Your Router Is Probably in the Wrong Place, and It’s Causing Problems

An unreliable home internet connection can make even the simplest Google search super frustrating. If you find that your Wi-Fi is always slow, no matter what internet service provider you have or how many devices are online, what do you do? Sometimes paying monthly fees to an internet service provider or having your router professionally installed might not even solve the immense problem of a slow and weak internet connection.

cnet© photo

For most apartments and smaller homes (under 1,500 square feet), a single wireless access point should suffice. That said, if your router is several years old, you may want to consider upgrading to a newer model with support for 802.11ax, or Wi-Fi 6. That’s the latest generation of Wi-Fi technology, and it’ll give you the fastest wireless speeds possible and the best overall coverage.

For bigger, multilevel homes, it’s worth considering making the upgrade to a mesh network to offer consistent coverage throughout the entire house. Once the main access point is installed, if you find a far corner of your home doesn’t have solid wireless coverage, just add another node to that area. Problem solved.

What’s the best place to put your router?

Choose a central location

Routers send the signal out in all directions, so if it’s left in the corner of your home, a significant percentage of your wireless coverage is being sent outside your home. That’s why your best bet is to move the router to a central location to optimize the signal.

Installing a router across the house from the modem may prove troublesome. It may require manually running an especially long CAT5 or CAT6 Ethernet cable under the floor or along the bottom of your walls, or enlisting the help of power line network adapters, which use your home’s electrical wiring to pass an internet signal from point to point. But the improved wireless coverage will be worth it.

Raise the router

Routers tend to spread their strongest signals downward, so it’s best to mount the router as high as possible to maximize coverage. Try placing it high on a bookshelf or mounting it on the wall in an inconspicuous place. 

Avoid other electronics

Try to pick a location that’s away from other electronics and large metal objects. The more walls, large obstructions and electronics near your router, the higher the chances are that something will interfere with the signal.

One type of electronic device to especially avoid is the microwave, which emits a strong signal in the 2.4GHz band, the same wireless band your router operates in. You’ll also want to be careful not to stick your router behind a large TV, which can cause electronic interference while also physically blocking or disrupting the signal.

Along with electronics, keep an eye out for bulky furniture that might be limiting the signal’s reach. Wi-Fi doesn’t travel well through water, for instance, so if you have an aquarium in your home, try to avoid situations where it’ll be in between your router and the device that needs to connect.

Those funny-looking antennas? They do actually matter

Some routers have no antenna at all, but some have up to eight. These antennas help direct the signal. If there are two or more antennas on your router, don’t position them all in the same direction. 

Instead, make them perpendicular to one another — position one horizontally and the other vertically. Or slightly change the position of all the antennas to cover a wide range of angles. You might have to experiment a bit to find the most effective configuration. 

The signal from each of those antennas will come out like a wave traveling in all directions, and that wave will be perpendicular to the antenna itself, so a vertical antenna is going to be more helpful in single story homes, while a horizontal or angled antenna is going to put out a signal that travels upward, which might be more useful in a multi-story home.

Map the signal

In worst-case scenario situations, it may prove useful to map out the signal in your home to see where there might be gaps or problems areas in your coverage. Several years ago, we used NetSpot software to map out the signal strength throughout the CNET Smart Home — in the end, we got a great look at the weak spots in our Wi-Fi network, which helped us shore things up by moving our hardware to more optimal locations.

If you’re considering upgrading your router, be sure to check out CNET’s picks for best routers. For homes with children, make sure to explore the parental controls of your router, too.

Story by Ry Crist for cnet© Source:

The Best New Year’s Resolutions (And How to Keep Them)

One of the best parts of the New Year might be going out to a celebration with friends and family. But, when the first day of the year rolls around, that means it’s resolution time! For many people, making New Year’s resolutions can be an important part of welcoming what’s to come. It can be pretty hard to keep those resolutions year after year though. Luckily, with the right resolutions and a few tips, you may be on your way to an improved 2023.

What’s a Good New Year’s Resolution to Make?

