to commonly asked questions.


Is this wifi network safe?

We just checked into our hotel in Costa Rica and they said WiFi is “free and open to everyone on the property.” We don’t know if it’s a secure line based on that description.

When you go to login to Wifi it says please enjoy complementary WiFi and then there is a connect button. I will see if I can screen shot it. The cell service on property isn’t good.

Thanks for your help in letting us know if the line is secure.

"Free and open” means not secure. Use at your own risk. Again, three types of networks:

Network that does not require a password: not secure
Network that requires a unique password to you like your last name and room number or something: not secure.
Network that has a password that everyone is aware of in the entire building: secure.

Why am I not connecting to the internet?

disconnected any of the wires from what I can see. Does it need some kind of reset?


By the looks of the screenshot, your computer is in fact connected to your wifi network. That doesn’t mean the internet works but the wifi network is up. If you couldn’t connect to your router, you wouldn’t see an IP address there. In this case, tells us you are connected to the trouser. This indicates that the problem could very well be the actual modem. Not the wifi network. I know that can be confusing. Every home has a modem and a router. In some cases, they are one in the same, meaning that one box handles both. I don’t know what your exact setup is but all this to say, first thing to try is to unplug the first box in the chain. The modem. Most of the time this is a black box with several lights on the front. If you still don’t have internet about 8 minutes after you’ve plugged the modem back in, then there is an even bigger chance that your ISP’s line is having a problem delivering a signal to your modem.

It’s possible the coaxial cable is not providing signal. That could be a break in the line from outside or perhaps it’s lose from the back of the modem. But overall, it doesn’t seem to be your wifi router.

Reasons for bad wifi.

his is my computer - everyone around me is doing fine on internet (we have Wifi)
Is there something that I can do to try and speed mine up?

Image 1-6-22 at 9.43 AM

Those numbers are pretty terrible. There can be many causes for that. The most common is a poor connection to the wifi router. If you have more than one router in your home/office, if the computer is not making the move from one to the other as you move through the location, that can result is numbers like this. There are ways to determine how strong the signal is in a specific location. Another reason can obviously be that the actual signal provided by the ISP is the problem. That can absolutely be the reason but usually the numbers wouldn’t be that low. It’s more likely that your connection to your router is the problem.

It’s also possible that your wifi card has become disconnected or has failed. These modules are very small and usually have a very small cable antenna attached via a snap mechanism. If the antenna has become separated that would cause the super low signal as well. That would require Apple to do the hardware require.

Orbi reset after power failure

After a power failure my Orbi router has appeared back as the default network name? How can I join it?

Sounds like somehow the Orbi reset if you are seeing the default network name in your list of available networks. If that is the case, you should be able to look on the bottom or back of either of the routers and it will list the network name AND password. Usually orbi default passwords are two words and a number like luckyorange24 or something similar.

How can I get more detail on my mesh network?

We recently upgraded to Verizon Fios here in DC and I just had an issue which has a few proposed fixes from online research, one being to keep your software up to date for connectivity reasons. We bought our own mesh network system (Asus), and while we have a strong signal with impressive speed test results, it seems we have a signal problem. I just did my first zoom call on the new fios/Asus configuration and even though the signal showed strong my service kept dropping, I was freezing and getting dropped off the call over and over. My husband just disabled something called “smart connect” in the mesh system, thinking it might have been kicking me off looking for a better connection, but who knows if that will fix it.

Wifi can be chalenging to deal with for sure. Couple of things.

1. If you hold down the option key when clicking on your wifi bars in the menu bar you’ll get a list of technical information. The most important number is the TxRate or Transmit Rate. That number represents how strong the potential wifi signal is coming from the router. That doesn’t mean your ISP is giving you that. It just means that’s what the router wifi can push to you. Transmit rates over 75 or so are descent but should be much much higher depending on the environment.

If you want to get a better look at what’s going on in your house, I recommend buying Wifi Explorer from the App Store. It runs on a Mac and if you put it on your laptop, you’ll start to gain a better understanding of how your wifi network is performing.

Do you suggest third party wifi extenders?

Your thoughts on this Range XTD for our home?


No. I never suggest people mix router manufacturers. These third party extenders are problematic.

My macbook isn't talking to our router.

Below is a screenshot of where it’s trying to connect first.  The next email is how it connects once I’ve reset the WiFi. She tried to manually enter the DHCP address and it. So this is the address that works but it won’t work if she tries to manually enter. Only if we reset the WiFi!


If you do enter manual DHCP, you’ll need to enter ALL the information manually. Router, subnet mask, IP address.

When you see the number 169.254.xxxxxx that means that the computer has not received a number from the router so it’s just making it’s’ own number up. 169.254 obviously doesn’t get you on the internet. On your network, only a 192.168.xxxx number will do. If you are powering off the router and powering it back on again and her computer comes back online, that is a very big indicator that it is not the computer’s fault but rather the router’s fault.

Also, the Araknis hardware has the ability to specifically assign a device its own number. In other words, every time the araknis router sees your iPad, it could be told to give it That means that .87 would be reserved for the iPad only and not be given out to any other device. You SHOULD NOT have to use this setting but considering how finicky her computer and that router are communicating with each other, that’s a possibility.

To make matters a little more confusing, the araknis router (like every other router) identifies every piece of equipment that connects to wifi with something called a “MAC address”. This stands for “machine access code” and has nothing to do with Mac computers. Everything has a MAC address. Printers, iPhones, windows machines, etc…. Just wanted to let you know in case you see that terminology some time.

Setting up wifi remotely in the age of COVID

This electronics co gave us a $8k wired solution estimate ... not what we want .... We just want wifi in our home.

That is ridiculous. I could easily do it for you for only $7999. No need to spend all that extra money.

Ok, seriously though. That is ridiculous.

Hard wired home networks are great and all but wifi technology has grown so much in the last several years that there’s not really a need to have ethernet running through your home unless you live inside a lead box buried under the ocean. So here are a few options.

1. Buy a new Orbi system I’ve recommended in the past). FaceTime with me as we get it set up remotely. I’ve done this with a few people. It takes a little more time and patience but so far we’ve been 100% successful. It can be frustrating for the user but if you have patience we can accomplish the setup.

