Articles in Category: Networking

Network connectivity and configurations, protocols and problems, articles relating to how computers connect.

DNS Settings

How Do I Change the DNS Used By My Computer?

Sometimes using a DNS service other than that provided by your ISP makes sense. I’ll show you how to make the change.


What the “KRACK attacks” mean to you

A vulnerability has been discovered in a critical wireless security protocol. I’ll discuss whether you should worry and what steps you should take.

Wireless Security Key

How Do I Recover a Wi-Fi Password When I’m Not Connected?

Even if you’re nowhere near a network you’ve connected to in the past, you can still recover the Wi-Fi password from Windows.

Manage Known Networks

How Do I Block Neighboring Wireless Networks?

Accidentally connecting to someone’s nearby wireless network can be a serious security risk. We’ll look at some steps to prevent it.

Router and Separate Access Point

Extending Your Network With A Wireless Access Point

Adding a wireless access point to extend your network’s range can be confusing. Many routers come with wireless capability, but you only need one router.


Is an Outbound Firewall Needed?

An outbound firewall will alert you to suspicious connections. The biggest problem? If correct, it’s too late.

The travels of a MAC address

What’s the Difference Between a MAC Address and an IP Address?

A MAC address and your IP address are both key components to networking, but they serve different purposes, and are visible in very different ways.

Windows firewall protects you from your neighbors

Can a Virus Spread Over a Local Network?

Windows Firewall will protect your machine from other computers that share
the “safe side” of the router.

What Is “Ping”, and What Does Its Output Tell Me?

Ping is one of the oldest diagnostic tools. It simply validates connectivity from point A to point B, and in doing so provides additional useful information.

Peer-to-peer file sharing

What Is Peer-to-Peer File Sharing, and Is It Legit?

Peer-to-peer file-sharing programs have a bad reputation because of the content they’re often used to download. But the technology is quite legal and useful for legitimate purposes.

Windows 10 Wi-Fi Sense

How do I turn off Wi-Fi Sense (and what is it?)

Wi-Fi Sense, a new feature in Windows 10, is designed to make connecting to wireless networks easier. You’ll probably want to turn off Wi-Fi Sense for privacy.

Today's Password

Does Having a Publicly Visible Wi-Fi Password Add Security Compared to an Open Wi-Fi Hotspot?

Using a password protected WPA2 hotspot is a minor inconvenience for a very significant level of additional security. I’ll explain…


Should I Worry about Heartbleed Affecting My Router?

Heartbleed did not affect all versions of open SSL. So first we should check if we even need to worry.

I’m Using Someone Else’s Internet Connection – Am I at Risk?

Without the proper security others will be able to access your computer and your files, and even watch what you do online. Fortunately, setting up basic security is easy.

Leo's Networking Formula

How Do I Get My Windows Machines to Network with each Other?

Home networking can be very difficult. But I have a little trick that works easily for me.

Download Button

How can I tell what is being downloaded to my computer?

Are you finding mysterious downloads coming into your computer? It may be nothing sinister. But on the other hand… we’d better check the source.

Does visiting a search-engine cached page prevent the original site from noting my visit?

Even a cached version of a website could send information about you back to the original server. The thing is that we just don’t (and can’t) know.


What’s an Open Port?

With one exception, having an open port is not dangerous. But the way that ports work is interesting!

WiFi at the Coffee Shop

Why am I getting limited connectivity at my local open wifi hotspot?

When you are connected to a wireless network, but cannot get to the internet, it’s because an IP address has not been assigned to you. So how do you fix that?

Router Backside

Is My Router Acting as a DNS Server?

Some smart routers can act as a local DNS servers in an attempt to speed things up.


Why Can’t I Connect to My Hotel’s Wireless Network?

Hotels and other hotspot providers often insist that you agree to some terms of service before you can use their internet. The problem is that insistence can often interfere with the connection.


I’ve been blocked because my IP address is on a blacklist. What do I do?

Finding out that you are on a blacklist can be a nightmare. So how do you get off of it?

Router Backside

Can I Assign an IP Address to a Hub and Router?

In this scenario, you’ll end up with two IP addresses, but the hub and router won’t each get one. I’ll explain.

Router Backside

Will buying a new modem/router increase my internet speed?

Many things can interfere with a network speed test on your end. Make sure your speed test gives you the most accurate results by following these guidelines.