There’s a different resolution for every person when the month of January rolls around. While there are no wrong resolution ideas, here are some options that might make you want to start early:

  • Lose Weight – It often comes as eating healthy or exercising, but weight loss is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. After the holiday indulgence, January can seem like a particularly good time to change your diet. .
  • Manage Your Money – The word budget strikes fear into the heart of many people all year round. The New Year, however, can be a good time to broach financial challenges. Whether by making more or saving money, financial well-being is an important goal!
  • Learn New Skills – Whether it’s carpentry, calligraphy or kickboxing, there is a world of hobbies waiting to be pursued. For many Americans, New Year’s resolutions can be a great time to broach a new hobby! Share your own ideas with others on your favorite family app.
  • Get Organized – Life is pretty busy for most of us, and that means it can be hard to stay on top of things. Organization can be a great way to get a handle on all of the things going on in our life. However, it’s only in the New Year that many resolve to come up with a plan!

What Are Some Good Tips on Succeeding at Your New Year’s Resolutions?

It can be hard to maintain lifestyle changes once the luster of newness has worn off. If you’re determined to achieve your goals and establish new habits this year, the following tips might offer the key to success!

  • Does It Inspire You? – Many people end up making resolutions that aren’t meaningful to them. Whether it’s being healthy or exercising more, a goal you’re not invested in won’t go anywhere. The best New Year’s resolutions will be things that you can get excited about.
  • Make It Manageable – It’s easy to get carried away when the New Year is a few weeks away. But making a resolution that’s too challenging may not lead to success. Instead, choose resolutions that you can see yourself doing. For more difficult ones, you can even do them in parts to make it easier. Share your ideas with others on FamilyApp!
  • Write Them Down – It might seem silly, but writing down your goals can actually cement them in a different way. Not only will it help you clarify what you really want, but it will also ensure you don’t forget them. Down the line, it can also be a reminder of progress made!
  • Go Easy on Yourself – New Year’s resolutions ideas aren’t hard to come up with, but staying on track is! That’s why it so important to give yourself wiggle room. No matter what your self-improvement goal is, change is hard. You will fall off the wagon, but getting back on is what’s most important.


Use a Candle to Find Mystery Air Leaks in Your House

With temperatures around the country plummeting over the past few days, any air leaks in your home have likely become particularly noticeable. Perhaps you knew these cracks and crevices were there, but hadn’t gotten around to dealing with them yet. Or maybe, you did take the time to properly seal your home, and thought you took care of all the leaks, but the steady stream of frigid air coming from your wall says otherwise.

This seems like it should be straightforward enough: Find the additional leaks, and then seal them up. But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t locate the leak. Here’s what to do if you run into that problem.

Photo: bzzup (Shutterstock)

How to use a candle to locate air leaks in your home

One way to find a mystery air leak in your home is to use a candle. Here’s what to do:

Find the right candle

Generally speaking, longer, thinner candles—like the ones you’d put in candlesticks, or use at a candlelight vigil—work better than candles that come in glass jars. That’s because you’ll need the flame to be out in the open and accessible.

Some experts, including those at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), suggest lighting a stick of incense instead of using a candle for this task. While it’ll certainly get the job done, it’ll also make your home smell like incense (which not everyone is on board with).

Turn off any sources of blowing air

This air-leak-locating method is much more effective if there’s not any type of blowing air coming from fans, or forced-air heating systems. Switching off any fans should be pretty easy, but if you don’t want to switch off your furnace, at least wait until it’s not actively blowing air through the vents. (Or close or temporarily block the vents.)

Go through your home

Now, light your candle, and get to work. Starting with the wall, floor, or general area where you’ve felt the air leak, slowly—and extremely carefully—move the candle around the room, paying close attention any time you pass over or near areas prone to air leaks, like windows, doors, baseboards, and switch plates.

If the flame begins to flicker—or extinguishes completely—in a certain area, you’ve probably found your leak. But just to be sure, hold the lit candle completely still near that same spot to see if the flame flickers or goes out again. (In case the first time, it happened because you were moving the candle around.)


5 Surprising Items TSA May Flag You for at Airport Security

When heading to the security checkpoint at any airport, your biggest concern is making it through as quickly and easily as possible. Even if you just packed the basics, there’s sometimes a worry that your bag will be pulled for further inspection—which could keep you from making your flight on time. These concerns are normally unwarranted, but travelers do get stopped by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers even when they truly believe they haven’t packed any security no-no’s. Eager to avoid that situation? Read on to discover five surprising items TSA may flag you for at airport security.

