wifi

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).

How can I extend the Wi-Fi signal from an Apple Airport Extreme?

Episode 1106

Jeff from Los Angeles, CA
Apple Airport Express

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.

Should I replace my router?

Episode 1106

Ron from North Carolina
Asus AC Router

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.

Why does my router keep going off line?

Randy from Bakersfield, CA

Episode 1105

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.

How can I get my iPhone to connect to Wi-Fi?

Episode 1105

Tom from Warren, OH
Asus Router

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.

How can I extend the range of my Wi-Fi?

Pat from Corona, CA

Episode 1105

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.

Should I hard wire my Roku box?

Jonathan from Rochester, NY

Episode 1098

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.