Hotel Range Extender

How can I share a single WiFi connection across multiple devices?

I have a rant about hotels that nickel and dime you on an internet connection. Fortunately, there might be something that you can do about it.

LAN connected to the Internet

What Determines the Transfer Speed on My Home Network?

The communication path between two end points will be the slowest piece of  the connection path. That will be the maximum speed that you can achieve on any network.

You Are Here

How Do Those Ads Know Where I Live?

There are several ways websites can reasonably approximate your location and serve up ads specific to locale. We’ll look at each.


Does Opening Multiple Tabs Affect My Network Speed?

Without a doubt, having lots of tabs open can impact a computer’s speed. Whether or not it slows down the entire network will depend on exactly what all those tabs are doing.

WiFi Range Extender

Does a wireless range extender compromise my security?

The fact that your extender isn’t giving you access to set up security concerns me. I don’t believe it’s common and I’m really surprised it’s not there.

Your child on the internet

How do I slow down my router at night?

Trying to control children’s access to the internet has been a problem since computers first came into the home. A simple low-tech answer might be the best.

Command Prompt showing IP address

Why Doesn’t My Machine’s IP Address Match What I’m Told on the Internet?

Comparing your machine’s IP address to that reported by a website may result in a surprising difference. I’ll explain why that is and why it’s a good thing.


What is DHCP?

DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, and is how computers request and receive “dynamic” IP addresses as well as additional configuration information.

Network Discovery

Does Turning Off Network Discovery Improve Wireless Security?

Unfortunately, network sniffing is a very simple thing to do and it has actually nothing to do with the network discovery option.

What’s Up with this IP Address?

This IP address looks like both the IPv4 address and the IPv6 address that’s been assigned to that particular network node.

How Does NAT Work?

NAT is a fundamental technology used by routers allowing you to share internet connections and stay safe. I’ll give a conceptual overview.

Can I combine two internet connections to get a faster connection?

Everyone wants a faster internet connection. I’m frequently asked if it’s possible to combine two or more connections for speed. The answer is yes … but.

What’s My IP Address?

We’ll look at some of the specific information you’re making available to every website you visit, and briefly explain each.

Hamachi – Simple Remote Access VPN

Hamachi is a free, easy-to-use VPN that allows you to connect machines across the internet as if they were right there on your local network.

IP Address Search

All Worked Up Over IP Tracing

I frequently hear from people who are quite insistent that they be able to trace an IP address to the person behind it. It’s just not that simple.

Why can I only see some files on a remote computer share?

OK, I’ll admit it. That was me talking to myself. Again. As you might guess, I have several computers on my home network, and have had this problem of files not being visible for some time. I finally got tired of working around it and set out to find an answer.

How can I connect to my home computer from work?

There are several barriers to connecting to your home computer from work. We will look at four ways to do so.

Can I connect to two networks at once?

It’s definitely possible to have multiple network connections to the same computer. But in order to make sense, they really need to be different networks. Otherwise you might not get the results you’re looking for.

How do you stay connected in weak cellular areas?

This is another of those questions I asked myself. I’m finding myself spending more time in rural Washington state, with more expected. My primary way of staying connected to the internet is my cellular phone’s data plan, but out here on the farm we’re in a fringe area. Coverage is weak, and disconnects are common. … Read more

What’s Bluetooth?

You’re quite right, Bluetooth is a wireless technology. I actually have mixed feelings about it, because my early experiences with it … well, to be frank, they sucked. But I hear things are getting better.

What is Double Natting?

Essentially “Double Natting” is what happens when you place your computer behind a NAT router which is itself, behind another NAT router. Occasionally it just happens, particularly in corporate environments where you want a small network to be isolated from the corporate network it’s on, which in turn is isolated from the internet that it’s … Read more

Can I fake the DNS ip lookup to test my website?

In case you need to test your website, there are ways that you can fake the DNS IP lookup to be able to do so. We’ll take a look at how that’s done.

Is it possible combine 2 different internet connections from 2 different ISPs?

Connecting two different internet connections is technically possible, but not easily and not likely to accomplish what you have in mind.

Why Does My Network Connection Drop Every so Often?

Network adapters often try to detect the network speed for you. This can cause problems if both sides are trying to auto-detect at the same time.