Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.
Andrew has Verizon FIOS and wants to know if he can use his own router. Leo says that Verizon bundles the router/modem together. Leo says you won't save any money since you have to use Verizon's modem/router anyway. But if you want to do your own router, you can turn off HDCP in the Verizon router and then use your own router for a better experience. Here's a YouTube video on how - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2Jr_0P0zwY
Adam wants to create a new RAID 5 array, but his current RAID 1 system went belly up as he was converting to RAID 5. Can he get his data back? Leo says probably not through the RAID itself. He could take one drive out and try to recover, but Adam may have been too deep in the conversion process to restore the data. But the good news is, that he can take the drive out and plug it into the existing PC and see the data. If the data is mirrored, it should be easy to recover with a utility like Recuva. EaseUS also has a free drive recovery tool. He can probably use those to see the files.
Jack's mom is moving into an assisted living facility, and he wants her to have her own WiFi. What router should he get her? Leo says it's a good idea to give her own WiFi access point. It'll protect her. NetGear makes great WiFi Routers. How about a basic wireless access point? Leo says that the router will be better for security, but a WAC is fine.
Should he get a Samsung Galaxy Note 10? Leo says that since Jack has a note 8, he can trade it in and get a great deal on a Note 10. Go for it.
Gifford is getting a new Mac but he also needs some storage for his 6TB of data. Is a Drobo a good option? Should he build a Hackintosh? Leo says that's a fun project, but it'll never be as reliable as a bonafide Mac.
Joe has switched his parents over to Comcast for internet access and TV, and he's having a hard time opening ports through the router for their alarm system. What can he do? Rich says to try what Xfinity recommends here - https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/port-forwarding-xfinity-wireless-gateway. If that doesn't work, then it may be that the port forwarding capability of Xfinity is limited. Rich also says to make sure the firmware is updated.
Karen had her power shut off recently due to the wildfires and now she can't connect to her network via WiFi. Rich says this is common and can happen when turning things back on. If she doesn't reboot both in the right order, she won't be able to connect. So Rich recommends turning them off again and unplugging them. Then plug in the modem, and the router afterward.
Richard is trying to use PLEX and he can't understand how to make it work. Leo says he can watch his own movies using a PLEX Server. That will serve up any media he has on the network.
Joey is having issues with his Plex media server (Plex is a sponsor of TWiT). He can see his media files on the Synology NAS, but he can't access the files at all. Leo says you may have to turn on a sharing file system like SMB. Stop and restart your file server software to be sure it's properly running. Ports may also need to be opened in your router. Check your firewall log to see if those ports are being blocked.
Karen wants to know if she should flash her firmware on her router to get it to work better. Leo says that in a way, you flash that firmware almost every time you update. But if you're talking about using third-party firmware, they can be very good, but they are limited in the routers they support. Check out DD-WRT.com and look in the router database to see if it's compatible. Most routers don't support it, sadly. What Leo recommends is ASUS routers, because they use their own flavor of DD-WRT.
Jeff is having issues with his WiFi coverage at his studio. Leo says that congestion is a major problem with WiFi because of the Internet of Things, phones, tablets, the works. What Leo recommends is Powerline Networking. It's gotten a lot better the last few years and being wired will always be better than WiFi. So check it out. TPLink makes some great PLN devices.