David tethers his computer through his mobile device, but he's wondering if it's secure. Leo says it's probably more secure because cell phones are encrypted now. Using the Wi-Fi through his phone is a different matter, if he's at a public hotspot. At that point, his traffic is out in the clear and easily grabbed. If he's going to use a hotspot, Leo advises using the Tiny Hardware Firewall and a VPN. The Tiny Hardware Firewall is like a router that then connects to his phone.
Sue Ellen is going on a cruise to Hawaii next month and WiFi is $0.75 a minute. What are her options? Can she use her phone as a hotspot? Leo says not while she's on the ocean. When she gets to Hawaii, that's an option. While she's at sea, she'll be stuck with what they give her and there's nothing but pain. It's very slow and inconsistent. It's definitely not worth $0.75 a minute!
Mary bought an Acer RT-AC3200 and she's having trouble with it. All her devices were disconnected from the 2.4Ghz band. The 5Ghz band is OK. It isn't congestion either because she lives out in the country. She's rolled back her firmware and Asus even sent her another modem. Leo says that sometimes the antennas may loosen and that could cause connection issues. Leo has had similar issues and it may be that the band gets overloaded and drops out everything. It could also be interference from the house itself.
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.