Fast fix for weak Wi-Fi
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.
Bring cords under control
Q. I had to go behind my computer the other day to plug in something and it was a nightmare. I felt like I should have had a machete and a jungle movie soundtrack. I'm sure you've dealt with this, so any tips on keeping cables under control?
A. When it comes to organizing cables behind a computer or entertainment center, twist ties are a big help. They can bundle cables together or keep a single cable loop in one spot, and they cost almost nothing. Just be sure not to use zip ties, since you'll need to cut those apart if you want to change anything — and you might accidentally cut a cable. You could use an unexpected item you have in your bathroom. Click here for clever ways to organize your cables and cords.
Great job-hunting site you haven't heard of
Q. I'm trying to find a job but it seems like every site lists the same jobs. Are there better sites for finding a job that I'm missing?
A. Try a more focused job-hunting site such as LinkUp. Instead of posting jobs that have been sent in by employers, LinkUp goes looking for job opportunities posted on company websites. It actually posts jobs you won’t find on other job boards yet, and the list of companies is a bit more selective. Click here for two more job-hunting sites I recommend. Good luck!
On the Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show, Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com. Kim also posts breaking tech news 24/7 at News.Komando.com.