wifi

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.

How can I connect my laptop to my wireless network?

Episode 1142

Brandon from Huntington Beach, CA
Wi-Fi router

Brandon is trying to connect an older laptop to Wi-Fi, but it isn't working. Leo says that if other devices can connect, then chances are that the laptop may not support WPA2, which the network runs on. He could try WEP, but it's been cracked, so it's not really all that secure if there's someone with maligned intent. But if it's all he can get, it's better than nothing.

Why can't my Roku box get online?

Episode 1139

Jeff from Fallbrook, CA
Roku

Jeff has a new Roku box that he picked up on Black Friday, but it's not connecting. Roku says that the box has gone bad. Leo says it seems unlikely the device itself is bad. Jeff has the same problem with his internet enabled Blu-ray player. Leo says that means it isn't the devices themselves. It has to be the network or internet connection. Leo suggests restarting everything from the computer, to the cable box, to the router. Leo also suggests connecting it via hardwire to see if that solves it. If so, then there's a wireless issue.

How can I connect to my Wi-Fi router with ethernet cable?

Episode 1138

Richard from Hacienda Heights, CA
Ethernet

Richard's Verizon Wi-Fi router won't work as a wired router, only Wi-Fi. Leo says that's bizarre because he would need to connect his router to the modem. Leo advises asking Verizon if it's possible to buy his own modem. He should get a DOCSIS 3 modem. The added benefit is that he won't be paying rental fees on it.

Richard should keep going back to Verizon and make them fix it. If they can't, then he has a case to go with another provider. The hardware layer is working if there's a "link light" lit. So it may be trouble on Verizon's end.

Why can't I get my laptop's Wi-Fi working at home?

Episode 1133

Ed from Valencia, CA
Wi-Fi

Ed's wife's laptop gets intermittent Wi-Fi reception. It works hardwired, but it's hit and miss for the laptop on Wi-Fi. Could it be the card? Leo says so many things can cause the problem. Every once in awhile Wi-Fi will just drop out. It's one of the reasons why Leo doesn't allow his guests to use Skype on Wi-Fi. Leo suggests buying a USB Wi-Fi adapter. They're fairly inexpensive and can show if the hardware is the issue. If the problem persists, then the hardware isn't really the problem here.

Why does the Wi-Fi drop out on my iPhone?

Episode 1129

Byron from Crystal Lake, IL
iPhone 6

Byron's internet radio cuts out when he's listening on his iPhone running iOS 8.1. Leo says that intermittent Wi-Fi has plagued iOS for years, and Leo says that the nature of the beast is to have drop outs. But since iOS 7 it's really been a big problem. Leo says that Apple must be doing something odd because it's a common complaint.

Wi-Fi can often be promiscuous and can jump from access point to access point, dropping the signal. It could be the metal cases causing the problem. Byron can reset or update the firmware of the router. That could help, but the fix is elusive.

How close can my router and modem be?

Episode 1126

Jeff from Woodland Hills, CA
Airport Extreme

Jeff just signed up for "TrueStream" broadband service. Leo says that it's a new system that likely uses fiber and is supposed to get up to 75 Mbps down. Jeff is concerned because the modem is installed right next to his Apple Airport Extreme. Leo says as long as he has some separation, and they're not touching, he'll be ok. He should also disable the Wi-Fi from the modem, and just use the Airport Extreme for DHCP and Wi-Fi.

How many Airports can I use on my Wi-Fi network?

Episode 1112

Chris from Miami, FL
Wi-Fi

Chris has a Wi-Fi issue in his house, and he's been told that he can only have three Airports in his home because it would cause problems. Leo says there shouldn't be a limit with WDS if the other Airports are just passing along the data and extending the network. If they're all on the same channel, then the limit will probably be in force since collisions could occur. The trick is to get the channels that are overlapping as far apart as possible, around 100 feet away. This is to reduce Wi-Fi congestion. It can work, but it could be a bit less reliable.

How can I get Wi-Fi for my laptop through my phone?

Episode 1110

Sharon from Fontana, CA
Wi-Fi

Sharon wants to create a hotspot so she can have Wi-Fi on her laptop. Leo advises using a MyFi Wi-Fi Hotspot card, which are available through her carrier. In general, she'll be charged an extra $30-50 a month. Leo says it's likely cheaper to go to an ISP and wire her home for internet. DSL Extreme has $13 a month deals for the first year.

(Disclaimer: DSL Extreme is a sponsor).