2. You could buy the system, I pick it up, set it up, bring it back then you plug it in to your existing system however there are many more things that can go wrong with this so I prefer we set up remotely.

We CAN do this as long as the user is patient. Usually I would be onsite, push all the buttons, ask a few questions, and about 1 hour later everything is done. But due to our world currently burning to the ground, we can work remotely.

Do not pay anyone that kind of money. What the F are they talking about? That is the most insane thing I’ve heard this year. Are the ethernet cables made from unicorn tears?

Is WPA weak?

All of a sudden we started getting this weak security warning.
What should we do?

Screenshot 2020-11-03 at 12.04.19 AM

The weak security warning you're seeing is suggesting that you move exclusively to WPA2 encryption. This is a setting that you implement on your router system. But there's more to the story….When wifi started out in the late 1990's WEP was the best encryption standard. That type of encrypt. Was usually hackable in a few hours. (Don't ask me how I know that.). WEP was eventually replaced by WPA encryption. That is a way way stronger type of security. A few years after that WPA was revised to WPA2. Modern routers will allow you to use either WPA, WPA2 or both at the same time. But before you switch over your router to exclusively broadcasting out WPA2, you should consider that not all wifi devices can speak WPA2. In other words, you may be cutting off your printer, or your gaming console or a wifi thermostat, etc… That's why the option for broadcasting both exists. In other words, I wouldn't worry about it. WPA is extremely good encryption and I've yet to discover a way to break into it.

The other thing to consider is that this is all only relevant to a person that is geographically close to your home. Since it would take years to break WPA, that means a person would basically have to live on your property in order to crack it. Over exaggeration but you get my point.

I recommend the Orbi's.

Good morning. You set up our Apple airport years ago with WiFi extenders. Time Warner Cable wants to replace our modem and wants us to get a new router that our current set up will not handle faster speeds. It is super slow. Do you have a recommendation? I am worried about replacing and messing everything up since we are HEAVILY depending on WiFi right now- like everyone else. Is this something you can help us with or do you have a recommendation? I know you primarily deal only with Apple products. Thx so much.

Yes, the Apple airports are basically obsolete at this point. Specifically the expresses. The towers are still fine but regardless, you'll be looking to upgrade your wifi network soon. I recommend looking at the Orbi system by Netgear. There are several different models depending on square footage but in general, I've had very good success with the Orbi's.

I am not currently entering homes due to the COVID situation and only working remotely. Wifi networks cannot be setup remotely so that would only be onsite for me. I'm watching every day to see when NC moves to phase 3 at which time I will be considering starting on-location sessions once again.

One of the common mistakes that people make when replacing networks is that they leave pieces of the old system and that can confuse things. Another mistake to watch out for is what you name the new network. I prefer to use a new name. The password can stay the same but changing the network name eliminates the potential for other mistakes like conflicting names. (SSIDs)

Bottom line:

Orbi by Netgear=best
Velop by Linksys is also good.

Can you solve wifi issues remotely?

Can you solve our wifi issues without coming into our house? We have apple routers and we don't know the passwords.

Looks like I won’t be entering homes for quite some time so if the apple router issue continues to be something you’d like to resolve, we CAN most likely solve it remotely but it would require some patience on your part. It would sort of be like me throwing darts with my eyes closed. It can be done but will be a little frustrating for you. I just wanted to set those expectations ahead of time.

In regard to a password, the password to your apple router(s) would either be the same password as your old wifi network or the word “password” itself.

New wifi router and now airports are down.

Hey! My husband has switched our internet - now the apple routers your installed don’t work- have no way of knowing how to get those working apparently there is a password- can you let me know what to do?

There are many things that could be going on. It would be very hard to guess what the problem is without more details. Here are a few possibilities:

1. The new internet service provider has overridden the previous routers by turning on wifi with the new one.
2. The new router could have the same name as your apple routers.
3. The apple routers could have been disabled (turned off).

The two difficult things for me to work with via online session are printer and wifi issues. So this is more of an in-person type of problem to solve. We could attempt to adjust the network via remote session but it could possibly not go well. If we were to make changes to your wifi network remotely, without me being there, I could make a change that would require an in-person visit. So without more information, this is a difficult problem to guess at.

Which Orbi should I buy?

I'd like to buy a new wifi system but not sure which one. Can you help me choose?


The Orbi’s come with a base station and 1 or 2 extenders depending on which you order. Sq footage is really the determining factor in which one chooses. I’m thinking you’re home is around 5000 sq ft so you might look at getting the following model.

3-pack Covers about 6000 sq ft at 3gbps NETGEAR Orbi Tri-band Whole Home Mesh WiFi System with 2.2Gbps speed (RBK23) Router & Extender replacement covers up to 6,000 sq. ft., 3-pack includes 1 router & 2 satellites: Computers & Accessories

You can also look at the 2 pack which is limited to about 5000 sq ft. At 2 gbps NETGEAR Orbi Tri-band Whole Home Mesh WiFi System with 3Gbps Speed (RBK50) – Router & Extender Replacement Covers Up to 5,000 sq. ft., 2-Pack Includes 1 Router & 1 Satellite White: Computers & Accessories

So essentially, what you are choosing is more coverage and a smaller speed cap or less coverage and a higher speed cap. You can never have everything you want. Personally I would go with the 3 pack 6000 sq ft model every time because your service provider is not yet even pushing 1gbps so even if you get the faster capable routers, you’re not actually getting anything close to that potential into your home. It just makes you feel better that you bought the one with the faster number on it and by the time Spectrum or ATT will even be offering 3gbps, these routers would be obsolete. I’m guessing about eight-ten years from now. Right now, your service provider is probably sending you around 150mbps on a good day. Possibly getting 300mbps if you’re super lucky. Keep in mind 1000mbps=1gbps so you’re not even at 1gbps right now most likely.

How can I extend my wifi to the pool?

