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.
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).
Jeff has a 3000' square foot house and has several Apple Airport Expresses to relay the signal from his Airport Extreme. Leo says that Jeff should have the Express in 'Bridging mode' and should let the Airport Extreme choose the channel because it will adjust according to congestion. Just select the option to extend the network and let it handle everything else.
Ron is buying his wife a new laptop for their anniversary and he's looking at a Lenovo which has AC Wi-Fi. He doesn't think his router can handle it, since it's pretty old. Leo says that routers do wear out and the AC router will give him better reception and speed. Every four or five years, it may be necessary to get a new router.
Tim is having an issue that he can't connect with his mac. Leo says he should try and reset the router by unplugging it and plugging it back in. If that works, then the router just needed to be reset. But you can also reset the wifi on your laptop by turning it off and on. Tim tried that and it disconnects after a few minutes. Then that indicates a bad router and Tim should contact his ISP to get a replacement.
Tom is having issues connecting his iPhone to his router, and he's looking to get an Asus One router. Leo says that's a great idea because it uses DD-WRT, which is an open source firmware and it's more secure, faster, and offers more options. Leo says that the plaster and metal joists could be acting as a faraday cage to prevent connectivity. And it's not unusual for a weaker signal to have issues in iOS. It just sounds like the signal isn't good and you coudl get an extender, but Leo recommends getting one from the same brand.
Pat would like to extend his Wi-Fi signal out to his huge back yard, up to 800 to 1000 feet. Leo says that's a long way. Wi-Fi usually goes about 150 feet, maybe 600 feet if it's line of sight. Leo says it'll be a lot easier to string a wire. Pat could buy bridges and boosters, but there's limits to the power drive it. RadioLabs.com has directional Wi-Fi Antennas and Pat will need them on both sides.
Jonathan has DSL internet, and is wondering if there's an advantage to hard wiring his Roku rather than having it wireless. Scott says yes, hard wire is better because of the possibility for interference in the Wi-Fi spectrum. David says that if he's not having video dropouts, hard wiring won't improve the video quality. It'll just give him a more consistent stream. He also has an A/V receiver wired to his speakers.
Dave says that Riverside is ending their free Wi-Fi service tomorrow after complaints that some people couldn't use it. AT&T, who set it up, pulled out a few years ago and Riverside may have decided it was too costly to operate on their own. Leo says that's a shame because Riverside was one of the first communities to give it a try. It's not likely that more communities will be able to join in, as most ISPs have lobbied legislatures to outlaw free Wi-Fi service so ISPs can charge more.
Joyce is looking for a new computer, but doesn't know what she should get. She mainly uses it for email, websites, and games. Leo says that Joyce uses a computer that's probably too much for her, or more than she really needs. He recommends going with the iPad. What about Wi-Fi? Leo says that an iPad with a 4G LTE connection would be best. Every carrier offers it and Joyce can pick the one that works best in her area. It'll cost her about $30 a month, but it's well worth it.