wireless

What's a Good Wireless Fire Alarm?

SimpliSafe

Episode 1812

Chuck from San Diego, CA

Chuck wants to know if there's a smoke detector that can alert you remotely if there's a fire. Leo says that SimpliSafe (a sponsor of the TWiT network) has a system that will alert you wirelessly of fire, but also carbon monoxide, broken glass, everything. But you need to get the base station. Fire Alert uses something called Wireless Interconnected to alert you as well. It's basically smoke alarms to talk to each other, and when one alarm goes off, they all do.

AirPods Max Aren't Worth the $549 Price

Beware of the Apple AirPods Max, especially if you're tempted to get them! They just are NOT worth the expensive $549 price tag for the average consumer. The main issue is the audio quality, as lossless audio doesn't seem to be supported even when the product is plugged in with a Lightning-to-3.5mm cable. The headphones should've supported an option for Airplay. The noise-canceling is pretty good thanks to the processors in both ears, so the AirPods Max makes sense for plane travel. But there are simply cheaper, competent alternatives out there.

Improve Your WiFi Placement With This Article & Video

While working from home, we'll all need better WiFi if we want to move our laptops around from desk to couch and back. For improving your WiFi reception, try moving the router higher up to a shelf/wall so that people (bags of water) do not impede the signals while they're sitting or walking around. Also, try a mesh router to extend the WiFi out with a fast backchannel. While ethernet is often the best option to connect, there are indeed ways to plan your device/router placements in a more optimal way. Check out this article by Leo's friend Jim Salter:

Choose Wired Keyboards Over Wireless Keyboards

Bluetooth Keyboards and Bluetooth mice (or is it mouses?) are notorious for disconnecting for various reasons. Whether it's the battery dying or some kind of interference nearby, the annoyances often do not justify the benefits of having cordless keyboards/mice. Leo practically insists on going for wired keyboards for greater reliability, especially for those jobs on-the-air or for action gamers who play online.

Why does my streaming stall?

WiFi

Episode 1662

Steven from San Antonio, TX

Steven has a wireless HDMI connection to stream from his computer to his TV. Some times it "hiccups" or even crashes. Leo says that wireless HDMI really isn't that good. What's happening is that the video packets are being dropped and the TV just moves forward if he doesn't get it all in order. So it may wait until it gets the latent packet, or just move on without it. That's why streaming tends to buffer up to 30 seconds in order to wait for a dropped packet. When the buffer drops to zero, it'll rebuffer to get back ahead.

Is Spectrum wireless service slow by design?

Spectrum

Episode 1601

Steve from Nashville, TN

Steve signed up with Spectrum, using Verizon and the best he could get for his iPhone 7 is 3G. Leo says that's terrible. Verizon is much better than that, and it sounds like Comcast is going cheap on buying wholesale data and then reselling it.  Also, while you're using Verizon's network, Verizon is giving priority to their own customers. So you get a slower experience. Spectrum is hoping you'll be close enough to an Xfinity Access point via WiFi. But half the time, there's nothing there!

Is surfing the internet on LTE secure?

4G LTE

Episode 1522

David from El Monte, CA

David wants to know if he's secure surfing the internet on his mobile device. Leo says that nothing is unhackable, but LTE is encrypted and very secure. A phone can be hacked, even at the radio level, though. It's also possible for someone to spoof his SIM card. But it's too much work for the average hacker. It would have to be a state level attack in order to accomplish it. Wi-Fi is less secure, and if he's relying on WPA2 or any other Wi-Fi connection, it's possible to hack it. But that's not easy, either. Odds are, there's really not all that much to worry about.

Why did AT&T stop giving me access to DSL Extreme?

Fiber

Episode 1471

Jane from Oceanside, CA

Jane had DSL Extreme, but she says that AT&T won't allow it over the phone lines anymore. Leo says there's something going on with her particular neighborhood. She's still getting phone service, though. Jane says that AT&T isn't offering DSL either, but they're trying to push UVerse. Leo says that AT&T has decided to eliminate copper in her neighborhood and start using fiber. Fiber is glass and works better than copper.