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Episode 1234 November 1, 2015

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch George from Santa Monica, CA Comments

George wants to extend his Wi-Fi signal out to the front porch. How can he boost the signal range of his Wi-Fi network? Leo says a Wi-Fi extender or repeater is his best bet and it's always best to go with the same manufacturer as his original Wi-Fi router. So a D-Link would be D-Link Extender, NetGear with NetGear, Apple Airport Extreme with Airport Express. The idea is to place the extender midway between the base station and where he'll want it to go. This will enable him to double the distance of his Wi-Fi network. He should just make sure it's password protected so the neighbors don't "borrow a cup of Wi-Fi" without asking!

From the Chatroom - The WireCutter has a post with the Best Wi-Fi Extenders, which they say is the Netgear EX6200 and can shake hands with just about anything.

Watch VJ from Tuscon, AZ Comments

VJ's Dell XPS laptop has a design flaw which prevents it from getting a good Wi-Fi signal in most areas. What is his best bet for improving his signal reception? Leo says that since the case of that XPS laptop is metal, it turns his own laptop into a mini Farraday cage. The easiest way to get around this would be to get a USB Wi-Fi dongle that plugs into the USB port. The advantage is that he will get far better signal reception than any internal antenna. And they're only about $20. Unfortunately, this is what happens when the price plummets on hardware to the point that innovation suffers.

Watch Bob from Florida Comments

The power button on Bob's MacBook Pro has broken and he has to "arc" a pair of contacts to start it back up. Leo says that is a problem because he'll end up shorting it out. It would be better to just leave it on all the time and let it go to sleep. But with a laptop that's as old as Bob's maybe it's time to pull out that hard drive and get a new computer.

Watch Paul from Columbus, OH Comments

Paul's UVerse router is starting to get finicky, so he got a new one and wants to use the old one in bridge mode, but it won't work. It keeps asking for a password. Leo says it's unusual for a factory to set a router with a password from default. The password should be in the manual. Paul should try doing a factory reset.

Leo thinks that the IT guy that Paul used pre-configured it with his password. So just hitting the hard reset button for about 10-15 seconds until the lights start blinking will completely wipe out any previous settings and put it back to its factory default settings. After that, if there's still a password, try "ADMIN" or "admin."

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Joe from Maryland Comments

Joe and his wife are going on a long cross country trip and they want to put Wi-Fi in their car. How can they do it? Leo says that the MiFi is a great option because it connects to 4G/LTE and would allows them to connect up to 6 different devices at once. The trick is to go with the wireless company that has the best coverage where traveling. That's likely going to be Verizon.

But Leo says that the KarmaGo is a good device that works much like the MiFi, but it uses Sprint in a 'pay as you go' pricing scheme. Joe and his wife will only pay for the data they use. It costs about $10-15 per gig depending on how much they buy. It works with just Sprint though, which may not work best where Joe is going. Walmart's Straight Talk network can also work.

Watch Roger from Virginia Comments

Roger upgraded his Toshiba laptop for Windows 10 on his own and now it won't use the Quickstart feature. Leo says that's likely due to Roger's impatience in waiting for Microsoft's invitation and compatibility approval and installing a stand alone ISO. Leo recommends downgrading back to Windows 7 and waiting for Microsoft's invitation, or just live without the quick start feature. There's going to be a huge update with Windows 10 coming next month, so he won't have long to wait.

Watch Skip from Maryland Comments

Skip is trying to do a clean install of Windows 10, but it won't take his password, even though he reset it. He talked to Microsoft and the rep said he'd need a new product key. Leo says that's nonsense. Here's how it works, and it's been verified by Paul Thurrot at Thurrott.com. The upgrade is associated to the machine, not the serial number, nor the account. It's the machine.

So the clean install should work. Skip should follow the step by step instructions in the link above and it should get him through it. Another option is to go into Recovery and choose the 'wipe everything and start over' option.

Watch Tyler from Palmdale, CA Comments

Tyler is in a rock band and they're recording their first album. They want to release a few songs for free on their website, but they're having trouble offering free downloads over iOS. Leo says that iOS can play MP3s, but it's hard to get mobile apps to talk to one another. Leo advises putting them on SoundCloud. It's a good place to do it because he can do it for free. And SoundCloud has an app that people can use to play the songs on mobile as well.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Steve from Chino Hills, CA Comments

Steve has a Security Camera DVR and he's used a splitter to watch it in several rooms using a balun, but he keeps losing the signal. Leo says that HDMI doesn't throw very far, and using a balun amplifies the signal and sends it over ethernet to the other side. The distance is still limited to around 200' and it could be that he's at the extreme edge of the range. Steve could go RF. The chat room says that using Cat6 Ethernet cables could make it that far, and at MonoPrice.com he could get an extender kit to around 328 feet.

What's Leo's favorite Android phone? Leo's waiting to see what the Nexus 6P will be like, but currently his favorite is the Samsung Galaxy Note V. The Galaxy S6 Edge is cool as well. LG's V10 is super tough, but he doesn't like their overlay software because it slows it down. Leo says that the biggest issue is battery life and he doesn't like that he can't get through the day with an Android device. There's also only a few models that allow for swapping batteries.

Watch Chris from Florida Comments

Chris can't find out how many songs he has in Apple's new Music app. Leo says to try sorting by songs. But it could be that Apple has dropped their obsession with the number of songs available. Leo says to go into the Settings -> General -> Usage settings and he should see how many songs he has. It should be app specific and Apple has been moving stuff like this to settings now.

Watch Sam from Costa Mesa, CA Comments

Sam uses Quickbooks and he needs a new laptop. What are choices? Leo says that a basic Dell business laptop would be ideal for it.

Watch VJ from Walnut, CA Comments

VJ has an Epson printer/scanner and he can't connect to his Windows 10 laptop even though he has the latest drivers. Leo says that upgrades do break connectivity sometimes and it could be that VJ installed the 32 bit drivers instead of the 64 bit drivers. It may be worth trying third party software. VJ should try unplugging and plugging it back in. See if the USB driver is seeing the scanner. He should press Windows Key + X for Device Manager. He also should try a different USB port. Epson's support page may have more information.

The chatroom says to download and install Epson's Print & Scan program for Windows 10.

(Disclaimer: Epson is a sponsor).

Watch Bob from Vancouver, WA Comments

Bob has an Sony A99 that he shoots with and he wants to connect his cards to his iPad. Leo says that the EyeFi SD card may work for connecting to the iPad directly. The EyeFi app for iPad should be able to transfer and view the photos.

Watch John from Altadena, CA Comments

John wants to lock down his internet for his kids. Leo says that the trick is to block it with OpenDNS from the router itself. Change the DNS settings on the router to block it. Then he'll need to lock it down on his system to prevent changes.

Is there a way to block certain things in the hardware? Leo says that he can get a hardware device that will block it, but they slow things down. The Apple router used to have the capabilities to do Mac filtering, but they've taken that out. Leo says to get a new router that supports that function. Then he'll have to try and lock down the Chromebook itself. John should set up Supervised Users on the Chromebook. OMGChrome.com has a technote that may help.

Watch Gary from Glendale, CA Comments

Gary is an AT&T UVerse user. Can he buy his own modem? Leo says no. UVerse uses their own modem because of the TV interface. But he could use a standalone Wi-Fi router. He can connect it via Ethernet and it'll give it access. Leo uses a TriBand AC3200 from Asus. It's the fastest he's ever used. He should also check out the Archer C7 from TP-Link.