I am trying to get wifi out to the pool at my house. We have new smart pool equip. but wifi from the house won't reach where the panels are located. Our pool guy would really like to have the system set up so he can monitor remotely. I know you purchased signal boosters for remote parts of the house and I've tried putting one of those in an outlet as close as possible with no luck. Is there something else we can do to extend the reach? Or should we just go ahead and have it hard-wired separately?

I don’t remember if we moved over to the Orbi wifi system (by Netgear) within the last couple years at the Stonebridge house.  I seem to remember we upgraded the wifi system and I usually recommend the Orbis.  They look like this:

If this is the type of network that is there, then you could add an additional Orbi extender but nothing beats hardwiring.  You could invest in the extender and still not have  a reliable signal.  Wifi networks are just not strong enough yet for homes with cottages, large back yards, pools, etc…. I have lots of clients that want to try to share the house wifi across over to another building structure and by the time the signal leaves the walls of the home, it’s usually not strong enough to use.  Running an ethernet cable out to the desired location is 100% guaranteed.  

Why is my wifi network having problems?

These are the routers we have I can’t remember when you put them in . Please let me know if we should be doing something different - should we be getting a higher speed even when it works it is slow .


Ok. Several things to discuss here.

1. As of 2020, the Apple routers are obsolete. They had a very good run but the technology just doesn't keep up with modern internet speeds that you may be getting into your home. Full disclosure: I still use them myself but I couldn't recommend anyone purchase one at this point. You may be getting over 100mbps into your home but some of the Airport products may be bottlenecking that. Most people are upgrading away from the Airport networks at this point. I love the routers but the time has come to admit they need to be taken out back and sent to router heaven.

2. The device in the second picture is a "Netgear" extender. I NEVER recommend a wifi network have two different manufacturers of devices. So that definitely wasn't me. In other words, you shouldn't extend a netgear system with a linksys. Don't mix a Belkin with an Apple router. Don't extend a Linksys system with a Belkin, and so on…. I definitely would not have added that extender to your network. Now not all wifi people feel this way about mixing brands but based on my personal experience, it's the number 1 cause of network issues. Mixing wifi router/extender brands is the top sin when it comes to wifi networking.

3. It is possible that one of your Apple routers has failed also. They don't last forever. You might be able to check the status by using the Airport Utility which you can either download as an app or search for on your Mac. That may provide clues. But the first thing I would do is unplug that netgear extender. Hopefully it's not one of those that sends internet signal through the electrical outlets of your house. Those things are terrible. If it is, there would be a very similar looking unit connected to your main router in a closet somewhere that is connected via an ethernet cable. After getting rid of the nether extender, you could try totally reseting the network by pressing the small reset button on each Apple router then rebuilding the network with Airport Utility.

4. As for new wifi network recommendations, there are two major games in town these days: 1. The Orbi System by Netgear. 2. The Velop system by Linksys. I prefer the Orbi. I've been putting many Orbi wifi networks into homes over the past 2 years or so and they seem to be doing a great job. Each system has it's little quirks and neither is as user friendly as the Apple routers were but as I said, time to upgrade.

Do you recommend a wifi booster.

Good morning. I hope you are well. I’m having trouble streaming TV upstairs in the apartment. (Spotty and pausing frequently) Really want to avoid getting separate WiFi for apartment.

Is a booster likely to help? If so, would you recommend the booster below or do you have another recommendation? Thank you!

I do not recommend third party extenders to existing wifi networks. I call that my cardinal rule of networking. "Never extend one router with a different manufacturer's router." Now you may purchase that product and have good results but based on my experience, I would not invest in a third party extender.

Other options would be to add on a completely separate network on top of your existing ISP provided router. Two router systems I recommend are:

Orbi by Netgear
Velop by Linksys

You can buy smaller variations of either that are less expensive since you're not trying to cover several thousand square feet.

The router provided by your ISP is never a great router as a stand alone. In other words, your Internet Service Provider's job is get the signal TO your house. They don't care about your wifi strength once it's in your home. That's the home owner's responsibility. The reason they take this stance is because every home is different and they can't guarantee the quality of the wifi signal throughout every home. Older homes contain plaster walls. Some homes have an excess of mirrors which is also a major deflector of wifi signal, and so on.

In my experience, wifi "boosters" are usually the cause of whatever problem I've been called out to solve. Unplug them and the next thing you know, the wifi network is healthy again. As I said, you may have a different experience but my professional advice is to not buy one.

P.S. the link you shared for that product was shady as heck. I would not buy anything from that website.

Airport express asking for a password

Hey there. I just left you a message. This is Julie McKinney. I wanted to send u a screenshot of the password that we need...


By the looks of this screenshot, It's asking for the the specific password to an airport express. In an apple router based wifi network, you can apply a password to each individual piece of equipment which can be different than the actual wifi network password itself. Overkill I know. If you are trying to just add this device back ton an existing network then the easiest thing to do would be to reset the device by using a paperclip and holding down the small pin sized reset button on the back for several seconds. The light on the front will begin to flash then you can use the Apple Airport utility that comes on every Mac (also available as an app for your phone or iPad) to add the device to your network. Hope that helps.

If you are just hoping to guess the password, the default password is "password". Don't know if that device is set that way or not. If I set that network up for you any time in the past then the password would either be "password" or whatever your wifi password is. I never create unique passwords on my own for a client. I always as the client what passwords they would like to use.

Resetting an Airport extreme

Just bought an old AirPort Extreme. How do I know what the password is?

There should not be one. I reset it before handing it off today. If you’d like to also reset it, you can:

1. Plug it up until you see the flashing yellow light
2. Hold down the back small pin sized button with a paper clip for about 5 seconds until you see the light flash rapidly for about 5 seconds.

All settings will have been removed and you’re ready to add it to your existing Apple network by opening Airport Utility. It will appear in the left corner of airport utility with a small “1” as a device able to be configured.

Which router should I get next?

Scotty, I have a question. Hi Scotty. Our house is about 3400 sq feet. I have a router and two Apple WiFi extenders, and they do the job except for the master bedroom upstairs. It does not get WiFi. Now that my husband and three children are working from home, we need every room! I looked online to order another Apple extender and it appears they don’t make them anymore. I ordered a cheap one off amazon but I’m not having any luck with it. Can you help with a recommendation? Or can we schedule a call?
Many thanks

Yes, Apple has discontinued the airport product line. I hate that because I really liked those routers.

