As we add more connected devices to our homes we want to ensure that the wireless signal covers our homes as completely as possible. No-one wants a networking dead zone so finding ways to expand your home network easily can be a real lifesaver. It's possible to replace your entire network with a mesh networking system, but sometimes, a simple extender is all that's needed to bounce the signal a little further along. Let's look at some of the best options around.
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There are literally thousands of Wi-Fi routers on the market. Look through the catalog of an office supply or local computer store, and you'll be faced with a plethora of choices. And some vendors make it hard to compare models by giving marketing-based names to features that are really the same as competitors. This is our guide to the must-have features in a home Wi-Fi router today and five of the best to choose from.
Public WiFi is one of those things that can be really handy. But it can be fraught with danger as bad guys either set up spoof access points or poor security means anyone can eavesdrop on your traffic and listen in on the data you transmit and receive. One security company decided to go on a war-driving journey, on their bikes, to track down the safest public WiFi in all the land.
Google Home and Chromecast devices are reportedly killing peoples' Wi-Fi. The problem, first reported by Android Police, originally seemed localised to users of the Google Home Max speaker (unavailable in Australia) and the cheap, but usually excellent, TP-Link Archer C7 router. However since Android Police first reported the problem, it seems to have spread to other Google devices and TP-Link routers.
Over recent weeks, I've been testing three different mesh network kits, the Linksys Velop, TP-Link Deco and Netgear Orbi. All three are competent but have different strengths and weaknesses. And while they all, more or less do the same thing - deliver wireless network access over a large are - they do differ in some ways. Here's where I'd spend my money.
Mesh network systems promise to increase wifi range without sacrificing performance as devices move further from the network core. They do this by using two or more access points that work in concert. Over the next few days, I'm going to look at three different systems; the Linksys Velop, Tp-link Deco and Netgear Orbi. Today, I start with the Velop system.
If you're away from home and in need of WiFi, Facebook can help you find it. Originally only available in a few countries, the social network's "Find WiFi" feature is now available around the world. With it you can locate available hotspots and nearby businesses, so you can quickly find a spot near you.
A serious Wi-Fi vulnerability was revealed yesterday, affecting nearly every Wi-Fi network and device using WPA or WPA2 security encryption. The Wi-Fi exploit, first reported by Ars Technica, takes advantage of a particular security flaw in the WPA2 wireless security standard, allowing attackers to intercept personal data as well as insert malware into websites a user visited.
Attackers can potentially gain access to encrypted information like usernames, passwords, and credit card data. Luckily, companies are already patching the flaw in order to prevent this potential hack from happening, but you'll need to do a little work on your end and update your devices.
KRACK - or the Key Reinstallation AttaCK - looks like the new infosec word we all need to know. According to the authors of a paper that will be presented at conference in a couple of weeks, Mathy Vanhoef of KU Leuven and Frank Piessens say they have found a way to circumvent WPA2 security - one of the key tools used for protecting wireless networks. If KRACk proves to be true, all bets are off when it comes to stopping eavesdroppers from listening in to your wireless network.
A few weeks ago, travel writer Tim Richards chatted to me about hotel Wi-Fi services. I spend quite a bit of time travelling - I'd rack up about 50-60 nights a year staying in various hotels here and abroad. And that often puts me at the mercy of hotel and airport Wi-Fi. So, Richards asked me which hotel Wi-Fi was better - Australian or overseas?
Mac: Whenever I'm out and about with my laptop, usually at a cafe or co-working space, I'll notice some peculiar connectivity issues. My Mac will often connect to an ISP-provided connection rather than the hotspot on my phone or the Wi-Fi in the building, as though it had a preference for one over the other.
No sooner have we all managed to upgrade our wireless routers and access points to 802.11ac than we need to start thinking about the next new wireless protocol. 802.11ah and and extension of that protocol, dubbed Wi-Fi HaLow, are likely to drive the next round of wireless upgrades at our offices and homes.
If your device, your carrier and your data plan allows it, you can turn your mobile phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot to get your laptop online. But just because it's a hotspot doesn't mean the rules of data usage don't apply. You'll still want to keep data use down to a minimum. Here's how you can enjoy all the perks of a mobile hotspot without wrecking your wallet.
WiFi hotspots are incredibly handy. With many folks having limited cellular data connections, or if you're a traveller, being to hitch a free ride on a public WiFi network to grab some email, check on social media or browse the web is handy. But those hotspots are also a potential security risk. So, how can you use a public WiFI hotspot safely?
Your Wi-Fi is bad. Not the internet itself. Your internet is fine. It's your Wi-Fi that leaves you weeping as it cuts off the minute you try to browse from the toilet, or walk down the stairs, or lean just one particular way on your bed. Some part of you has known, for a while, that you need to upgrade your router so that you can watch Netflix and porn in peace. But a lot has changed since the last time anyone in your home considered forking over cash for a wireless router.