Routers operate with invisible waves of goodness that enable internet access wirelessly. However, they have a hard time passing through pesky human bodies. Ideally, you want to put your WiFi router high up above the floor so that the waves go over the heads of people. And in a room hopefully not too far from where you use your laptops/tablets/phones.
Victoria wants to know about WiFi extenders. Leo says that WiFi extenders help give better coverage in the home. WiFi doesn't travel well through walls and people. So the best way to improve WiFi is to place a router up higher in the house. Like on a shelf. It's also a good idea to use a router that is dual-band. Let smart devices use the 2.4 band, while you use the 5.0 band. A Mesh WiFi router will also help solve the problem because users can add satellites that can expand a mesh network and improve the coverage.
Jim's Samsung phone only shows 10 WiFi hotspots, when he knows that there's more. Leo says that Samsung highly customizes their Android experience, and it's likely they are just limiting the options to the channels he's most likely to connect to. Not every visible WiFi signal is useable, and they are just filtering those out.
Jim also wants to know how to stop his Phone from swiping from the bottom to activate Google Assistant. Leo says to look in the settings under gestures. He should be able to turn it off.
Paul likes to take cruises with his wife and they're going to Russia soon. He wants to know how safe public wifi is. Can his phone get hacked? Leo says that as long as you don't join wifi, you're invisible. Once you join, you could be at risk. But a cellular connection could be subject to government spying as well. So if you're worried about it, turn off your cellular radio as well. It's in the settings. But it's likely not going to be an issue for you.
Maria is looking to get her first smartphone with T-Mobile. She wants to know if she can use her phone's WiFi with her laptop. Leo says yes, she can connect the laptop to the smartphone and use the phone's "hotspot mode." But it may cost extra. About $10 a month. And even if she has unlimited data, hot-spotting may come with a bandwidth cap. So check the fine print. T-Mobile also has home internet. That would be faster and far better
Charles wants to know if he should upgrade to a WiFi 6 mesh router. Leo says if you want to future proof, it may be a good idea, but he won't get more than 10% better performance. And it's not so much the devices are faster, but that WiFi 6 networks are better at managing all the devices that can connect to the network. Up to 73 of them. And most of the devices aren't WiFi 6 compatible. And WiFi 6e is coming quickly, followed by WiFi 7. So it's OK to skip a generation.
Jim has a Sony Bravia 4K TV. But he keeps having issues streaming his Apple TV. Leo says that Apple TV can stream up to 30MBps, and that's a lot to cover through WiFi. Leo recommends hardwiring it. That will avoid any congestion. Or pick up a WiFi 6 router. That could make the signal more prolific. If talking about the Apple TV+ software on his Sony Bravia, Leo recommends trying the Apple TV hardware instead. Apps on a Smart TV aren't all that great and are rarely updated. And talk is, that the Apple TV+ app isn't that well-written.
Lisa hears that her company Wi-Fi is monitored. Leo says that her company has a legal right to monitor her online activity, so it's not private. But if she can use a VPN or is on an encrypted site, they can't see specific data, they can just know she's online. Be sure to be familiar with company policy when using the company's internet network and what potential consequences are. Can they put software on her phone or laptop? Leo says only if they own it. They don't have the legal right to put it on her personal property.
This week's gadget is ideal if your home has terrible wifi. It may be time to go wired. Dick has that problem at his apartment and the TP-Link Wireless Access Point TL-WA901N | 2.4Ghz N450 model was recommended by Leo to solve the problem. The company says: Designed to establish or expand a scalable high-speed wireless N network or to connect an Ethernet-enabled device such as a game console, digital media adapter, printer, or network-attached storage device to a wireless network. Supports Client, Multi-SSID, Range Extender, and AP operation modes to enable various wireless applications.
Rudy wants to know how secure public apartment wifi is if everyone is using the same password? Leo says it's not secure at all. What it means though, is that anyone who knows the password can use the wifi. But it also means that if someone is malicious, they can use hacking tools to gain access to other people's computers and data. That's why Leo says that a VPN is a must for a situation like this. Or at least only surfing to HTTPS websites only, so the traffic is encrypted. Another option is to use a travel router. It's designed to join a public network and provides a barrier like a VPN.