Mixing manufacturer devices is not a good idea when it comes to wifi networks. In other words, don’t add a Linksys repeater to a Netgear network. Don’t add a netgear extender to an Apple network and so on…

So a couple choices.

1. Netgear makes a very good system now called Orbi. The Orbi routers do a great job and I’ve helped install many of them over the last 2 years. Linksys makes good system also called Velop. Not quite as easy to use as the Orbi but still good.

2. You could continue with what you have by adding an additional Apple router (of which I have many left over). There’s still nothing wrong with them as I use them myself in my own home.

Can I replace one of my Airports with a different router?

Scotty, I have a question. My AirPort Extreme base w/ time capsule started making noises and heating up. The base unit was connected by cable to two other airports extremes located in remote locations in my house. I took one of the remote AirPort Extremes and replaced the base unit with it. I can not get the remote AirPort Extreme to work. Are the remotes just relays for the base? What are your recommendations?

Second question, what router would you recommend to replace our base unit? Will it work with the two remote AirPort Extremes?

Third question, how do I get my back up information from the time capsule?

1. Any time a hard drive starts making noise, it's time to get a new drive. The Time Capsule was a product that contained a hard drive so always time to replace or move on. When moving around the roles of Airport devices in the home network, i.e. moving a router from extender to main, it's better to just reset all devices and start over. Think of the other like the magician that pulls the table cloth from the table but leaves the glasses and plates sitting perfectly. Not so easy to do and most likely the network will have an issue of some sort. Better to just go around to all the devices, reset them with a paper clip, then start all over again.

2. My golden rule of networking is that one should NEVER miss manufacturer's devices on the same network. In other words, only use all Linksys with Linksys. Only use all Netgear with Netgear. Only use all Apple with Apple. So in the case of your failed Apple router, you would not want to buy a non Apple router and expect it to work with the existing ones. If you are looking to replace your entire wifi network, my go-to router of choice is now the Orbi system by Netgear. They are very good and I've had great feedback over the last year or so from clients who now use them. Linksys Velop is also good although a little quirky at times. Neither of these are as easy to set up as the Apple routers where but Apple has left the router business so it's time to move on. Google's mesh system is ok but my third choice at the moment. I do have a few spare Airport extremes if you'd like, I'd be happy to reset the network if needed, and add an additional Airport. Possibly alternative to purchasing a brand new system at this point.

3. Time Capsule is the worst product Apple has made in the last 15 years. I hate it with every fiber in my body. This is not to be mistaken with Time Machine, the software than backs up to an attached hard drive. That is great. However, Time Capsule, the router/wireless backup can go jump in a lake. It may be possible to get the data off but problems abound. First, if you open the time capsule sparse image bundle from a computer other than the one that created it, it can corrupt the image and it will never be accessible. Second, if the drive has failed (heating up and making noises) you might as well forget it. Third, if the drive is ok but the enclosure was bad, then you'd still need to extract the old drive and put into another Time Capsule enclosure. A standard hard drive enclosure won't do. Apple did not approach Time Capsule in an accessible way. They locked it down so much that it's almost impossible extract information postmordom.

Which wifi routers do you recommend now?

Will you remind me of the routers (number and size) that I need to order ?

The routers I prefer now are made by Netgear. Orbi is the model. There are several different versions. 2, 3, 4 packs and so on. Considering the square footage and construction of your home, you might consider the new 4 pack: Netgear Orbi RBK14-100NAS Whole Home Mesh WiFi System - up to 1.2Gbps high-Performance WiFi with up to 6,000 Square feet of Coverage. Expand Your Home’s WiFi Coverage to Eliminate WiFi Dead Zones: Computers & Accessories

Or the tried and true 3 pack: NETGEAR Orbi Tri-band Whole Home Mesh WiFi System with 2.2Gbps speed (RBK23) Router & Extender replacement covers up to 6,000 sq. ft., 3-pack includes 1 router & 2 satellites: Computers & Accessories

The only complaint I have with the Orbi line is that there are too many variations from which to choose. They really need to streamline their product line. It's too confusing for the average buyer.

Hotspot unreliable over long periods of streaming.

You have helped me out in the past with our apple computer and WiFi network. I have a small business and have been broken into a couple of times lately.

I have bought the Blink XT2 camera system and trying to run it off a hotspot on an ipad. Problem is it works for about a day and then goes offline and I have to there to reset. Do you know anything about that system or a way to get it to stay online?

So while in theory the iPad hotspot will work, it's not something I would rely on. Most likely the hotspot is the failure point in this equation. It's very possible that your ISP (the phone company) may break anything streaming after a certain period of time. They do this because they don't want bandwidth being taken by permanent connections. Presently, hotspots are designed as short term connections to the internet. For instance, if you started streaming an entire TV series over Netflix via your hotspot, the stream would probably be interrupted after several hours.

I really think using a hotspot is the weak link here. Perhaps a better option may be to install a motion triggered camera much like you a deer hunter would use in the woods. This way it would activate on movement and the data could be retrieved at a later time. Battery operated but not connected and streaming to the internet. Another option would be to jump onto a nearby network whose password you knew.

Can't log into Netflix

Hi Scotty,
My TV is not recognizing Netflix and says to go to network configurations. Can you talk me through this or do I need an appointment?

So the first thing to do is always verify that you know the login username and password. To check this, go directly to the website. In this case then enter the info there to be sure you know your username and password. Be careful to not allow your browser to autofill that info. Otherwise, you will not have learned what the real password is. Once you've verified the correct information, return to your television and try to enter the info within the app. If this still does not work, next verify that your is actually one the correct wifi network. Every tv setup is different so I can't really walk you through how to go into your tv's settings to check this. Another step you can take is to test a different app to see if your tv is online. You can try the Hulu app, maybe amazon prime app, etc….

That's really as far as I can help you without being in front of it. Give these items a try first before scheduling me. I never enjoy charging people for only one issue so if you do end up scheduling a session, maybe you'll have some other issues to deal with as well to make use of our time.

