wifi

How can I get WiFi out in my barn?

Ed from Tulsa, CA

Episode 1464

Ed has a Google mesh router system and he wants to be able to get WiFi out in his barn, which is 100' away. Can he get another mesh unit or should he do ethernet? Leo says that if you have a window, then you could put a mesh unit on the windowsill and then another in the barn that has an opening which operates line of sight. It's certainly worth a try. You could also try power line networking, if the barn and your home are on the same junction. The other option is to use a WiFi antenna.

How can I get around work's locked down internet?

Episode 1462

Rick from Irvine, CA
Computers

Rick's wife is trying to get around her job's internet restrictions with a VPN. Is there any way to do that? Leo says probably not. They will likely have it locked down to the point where she can't get around it. Leo recommends using her mobile phone in hotspot mode. She should turn off Wi-Fi though because she'll still be under their policies even when she's on her phone using the Wi-Fi. The company has the right to not only prevent her from using her own devices on their network, but also to spy on her. So she should be careful.

Can I connect an external antenna to my Wi-Fi router?

Episode 1460

David from British Columbia
Archer T2UH

David's office uses a shipping container as an office and they have to use an external antenna to pick up the wireless signal, but it only connects to one computer. Can the external antenna be connected to a router? Leo says yes, it can, but the Wi-Fi standard is unique and router connectors vary. He'll need to go somewhere that can bundle the router with an attachable antenna to get the right match.

Should I have to pay to have my router updated?

Episode 1456

Mark from Northridge, CA
Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 router

Mark got the Nighthawk router and now he's hearing he has to buy a service agreement to have it updated for security after owning it for 90 days. Leo says that's outrageous. Security updates should be included in a $200 router. Paying $129 a year is ridiculous. But we expect really cheap gear now and with a single tech call, they can lose their profit margin. It's just the nature of the technology business. Security is a basic need, though, and that should be factored in.

Why can't I connect my Wemo to the internet?

Episode 1452

Armando from Whittier, CA
Belkin Wemo

Armando is trying to connect Wemo to his wireless router, but when he connects an additional one, it won't take his password. Leo says 2.4 Ghz is extremely congested now, so Leo recommends going into his router settings and changing it to allow his router to make changes automatically. That will enable it to choose the best channels. Doing it manually is tough and he'd need a Wi-Fi analyzer to do it. If he wants to do that, InSSIDer is a good one.

Why can't I connect to the internet on my laptops in Windows?

Episode 1452

John from Biddeford, ME
Wi-Fi

John is having problems with two Windows laptops (one 8.1 and one Windows 10). They will connect to the hotspots, but they won't connect to the internet. Leo says that's called "captive portal" and it requires logging in to gain access. It could also be a security update that is preventing it. It could be closing down a port that he needs to access the internet. He could try reinstalling the network driver.

How can I update my iPhone without wireless?

Episode 1439

Howard from Mission Viejo, CA
Apple iPhone X

Howard just got an iPhone X and he had to restore his iPhone 4 data to it. Leo says the fastest way to do that is to plug it into iTunes, back it up, and then restore to his new phone. It should take about 5 to 10 minutes. But his problem is that his network is wired and he can't get updates because it's Wi-Fi only. Is that true? Leo says not really. He can connect to iTunes, download the updates, and install them.

Why can't I get WiFi in my apartment?

Episode 1422

David from Burbank,CA
WiFi

David lives in a fifth floor apartment with 100 Mbps WiFi available. He can't get it on his floor, though. What can he do? Leo says that WiFi is generally limited by distance and David is just too far away from the access point. He needs one on his floor. If he can get his own modem, that's what he should do. He could also try getting a group together to get WiFi extenders and put a few on every floor. That would help.