Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.
Gwen has internet through Spectrum. She's looking at getting a NetGear Orbi mesh router. Will she have issues with her phone service? Leo says that she will because Spectrum requires their router to use their phone service. But she can hook them up in tandem and have them coexist. It works with Comcast in a similar fashion. Leo says this is why you don't want to bundle services. It causes issues like this.
Greg wants to know if his mesh router can work with a network switch. Leo says that mesh routers prefer to handle all management on the network. He can use a switch as a hub, though, and the dumber they are, the better. TP-Link makes a 24 port switch that works great with the Eero. The key is to get an "unmanaged switch".
Tom updated his Wi-Fi to an Eero mesh router system, but it changed his static IP address and it's causing problems. How can he fix that? Leo says that all he'll need to do is reserve the IP for those devices. It's in the Eero settings. But the fact that Eero keeps an eye on his network worries him from a security point of view. Leo says that they do that for quality of service, as they are always adjusting the router for the best possible performance. If he doesn't trust Eero to do that securely, then he shouldn't be using it.
Bobby wants to know how he can get his Eero mesh router to work with his Comcast modem/router. Leo says that's called Double NAT and it's problematic. Leo recommends getting his own modem and using that. Comcast has a list of modems that are supported and they cost under $100. He'll want one that supports DOCSIS III or better. The added benefit is that he'll save on the rental of the modem.
(Disclaimer: Eero is a sponsor)
Jeffrey got a mesh router and he's having issues with his Sonos home theater system. Leo says that it's always a challenge to use Sonos with mesh, but he can get it done. Keeping the Sonos in Boost mode and updating his firmware will help. Leo has a few links to read up on:
Bruce has Wi-Fi coverage in his house because it's long and narrow. He doesn't want extenders. So he's thinking of using Cat5 ethernet. Can he take an ethernet connection and convert it to Wi-Fi? Leo says that the TP-Link EAP225 access points will do the trick. He can also turn his router into bridge mode for that. But he can also use Powerline Networking, where he can use his electrical grid for networking and get internet access in every room. He can just plug in the Powerline adapters.
Clarence has issues with his laptop's Wi-Fi intermittently dropping after adding a new modem and Netgear router. Leo says to connect the laptop directly to the router and see if it drops out. If it doesn't, then he'll know the internet connection is fine, and the Wi-Fi radio in the laptop is flakey. If it keeps happening, then that would lead to his router, or even modem. Another possibility is the power-saving may be turned on in the Wi-Fi settings of his laptop. Just disable power-saving and it should be OK from there. It could even be congestion from other internet devices.
Gordon hears that after about 3 years, routers become less secure and outdated. So does he have to replace his ASUS AC3200 router? Leo says often, news agencies read copy from an electronic press kit. Routers are getting hacked, but if he bought a good router from a company that updates the firmware regularly, then he's OK. ASUS uses DD-WRT, which is updated regularly. So all he has to do is keep them updated.
Mikah left Spectrum internet service, but a recent deal they offered him got him back into the fold. The deal, however, had to include their phone service as well. He was able to continue using his own modem for the internet. He was using an older router before they arrived, but after they came, his router wouldn't work anymore. He had a brand new router, but that wouldn't work at all. He went and got a Netgear Nighthawk AC2300 router, but he's wondering why his other two routers wouldn't work.
Mark is moving to a new house and he's looking to get a mesh router system for it. Should he go with Google Wi-Fi or Eero? Leo says of the two, Leo recommends Eero. He's used both and he's found that Eero is the best of the two, although he also uses Plume. The Netgear Orbi is good as well. At this point, all of them are pretty good.