The city of San Francisco is making another attempt at providing city-wide Wi-Fi, starting with Market St. San Francisco had teamed up with Earthlink and Google nearly 10 years ago to build a city-wide Wi-Fi network, but Earthlink backed out of it in 2007. The most recent deal is with Ruckus Wireless. The network will be free, won't have ads, and won't even require users to sign in.
There are a few different ways to get better Wi-Fi coverage throughout your home or office. A router should be able to cover at least 150 feet with Wi-Fi signal, but it could be less if there's a lot of interference from wiring in the walls or other devices. Simply moving the router to a new location could help.
Another thing to try is a Wi-Fi extender. Make sure that the extender is the same brand as your router so that it will be compatible. You can even use a second router in "bridge" mode to extend another router's signal.
Carol recently moved her Wi-Fi router to another area in the house that she likes but now she doesn't have very good reception. Leo says that a Wi-Fi signal booster is a good idea, but she needs to contact her router manufacturer and see which ones work best. She'll want to stay with the same "family" of products, if possible.
Nick called to ask Leo his take on Nano Routers. They're cheap, and only cost around $30. Leo says these are travel routers, basically. There's no reason a router has to be big, it's just a computer. Leo hasn't used the TP-Link specifically, but he has used similar products. A router is a router, and its size doesn't really affect its functionality.
Scott wants to know why the iPhone doesn't backup all of his Wi-Fi passwords when backing up. Apparently iTunes doesn't keep them. The Chatroom says that LastPass should be able to do it, and Leo agrees. The Premium version is only $12 and it's worth every penny.
A new report indicates that Google may actually have access to Wi-Fi passwords used by every Android user. Whenever a user signs into a new Android device, they enter their Google credentials. Then, Google can find your Wi-Fi network and join it automatically. This can only be done if your Wi-Fi password had been uploaded to Google. Leo says it's convenient, but after all of the news about the NSA surveillance, this is a bit scary too.
VPN stands for "Virtual Private Network". There are risks in accessing the internet from an open, public Wi-Fi hotspot, such as a hotel or airport. If, for example, your email provider doesn't encrypt your username and password when you log in, then anyone on that shared network will be able to grab those login credentials fairly easily. Even if you just have an email program running in the background, someone with a sniffer could get your credentials without you even knowing about it.
Mark has trouble watching TWiT netcasts on his iPad. He says the video works on his Mac, but not on his iPad. He's attempting to do this all through iTunes. Leo says it could be that there are versions of the video that aren't compatible with iPad.
He might want to try using InstaCast, instead of Apple's app. Mark could also try downloading different qualities to see if that works.
Martin is having trouble connecting to the Internet with Internet Explorer. It always asks him what to connect with. Leo says that IE is messed up and that using Chrome or Firefox would be a good way to eliminate that as the culprit. If that's not fixing the issue, then Leo suspects that Martin's laptop may have malware on it and that's preventing connection, or potentially a hardware problem.
Greg says that every time he joins a coffee shop network with his laptop, the internet dies. Leo says that there could be an issue with the Wi-Fi radio on the laptop that's causing it. It could also be an issue with the Coffee shop's DHCP.