In the long run, I highly recommend using a dedicated tv box like Roku or AppleTV instead of the "smart tv" apps. The interface is always way way better in my opinion and troubleshooting is also much easier as well. Lastly, companies like Apple or Roku are constantly updating those devices and software vs the smart tv that is rarely addressed by the manufacturer after it's shipped. So you may consider purchasing one of those in the future.

Sonos not recognizing wifi and new wifi installed

My Sonos doesn’t recognize my new WiFi. Any thoughts? 


When we changed your router system and created a new wifi name we had to go around to each device in the house (your smartTVs for example) and tell them there's a new network in town and to join it.

The same thing must now be done with the Sonos. The Sonos software can do this. From the Sonos website:

Make sure you have the latest version of the Sonos app on your iOS or Android device before continuing.
  1. Open the Sonos app and wait while it searches for your Sonos system.
    • If the app shows “We can’t connect to Sonos,” tap This isn’t working.
  2. Tap More Options, then Update Wi-Fi Settings.
  3. Follow the instructions to connect Sonos to the WiFi network.
If you’ve already wired a Sonos product to your router, go to Settings > System > Network > Wireless Setup instead.

More info at:

What router do you recommend in 2019?

Pretty sure that our wifi here needs replacing. Ideas on how to confirm and, more importantly, where to get a replacement.

I like the Netgear Orbi routers. They come in several different varieties. 2 pack, 3 pack, 1 plus 2 small wall plugin satellites. Depending on the shape and size of one's house I prefer one of the following: NETGEAR Orbi Ultra-Performance Whole Home Mesh WiFi System - WiFi router and single satellite extender with speeds up to 3Gbps over 5,000 sq. feet, AC3000 (RBK50): Gateway NETGEAR Orbi Home WiFi System. Up to 8,000 sq ft AC2200 (RBK44): Gateway Netgear Orbi Whole Home Mesh WiFi System with Advanced Cyber Threat Protection, 3-Pack (RBK53S-100NAS): Gateway

Either of these are great and you can't go wrong. Many installations over the past year and so far everyone's been pleased with the performance and range.

Available at Best Buy and online at Amazon.

Why is my Orbi router blocking some sites that should be perfectly fine?

Why are some sites getting blocked that are perfectly fine like HBO, ESPN, and Peloton?

I was installing an Orbi system yesterday and noticed a new change in their software that has only shown up in the last week or so. It’s called “Netgear Armor”. It’s basically a security subscription (90 day trial) that Netgear has added to certain lines of it’s routers that is supposed to check for secure websites. The problem is that it’s a little over zealous and is blocking some sites that are totally fine. This could be the issue with your network.

To check to see if Orbi Armor has been activated on your system, you can download the Orbi app, log in to your Netgear account, then go to Wifi settings. I will be turning this feature off in future deployments until I feel it is beneficial.

Netgear Armor is basically a third party service (Bitdefender) that Netgear is hoping people will subscribe to. Netgear will get a cut of the subscription and Bitdefender will get what's left. Side note: I am really sick of everyone moving to the subscription model. Subscribe to Microsoft Office! Subscribe to Youtube Plus! Subscribe to Apple News Plus! Subscribe to Amazon Music Plus! On and on and on… Companies have realized they can make more money if you subscribe to a service rather than buying the software out right. (Thanks App store). This started with mobile apps and now it's bled into almost every piece of software we use. So now our credit card bills are filled with Monthly charges of $.99, $2.99, $10.99, etc…every month.

What router should I get for my home?

I couldn’t remember what you told me to order to make my house work and second I unplugged some chords moving things around and now we are WiFi less. If you could remind me what you told me to order.

Either of these systems are very good. I’ve had several clients over the past year adopt these and haven’t not had any problems or complaints with them as of yet. NETGEAR Orbi Whole Home Mesh WiFi System - WiFi router and 2 satellite extenders with speeds up to 2.2 Gbps over 6,000 sq. feet, AC2200 (RBK23): Computers & Accessories NETGEAR Orbi Wall-Plug Whole Home Mesh WiFi System - WiFi Router and 2 Wall-Plug Satellite Extenders with speeds up to 2.2 Gbps Over 5,000 sq. feet, AC2200 (RBK33): Computers & Accessories

Which router is best?

Which router should I buy for my 3000 sq ft home?

I suggest one of two options…

1: two Airport Extremes with the option to add other extenders later. ($200 per device) $400 total hardware.
2: Netgear’s Orbi system. $300 NETGEAR Orbi Whole Home Mesh WiFi System with Tri-band – Wireless router and extender replacement, maximize WiFi speed and range, Up to 5000 sqft, 3pk (RBK33): Computers & Accessories

Apple may be leaving the router business. I think they’re great routers but just like to be open about their future. That said, the Orbi router system is gaining traction. I’m happy with them as well.

3: Another consideration is the Netgear Nighthawk. This router has many features that most users will not use. It's a very strong router but with only one source.

Why can't I play Fortnight on my xbox?

We are getting an error message about our Teredo IP adress for our internet. My son is trying to play Fortnight on our Xbox One. He’s not able to talk to friends or join groups because of this “teredo IP address” issue. We’ve googled the solution and tried everything short of messing with the setup of our IP address manually. My sound system guy thinks we probably need a “port forwarded or a pinhole in the firewall” for the application to work. Is this something you can do?


Whoever installed the wifi network would be the one to deal with this. Your only apple router (let time I was there) was not in charge of anything. It was just a backup time capsule and didn’t participate in distributing wifi or IP addresses at all. This is very commonly an xbox issue. The solution may be to disable the router’s ability to hand out IPv6 numbers and only pass out IPv4 numbers. Your wifi person would understand how to do this.

An IPv6 number looks like this:


Whereas an IPv4: number is the older more common method:

The xbox may feel a little better simply getting the IPv4 number.

This is not something I can do for you as only your wifi person would be able to make those changes. I’m not saying this is the solution. This is just the first recommended step to troubleshoot. The next steps would be to change the firewall settings on the router, then if that doesn't solve it, you could assign a specific IP address to the xbox and forward a specific port's traffic to that xbox. I don't know what port that would be but I'm sure they could google it to figure it out.