1 Snow globes

The holiday season means seeing family, and more often than not, carrying gifts to give them. But if you’re planning to deliver a snow globe to a loved one, be warned that it might not get through security. “If a wrapped gift looks suspicious on an x-ray machine, the only person unwrapping your perfectly wrapped gift will be the TSA screening agent,” she says.

2 Exercise weights

If you’re looking to stay fit—and don’t mind schlepping a heavier bag—you might toss some exercise weights into your carry-on. Doing so can be problematic, however, according to Rebecca Deitsch, founder of the travel blog Day Trip Queen.

“While TSA doesn’t technically forbid weights in your carry-on luggage, they do forbid sports equipment that could be used as a bludgeon,” Deitsch says. “Their example is a baseball bat, but other items can be removed at the discretion of the TSA agent.”

3 Peanut butter

Food is always a questionable addition to your carry-on or personal item, and some foods seem to fall into a gray area. For instance, peanut butter is considered a liquid.

“Last summer, TSA confiscated a jar of peanut butter I was bringing to a family member who lives abroad,” Eric Segalstad, vice president of Gondwana Ecotours, tells Best Life. “I was traveling without checked luggage and didn’t foresee that JIF Extra Crunchy was considered liquid. Now I know!”

4 Christmas crackers

When you think of Christmas “crackers,” your mind might go to some festive food, but these crackers are actually cardboard cylinders that are pulled open to find a small gift inside. They’re often used as table decorations, and while they’re more popular in the U.K. and Canada than in the U.S., you’ve likely seen them during the holiday season. If you’re in charge of supplying them, though, they’re not getting past TSA

According to TSA, these novelties aren’t permitted in your carry-on luggage or your checked bags. And don’t pack bang snaps—those small fireworks that make a snapping noise when thrown against hard surfaces—either.

5 Small metal tools

It’s common sense that any weapon shouldn’t be brought to the airport (unless you’ve followed instructions to transport it properly), but TSA has a wider definition of what can actually be used as a weapon—similar to those two-pound weights. Deitsch recommends looking out for “small metal tools of any type.”

“If you are flying with your guitar and you have extra tuning keys, wire clippers, or any little metal objects, it’s best to put these in your checked luggage, even if they seem inoffensive,” she says. “This is especially true if you are entering a foreign country and there is a language barrier.”

Corkscrews are a bit tricky, as they’re not allowed if they have a blade, per TSA, but if they don’t have a blade, they’re safe to take through security. Swiss Army Knives will be confiscated as well, as the agency says that only “plastic or round bladed butter knives” can come through a checkpoint. When putting them in your checked bag, make sure that they’re “sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors,” per TSA’s requirements.

If you have concerns about what you’re packing, TSA makes it pretty easy to search for items on its website. For items that you can’t find listed, take a picture or send a question to AskTSA on Twitter or Facebook Messenger, the agency says.

Good advice from Abby Reinhard for travelicious©

Photo credit:©

Single People Reveal The ‘Red Flag’ Hobbies They Avoid When Dating

As anyone who’s done it knows all too well, dating is a minefield.

Trying to figure out who someone is before dating them often feels impossible—and most of us have dated someone who later turned out to be a completely different person. Luckily, people on Reddit have identified one way to figure out if your new romantic interest is better left on “read.”

They listed scores of red-flag hobbies that ended up being all they needed to know their new suitor was a human “yikes.”

© Photo: Joshua Resnick, corelens, pixabay, Getty Images via Canva  

Here are ‘red flag’ hobbies to avoid when dating.

So what sort of interests set off Redditors’ warning alarms? For starters, things that indicate a person’s boundaries are off—like way off.

One person called out a former roommate whose idea of hilarity was “to go out driving on rainy days specifically to splash pedestrians.” The Redditor added, “that seems pretty red flaggy to me.” Um yeah, you think?

Another user mentioned a woman they knew whose favorite pastime was to “find random people on the net, find everything about them and message them about it.”

