wifi

Can I use my phone data plan with my laptop?

Episode 1503

Brett from Fontana, CA
Verizon JetPack

Brett needs to connect his laptop to his phone and use it as a hotspot. Leo says that the iPhone does have a hotspot mode, but some carriers will want to charge him for the privilege. He can enable it in the phone's cellular settings. Then he can connect his laptop to his phone via Wi-Fi. This will be impacting his data plan though, so he should keep that in mind. But if his connection keeps dropping, that sounds like an issue with the laptop.

Why can't I connect to 5GHz on Wi-Fi?

Episode 1503

John from Oxnard, CA
Wi-Fi

John upgraded his internet but his laptop says it only has 2.4 GHz available. Leo says that means his router is only 2.4 GHz. 802.11N routers are dual band with 2.4 and 5 Ghz bands. And there's even tri-band routers that offer two 5 GHz channels along with a 2.4 GHz channel. His laptop may also just be able to connect to 2.4 Ghz. John should look in his BIOS and software to see if the 5.0 GHz band is turned off.

How can I connect my laptop to my TV and watch YouTube?

Episode 1500

Sandy from Lomita, CA
Apple AirPort

Sandy wants to watch video from her laptop on her TV. Leo says that most laptops have an HDMI port and she can connect it directly. She says it won't work at home, but it will at work. Leo says the Apple AirPort is Wi-Fi, so she can connect wirelessly through the AirPort and then direct it to her TV via DNLA, if her TV supports Wi-Fi. She can connect via Wi-Fi and then set up her Sony TV to connect to the Wi-Fi as well. Once both devices are connected by the AirPort, she'll be able to do it.

Why is my Wi-Fi so slow?

Episode 1496

Ron from Carlsbad, CA
Netgear Orbi

Ron has UVerse and an extender and it slows to a crawl when he streams. Leo suspects that it's his modem that's causing the problem. It's likely an out of date modem that's slowing the network traffic down. Rebooting could help. A better Wi-Fi router could help too. Routers do wear out over time. Leo recommends the NetGear Orbi. He can set up the AT&T router to work in bridge mode and then use the new router to route the traffic. It'll be a lot better.

How can I add Wi-Fi to my security gate?

Episode 1490

John from Fallbrook, CA
TP-Link AC1750 WiFi Range Extender

John has a private gate and he needs to connect it via Wi-Fi so he can have a doorbell camera there, but his Wi-Fi range is limited. Leo says that since he has power out there, Leo recommends powerline networking to do it since the electrical lines are already laid. The doorbell camera may be hard because of the speed from the powerline, but Leo thinks it's doable. He recommends TP-Link. The downside is that he'll need to have it all on the same circuit.

Should I replace my router?

Episode 1479

Brian from Indio, CA
eero.com

Brian wants to know why he should replace his router. Leo says that routers wear out, like when they are getting hot. That's an indicator it's working harder to push the traffic where it needs to go. He'll want to look for a router that that updates its firmware. He'll also want a reliable manufacturer who cares about updates. Leo also recommends a MESH router, which are great for homes that have issues with WiFi reception.

Get a mesh system at Eero's website (sponsor of TWiT)

Why is Wi-Fi so slow on my laptop?

Episode 1474

Beth from Manhattan Beach, CA
Netgear Orbi Router

Beth has a two story house and she has no problem streaming anything or using the internet, except on her laptop. Leo says that if her Roku is running HD, then she's getting decent bandwidth. Would a mesh router help? Leo says it may, but it's an expensive way to find out. Beth should run a speed test on her router to see how it goes. She should do it closer to her base station, and then again down into the lower floor and see if it improves or gets worse. That would tell her something. Leo says that since Beth is using Frontier, it could be her Frontier router. They're just terrible.