None of these things are something that would fall into my prevue as an Apple Consultant. I wouldn't want to make changes to settings that could effect other elements of the home network, ie: cameras, entertainment equipment, etc…

What router system should we replace our Airports with?

Hi Scotty,
We have had a lot of trouble with our Apple airport system. We lost internet but Spectrum has restored it, involving new wiring, etc. We either need you to re-set our current system or perhaps suggest a better system to install. Any thoughts?

I think I would suggest get as much life out of your current Apple airports as possible before you invest in a totally new system. That will be the way you will go in the future. I believe that Apple is getting out of the router business. At least it looks that way at the moment. The airports are still good devices but will be obsolete in a few years. But for now they are still a good choice. The next kid on the block is probably the Netgear Orbi system. Thats the next system I’m recommending to new buyers. But for now I’d say hold on to the airports.

My airport network is having problems.

The devices which you installed to boost my wi`fi i n the house have yellow lights on and service is weak downstairs from office.I un plugged the little black box but only two green lights reappeared.What must I do?

A couple of things at play here. 1st, the yellow flashing is either being caused by the presence of an update available or it could mean there's a problem with the network setup. Since you're experiencing problems with the signal strength it seems likely that the later is the cause.
Open airport utility and see if you can run any updates (denoted by red circles). After any updates are run now take an inventory of the devices present on the network grid. Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 11.57.37 PM
As in the example above, if you see one device showing a yellow triangle, then that device has somehow fallen off the network. Check the power to that device first. Secondly you may need to hold the reset button on the back for approximately 5 seconds until the yellow light flashes rapidly then use airport utility to re-add the device back on to the network. Airport Utility does a very good job of making that process very easy to do.

I just got a new router from my ISP and now my airports don't work.

We just switched to direct tv and also got fiber wire internet. We can get up to a gigabit of speed. The airport light is yellow and also the express are yellow.  Can you tell me how to get the airport on line? Or is this something that you need to come out for?

It’s common for a new service provider to come into a home and disconnect the existing network.  If you are happy with the current coverage of the single ATT router they have given you then I would suggest not reconnecting the Airport devices.  However, if you feel your coverage is better with them, then you can reconnect them but it can be a little complicated.  This is due to the fact that having two routers on the same network can conflict in identical IP addresses being handed out by two routers at the same time.  In general, one would put one router into bridge mode and allow the other router to pass out numbers.  This is not always the best method but it can get a little complicated.  

I deal with this all the time.  I don’t like to try to force business for myself but in this case, you may want me to solve it for you.  It’s a little more involved than I can describe in an email.  With that said, I do suggest you first see if they simply unplugged the ethernet cable from the back of the Airport closest to the ATT router.  There should be an ethernet cable leaving the ATT router and going into the lower most input on the back of the Tower looking Airport extreme.  If it’s an older flat model, then the ethernet port for input would be the one closest to the power plug.  (The far left most as you look at the back of the flat router)

Alternatives to Airport Routers

For years now Apple has been manufacturing Airport Extremes and Express as a wifi option for your home network. They've been very reliable and the large majority of homes I work in have them, including my own. For years this has been the wifi router I recommend, bar none. It's reliability, ease of use, ability to be extended, made it the best choice in my opinion. Unfortunately word on the street is that Apple will no longer be developing routers going forward. Apple has yet to verify this publicly but all signs point to a change in their business plan which does not include manufacturing routers. The Extreme is based on the currently fastest spec 802.11ac which means that for the foreseeable future, the extreme is still a great choice. The problem is that it's little brother, the express, is not ac. It's 802.11n which means that while as an extender it works very well, it does bottle neck your speeds. In other words, using the express as an extender does slow your network down a little.

This leads us to the inevitable question. What router do I recommend going forward? This is a very difficult question to answer for many reasons. Over the next few months I will be researching which router I feel will best fit my client's needs. The criteria I will be considering is, ease of use, reliability, pricing, ability to extend. But above all, the highest priority in my eyes is range. I work with many homes over 3000 square feet which means that for most homes in my client list, one router will not do.

For now, I still stand by the Airport Extreme and still recommend that as the router to purchase for the next several months. I'm just not sure if Apple will halt production or continue to manufacture them. If you buy an extreme right now, you are going to be fine for the next several years until the next 802.11 standard is adopted and the speed of your ISP goes up. For most of us, Time Warner and ATT have still not pushed speeds over 300 mbps out so even an older 802.11n router is actually fine for our home networks for now.

So in the coming months I will be looking at alternative routers on the market and hopefully come up with a few strong recommendations. In the meantime, here are a few well written reviews on top routers for 2016:,2817,2398080,00.asp

Lone airport utility?

Do u remember an airport we velcroed to back of tv in kitchen. I think maybe that one was forgotten. We are having trouble downloading Apple TV movies. That airport is yellow and has phone jack that is not connected to anything?

I only updated the airport devices I saw listed in the airport utility.  I left with all devices green.  An airport express can blink yellow if it’s having a problem or if it simply needs an update.  I updated all the devices listed so it may be offline for some reason.  Not sure what room your AppleTV was in but if it was the room across from the kitchen downstairs where the xbox was temporarily then any Apple TV placed at that television should still be getting an adequate signal since it is so close to the larger router in your data closet on the other side of the house near the stairs.  If you would like to re-add the airport express, you can hold down the reset button on the back and then use airport utility to re add it to the network.  

Did you break my wifi?

Scotty ,after you fixed my wifi network now my internet is not working on my desktop.
Any chance u can come back to the house
an get this internet active again?

Did you use the airport icon at the top right hand corner of the computer to join the new wifi network?

Thanks that worked!

Dealing with home network issues.

I think my iMacs aren’t getting online within managed or standard users but the admin accounts are. We’ve had some network issues in the past.

