Henry wants to extend his Wi-Fi upstairs. What extender should he use? Leo says he has a few options. Mesh routers are great because they have satellites that he can plug into each room, creating a wireless grid for his home. These usually come with a base station and a few extenders. They're a bit pricey, but they have the advantage of having full duplex communication, so the speed isn't cut as it's passing along the signal. They also have great security features, they're easy to maintain through the app, and they update automatically.
Jeff wants to know why his internet slows down at night. Leo says that he ends up sharing bandwidth with his neighborhood and if it's slowing down in the evening, it's because everyone is on Netflix. He also has to factor in Wi-Fi congestion. Jeff could bypass the Wi-Fi router and plug directly into the modem and see if it speeds up. If it does, then he'll know it's Wi-Fi congestion. If not, then he'll know it's his because of heavy use in the neighborhood.
Jeff has an older Acer AC1900 router. Now he's looking at a mesh router. Leo says mesh routers are great for larger spaces, and he can add three satellite units, which could cover 1500 square feet. It provides multiple access points because the Wi-Fi is "meshed" throughout the house. Eero even works with Echo and he could assign devices to users and then have Echo pause the internet access for them. Eero also has great parental controls. It's not cheap, though, but he can get two for about $200 though, and that should be enough.
Nichole is having problems getting a clear Wi-Fi signal in the back of her home. Leo says that's largely due to congestion. Everything from a mobile phone to a tablet, to even a microwave are using that 2.4 Ghz band, and so there's a lot of congestion. One way to fix that is to get a dual-band router. The 5.0 GHz band is a lot less congested, but it doesn't have as good of a range. So she can use it for some of her traffic, and use the longer range signal for the back of the house. Or she could use a mesh router.
Arthur uses YouTube and he says that it's so compressed, it's absolutely unwatchable. Leo says that when he's streaming video, it's largely dependent on his bandwidth. The less bandwidth he has, the lower his resolution is going to be. He can adjust the quality he's getting in the settings, however, but at the end of the day, he may need to just get more bandwidth.
Todd's pro-level support with Dell expired right as his Wi-Fi stopped working. When he turns it on, it just keeps turning back off. Is it broken or is the software doing something? Leo says there is a function key on the keyboard that can turn off the Wi-Fi, and if it's sticking, that could be causing the problem. If it's a business laptop, it may also have a switch on the side that can turn it off. Driver issues may also be causing it, so he should go to Dell and download all the latest motherboard drivers.
Ed has a Google mesh router system and he wants to be able to get Wi-Fi out in his barn, which is 100' away. Can he get another mesh unit or should he do ethernet? Leo says that if he has a window, then he could put a mesh unit on the windowsill, and another in the window of a barn so they would have line-of-sight connectivity. It's certainly worth a try. Ed could also try powerline networking if the barn and his home are on the same junction. The other option is to use a Wi-Fi antenna.
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.
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.
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.