wifi

How can I connect my Roku without a router?

Episode 1254

Gloria from Los Angeles, CA
Roku Stick

Gloria has a Roku Stick and she's been told she needs a router to use it. Leo says that yes, she'll need wireless internet access. If her router doesn't have Wi-Fi built-in, then her choices are to either get a regular Roku and plug it into her modem via an ethernet cable, or buy a router which will handle wireless traffic from the Roku stick. It'll also allow her to connect to her laptop wirelessly. Leo says that if she calls her cable provider, they'll replace her modem with a Wi-Fi modem/router. They'll set it all up.

What's the best way to wire my house for the Internet?

Ed from Chino Hills, CA

Episode 1254

Ed is building a house in a remote area. Should he install Cat 5e or Cat 6 cable? Leo says that the faster it is, the more expensive it is. It's about 30% faster with each level. So Leo says to future proof your home, buy the 5e, but he should put in conduit so he can replace it with faster cables down the line. It won't speed up internet access, it'll just speed delivery of data within the house. Most people will just be using Wi-Fi, though.

How can I protect myself on a public hotspot?

Doug from Alabama

Episode 1240

Doug does a lot of traveling on the road and he uses a open Wi-Fi hotspots a lot. He's worried about the security of using those hotspots, though. Leo says that using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a good solution, as it burrows a secure tunnel through the hotspot so that all of his data is encrypted. He'd be totally safe and secure. The downside though it that using a VPN will slow him down a lot, and they are a challenge for some to set up. And the reality is, more and more of what he'll be doing online is encrypted anyway.

Why is internet so slow on my desktop?

Episode 1224

Che from Orlando, FL
Dell XPS 8700

Che just bought a new Dell XPS Desktop and it's started to slow down drastically. He does a speed test, like Leo taught, and the desktop is much slower than his laptop. Leo says to try plugging the desktop directly into the router with an ethernet cable, and see if the speed improves. If so, then he's narrowed it down to the router. Leo says it could the hardware, but he could try reinstalling the Wi-Fi connection. There may also be conflicting Wi-Fi drivers at work between the hardware driver and the Windows driver. That can confuse Windows and slow things down.

How can I extend a Wi-Fi signal?

Rick from Arkansas

Episode 1216

Rick is a truck driver and relies on open Wi-Fi access points. But a lot of them don't have parking space for his rig. How can he extend the signal so he can access their signal from outside the parking lots? Leo says that while there are Wi-Fi extenders that can pick up signals from a distance, he'll want to be sure he is a good customer at that provider. C Crane has a Wi-Fi extender called The Country Mile Wi-Fi. Another option is to buy a MiFi card, which uses 4G, and he can get that just about anywhere.