wifi

How can I extend the range of my Wi-Fi to the second floor?

Matthew from Virginia

Episode 1196

Matthew is having issues with WiFi when he moves to the second floor. Leo says it's important to remember that WiFi is about 150' in distance. But things can get in the way and dilute the signal, especially metal. An extender will help but you want an extender that is made by the same as your router. Leo has three of them. ActionTec is what Matthew's router is and they do address extenders here. That's the most affordable option. Then there's powerline networking that uses the electrical cable in your walls as networking cables.

What mobile Wi-Fi hotspot should I buy?

Emily from Orange County, CA

Episode 1192

Emily is thinking about buying a portable Wi-Fi hotspot so that they will have the ability to connect to the Internet with her iPad. Leo says that's a good idea. Are the independent carriers any good? Leo says that there aren't any independent carriers, really. They're just reselling coverage from the big guys (called MVNO) and she'll want to be sure she checks out the coverage maps for the carrier they're reselling. Is Karma good? Leo says that Karma is a Kickstarter campaign that would let her pay as she goes.

Why can't I connect my iPad to my Wi-Fi network?

Garrett from Manhattan Beach, CA

Episode 1191

Garrett has an iPad 2 and he's having trouble connecting via Wi-Fi consistently. He'll connect and then when he goes into his room, it drops. Leo says that Wi-Fi is a radio signal and it has a range of about 100-150', but it can also be affected by what is in the walls. If he has metal in the walls, then he'll have issues connecting. Leo also says the connection may be congested by a crowded 2.4 GHz frequency band. Modern routers give the choice of 2.4 or 5 GHz.

How can I transmit Wi-Fi from a long distance?

Logan from Knoxville, TX

Episode 1182

Logan has to create a long range wireless access point that will enable him to have broadband from up to 10 miles away. Leo says that's a long way for Wi-Fi, even for line of sight, which will help a lot.

Leo suggests checking out RadioLabs.com, they make long range Wi-Fi antennas. He'll need a highly directional antenna, and maybe even microwave antennas, because Wi-Fi may not be the best idea for such a long distance.

How can I get better Wi-Fi signal in my house?

David from Murrieta, CA

Episode 1178

David is having issues with his Wi-Fi upstairs. Leo says that if he's using the router from his ISP's modem, he should turn off Wi-Fi and get his own router. That often will solve the problem. He should make sure he has a DOCSIS 3 modem as well. In fact, while he's at it, he should just buy a modem as well. That way he will save the monthly rental fee he's paying his ISP for that modem.

How can I connect my SkyBell via Wi-Fi?

Episode 1177

Ed from San Diego, CA
SkyBell

Ed has the Skybell, a webcam door knock that allows users to see who's at the door from their smartphone via Wi-Fi. But he can't get it to work. Leo says that's because it has to connect via Wi-Fi, and he has to be sure it's connected to his network. He'll also have to have a 2.4 GHz system, and that's the most crowded spectrum because everyone else is on 2.4Ghz. If he can use 5 GHz, that would be better.