How to Efficiently Set Up Wi-Fi in Your Home

It wasn’t long after the internet became common in homes that wi-fi became popular. It took off in 1999, when the Wi-Fi Alliance (initially the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance) was set up as a non-profit organization to oversee and promote wi-fi technology and standards. In the same year, Apple released its first AirPort base station.

Wi-fi has come a long way. Instead of just sharing a poky internet connection to one or two computers, it now provides connectivity to myriad devices: Macs, iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, Kindles, PlayStations, TV sets, and even smart home devices. With this need for bandwidth and flexibility, wi-fi has become essential. With faster internet access, your wi-fi needs to keep up so all your devices can benefit. But setting up wi-fi in your home isn’t always easy. Here are some tips to ensure that you get good coverage everywhere in your home.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

How to Secure Your Home Router

A home router is your gateway to the Internet. When configured correctly to be secure, your home router can act as a first line of defense against network intruders. Configured incorrectly, however, and your router can be an open door allowing hackers and cyber-criminals to infiltrate your network and potentially access your computers and files.

Configuring a home router isn’t complicated, but many people don’t make needed changes to the default settings when they set up the device–and you might be one of them, but it’s okay, we’re here to help! Have you changed the default settings in your home router? When was the last time you checked your router settings to be sure it’s as secure as can be? Follow along below, and we’ll show you the main settings you can change right now to ensure your home router is secure and protects you from hackers.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Get More from Your Wi-Fi Network with Take Control of Wi-Fi Networking and Security

TCoWiFiNetworkingandSecurity 1 0 coverThe world of wireless networking is constantly evolving. For the past 15 years or so, Glenn Fleishman has been carefully studying the ins and outs of Wi-Fi in its various forms and helping tens of thousands of people understand how best to make use of this essential technology–in part, by way of five previous Take Control titles on Wi-Fi. Those earlier books focused mainly on Apple’s Wi-Fi products, but now that Apple no longer makes AirPort devices, Glenn has written a new book that takes his well-respected advice on wireless networking in other directions: Take Control of Wi-Fi Networking and Security

If your Wi-Fi network is unreliable or offers insufficient coverage, if you’re designing a new Wi-Fi system for your home or office, or if you want to take advantage of the enhanced performance and modern features of newer equipment, Take Control of Wi-Fi Networking and Security contains all the information you need to make smart decisions and get the most out of your hardware. You’ll learn about selecting and placing gateways (and when you should consider a range extender or mesh system), configuring devices, improving throughput, troubleshooting, keeping your network secure, and much more. And, this new book covers every major operating system–macOS, Windows 10, iOS, Android, and even Chrome OS.

This 122-page book costs just $12.99. And, although Glenn’s previous book (Take Control of Your Apple Wi-Fi Network) is no longer for sale, everyone who buys the new book can also download a free copy of the old one, for additional advice on setting up any existing Apple Wi-Fi products. (See download instructions on page 5 of the new PDF.)

Get Take Control of Wi-Fi Networking and Security now.

How to Remove Wi-Fi Networks from Your Mac and iOS Device

If you travel regularly with your Mac or iOS device, you likely find yourself connecting to new Wi-Fi networks: at airports, in train stations, in hotels, restaurants, pubs, or at clients’ offices. Whether you connect to these networks with your Mac, iPhone or iPad, miraculously, your devices will remember these networks and sync them via iCloud — so your other Apple products can access them too, if you use iCloud Keychain.

Your Apple device’s ability to remember previously connected to networks can be both good and bad. While it means you don’t have to search for or remember login credentials when you connect to a known Wi-Fi network on a different device, it can lead to a surfeit of Wi-Fi networks stored in your keychain and potentially allow you to unknowingly connect to a Wi-Fi network that might not be secure.

You can cull these Wi-Fi networks, but only on a Mac. Read on and we’ll show you how to remove these Wi-Fi networks so your Macs and iOS devices forget them.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Wi-Fi Mesh Systems Compared: eero, Orbi, AmpliFi – The Mac Observer

I’ve tested three currently-available mesh offerings: eero, Netgear’s Orbi and Ubiquiti’s AmpliFi. While they all solve the same problem in basically the same way, they each have strengths and weaknesses. If you’re finished reading and just want to buy, my TL;DR advice is that, at this very moment, I feel like eero is the best product to recommend to most users. That said, it’s worth watching what Netgear does with Orbi over the next six months. If they keep adding features to it, Orbi could easily take the lead due to its tri-band Wi-Fi hardware. Still, even today Orbi or AmpliFi might be right for you, and I’ve listed more than a few points of comparison to help you make your choice. For those details… read on!

