Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss Amazon’s shopping cart upgrades, the UK banning Huawei, the world’s first self-sanitizing toilet brush, a proposed short-term political ban on Facebook, a new numerical model to determine the age of the moon, Samsung’s earnings, and more.
Liz in Windsor, Ontario listens on AM800 CKLW 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 you’ll need depends mainly on your home and how it’s built. Materials, size, things like that, all impact radio signals – and WiFi is just another radio signal. But generally speaking, if you can’t get a signal out there, your options will be limited.
You can move your router closer to that part of the house if that’s an option for you, but that will probably just create another dead WiFi spot somewhere else.
Otherwise you’re 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 Netgear’s Orbi should do the trick and it won’t change anything about how you use your network. They’ll be just one network to connect to, you won’t 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 that’s the only dead spot 2 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 you’ll 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 that’s an advanced use case and something you probably won’t do if you didn’t already know you wanted to do it.
Brad in Mississippi listens on SuperTalk MIssissippi and called in with a comment
Brad said: “I just listened to you guys talking about various web browsers and I find occasionally (rarely) that there are certain sites that Internet Explorer is the only browser that they work on. Believe it or not, it happens. Some banking sites that use Java or other products. It’s kinda weird – but they will only work properly with Internet Explorer. Rare – but it does occur.”
Thank you, Brad!
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