networking

How can I extend the range of my Wi-Fi to the second floor?

Matthew from Virginia

Episode 1196

Matthew is having issues with WiFi when he moves to the second floor. Leo says it's important to remember that WiFi is about 150' in distance. But things can get in the way and dilute the signal, especially metal. An extender will help but you want an extender that is made by the same as your router. Leo has three of them. ActionTec is what Matthew's router is and they do address extenders here. That's the most affordable option. Then there's powerline networking that uses the electrical cable in your walls as networking cables.

Why can't I see all of my computers on my network?

Greg from Tampa, FL

Episode 1194

Greg has several PCs in two different locations and wants to network them together. But he can't really see all of the computers on it. Leo says that networking is a dark art that only an IT guy can address when dealing with as many computers and networks as Greg has. Since Greg started with a simple home network that has grown, Windows may be looking for a work domain that doesn't exist.

Why can't I connect my iPad to my Wi-Fi network?

Garrett from Manhattan Beach, CA

Episode 1191

Garrett has an iPad 2 and he's having trouble connecting via Wi-Fi consistently. He'll connect and then when he goes into his room, it drops. Leo says that Wi-Fi is a radio signal and it has a range of about 100-150', but it can also be affected by what is in the walls. If he has metal in the walls, then he'll have issues connecting. Leo also says the connection may be congested by a crowded 2.4 GHz frequency band. Modern routers give the choice of 2.4 or 5 GHz.

How can I keep my laptop from connecting over Wi-Fi when it's hardwired with ethernet?

Noah from Wyoming, MI

Episode 1189

Noah is trying to connect his laptop to his router via ethernet, but his laptop keeps connecting via Wi-Fi instead. Leo says on the Mac, he could order the connections so that the laptop would try ethernet first and then go to Wi-Fi. On a Windows Machine it's a bit more complicated. It could be a driver issue. He should update his drivers.

How can I wirelessly stream live with multiple cameras?

Garrett from Miami, FL

Episode 1187

Garrett needs to create a wireless solution for routing camera signals into his board. What does Leo think of Teradek? Leo says it's a great company. Leo uses LiveU. They bond together 3G and 4G cellular to stream more reliably with multiple cameras. Teradek even hardware encodes the video and bonds the 4G networks to send it out.

How can I get better Wi-Fi signal in my house?

David from Murrieta, CA

Episode 1178

David is having issues with his Wi-Fi upstairs. Leo says that if he's using the router from his ISP's modem, he should turn off Wi-Fi and get his own router. That often will solve the problem. He should make sure he has a DOCSIS 3 modem as well. In fact, while he's at it, he should just buy a modem as well. That way he will save the monthly rental fee he's paying his ISP for that modem.

Is my cable router safer than my own router?

Steve from Redondo Beach, CA

Episode 1177

Steve has his own Wi-Fi router but his cable company just gave him a new router with Wi-Fi built in. Is it more secure? Leo says they're about the same security wise. He'll want to be sure to turn on WPA2 password protection. And often routers have security flaws and rarely get updated. So Steve should make sure he has his router firmware updated.

How can I connect my SkyBell via Wi-Fi?

Episode 1177

Ed from San Diego, CA
SkyBell

Ed has the Skybell, a webcam door knock that allows users to see who's at the door from their smartphone via Wi-Fi. But he can't get it to work. Leo says that's because it has to connect via Wi-Fi, and he has to be sure it's connected to his network. He'll also have to have a 2.4 GHz system, and that's the most crowded spectrum because everyone else is on 2.4Ghz. If he can use 5 GHz, that would be better.

How can I extend the range of my Wi-Fi signal?

Chuck from San Diego, CA

Episode 1177

Chuck's home based business has grown to the point that he has to move it into his garage. But his Wi-Fi is spotty in there since it's 150 feet away. How can he push the range of his Wi-Fi router? Leo says that Chuck is at the edge of the usable signal range. He'll need a repeater and keep it line of sight from the router. Metal is death to Wi-Fi, as it acts as a Faraday cage. So Chuck should remove any window screens. Leo also recommends using a Wi-Fi analyzer to see what congestion is happening in Chuck's area.