Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss social media scams, Apple’s event, a flight landing in the wrong city, AI and McDonald’s, and more.
Ron in Pontiac, Michigan listens on AM800 CKLW and asked: “I need to put in a Wi-Fi extender for a device that I’m going to have on the garage outside the house 30 feet away. What would be your recommendation for a medium-priced Wi-Fi extender?”
Ron, WiFi extenders are tricky. They don’t always play nice with all routers, and they sometimes require you to disconnect and reconnect to a new network.
If you can afford to buy a mesh or pseudo mesh system like a Google WiFi or a Eero, you’ll probably have an easier, more seamless experience, but for a price.
Otherwise, your best bet is probably to find an extender manufactured by whoever made your router. Many routers come with an option to pair an extender, but they don’t usually adhere to a standard for compatibility, they just allow you to hire a member of their own electronic family.
There is a good chance that you will end up with two networks, one of for the extender and one for your regular WiFi, which may not be that big of a deal if you’re using them far away from each other, but it can be annoying if you just want seamless, continuous access.
Alternatively, 30 feet is well within the limits of a wired connection. That means that you can just feed a long wire into your garage and use any cheap access point as your second source of WiFi. That will likely save you some dollars, and it is more likely to work well, since the signal will be there for the device to put out, whereas with a wireless repeater the device may run into the same issue that you are running into and not have a signal to use that far away from the house.
Brandon in Japan listens online and asked: “I’m currently serving overseas in Japan and need a tech update/ recommendation. I may be a bit antisocial and don’t want to take my phone with me on runs or biking. I’ve understand the Samsung Gear is capable, but do I have to own a Samsung/Android to benefit from this function? I’d appreciate any warnings in buying them through amazon etc and what vender you’d recommend or warn against. It is hard to trust the reviews!”
Brandon, the Gear is a capable smartwatch like you say and you technically don’t need a Samsung or Android phone, but you’ll need one if you want to enjoy the full functionality that device offers rather than a very small subset of it.
If you have an iPhone, you’re better off looking at an Apple Watch. They’re different, but they’re made to work with your phone. The Gear is made to be somewhat, sort of compatible with your phone, but don’t expect full functionality now or at any point in the future, Android manufacturers and Android-based operating systems tend not prioritize compatibility with their direct competitors.
As far as vendors go, Amazon is usually ok, they still side with the buyer at the expense of the seller in most cases, so you are reasonably protected if anything is wrong with the product you get. Any other big name retailer like BestBuy or Target should be good too, but we won’t be much help with suggestions of possible Japanese retailers, since we don’t know any.
You also have the choice of just buying straight from samsung.com (or whoever makes the watch you like .com), they would be coming straight from the source and should put any concerns you may have about getting the device you’re promised at ease.
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