Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss T-Mobile’s 5G home service ending its pilot period, a Facebook leak, TikTok’s auto captions, and more.
Liz in Windsor, Ontario listens online and asked: “I walk outside on my back deck and lose my WiFi signal. I’m no more than 4 feet outside my patio door. What are my options to remedy this frustrating problem? Do I need a new router or modem? Do I have to rearrange these devices in my home? Is there some sort of product that I can easily plug in to boost or expand my WiFi signal so I can sit out on my deck and access my home network?”
Liz, what youll need depends mainly on your home and how its built. Materials, size, and other factors, all impact radio signals – and WiFi is just another radio signal. But generally speaking, if you cant get a signal out there, your options will be limited.
You can move your router closer to that part of the house if thats an option for you, but that will probably just create another dead WiFi spot somewhere else.
Otherwise youre stuck looking at either a better router, or better yet a system that uses several of them.
Some routers have more powerful antennas, so if you want to keep it to a single one, a beefy, usually more expensive router may do the trick.
Otherwise a mesh system like Google WiFi, Eero, or Netgears Orbi should do the trick and it wont change anything about how you use your network. Theyll be just one network to connect to, you wont have to disconnect or reconnect, the different access points that make up the system will manage the handoff for you, so as far as you know it will be like having a single device creating a single network.
Those devices will probably cost you a couple hundred dollars, depending on how many you actually need, it may be more, but if thats the only dead spot, two will probably do it. A good quality router may cost you the same or slightly less, but it will come loaded with lots of features youll never use and it will be less focused on giving you better coverage. A bonus of the router over something like Google WiFi is that with IoT devices being as insecure as some are, having a VLAN for them may be a good option, but thats an advanced use case and something you probably wont do if you didnt already know you wanted to do it.
When you participate on the show – anytime 24/7 – and we HEAR you with any consumer tech question, comment, help for another listener, tech rage or just share your favorite App these days … you could win prizes.
Infinacore: Walleygrip Detachable Wallet, Grip and Stand for your smartphone
Puro Sound Labs: Wireless Noise-Canceling headphones for kids
Dave’s Love Handles: Custom “Into Tomorrow” Smartphone Grips
SanDisk: Ultra Dual Drive – Reversible traditional/Type-C USB
Pet Peanut: A fun new way to manage your “tech rage”
Intuit: TurboTax Online codes good for ANY of their products to help you file your income tax fast and easily.
All CALLERS — using the AUDIO option on our Free App or 1-800-899-INTO(4686) – automatically qualify to win prizes.
Audio archived for at least 6 months