Q: My HP printer is on our Cisco Linksys Wi-Fi router in my wife’s office at one end of the house. My computer is in the other end of the house and is connected directly to the CenturyLink cable modem, so it has a great connection to the internet but a weak signal from the Wi-Fi router and is frequently losing contact with the router — and thus the printer.
I have a NetGear Wi-Fi extender model EX6100, but that only appears to strengthen the connection with the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz signals from the modem, rather than with the router Wi-Fi signal — and that doesn’t help me solve my printer connection problem.
Is there any way I can use the Wi-Fi extender to help strengthen the router signal? Or is there another approach to this problem that I’m overlooking?
— Bud Nicola
A: Let’s start with the least expensive possible solutions first.
To start, make sure you’re connecting your computer to the printer via the 2.4GHz band. It’s not as fast as the 5GHz band but it has more range.
Next … The usual setup is to connect your Wi-Fi router directly to your cable modem via Ethernet cable. So I’d try moving the Wi-Fi router in your wife’s office to the cable router and then connecting the printer to the Wi-Fi router using the 2.4GHz band.
The next option is to implement a Wi-Fi mesh. Up until recently I was not satisfied with any Wi-Fi meshes I tried, but recently I’ve found them much improved.
Finally — and this is the most expensive solution — is to upgrade your Wi-Fi router to an 802.11ax (also known as Wi-Fi 6) device. The 802.11ax standard offers both faster speeds and great range.
Here’s the rub, though: You’ll experience faster speeds and greater range only with client devices that also support 802.11ax. They’ll work fine with the new router but will only deliver performance supported by the Wi-Fi standard each device supports.
Finally, unless I’m reading your question incorrectly, it seems that you’re using two Wi-Fi networks — one provided by the router in your wife’s office and one provided by the CenturyLink modem. Clients will only be able to connect to one Wi-Fi network at a time.
Q: Not always but frequently, when I turn my Windows 10 computer on, a graphic pops up in the lower-right corner of the screen telling me that my McAfee virus protection is expiring and that I should click on the link to extend it.
I don’t think it’s a legitimate update and ignore it, but I can’t get rid of it using the Task Manager. My McAfee subscription is current. I just wait till I’m finished on the computer and turn it off. Is it legitimate? My instincts say no.
— Ellen Morrison
A: My instincts agree with yours, especially since your subscription is current. (I’ve seen similar popups on computers that aren’t even running McAfee.) I can’t be sure the popup isn’t genuine. But when you’re not sure, the best policy is not to click.
Next, if you haven’t already done so, I recommend downloading an anti-malware program and running a scan. The one I use is Malwarebytes. The company offers a free version that you can use for a quick scan.
Q: I have been using Microsoft Edge, but it is loaded with all kinds of content I don’t want, like shopping and entertainment/celebrities. I am mostly interested in business and major news. Edge does have some ways to supposedly delete categories but often the deletions return as soon as you refresh the browser.
— Jim Carroll
A: What you’re seeing is just the default homepage. You can change that.
Go to a website you want for the new homepage and copy the URL address in the search field at the top of the screen.
Next, click on the three dots in the upper-right corner and select Settings, then On Startup. Finally, click on “Open a specific page or pages.”
You can then click on “Add a new page” and paste in that address you copied.