While it is possible to apply parental controls onto a managed user on a mac from an administrator account, generally the parental controls do not block the internet.  They only filter sites.  If a person is within a parental controlled user and is trying to access a site, they would be prompted that the site was blocked.  Not “just not loading”.  This leads me to believe strongly that there is another issue at play.  There is currently no possibility of a virus on two macs that would prevent access to the internet.  The closest thing to a virus a mac can get comes in the form of a browser plugin  that actually routes traffic in a different way so the user is presented with a different set of ads within that browser.  This plugin must be installed purposefully by the user and the admin password must be entered therefore it is not actually a virus, more so just a really bad plugin that people are tricked in to installing on their own machine.  By definition, a virus is something that installs on its own without the permission of the user.  This does not currently exist on macs.  Nevertheless, this was not the case on your office mac.  Nor is it the case with my own laptop, iPad and iPhone.  All which exhibited the exact same behavior when connected to the network before discovering the other device.  

I would suggest not mixing router or extender brands.  In other words, I have found it best to only use one manufacturer’s brand router within a network.  This is to say either all apple routers, all linksys routers, all netgear routers, all d link routers, all belkin routers, etc…  I have not had good experiences where there are more than one brand router working together to display the home network.  

Secondly, when troubleshooting network issues, I’ve always found it a good practice to abandon the network name when reseting the network.  For example, if your network was previously called Smith Network, the new network would be called Smith Net, New Smith, Family Net, etc…  But not Smith Network once again.  I have found that this can also cause issues.  Certain devices that return to the network later can become confused upon rejoining.  It all comes down to the one router’s ability to hand those numbers out we discussed called IP addresses.  If a device was given a number a yesterday under the smith network, then the smith network changes in some way, when the device returns it can be a little like talking to the identical twin.  One device expects the other of having knowledge of the prior conversation while the other device is offering a new number.  It’s always better in my opinion to just start fresh with a new network.  

Printer asking for wrong type of password

Hi Scotty, when we installed the new router last week, the printer did not connect to it. When attempting to connect, it has asked me for the WEP number. Where might I find it? I discarded the box for it. Is this a problem?

You do not need a WEP number.  WEP refers to an older type of encryption used by wireless routers.  Your network uses the more modern type of encryption called WPA or WPA2.  This password protection is simpler to use and more secure at the same time.  If your printer is asking for a WEP password, then you are most likely in the wrong area of the setup menu on the printer.  On the printer’s setup screen, in the network settings, find wireless setup wizard.  Using that tool, your printer should find your network easily.  At that point you’ll put in your wifi password and your printer can join the wifi network.  

Afterward, go to your computer and in the system preferences under print and scan settings,  delete the old printer then re add the printer.  You should be up and printing now.  

Why is my internet slow?

Hi I think I told you my computer was soo slow & that's when twc told me to not use airport but then when you were over it seemed fine but now back to being so slow takes over a minute to open so page! I'm soo frustrated 

And it's definitely the Wi-Fi all the devices are slow can't even get on internet at all now.

If you feel the Apple airport router is at fault as Time Warner stated, you can always go to the top left corner of your computer and select the previous network.  I left the time warner router wifi in place for exactly this reason.  Subsequently, you can also go to your iPad/iPhone settings, select wifi and join the tw router.  If you would like, you can also unplug the airport router in your closet.  Your network will continue to function.  Your TW router is not married to or dependent on the Apple router.  

If after you switch over to the TW router (which is still in place as I said) and you still can’t over to the internet then it’s definitely not related to which router but rather the time warner connection itself.  

All this being said, I highly doubt your speed issue is related to which router you are on.  In fact the Apple router is a higher rated and faster router than the TW router.  But whatever you feel works best is the one you should use.  This will most likely be solved (at least temporarily) by turning off the TW modem/router and turning it back on again.

TW replaced my Apple router with theirs.

Hi Scotty,

I finally dumped earthlink and moved to the AT&T U-verse platform yesterday. Our neighborhood had fiber optic lines laid a few weeks ago (the first area in Charlotte). While it will still be a few months before they go live, we will be the first to go live in Charlotte which will be great. SO right now I have a decent 12Mbps download speed on copper (definitely better than 6Mbps with Earthlink).

Here is my issue: I have Time Capsule in my On-Q panel as my router (quit using as a back up drive about a year ago after problems - now just use plug back up drives). When AT&T came they installed their combo modem and router. I have 3 airport expresses throughout the house to extend the wifi reach. When we plugged AT&T hardware into Time capsule it worked but started receiving lots of error messages when tech was testing.  I really don’t need Time capsule anymore, but I would like to use the airport expresses. Can they be configured to work with the AT&T router/modem? MY printer of course is tied to one of the expresses as well. My computer keeps trying to revert back to my old network as well (router is unplugged, expresses are not though). Is it a simply fix you can tell me how to do or should I schedule an appt.?

The fix is a little involved. It’s very common to see TW or ATT service guys come in and break apart the network. However, it’s totally fine to have the TW modem/router live within the same ecosystem as the apple routers. Just ask the other three or four hundred people I know that have it set up this way. It frustrates me to no end because this could all be avoided if the TW or ATT guys knew how to use airport utility. Basically one router has to be in charge of handing the IP addresses out. (this is called DHCP)

Now, even though I hate time capsule as a backup system, it’s still a perfectly good router. And I’m glad to hear that you don’t use it as a backup but you use connected drives instead. Good choice. Time machine is great but not when used in combination with Time Capsule routers.

The expresses will not work solely with the TW router without the main apple router. They only take orders from another apple router. So in my opinion, that time capsule router should be put back in place and forget about using the TW modem/router as a router. You’d only use it to feed internet to your Apple router. You can schedule a session and we can take care of that.

Do I need my own router?

We have the Akkris router by Time Warner.  Is there a diff u recommend.  This one has given us a lot of trouble for quite a while:(

While the TW modem/router is required to get internet access to your home, it is not required for your wifi.  You can use your own wifi router to provide wifi in your home.  Unfortunately TW now charges a rental fee for their wifi modem/router but they don’t provide modems only which is really all we need.  So most clients I work with keep the modem/router supplied by their ISP but use their own routers they purchase separetly.  I like the airport extremes by apple.  They cost a little more but I think they are worth it.

