
G. Scott calls back in to find out how to improve his WiFi Range around his land. His garage and shed are over 50 feet from the house. Leo says his favorite website for WiFi Antennas is RadioLabs.com. They sell WiFi equipment for that very need. And they aren't too expensive either. Would Mesh work? Leo says not really. Not for huge distances. It's more for coverage around the house where a satellite receiver can help in dead zones or congestion.
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").
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.
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.
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.