wifi

Why am I using up so much data?

Cellular Data on iPhone

Episode 1660

John from Valencia, CA

John recently discovered that he was being charged 2.1GB for Sunday, even though it was Saturday when he found out. What gives? Leo says it's likely based on UTC Universal Time Zone or Greenwich Mean Time. So that's why it's listed as tomorrow. But if you have had data used up when you're not using it, then someone may be "borrowing a cup of wifi" from you. You can also check your router's data logs. Call AT&T and tell them that you aren't using that much data.

How can I have 100% reliable internet access?

Skyroam Solis X

Episode 1655

Chris from Miami, FL

Chris had an issue where the power went out and wants to know how he can have an always-on WiFi thing no matter what. Leo says that the only real solution is redundancy. Leo has three different ISPs for the studio, so if something goes out, they can switch over. So if you have an iPad with LTE, you have a backup. And you can always hotspot through it. Another option is a pay as you go access point with day passes. That way, you can turn it one when you need it. Try SkyRoam. 

Why doesn't my printer accept my WiFi password?

Epson Printer

Episode 1655

Dan from Chicago, IL

Dan's Epson printer won't take his wifi password anymore and he can't update the firmware. Leo says Dan may have changed the WiFi password and forgot to input that new password into the printer. That's easy to forget to do. Leo recommends resetting your printer and then re-enter the WiFi password on your network setup. You'll also be able to download and install the firmware update.  If that doesn't work, you may need to reset your WiFi password and start over. 

Is there a bluetooth-controlled smart hub?

T-Mobile

Episode 1644

Gary from Cheektowaga, New York

Gary needs to turn off his T-Mobile modem and reboot it sometimes because it slows down until it's almost unusable. So rebooting it gets it back to high speed. But it will eventually slow down again. Leo says it's a very common problem with routers. Leo thinks it's because the router overheats. But it could also be a crashing modem. Look for a firmware update.

Do I have to pay a monthly fee to use a NEST Thermostat?

Episode 1643

Jerry from Hatfield, Pennsylvania

Joe was thinking of getting a NEST thermostat, but he doesn't want to pay a fee. Rich says the only fee you pay is for buying the device. NEST uses WiFi to connect to the internet, where you can control it using your mobile device. But you don't have to pay a subscription fee to use it. Can you control it using your computer? Rich says you should. But the NEST doesn't have to be programmed since it uses machine learning to learn how you want it to operate. Also check with your energy company. NEST also offers a $50 rebate.

Can I Hardwire My Android Phone to a Router?

Belkin USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

Episode 1638

David from Frederick, MD

David lives in a poor cellular area and wants to connect his phone to his home internet. But he wants to do it wired. Leo says that WiFi is pretty fast these days and that's the way to do it. He could conceivably get a USB/Ethernet dongle and plug it directly into a router. Then it depends on the phone. Samsung has a DEX adapter. Amazon sells an iOS to an Ethernet adapter with a lightning connector. It would have to be Ethernet to USB-C and the device would have to have a driver to understand it. Most phones don't expect users to do that, so there are no drivers to support it.

How far can a WiFi Security Camera signal go?

WiFi

Episode 1636

Todd from Portland, OR

Todd has built a WiFi based security system and he's been able to get reception at a distance of a half mile. Leo says that's incredible. But if you have an unobstructed view line of sight, it may happen. But any kind of metal in between can cause that range to lower, or the bandwidth quality to drop, especially when transmitting video. Leo says you could try moving the stations around to get a better line of sight connection.

What is an alternative to wifi?

Powerline Networking

Episode 1631

Jeff from San Diego, CA

Jeff is having issues with his WiFi coverage at his studio. Leo says that congestion is a major problem with WiFi because of the Internet of Things, phones, tablets, the works. What Leo recommends is Powerline Networking. It's gotten a lot better the last few years and being wired will always be better than WiFi. So check it out. TPLink makes some great PLN devices.

How far does my WiFi go?

Netgear Orbi

Episode 1623

Jerry from La Habra Heights, California

Jerry wants to get his WiFi signal out to his backyard garage, about 300 feet away. Leo says that WiFi is meant to travel 150 feet or less. You'll probably need a directional wifi transmitter/receiver. Check out radiolabs.com to learn more.

But to your backyard patio, a mesh router would work. Leo recommends the NetGear Orbi, and you can get an outdoor island receiver, and that could possibly get to your garage. 

Can Jerry get his own and save on the rental fee from his ISP? Leo says absolutely. Save the money: it'll pay for itself in a year.