Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.
Dave wants to know how to find out how much bandwidth he uses every month. Leo says that if your router supports DD-WRT firmware, you can. But your router may already keep track. So look in your router settings to find out. If not, and your router supports it, you can install DD-WRT firmware. Check out dd-wrt.com. But understand, that flashing the firmware on your router could void the warranty. If you need a new one, get the ASUS router, it uses a flavor of DD-WRT already out of the box.
Chad wants to run a game server on a secondary PS4 so others can play over the internet all over the world. HIs problem is he needs a NAT Type 1 connection to make it work. Is there any way to do it without having a second internet connection from Spectrum? Leo says that there used to be a device called a Hamachi that would do it. Ideally, try taking the router out. It will eliminate a middleman that could assign a Type 2 connection, not a Nat Type 1. Risky, but it could work. Chad can also try DMZ through the router. He can also set up port forwarding.
Tom has four iMacs and each one is getting an error when connecting to ethernet, and can't connect to the Internet because of a "self-assigned address." But he can connect via WiFi. Leo says to go to the Network system preference pane and make sure that Ethernet is dragged to the top. Also, make sure it's using DHCP in the settings. One thing that may be causing the error is that the computer doesn't see the ethernet cable when booting up, and then gives the self-assigned address. It could also be the router itself.
Max's home is 1700 square feet and he's thinking of getting a Mesh router. Leo says he's a big fan of Mesh networks because they can handle congestion a lot better than an average router. Leo recommends Eero, but he also likes the Netgear Orbi, which is rated as the current fastest. But Eero does the quality of service (QOS) using bandwidth shaping. Also understand that MESH routers are more expensive but usually come with a base station and a satellite unit. However, if you want the fastest possible connection for your TV, you'll want to hardwire it in.
Alex would like to use his own router with AT&T U-verse, can he? Leo says only if you aren't getting your TV service from U-verse. That requires AT&T's proprietary router. You could turn the AT&T router into bridge mode or IP Pass through, and then use your router with it. That's possible. Will it affect the speed? Leo says no, but it could affect whether you can select your own DNS service. You can also try using DNS over HTTPS using Cloudflare to eliminate the ability for AT&T to see what you're doing. But that's advanced stuff.
Lynn's wifi drops out from time to time. Leo says that's usually an indication that your router is worn out, but if it's new, then it could be congestion from other WiFi signals in your neighborhood. Using a dual band router with a 5Ghz frequency, that can help, because not only are other routers using 2.4Ghz, but there's also all the smart devices that use them as well. So it's really congested out there.
Barry bought a QNap NAS recently and he's a bit frustrated that there isn't a lot of documentation with it for the hardware or software. Leo says that's a common problem as they assume you're an expert if you're looking to use a NAS for a backup. Leo says that YouTube is a great place to learn how to run QNap. There's a QNapTV Channel there.
Dave recently upgraded his network with new routers and created Steve Gibson's three router network for security. He wants to know what's the best way to do it to be more efficient and secure. Leo says that Steve Gibson over at GRC.com is the expert here. But there's an easier way to do it, with virtual LAN networks assigned within the physical network. Using the EdgeRouterX enables you to create up to 4 segmented networks that can't cross over. And it's only $59. Great deal. But since Dave has already bought the routers, PC Perspective is where you want to go.
Andy is having issues with his AirPort router. Every day he has to reboot both the router and the modem. What gives? Leo says the airport eventually will wear out and it's probably time to get a new router. Apple doesn't even update them anymore, nor do they make new ones. Leo recommends ASUS routers that run DD-WRT. New routers will also better handle how internet traffic is running these days.