Mark hears that FreedomPop is a free service for under 500MB. He's thinking of using it with his home alarm system, but it's ethernet hardwired and he's not sure it will work. Any ideas? Leo says a Wi-Fi Ethernet dongle is a cheap and easy way to do it. Leo says to also look at the fine print, as he seems to remember that FreedomPop doesn't work with burglar alarms from legal reasons. Another option is a CDMA cellular radio interface.
Joseph wants to know why his Wi-Fi speed is slower than it should be. Leo says it could be a variety of reasons, like distance from the access point, the amount of metal in his home, and the number of devices on the same network and bandwidth. The fastest speeds are received by being hardwired directly into the router.
Ray is having trouble streaming. It buffers a lot. Leo says that if his router is a few years old, it could slow down and become less reliable. Rebooting the router will bring it back, but then it'll happen again. So he should get a new one. His TV's Wi-Fi may also be getting "promiscuous," meaning it is jumping to a stronger signal every time it finds one. He can also go into his router and adjust the "lease time for DHCP" to make it longer before it acquires a new IP address. He can also get a dual band router, which will have 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz.
Mike's XBox One is losing its Wi-Fi connection after about an hour. It won't even work with a hard wire. Leo says it could be a bad Wi-Fi radio, but that wouldn't have anything to do with the ethernet chip. There could be an issue with the DHCP host protocol. DHCP assigns IP addresses and they are dynamic, so they can expire.
Sue bought a new router/modem and her laptop won't connect wirelessly anymore. She's been told that her network card is bad. Leo recommends taking the laptop to a coffee shop to see if it connects via Wi-Fi. If it does, then it's just a configuration issue. Since the laptop is Windows Vista, she wants to just get a new computer. Leo says that's a much better option since Windows 10 is far better than Vista.
Terri bought a new NetGear router but she still can't connect to the internet. Her ISP, Frontier, says that she needs a firmware update. Is this true? Leo says it may be. Terri is using DSLExtreme and Frontier together and it may be that there's an older version of the firmware that's causing the hiccup. Updating the firmware is easy to do. She should go to Netgear.com and download it. Follow the instructions, log into the router, and then run the firmware update utility.
Tony's router is starting to get flakey. Leo says that we've become used to using cheap routers. However, the cheaper the router, the faster it will wear out. If Tony buys a better quality router, it'll be more consistent and last longer. Netgear makes good routers.
The problem could also be Tony's modem. He'll want a DOCSIS III modem. For that, Leo likes the Arris Surfboard SB6141 which is $70 on Amazon.
Frank was sold on the notion that DSL was always on, but he's had cases where it get drops out quite often. Leo says that by comparison to dial up, DSL is always on. The drop outs are possibly due to being too far away form the central hub, as the farther away, the worse it gets. It could also be a signal that his router is starting to fail.
Fred gets really bad bandwidth with Wi-Fi. Leo says that's a common problem and three companies, including Plume, have started up to address it. Leo says that Eero is currently the only one that has a device out to solve the issue. It costs about $500 for three extenders that he would place all around his home, creating a mesh Wi-Fi network. Luma is a little less expensive, though.
Dennis is going to be RVing full time and wants to know the best way to stay connected. Leo says that he can get a satellite add-on to his RV and many come with it built-in. He'll always have to aim it where he goes, though.