wifi

Is there a bluetooth controlled smart hub?

Episode 1644

Gary from California

Gary needs to turn off his TMobile 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. You turn it off, then it cools down. 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.

What alternative do I have to get internet in my building?

AT&T UVerse

Episode 1615

Jason from Newport Beach, CA

Jason lives in a building and is stuck with AT&T UVerse for internet access because it has a deal with the building. Leo says that they made an exclusivity deal that honestly, is unethical. But it isn't illegal and is probably mentioned in your signed lease agreement. Leo suggests going to the California Public Utilities Commission and complain. You may also want to contact the City of Newport Beach.

One way around it is to use your mobile device in hotspot mode and avoid it altogether.

Why does my WiFi go on and off?

Episode 1609

Lynn from Thousand Oaks, CA

Lynn's wifi drops out from time to time. Leo says that's usually an indication that your router is worn out, but if it's new, then it could be congestion from other WiFi signals in your neighborhood. Using a dual band router with a 5Ghz frequency, that can help, because not only are other routers using 2.4Ghz, but there's also all the smart devices that use them as well. So it's really congested out there.

Why is My Internet Speed So Slow?

Speed Test

Episode 1607

Ryan from California

Ryan got a new modem because his ISP is now giving him faster download speeds. But when he plugs in his router, it slows down to a crawl. Leo says that since the router is new, it should be fine. Try a different ethernet cable. If the cable is old, it may not handle the bandwidth. Then, try another computer and see if you can replicate the issue. If you can't, then that will point to something on your computer. It may be the ethernet port is too old. Also, update the firmware of your router.