wifi

How can I improve my Wi-Fi signal?

TP-Link EAP225

Episode 1550

Bruce from Carlsbad, CA

Bruce has Wi-Fi coverage in his house because it's long and narrow. He doesn't want extenders. So he's thinking of using Cat5 ethernet. Can he take an ethernet connection and convert it to Wi-Fi? Leo says that the TP-Link EAP225 access points will do the trick. He can also turn his router into bridge mode for that. But he can also use Powerline Networking, where he can use his electrical grid for networking and get internet access in every room. He can just plug in the Powerline adapters.

Why is my Wi-Fi dropping out?

Netgear AC2600 Router

Episode 1549

Clarence from Chesapeake, VA

Clarence has issues with his laptop's Wi-Fi intermittently dropping after adding a new modem and Netgear router. Leo says to connect the laptop directly to the router and see if it drops out. If it doesn't, then he'll know the internet connection is fine, and the Wi-Fi radio in the laptop is flakey. If it keeps happening, then that would lead to his router, or even modem. Another possibility is the power-saving may be turned on in the Wi-Fi settings of his laptop. Just disable power-saving and it should be OK from there. It could even be congestion from other internet devices.

Should I get a mesh router?

Netgear Orbi

Episode 1538

Bianca from Wisconsin

Bianca is thinking about getting a mesh router because her Wi-Fi is slow and unreliable. Leo says that a mesh router will definitely do the job, and they're better than a Wi-Fi extender because the extender is only half as fast. But mesh routers aren't cheap. Mesh routers also have a great quality of service with bandwidth shaping, and also parental blocking features. NetGear's Orbi is good, as is the Eero.

How can I prevent my router from dropping my internet connection?

DNS Benchmark

Episode 1533

Brian from Mission Viejo, CA

Brian has an Apple Airport and every time he gets on the network with his phone, the internet drops out. Leo says to check his DNS to see if it's properly configured. That can be found in network settings. He should also try rebooting his router. Steve Gibson has a tool called DNS Benchmark at GRC.com which can tell him how well his DNS settings are responding.

Do I need both Wi-Fi and a hardwired connection?

Ethernet cable

Episode 1532

Dee Dee from Pasadena,CA

Dee Dee is moving into an office that's promising free Wi-Fi and hardwired internet. Does she need both? Leo says that she's probably getting local service and she can connect either way. Hardwired connections will be faster and she won't have to deal with congestion. This could also mean they are just providing the wired infrastructure, and she'll still have to buy her own internet to use with it. Or, they may be offering a free public Wi-Fi. Leo recommends checking on that. She should also do a speed test, and ask if they have bandwidth caps.

How can I extend my Wi-Fi?

Netgear Orbi

Episode 1530

Greg from Homosassa, FL

Greg has to extend his Wi-Fi in order to stream to the TVs around the house. What kind of extender should he get? Leo says the farther he is away, the less signal and speed he'll get. So he'll need to boost the signal. If he's using a modern Wi-Fi router that uses 802.11AC, then it'll be easier. But if he has to use a router provided by the cable company, he should try and see if he can put the router/modem in bridge mode and use his own router. Then he should turn off the modem's Wi-Fi radio as well.

Why is my internet so slow?

Netgear R7000P

Episode 1524

Adrian from Loredo, TX

Adrian is living in a rural area having an issue with slow internet service. He got a new router, but the problem still persists. Rich says this could be because of living in a rural area. He should try and bypass the router and do a speed test. If it works better, then it points to the router as the issue. But Rich doesn't think it's the router, since Adrian bought a new one. Rich thinks there may be an issue between the modem and the router. He should do a factory reset on the modem (better yet, ask his ISP for a new one).

Can I use an external camera with an app on my iPhone?

Be My Eyes app

Episode 1518

Larry from Prescott, AZ

Larry wants to use his camera with Be My Eyes on his iPhone, an app for the vision impaired. Leo says the first thing he'll need is a camera that can connect over Wi-Fi. Then he would need an app to allow him to remotely control it from the iPhone. Leo says that iOS sandboxes each app for security purposes, so one app can't compromise others, so he likely won't be able to use a separate camera with that particular app.