Notes:  I do not like the time capsule routers.  Reasons for that can be found here.

Will Time Capsule work as extender only?

Scotty - If I buy a new router from apple (extreme), can I use the time machine in place of one of the expresses even if the time machine has the problem that your surmised.   That would allow me to keep the time machine functionality and the extreme can deliver numbers to one express and one time machine. 

That should work just fine.  My conclusion is that the Time Capsule is having difficulty with the ethernet out ports so as long as it’s only a node (extender) then it should be fine and the drive inside should continue to allow you to back up wirelessly.

Time Capsule router not distributing IP addresses

The playroom router is having problems.  It has dropped off the network.  I unplugged it and it reset back in line for a bit after it rebooted ... but now it has lost connectivity again.  Not sure what to do ...

The only possibility I can think of is the time capsule is failing overall.  When working with your home network, the time capsule was having a problem passing numbers as we discussed.  That’s why we are relying on the Time Warner router to handle the DHCP (passing out of 192.168.x.x to other devices on the network).  The problem may be related to the actual ports on the time capsule.  Replacing that time capsule with the more reliable airport extreme will probably be your best bet in the long run.

Which airport router is right?

I need an apple router and airport. Which one do you recommend.

If you visit you’ll see the 3 types of routers Apple sells. For the largest coverage, the Airport extreme ($199) is my favorite. As an extender, the airport express ($99) is a nice addition to cover a larger distance. It can be used alone but I would only recommend the airport express as your soul router in small spaces. For very large homes, it’s acceptable to use multiple extremes and/or expresses. They both offer USB ports to connect printers and hard drives to as well.

Lastly, there’s the time capsule ($299-$399) depending on storage capacity. It’s essentially an airport extreme with a hard drive inside. The concept is that you’d use the time capsule as a wireless backup via time machine. However, while I love time machine when it’s used with a directly connected drive, time machine, when used with a time capsule router, is flawed. Therefore, I do not consider the Time Capsule a reliable product and cannot recommend it.

iPad not finding wifi

Sorry to bother you. I am unable to connect to our WiFi on my iPad. This only happened a couple of days ago. Our WiFi appears to be working correctly--my iPhone and Beeland's iPad connect fine and your signal boosters are all working. The WiFi settings on Beeland's iPad appear to be different than mine, but I thought the connection was automatic. Any suggestions?


Here are a couple of things to try. If your iOS device has at least attempted to connect or shows connected but no internet, you can choose to “forget this network” then try agin.

Settings/Wifi/choose the “i” to the right and select “forget this network”.

If that doesn’t solve the issue, try the following:

Settings/General/Reset/Reset network Settings

After that’s done, turn off your iPad and restart. Now go try to connect to your network. You may be prompted to enter the password.

Finding my wifi password


My daughter is going into grade 11 needs a new computer (her plastic Dell died after 4 pretty good years). I am probably going to give her my current MBP and then get a new one for myself, and then have you come over and help with all the switching over along with making sure everything is getting backed up ... but here is the dilemma - Macbook Pro with Retina Display vs Macbook Air? (its a good dilemma ... but I am worried as hell that I will be making things worse and spending a lot to do so!)

My main beef with my current MBP is:
1. Slow photo editing - not all the time but it happens often that I waiting for a photo to process after an edit.
2. Low battery life - I am always worried I am going to run out of power when I am away from power ... and I almost always do.

My concerns with the NEW Macbook Pro are:
1. Everything on the web says to wait until they come out with the new chips ... which would then handle the battery life question.
2. Will it make much difference in my editing speed

My ONLY concern with the NEW Macbook Air is:
1. Editing speed - will it get worse somehow going to the air (assume I choose the highest speed option

*If the speed is going to get worse with the AIR, I might consider just waiting until the new MBP's come out and simply try to survive with my iMac at home and iPad on the road and my desktop PC at work.

*But if speed somehow gets better, then I am inclined to get the AIR and relish the long battery life, and simply wait for another time to get me a retina display. (WHAT DOES TURBO SPEED MEAN anyways - would that actually help me?)

Thanks for your help Scotty!

First off, it sounds like you need to rule out the air.  You are dealing with large images and you need as much horsepower as you can afford.  Sot the MBP is going to be the better option.  

Secondly, yes I would wait until the next revision of MBP if you can limp along with your daughter for now.  I think you'll be happier in the long term rather than second guessing your decision for the next few years.  

Third, battery life is never what we want it to be.  I have found that even if our battery life triples in length, within 6 months we are disappointed that it's not double that.

So you may want to wait on the new MBP and when they are released (with the newer lower energy consumption processors) there will be a longer battery life to them.  Also, Mavericks 10.9 will help battery life a little as well.  That's been a big focus on that operating system version.  You'll want to consider the price difference between processor speeds when you ARE ready to buy.  For the large majority of people I work with, I never recommend spending the extra money to get the faster processor but in your case it's something you should consider.

First - Thank you for the quick response - greatly appreciated.

THIS IS MY FINAL QUESTION TO YOU ... (not trying to create the never ending email chain)
I do MOST of my photo editing on my iMac at home - probably 75%. I only do photo editing on my MacBook when I am traveling longer than a day. Before I rule out the AIR, I wanted to know what speed would be like relative to what I have now. With the new chip, 500+GB SSD and this thing called turbo boost, would the AIR be better, the same or actually worse than my current MBP?

The Air would not be slower than your current MBP.  In my experience, nothing beats taking your iphoto library on an external drive down the the Apple store, option launching into iPhoto using your own library and test the speeds of each computer for yourself.  You are investing a couple thousand dollars.  It's not a bad idea to test drive each machine.  That's the only way you can know for sure what you like the best.  

It has been my experience that almost 100% of the time, no matter which choice people go with, they wish they had chosen the other machine as soon as something doesn't act they way they should.  Overall, our expectations have outgrown a computer's ability to perform.  It's the same reason we all speed in a 35 mph zone.  We are not used to waiting on computers but we have all reached a point where we expect our computers to be faster than they actually are.  

I strongly suggest you go put your hands on both machines using your own iPhoto or Aperture library.

This image is a theme.plist hack