wireless

Is surfing the internet on LTE secure?

4G LTE

Episode 1522

David from El Monte, CA

David wants to know if he's secure surfing the internet on his mobile device. Leo says that nothing is unhackable, but LTE is encrypted and very secure. A phone can be hacked, even at the radio level, though. It's also possible for someone to spoof his SIM card. But it's too much work for the average hacker. It would have to be a state level attack in order to accomplish it. Wi-Fi is less secure, and if he's relying on WPA2 or any other Wi-Fi connection, it's possible to hack it. But that's not easy, either. Odds are, there's really not all that much to worry about.

Why did AT&T stop giving me access to DSL Extreme?

Fiber

Episode 1471

Jane from Oceanside, CA

Jane had DSL Extreme, but she says that AT&T won't allow it over the phone lines anymore. Leo says there's something going on with her particular neighborhood. She's still getting phone service, though. Jane says that AT&T isn't offering DSL either, but they're trying to push UVerse. Leo says that AT&T has decided to eliminate copper in her neighborhood and start using fiber. Fiber is glass and works better than copper.

Is the Movo Wireless Microphone good?

Movo Wireless Microphone

Episode 1438

Paul from San Diego, CA

Paul has had an issue where Microsoft was installing newer drivers during an update that he didn't want. Leo says that he can choose to not install the newer drivers when he runs the update utility.

Paul also wants to know if the Movo wireless microphone works well. Leo says it's a good low-cost wireless microphone, but he's concerned because the cheaper a wireless mic is, the more likely he'll run into interference.

How can I get rid of the interference with my Sonos Home Theater?

PLAYBASE + SUB + 2 Ones

Episode 1432

Peter from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Peter has a Sonos wireless home theater and he's having some interference issues. Leo says that Sonos uses its own spectrum, and he can select standard WiFi instead. But chances are, he's running into plain old congestion as other home theater and Wi-Fi units are taking up the bandwidth. If he can, he should move it over to the 5GHz channel instead. He'll have to re-pair them, but it'll be worth it. It could also be an issue with Sonos' new 8.1 firmware update. Both Leo and Doctor Mom are experiencing the same thing, so there's something going on.

Why can't I use my cell phone at home?

AT&T MicroCell

Episode 1427

Paul from La Jolla, CA

Paul is having an issue with dropped calls and limited cell reception. He's told he needs a receiver to boost the signal. Leo says that receiver is called a FemToCell that plugs into his internet access and routes his calls through the net. He should call his carrier and tell them he can't use their service in his house and ask them to provide a FemtoCell. In most cases they'll provide it for free. He may need to threaten to cancel his service to get it.

Improve Your In-Home Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is great when it works, but all too often there are problems that cause disconnects or slowdowns. If you have a large house, or there are too many walls that make it hard for signal to travel through, you may need more than just one wireless router.

One option for improving your reception is to set up a secondary Wi-Fi access point to extend your current Wi-Fi router. You'll want to buy an extender from the same company that made the router you already own. Set up the extender in "bridge mode" and it will rebroadcast the signal and extend its range.

Is there an alternative to satellite internet?

Satellite Dish

Episode 1331

Marilyn from Compton, CA

Marilyn says that her internet carrier is trying to charge her extra for bandwidth. She uses Dish. Leo says that satellite internet has bandwidth caps because it's very constrained. Leo only recommends satellite when there's no other choice. He recommends going to DSLReports.com. They have ISP reviews by geographic area. If there's nothing else in her area, Marilyn would be much better off going with LTE wireless.