The woman seemed to think she was doing people a favor by helping them protect their privacy, but as another user pointed out, “I’m pretty sure it’s also considered cyberstalking.”

Yeah… let’s definitely go ahead and cancel the date with this person, but let’s also call the FBI. You can’t be too careful!

Lots of people are into bird-watching or horseback riding, and there’s nothing like a good bond with a cat or dog.

But enthusiasm for animals can go south real fast, like when someone is “adopting too many…animals, especially when you can’t afford them,” as one Redditor pointed out.

Unless you want to end up on an episode of “Hoarders” down the road, it’s probably best to let that person go.

Social media obsession ranked pretty high on Redditors’ red flag lists, too.

One called out people who thrive on the drama of things like Next Door threads, spying on their neighbors and looking for trouble in their neighborhood by “being admin (dictator) of a local area Facebook group.”

Others were more concerned about dating social media influencers or influencer wannabes. As one user put it:

“If a person is so preoccupied with their social media that this person hasn’t had time to actually live and communicate in the moment.”

“…I am not dating a person in a three-way relationship with Zuckerburg.”

Story by John Sundholm for©

Rail strike averted: Biden signs measure preventing shutdown of U.S. freight system

President Joe Biden signed legislation Friday to prevent a strike that he warned would cripple the economy and put millions out Americans out of work heading into the holidays. (This would also prevent Amtrak rail disruption.)

At Biden’s urging, Congress voted earlier this week to intervene in a labor dispute between rail unions and operators of the nation’s freight railways. Lawmakers voted to adopt a tentative agreement that the White House brokered in September between union leaders and rail operators despite the opposition of some rank-and-file workers.

Four of the 12 unions representing rail workers rejected the deal, setting the stage for a work stoppage that would have begun Dec. 9. The unions wanted more than the one day of paid sick leave provided in the agreement.

A rail strike would cost the economy about $2 billion each day and claim 765,000 jobs within the first two weeks of a strike.

Article by Michael Collins, USA TODAY 


Black Friday: Yeah, or Meh?

Black Friday is a consumer holiday that started in the United States, but it has since spread to other parts of the world. It’s characterized by long lines of shoppers (and sometimes even dangerous stampedes) trying to get the best deals on clothing, electronics and other items.

©Lawyers, Guns and Money

It wasn’t until the 1950’s that the term “Black Friday” got associated with the day after Thanksgiving. People realized if they called in sick on Friday, they could get a four day weekend. And with the stores open, this turned into a shopping extravaganza. Now, most company’s give the day after as a bonus off day or employees use as a vacation day.

The phrase “Black Friday” to signify a positive boost in retail sales didn’t grow nationwide until the late 1980s, when merchants started to spread the red-to-black profit narrative. Black Friday was described as the day stores began to turn a profit for the year and as the biggest shopping day in the United States. In truth, most stores saw their largest sales on the Saturday before Christmas.

In more recent years, Black Friday has been followed by other shopping holidays, including Small Business Saturday, which encourages shoppers to visit local retailers, and Cyber Monday, which promotes shopping online. Giving Tuesday has also emerged to spur charitable donations

Why aren’t people shopping on Black Friday?

One employee suggested the dearth of customers was due to the plethora of online sales merchandisers have been pushing for weeks now. “We’ve been having Black Friday sales for three weeks now,” the worker said. “We had doorbuster sales two weeks ago. Maybe that’s why more people are not shopping today.”

What are your shopping plans for Black Friday, or are you more of a Cyber Monday on-line shopper?

Why Is It Called Black Friday? | Britannica

Electrical Wire Color Codes – Wiring Colors Chart

Understanding electrical wire colors ensure the electrician’s, residents’, and appliances’ safety every time the electrical system is under maintenance or repair.

Different colors indicate the wire’s purpose in the circuit. Wiring a new ceiling fan poses a challenge if you don’t understand which wire is “hot” and which is neutral or ground. This chart will answer your questions.

Remember that all wires may carry an electric current at certain times so, they should all be treated with the same caution. It is crucial to understand the wires that may pose the biggest threat, the hot wires. Hotwires are the ones that carry live electrical current from the electric panel or breaker box to destinations like an outlet or light fixtures. They are also known as line wires.

