Why is my internet so slow in the evening?

Episode 1471

Jeff from Hamilton, MT
ASUS C3200

Jeff wants to know why his internet slows down at night. Leo says that he ends up sharing bandwidth with his neighborhood and if it's slowing down in the evening, it's because everyone is on Netflix. He also has to factor in Wi-Fi congestion. Jeff could bypass the Wi-Fi router and plug directly into the modem and see if it speeds up. If it does, then he'll know it's Wi-Fi congestion. If not, then he'll know it's his because of heavy use in the neighborhood.

How can I improve internet access in the house?

Episode 1469

Jeff from Granada Hills, CA

Jeff has an older Acer AC1900 router. Now he's looking at a mesh router. Leo says mesh routers are great for larger spaces, and he can add three satellite units, which could cover 1500 square feet. It provides multiple access points because the Wi-Fi is "meshed" throughout the house. Eero even works with Echo and he could assign devices to users and then have Echo pause the internet access for them. Eero also has great parental controls. It's not cheap, though, but he can get two for about $200 though, and that should be enough.

How can I extend my Wi-Fi range to the back of my home?

Episode 1467

Nichole from Los Angeles, CA
TP-Link Powerline Gigabit Wi-Fi Kit

Nichole is having problems getting a clear Wi-Fi signal in the back of her home. Leo says that's largely due to congestion. Everything from a mobile phone to a tablet, to even a microwave are using that 2.4 Ghz band, and so there's a lot of congestion. One way to fix that is to get a dual-band router. The 5.0 GHz band is a lot less congested, but it doesn't have as good of a range. So she can use it for some of her traffic, and use the longer range signal for the back of the house. Or she could use a mesh router.

Why is my streaming video quality so bad?

Episode 1467

Arthur from New Hampshire

Arthur uses YouTube and he says that it's so compressed, it's absolutely unwatchable. Leo says that when he's streaming video, it's largely dependent on his bandwidth. The less bandwidth he has, the lower his resolution is going to be. He can adjust the quality he's getting in the settings, however, but at the end of the day, he may need to just get more bandwidth.

Why does the Wi-Fi turn off on my laptop?

Episode 1466

Todd from Riverside, CA
Man using laptop connecting with wifi

Todd's pro-level support with Dell expired right as his Wi-Fi stopped working. When he turns it on, it just keeps turning back off. Is it broken or is the software doing something? Leo says there is a function key on the keyboard that can turn off the Wi-Fi, and if it's sticking, that could be causing the problem. If it's a business laptop, it may also have a switch on the side that can turn it off. Driver issues may also be causing it, so he should go to Dell and download all the latest motherboard drivers.

How can I get Wi-Fi out in my barn?

Episode 1464

Ed from Tulsa, CA
Wi-Fi Booster

Ed has a Google mesh router system and he wants to be able to get Wi-Fi out in his barn, which is 100' away. Can he get another mesh unit or should he do ethernet? Leo says that if he has a window, then he could put a mesh unit on the windowsill, and another in the window of a barn so they would have line-of-sight connectivity. It's certainly worth a try. Ed could also try powerline networking if the barn and his home are on the same junction. The other option is to use a Wi-Fi antenna.

How can I get around work's locked down internet?

Episode 1462

Rick from Irvine, CA

Rick's wife is trying to get around her job's internet restrictions with a VPN. Is there any way to do that? Leo says probably not. They will likely have it locked down to the point where she can't get around it. Leo recommends using her mobile phone in hotspot mode. She should turn off Wi-Fi though because she'll still be under their policies even when she's on her phone using the Wi-Fi. The company has the right to not only prevent her from using her own devices on their network, but also to spy on her. So she should be careful.

Can I connect an external antenna to my Wi-Fi router?

Episode 1460

David from British Columbia
Archer T2UH

David's office uses a shipping container as an office and they have to use an external antenna to pick up the wireless signal, but it only connects to one computer. Can the external antenna be connected to a router? Leo says yes, it can, but the Wi-Fi standard is unique and router connectors vary. He'll need to go somewhere that can bundle the router with an attachable antenna to get the right match.

Should I have to pay to have my router updated?

Episode 1456

Mark from Northridge, CA
Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 router

Mark got the Nighthawk router and now he's hearing he has to buy a service agreement to have it updated for security after owning it for 90 days. Leo says that's outrageous. Security updates should be included in a $200 router. Paying $129 a year is ridiculous. But we expect really cheap gear now and with a single tech call, they can lose their profit margin. It's just the nature of the technology business. Security is a basic need, though, and that should be factored in.

Why can't I connect my Wemo to the internet?

Episode 1452

Armando from Whittier, CA
Belkin Wemo

Armando is trying to connect Wemo to his wireless router, but when he connects an additional one, it won't take his password. Leo says 2.4 Ghz is extremely congested now, so Leo recommends going into his router settings and changing it to allow his router to make changes automatically. That will enable it to choose the best channels. Doing it manually is tough and he'd need a Wi-Fi analyzer to do it. If he wants to do that, InSSIDer is a good one.