Dave Hamilton goes deep on mesh wi-fi, the newest way to get good coverage in your home. Good timing, now that Apple is giving up on its own routers. He looks at hardware from eero, Netgear, and Ubiquiti, the three contenders today.

Source: Wi-Fi Mesh Systems Compared: eero, Orbi, AmpliFi – The Mac Observer

Apple Abandons Development of Wireless Routers – Bloomberg

Apple Inc. has disbanded its division that develops wireless routers, another move to try to sharpen the company’s focus on consumer products that generate the bulk of its revenue, according to people familiar with the matter.

Frankly, it’s about time. They’ve been limping along, unable to keep up with new technology. I used to really like Apple’s AirPort hardware, but somewhere in the past few years, it started to suck. They never updated the AirPort Express for 802.11ac, making their hardware useless in any but the smallest setups.

This said, the AirPort Express is still a useful tool for people who want to stream music using AirPlay. I’d recommend buying one or two if you use it for that. I’m not aware of any other device – other than the Apple TV – that works like this. Granted, AirPlay compatible amplifiers, receivers, and speakers, are now fairly common, but you may have hardware that doesn’t support AirPlay that you’d like to use for streaming.

No, no more Apple displays, no more routers, what’s next in low-hanging fruit they can eliminate? Pro-level desktop computers?

Update: I’ve had a few questions about which routers one should be using. The high-end routers from just about any major company are excellent, but if you’re in a situation where you need good coverage, you might want to look into the Netgear Orbi mesh wifi system. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) It’s pretty expensive, but I plan to buy things when it comes out in the UK in early December. Reviews are very positive, and it seems to provide good coverage in large buildings, such as my house. I’ll certainly write about this when I get it.

Source: Apple Abandons Development of Wireless Routers – Bloomberg

Learn How to Optimize Your Network with Take Control of Your Apple Wi-Fi Network

Tc wifiMy colleague Glenn Fleishman has just completed an update to his 235-page book about Wi-Fi networking with the goal of helping Apple users everywhere create fast, reliable, and secure Apple Wi-Fi networks using 802.11ac or 802.11n AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, and Time Capsule base stations.

You’ll find plenty of practical directions for working with Apple’s AirPort Utility configuration software (for Mac and iOS), including steps for setting up a base station, swapping in new gear, adding base stations to extend your network’s range, attaching USB drives or shared printers, enabling security, creating a guest network, and more. (For help with older gear or versions of AirPort Utility, the ebook includes a free download of any prior edition, dating back to 2004.)

You’ll also learn about what’s going on behind the scenes. If you better understand channels and bands, for instance, you may be able to reconfigure your network to dramatically improve performance. And, Glenn provides advice and directions for coping with tricky IP situations.

The book also provides directions for setting up a cellular iOS device as an Internet hotspot, and it discusses Apple’s Instant Hotspot feature.

This 235-page book tells you everything you need to know to set up and optimize an Apple wi-fi network.

Get Take Control of Your Apple Wi-Fi Network.

Learn How to Manage Your AirPort Network with Take Control of Your Apple Wi-Fi Network

WifiOver the years, I’ve had problems with my wi-fi networks, and my go-to guide has always been Glenn Fleishman’s Take Control ebook covering the topic. He’s just updated it again, and the new edition, Take Control of Your Apple Wi-Fi Network, is a compendium of tips and strategies for setting up and managing a network.

Here’s the publisher’s blurb:

Join Wi-Fi wizard Glenn Fleishman and learn to create a fast, reliable, and secure Apple Wi-Fi network using 802.11ac or 802.11n AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, and Time Capsule base stations.

You’ll find plenty of practical directions for working with Apple’s AirPort Utility configuration software (for Mac and iOS), including steps for setting up a base station, swapping in new gear, adding base stations to extend your network’s range, attaching USB drives or shared printers, enabling security, creating a guest network, and more. (For help with older gear or versions of AirPort Utility, the ebook includes a free download of any prior edition, dating back to 2004.)

You’ll also learn about what’s going on behind the scenes. If you better understand channels and bands, for instance, you may be able to reconfigure your network to dramatically improve performance. And, Glenn provides advice and directions for coping with tricky IP situations.

The book also provides directions for setting up a cellular iOS device as an Internet hotspot, and it discusses Apple’s Instant Hotspot feature.

If you use Macs, and have a wi-fi network, Take Control of Your Apple Wi-Fi Network is the book you need to make sure it runs smoothly.