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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Steve has network attached storage and wants to be able to access his media anywhere in the house. Should he use wireless speakers? Leo says that conventional wireless speakers won't work all around the house, but the Sonos wireless system is an ideal solution.
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.
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.
Bruce upgraded to Windows 8.1 and he gets a message that he doesn't have a driver for his WiMax wireless receiver, but he still has access to the Internet. Leo says that Bruce is using the Windows wireless driver. So that's why it worked.
Bill has Time Warner Cable for his broadband and he uses wireless to his laptop. He's having connection issues because it's slow, though. Leo recommends first running SpeedTest.net to measure how slow it actually is. He should try connecting directly to the modem via Ethernet to see if it's still slow. If it is, it's a computer issue. If not, then the issue is with the Wi-Fi router.
It sounds like a configuration issue, though. Leo also advises creating a dummy account with administrator approvals and see how it works.