wifi

Should I hard wire my Roku box?

Jonathan from Rochester, NY

Episode 1098

Jonathan has DSL internet, and is wondering if there's an advantage to hard wiring his Roku rather than having it wireless. Scott says yes, hard wire is better because of the possibility for interference in the Wi-Fi spectrum. David says that if he's not having video dropouts, hard wiring won't improve the video quality. It'll just give him a more consistent stream. He also has an A/V receiver wired to his speakers.

Where can I get free Wi-Fi?

Dave from Riverside, CA

Episode 1096

Dave says that Riverside is ending their free Wi-Fi service tomorrow after complaints that some people couldn't use it. AT&T, who set it up, pulled out a few years ago and Riverside may have decided it was too costly to operate on their own. Leo says that's a shame because Riverside was one of the first communities to give it a try. It's not likely that more communities will be able to join in, as most ISPs have lobbied legislatures to outlaw free Wi-Fi service so ISPs can charge more.

What should I replace my computer with?

Joyce from San Diego, CA

Episode 1092

Joyce is looking for a new computer, but doesn't know what she should get. She mainly uses it for email, websites, and games. Leo says that Joyce uses a computer that's probably too much for her, or more than she really needs. He recommends going with the iPad. What about Wi-Fi? Leo says that an iPad with a 4G LTE connection would be best. Every carrier offers it and Joyce can pick the one that works best in her area. It'll cost her about $30 a month, but it's well worth it.

Has my Windows Phone been compromised?

Episode 1087

Jeff from Seattle, WA
Nokia Lumia 900

Rick discovered that his Windows smartphone connects to Wi-Fi without his permission and he believes his microsoft ID was compromised by a hacker. Leo says that somewhere in the settings there could be a feature that logs him in wherever he goes. It also could be a carrier feature. AT&T phones will connect automatically when they see an AT&T sponsored Wi-Fi site, which can be frustrating. Windows Phones have an option to turn it off though in settings.

How can I create free public Wi-Fi?

Stan from Bettsville, OH

Episode 1080

Stan is on the local village council and wants to set up free Wi-Fi at their local parks. He doesn't know where to start, though. Leo says what Stan wants is a WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider). When cities do public Wi-Fi, they go to a company and contract with them to do it for free in exchange for advertising. So that may be an option.

Google has a program called Google Community Wi-Fi. Local companies would be better than larger corporations.

What's the best Wi-Fi Security camera?

Episode 1079

Naomi from Denver, CO
Foscam

Naomi is looking to add a Wi-Fi security camera to her home. What does she need? Leo says that DropCam has worked for him, but Leo didn't realize how much bandwidth it has to handle. He ended up giving the DropCams their own router. She would only have to pay a subscription to DropCam if she wants to store the video. Leo says she can do it herself if she has old computers and web cams lying around. He also suggests capturing stills every so often, and not stream to video live.

How can I extend my Wi-Fi signal?

Kimberly from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1076

Kimberly got a modem and router from her internet service provider, but the Wi-Fi isn't reaching to her bedroom which is 100 feet away. Leo says that's quite a distance and it sounds like Kim is at the edge of her Wi-Fi range. She could get an extender, but Leo advises using one that is the same manufacturer as her Wi-Fi router. Another option is to use the cable box router as just a modem and then get her own router and repeater. Leo suggests Netgear.

How can I improve my Wi-Fi Signal at home?

John from San Diego, CA

Episode 1073

John is frustrated with the slow speed of his wireless connection. Leo says it largely depends on the speed. 802.11n is the fastest, but it's being supplanted by 80211.ac. John has an 802.11g router and that's not as fast as n. The farther away a router is, the slower the Wi-Fi signal gets. Congestion by competing Wi-Fi access points can be an issue as well, since everyone is on the same spectrum - 2.4Ghz. That's why Leo recommends using dual band routers which also run on the 5Ghz band spectrum.