wifi

How can I extend my WiFi range between two houses?

Matthew from Toronto, ONT CAN

Episode 1166

Matthew wants to know if he can bridge two Airport Extremes and put them 300' apart and still get a signal. Leo says it's no problem, except for the distance. 300' is a long way for 802.11,b,a,c, which max at about 150. 802.11AC, though, can go about 300 feet. One thing you can do is use a directional antenna from one to another. A new Airport Extreme, though, will work. And always use the same company to make the extension.

Is a WiFi Hotspot safe for surfing the net?

Rick from Salisbury, NC

Episode 1165

Rick's wife got an unlimited cellphone service for him, and he wants to know how to keep his tablet secure while at a hotspot. Leo says that using your own cell service, youre data is encrypted and safe. But if you're relying on WiFi Hotspot, then you have to be sure you're passwords aren't given out in the clear. Especially your bank information. But even then, you're dealing with an encrypted portal. So it's pretty safe. You'll want to turn on encryption for your email though.

How can I extend my Wi-Fi range?

Episode 1150

Jonathan from San Jacinto, CA
Apple Airport Extreme

Jonathan has Verizon FIOS with 75 Mbps up and down. Leo says that's nice! He has great signal on one side of the house, but it's terrible on the other side. How can he extend the Wi-Fi? Leo says he has to use Verizon's FIOS modem and router, but he doesn't have to use it for Wi-Fi. He can get a better Wi-Fi access point like an Apple Airport Extreme. Then put that in bridge mode so it'll pass the signal along to the rest of the house. If he needs more, then he can add a few $99 Airport Express's to act as a repeater. Leo has three of them.

Why does my Wi-Fi signal keep dropping?

Episode 1148

Rick from Akron, OH
Wi-Fi

Rick is getting an error message that he's lost his Wi-Fi connection. Leo says it's a common issue with Wi-Fi. It's not malware because the last thing malware would want is to get him offline. Malware these days is about making money off of him, and that means it has a vested interest in keeping him online.

When Rick rebooted, the Wi-Fi light on his router wasn't on. He did a system repair which fixed it. Leo says that the router may have chosen a congested channel and as such, he may be just getting knocked off. It may also be an issue with a recent update.

Should I give up my unlimited data plan?

Mark from Malibu, CA

Episode 1147

Mark still has the AT&T Unlimited data plan, but it's so expensive. Should he just keep it or downgrade to a smaller, more limited plan. Leo says that the CEO of AT&T is on record sharing his regret that he ever offered that option. But they've now incentivized enough to get people to give it up. It may be you can save money by giving it up, but they don't want to make it easy to give you the best deal. Leo advises going to the AT&T store and asking a salesmen to walk you through the options because you're thinking of jumping ship.

How can I get better Wi-Fi reception?

Episode 1146

Brett from Woodbridge, NJ
Wi-Fi

Brett would like to hardwire his mother's PC so she doesn't have issues with Wi-Fi dropping out. Leo says that it sounds like an issue of distance. Leo had the same problem, so he extended the Wi-Fi with a repeater. He uses an Airport Extreme with Airport Express that automatically extends the range. He'll want to buy the repeater from the same company as the router. He can also try something called Powerline networking.

Why does my modem kick my iMac off Wi-Fi?

Episode 1146

Jack from Garden Grove, CA
Apple Airport Extreme

Jack has an issue with his iMac getting knocked off the network using Wi-Fi. He has to reboot from time to time. Leo says that Apple has issues with Wi-Fi and it's a black art. Leo thinks it may be an issue with the cable modem. Jack should ask his cable provider if he can buy his own, and pick up an Arris DOCSIS 3 modem. Even though they gave him one, he's just renting it and it's likely a used one. He should buy his own, along with a router, and he'll get better results and save money on rental fees as well.

Why did the Wi-Fi stop working on my laptop after installing HP driver updates?

Episode 1143

Jerry from California
Wi-Fi

Jerry began having Wi-Fi issues after updating drivers from HP. Leo suggests looking in the system tray to see if there's a red "x." If there is, then he'll know the problem is a connection. He should go through the settings, update his password, and make sure it's in Ad Hoc mode, not infrastructure. Right click on the tray icon and select "Properties." That'll take him to settings.

Another option is to roll back to the old drivers. Jerry can also go into the system BIOS and make sure Wi-Fi wasn't disabled there.