Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.
Adrian is living in a rural area having an issue with slow internet service. He got a new router, but the problem still persists. Rich says this could be because of living in a rural area. He should try and bypass the router and do a speed test. If it works better, then it points to the router as the issue. But Rich doesn't think it's the router, since Adrian bought a new one. Rich thinks there may be an issue between the modem and the router. He should do a factory reset on the modem (better yet, ask his ISP for a new one).
Aaron has a Synology NAS, and he handles a lot of really large image files. But they load really slowly. Leo says that while loading it can bog down and there are several issues in the chain. He shouldn't treat his NAS as local storage. He should transfer his data to a hard drive. It still shouldn't be that slow, though. Leo suspects a misconfiguration issue. Aaron should make sure SMB File Sharing is turned on. That could help.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dean wants to buy his own router. TheWirecutter likes the Netgear CM500. Leo likes the ARRIS Surfboard. The key is to get a DOCSIS III modem. He'll also want to check with his ISP to see what modems they support. Most support these two main brands. But he'll also want to have a separate router and modem. Routers will change more often than the modem will because they wear out.
Danny wants to know if he can rename his phone on his Asus router. Leo says he can, but it's not obvious how. In Android, it's in the Bluetooth settings. Modern routers have the ability to assign devices to a person.
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.