wireless

What are my choices for internet access if I don't have cable?

Episode 1158

Wayne from Tampa, FL

Wayne just moved into a new house and it doesn't have cable or internet access. What are his options? Leo says that there are wireless internet providers (called WISP) if he doesn't want to trench and wire the house from the cable junction. He could also go with satellite, but it's a bit slower. The other choice is DSL through his phone company. FiOS would be the cream of the crop. The question isn't really who to go with, but who's going to have to do the trenching?

Is a Femtocell a good way to get better cell reception in my house?

Episode 1158

Greg from Dillon Beach, CA

Greg has an issue with weak Verizon cellphone reception in his area. He wants to know if a Femtocell is a good option to fix that. Leo says it is if he has Internet in his house. Every cell phone company offers them, and they act as a kind of cell phone tower in the home, routing phone calls through the internet. But it depends on how much they want to keep him as a customer. If he asks for a customer retention expert and respectfully explain the problem, they may even offer him one at no charge. But if they try and sell him one, hold out.

Diagnose Wi-Fi Problems

Wi-Fi can be a difficult thing to get right, especially when there are numerous Wi-Fi hotspots all around. Even at its best, Wi-Fi won't ever be as fast and reliable as a hardwired connection, and will occasionally suffer drop-outs. But there is a way to optimize your Wi-Fi network so it has less trouble keeping your devices connected.

What cell phone carrier is best?

Cell phone

Episode 1129

Zack from Folsom, CA

Zack wants to know what cell phone carrier would be best for him. Leo uses all four to keep up with them and he says they're all terrible. Bad customer service, expensive, and monopolistic. Out of all of them, T-Mobile is probably his favorite, especially because it works well in his area. They have great plans including a $30 a month data plan with 100 minutes of calling. It's hard to find, but it's there. Leo likes T-Mobile's "we try harder" attitude. By and large, they are the best of the worst.

How can I extend the Wi-Fi signal from an Apple Airport Extreme?

Apple Airport Express

Episode 1106

Jeff from Los Angeles, CA

Jeff has a 3000' square foot house and has several Apple Airport Expresses to relay the signal from his Airport Extreme. Leo says that Jeff should have the Express in 'Bridging mode' and should let the Airport Extreme choose the channel because it will adjust according to congestion. Just select the option to extend the network and let it handle everything else.

Why can't I get better wireless speeds from my ISP?

Cell tower

Episode 1105

Mike from Moreno Valley, CA

Mike is a gamer and he lives in a remote area. He needs to find internet service so he can use his XBox One. Leo says that's a drawback to the XBox -- it requires a constant online connection. Mike switched to a wireless service but the download speed is really slow. Mike's frustration is that he can see the cell tower from his house and he still can't get a good signal. Leo says it sounds like the ISP lied to him about the performance he would get. What they promise and what he'll actually get can be two different things, and it sounds like the tower is overburdened.

How can I get wireless printing to work with my HP printer?

Add Printer in OS X

Episode 1088

Mike from Denver, CO

Mike has an old HP printer and he wants to use the wireless printing option. It works great wired, but he has issues printing through Wi-Fi. It says his printer isn't connected. How can he get the computer to recognize the printer?

Leo says that he'll have to go into the printer settings and tell it what the Wi-Fi access point is. He should remove the USB connection and have it rediscover the printer. Uninstall everything first and then press "plus" in the Printer section of OS X's settings, and he should be able to add it.

How can I wire my new house for high speed Ethernet?

Ethernet in wall

Episode 1065

Rob from Laguna Beach, CA

Rob bought an old church and he's remodeling it. He wants to install Ethernet to create a network in home. Leo says that if Rob wants Internet everywhere, the ideal time to lay down ethernet cable is when the walls are open. However, pretty much everything we do now is wireless. For music, he'll want to do wirelessly. A simple Wi-Fi analysis will show him whether Wi-Fi in his home is crowded or not. If it is, then going back to wired connections is a great idea.