Q. I purchased a game console for the TV in my bedroom, but it turns out my Wi-Fi signal isn’t great there. What can I do to get a stronger signal?
A. Your Wi-Fi router antenna is likely omni-directional. Put the router as high as you can in the center of your house for the best coverage. If your router has to be near the edge of your home, a simple homemade directional antenna can send the signal where you need it. Click here to learn how to make your own using (of all things) a beer can. If you have an old router running on the standard 802.11b, 802.11g or 802.11n, upgrade to an 802.11ac. Not only will it have a strong signal, it will be faster with newer gadgets. Need more? Here are other tricks that will boost a Wi-Fi signal for faster Internet and smoother videos.
Lock a snoop out of your accounts
Q. I love your podcast of your national radio show! I know my spouse is reading my email and sneaking into my Facebook account. I change my passwords and he still seems to get in my accounts. How is he doing this? Trust me, he’s no hacker!
A. You could ask him. Barring that awkward conversation, he could be getting in because of a simple mistake you’ve made. Most browsers save your passwords so you don’t have to remember them. If you share a computer or tablet, the browser is likely filling in your password automatically when he goes to the site. Let me tell you something that most people don’t know. With just a few clicks, anyone can see your passwords to any site you’ve saved. You don’t need to be a hacker, just nosy. Click here to find out how easy it is to see saved browser passwords.
Save money on batteries
Q. I burn through batteries so fast it’s costing me a fortune. I was thinking of switching to rechargeable batteries, but they’re expensive. Is it worth it?
A. The specific savings depend on the batteries and the gadgets. High-end Eneloop rechargeable batteries can last for more than a decade. They’ll usually start paying for themselves after two years. Use disposable batteries in TV remotes and other longer-lasting gadgets. Use rechargeable batteries in candles and toys that burn through half a dozen batteries a year. For a detailed breakdown of disposable vs. rechargeable batteries and usage scenarios, click here for more information on my site.