Networking

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

Do I need a new router?

Router

Episode 1521

Paul from Sun Valley, CA

Paul runs a utility to test his router and it always fails for buffer bloat. Should he get a new router? Leo says his does as well. When RAM got cheap, the router manufacturers boosted the RAM and it actually had the opposite effect by slowing down the buffer. Leo's opinion is that buffer bloat is over rated. He can ignore it. Eventually router makers have come to realize that buffer bloat can be handled in other ways. Leo recommends getting a second opinion with Netalyzer.

How can I use a mesh router on Verizon?

Episode 1520

Tony from California

Tony bought a new MESH router to use with his Verizon fiber optic internet connection. Leo says that Verizon uses a router/modem, so you'll need to change settings to bridge mode, so it can send the signal on to your new mesh router. Doctor Mom in the chatroom says you can put your Verizon modem into bridge mode, but you will lose some functions. It's just a matter if you can live with it.

How can I make my home network secure from my work computer?

Episode 1517

Andy from New Jersey

Andy works as a remote IT guy and he's discovered that the company spies on his network. Leo says one way to solve this issue is to disconnect the XFinity router from the company computer. But if they insist on an always on connection, the Tiny Hardware Firewall may be a good solution. It'll connect to the VPN through a separate router and they wouldn't see any other traffic. Another way to do this, is to get rid of the XFinity router and use your own, like the Ubiquity Edge Router X, which gives you discreet lan options.

What's the fastest Wi-Fi Router?

NetGear Orbi Pro Mesh Router

Episode 1515

John from Montgomery, AL

John is a fire fighter and they share the cost of Wi-Fi with multiple access points. But when they increased his data plan to 300 Mbps, the most his router will get is 80. Leo says that typically, Wi-Fi is 60% of what they say. So he should be safely expecting 180 Mbps. But at 2.4Ghz, he's only going to get 80. He's going to need a TriBand router. For pure speed, Leo recommends the NetGear Orbi Pro Mesh router. He can get one extra unit for every 1500 sq ft coverage.

What is the fastest router?

Netgear Orbi

Episode 1514

Carl from Savannah, GA

Kyle wants to know what router is the fastest for the money. Leo says that Netgear Orbi is an excellent mesh system for someone looking for maximum speed. It has a 4GB ethernet as well. And for under 2000 feet, one is enough. Asus also has a good router for the hardcore hobbyist. Leo says what he really will want is an intelligent routing system, so it will delegate speed to the things he needs the most at that time.

Where do the lights on my modem mean?

ARRIS SURFboard modem

Episode 1512

Sam from Carlsbad, CA

Sam has an ARRIS cable modem and when he's plugged it into his router, he's not sure what the lights mean. Leo says that one is for connecting to the cable company for internet access. If it's off, he's not getting access. There's also a "link light" which will be solid when connected via ethernet, and when data goes back and forth, it blinks. Then there's the uplink and downlink lights. The manual should tell him what they mean. If one is off, then he'll know where the problems are.

Why is my mesh router crashing?

Eero

Episode 1509

Ben from Houston, TX

Ben got a new UVerse modem and an Eero Mesh Router and it was working fine until last week. Now he's having issues with the router, where it drops off the network again and again. Leo says that the UVerse modem is likely a router-modem combo, and he'll need to put the router into bridge mode. And in order for the mesh router to use its advanced features, it needs to be the main router.