Hardware

Why did the 2.4 GHz band on my router become unusable?

Episode 1355

Alan from Kentucky
WiFi

Alan is having issues with his wireless routers since a power surge, especially on the 2.4 GHz band. Leo says that's because 2.4 GHz is overcrowded. Everything seems to use it. That's why having a dual band router is beneficial. It could also be that the power surge fried his 2.4 GHz band. Routers also wear out, and over time, it starts getting slower and more unreliable. It's probably time to get a new router.

What camera should I get to monitor my elderly mother?

Episode 1355

Ron from Charlotte, NC
Nest Cam

Ron's mother in law is 89 and he wants to be able to put a camera in her home to check on her from time to time. Leo says that a lot of security cameras can be connected to the internet for that purpose, but there are privacy issues. There is a company out there that monitors ancilliary things like refrigerators, and other internet connected devices to know what she's doing. Ron's mom would need to wear a special watch for that to work.

Can I use DDNS with a VPN instead of paying extra for a static IP?

Episode 1355

JC from Mississippi
Netgear AC1750

JC was looking for a new router to get some more advanced networking features, such as VPN and VLAN. He found the Netgear AC1750 with VPN support for $130. He found out that the VPN support also supports DDNS, which can be used for free as long as you go in every 30 days and click the link to renew it. You could also pay $50 a year for it. He was paying $45 a month for static IP addresses along with the necessary equipment and taxes to have it in his house.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1354

Dick DeBartolo

The Giz Wiz found a cool mini computer called the Kangaroo Notebook. It's a way to keep your personal and family computer activities separate. It's just a notebook screen and a keyboard, then you insert a separate, removable Kanagroo Mini stick. Yes, the Kangaroo’s Notebook comes as a package with two modular PC Minis that can be swapped in and out of the laptop dock. Each mini is a self-contained PC running Windows 10.

Why did my antenna stop getting one of my channels?

Episode 1354

Jill from Los Alamitos, CA
Digital TV antenna

Jill watches TV using an antenna over the roof. Leo says that's the best quality HDTV because it isn't compressed. Suddenly, however, channel 2 (2.1) is missing on her TVs, while her mom still has them. Leo says that Jill is likely on an edge area where it can work, but may not work at other times. She should check out TVFool.com and it will tell her what channels are available in her area. One TV may have a more sensitive tuner than the other, or it could be that less cable is also used, minimizing attenuation.

How can I get my Slingbox to work again?

Episode 1353

Mike from Newport Beach,CA
Slingbox

Mike bought a Slingbox about six years ago and it worked great as he traveled the world. But now with iOS 10, it doesn't work. So now he has to bring along another iPad with the old version of iOS 9 on it. Leo says that's likely going to be the only fix. Dish bought Sling and converted it to a TV service. Now it's effectively 'end of life' for the previous hardware because they want people to spend $10 a month to stream it.

Can I download Windows Vista update files?

Episode 1353

James from Montana
Microsoft Windows 10 Update

James has downloaded Windows Vista updates and he wants to keep them around in case he needs to update it again. Leo says Microsoft's official site is catalog.update.microsoft.com. There's also technet.microsoft.com. He should do them soon because Vista's end of life is in April. James could actually update to Windows 7 or 10 and it'll run lighter and better on that older machine, though.