Networking

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

Can I Connect a Drive to My Router & Create a NAS?

NAS

Episode 1758

Chuck from Costa Mesa, CA

Chuck wants to know if he can connect a USB drive to his router. Leo says the router has to support it. It's not really "plug and play." And if it does support it, it may be pretty slow. But it can be accessed from any computer on the network, so it's kinda like a cheap NAS. If the router is open-source compatible, then Leo recommends going with DD-WRT or Tomato for the firmware. They have NAS features that could be most helpful.

Should I Wait for the M1 Apple Imacs?

Apple M1 Chip

Episode 1756

Vernon from Edmonton, Alberta CAN

Vernon is thinking about upgrading to the new M1 Macbook Pro. But he would really like a desktop. Leo says to wait until the new M1 iMacs come out. No need to get another Intel machine at this point. Leo suspects that next Spring will bring a bevy of new desktops coming with not only the M1 chip but an even more powerful model with more RAM. 

What about a NAS? Leo says you can take that old Desktop and convert it into a homebrew NAS using FreeNAS and multiple drives, but Leo says a five-bay Synology NAS is a better option. 

What's a Good Option for Backing Up Photos?

 Apple Photos

Episode 1755

Frederick from Orange County, CA

Frederick wants to create a central location to house all the photos and videos for everyone in the family. Leo says if he wants to be responsible for it all, then Apple Photos can handle it. But everyone may want to keep their own accounts. Google Photos has similar features to Apple Photos, but it's cloud-based. And he can share unlimited free storage up until June 1st. Then each person can upload to a family album from their own account. Then everyone can upload and see the album. It's a great way to do it without having the burden just on the creator.

What's the Best, Affordable NAS Option?

NAS

Episode 1755

Jeff from Michigan

Jeff wants to know what's the best affordable Network Attached Storage (NAS). Leo says the cheapest is to take an old computer and run NAS software on it. But that requires a lot of work to maintain. Leo uses a Synology multi-bay NAS with several spinning drives in a RAID configuration. And Synology lets users mix and match, so they can mix several larger and smaller drives. Should he use SSD drives instead? Leo says no. That would cost more than it's worth. 

How can I keep my WiFi from dropping out in my house?

WiFi

Episode 1754

Lex from Richmond, VA

Rich has a room about 35 feet away from the base station, and they have issues with dropouts from it. Leo says that WiFi is a line of sight technology, primarily, and so anything that goes in between the access point and the device can interfere. One way to solve the problem is to put your access point higher up the wall. That will move the signal away from a lot of things that will get in the way.

Why is my wifi so slow?

SpeedTest

Episode 1749

Daisy from Alhambra, CA

Daisy is having trouble with slow internet. Leo says to run SpeedTest by google and see how fast your connection is. There's also Fast, which is a connection test for NetFlix. Also, make sure you're not too far away from your router. If you're more than 100 feet away, that's going to slow things down. Also, too many walls between your router and your laptop can cause issues.