Nick is heading to Paris and he wants to know if he can bring his T-Mobile flip phone. Leo says it would be a good idea to contact T-Mobile and get an international calling plan. He's also planning on bringing his laptop, but he's worried about Wi-Fi security. Leo says it's about as safe there as it is here, meaning that it's best to use encryption if he's visiting any sites that are public. He should avoid banking online if he can. Banks will encrypt his traffic, though. The greater risk is his email and logging in, so that's where he'll want to be encrypted.
Al is having trouble with his Chromecast dropping his internet connection. Leo says that Al is using Comcast's ActionTek router and there may be interference on the 2.4 Ghz band. He recommends going with a higher band, like 5 Ghz. Most other stuff uses 2.4 Ghz and it's getting pretty crowded. Another option, if he can't go with 5 GHz, is to choose another channel on the farthest end. ActionTek uses Channel 1, so he should try Channel 11. That should clear the field and help Al to connect.
Gary says that Ooma has a Wi-Fi adapter and wants to know if he could install it for his mother in assisted living with their Wi-Fi. Leo says that the Wi-Fi in the complex may be unreliable or just plain slow. So while the technology may be ideal, the network they're using is probably not going to handle it.
David has two TVs separated by about 25' and connected wirelessly. But one of the TV's receivers is locking up and the audio is out of sync. Leo says that the wireless transmitter/receiver may be failing. Wireless audio syncing is a kind of dark art. Sonos is really good at that. He should check the settings in his Action Tec wireless transmitter. An audio sync device may make a difference.
Dan has a Kindle Fire HD and he can't connect his tablet to the Internet. Leo says that since Dan bought his own modem, he'll need to call the cable company and give them the MAC address so they can activate that router for use on their service. Once that's done, he'll plug in the cable modem to the router and then put the router into "bridge" mode. Leo advises spending time at Practically Networked. There's some great tutorials there.
Connie is worried that since her dad leaves his computer on, it's more vulnerable to attack. Leo says no, that's not how it works. There are things that Connie can do to protect him better, though:
1) Use a Mac (he does)
2) Get a router. The router will act as a dumb box that won't allow malware to pass in or sniff what he's going online.
3) Teach him to guard his behavior by not clicking on attachments or links in email, etc. And always be suspicious of them, double-checking the URL before clicking on the link.
Dave has a home office in his garage and he wants to get Wi-Fi out there, rather than having the wired connection. Leo says that he should be able to get Wi-Fi for at least 150 feet. If he has a lot of wiring in the walls, then he could end up with slower Wi-Fi, or even a dropped signal. The easiest thing to do is to find a repeater that's the same brand as his Wi-Fi router. They're essentially routers that are in "bridge" mode.
Paul's dad finally got internet access, but he didn't have a router to protect him against attacks online. So Paul gave him his old router. Everytime he has issues, he calls AT&T and they tell him to disconnect the router, though! Leo advises making sure that the router firmware is updated. Rebooting the router often helps. It could also be an issue with AT&T's internet service.
Gordon has bad WiFi reception in his house and his kids are complaining about it. Leo says he should keep using the Verizon Versalink modem he has, even though the Wi-Fi access point hasn't been great. He should get a third party Wi-Fi Router router and plug it in. Buffalo is good, as is NetGear which is what Leo uses.
Alex wants to get a new computer for school and gaming. Leo says he could get a laptop, but Leo likes the idea of an iPad Air and a bluetooth keyboard. Logitech has one called the Keyboard Folio. The iPad is around $500 for the Wi-Fi version, and then another $100 for the keyboard. He'd be right in within his budget.