Before handling electrical wire repair work, ensure no power is running in them by switching off the main electrical power supply. A multimeter can be used to help troubleshoot and check the home’s electrical wiring.

Remember: Assume it’s hot and act accordingly. Be safe!


7 Text Message Scams to Avoid and Report Immediately

It sometimes feels like we get more text messages from scammers than from real people these days. And it’s not your imagination that things have gotten worse in the past year.

“In March, 11.6 billion scam messages were sent on American wireless networks, up 30 percent from February,” the New York Times reports.

Following are some of the worst recent scams to watch for.

©Prostock-studio /

1. Medicare scams

The Federal Trade Commission notes scammers are taking advantage of Medicare’s open enrollment period to rip off seniors. The scam involves impersonating Medicare agents who request your Social Security number, banking details or credit card information in order to keep your benefits or sign up for a better plan.

Real Medicare representatives should already have the information they need from you. If not, they will call — not text — and only in specific situations.

You can report scammers of this type by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227) or visiting

2. Social Security scams

Scammers impersonating Social Security officials have been offering people higher benefits over text messages and luring them to a fake website to steal personal information, the Social Security Administration says.

There are ways to increase your benefit, but Social Security will only text you in certain rare situations described on its website, and it will never ask for personal info in the process.

You can report suspected scams at

3. Cable company scams

Want a lower cable or internet bill? Lately, scammers have been texting people to conveniently offer just that, the FTC says. They ask you to prepay part of your bill — in gift cards — to qualify for the offer.

Anyone telling you to pay with a gift card is scamming you, and you won’t be able to get the money back, according to the FTC.

Report scams of this type at

4. IRS scams

Tax season is a few months away still, but the IRS is warning of an “exponential” increase in text scams. These texts trick taxpayers into clicking a link where their personal information is collected by promising things such as tax credits or COVID-19 relief.

The IRS will never text you asking for personal or financial information. It asks you report such scams by emailing a copy of the exact text or sending a screenshot to You can also forward such texts to your wireless provider at 7726 (SPAM) so they can attempt to block the number from texting others.

5. Amazon scams

We’re entering the holiday shopping season, which is what you might call a prime opportunity for scammers. Texts posing as Amazon may mention orders you didn’t place and link to a purported Amazon URL, which is actually a fake designed to steal your personal and financial information.

Amazon’s website explains how to spot this type of scam and provides a way to report suspicious messages.

6. Student loan forgiveness scams

The recent move by the federal government to forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt is providing even more juicy targets for scammers.

Common texts from these scammers may scare borrowers by claiming the program is being discontinued, that forgiveness is “first come, first served” or that you must verify personal information to qualify, the U.S. Education Department warns.

You can report such texts to the Education Department, and if you made the mistake of trusting a scam message, you should contact your loan servicer and bank immediately to notify them.

7. Tech support scams

The upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales days are a great time to upgrade your computer and other tech — something many of us occasionally need help setting up.

Scammers take advantage of that by impersonating tech support services such as Best Buy’s Geek Squad, the FTC warns. You may receive texts claiming you’ll be charged hundreds of dollars to renew membership to this service, even if you never signed up for it.

Once they get you worked up, the scammer might offer to reverse the charge if you provide your bank account information or remote access to your computer, which they then use to rob your accounts.

The FTC advises consumers in these situations to contact the company in question using a phone number they know is real — you might grab one from a recent billing statement, business card or the company website — and asking about the text message.

You can report these scams and others at


Tuesday is Love Your Freckles Day

So what else is happening this week that might interest you besides:

Family sitting at thanksgiving table

Monday, Nov. 21

  • World Hello Day
  • World Television Day
  • National Stuffing Day
  • Alascattalo Day
  • National Gingerbread Cookie Day
  • Odd Socks Day
  • World Fisheries Day

Tuesday, Nov. 22

  • Go for a Ride Day
  • National Cranberry Relish Day
  • Love Your Freckles Day

Wednesday, Nov. 23

  • Drinksgiving
  • National Espresso Day
  • Fibonacci Day
  • Eat a Cranberry Day
  • National Cashew Day
  • National Jukebox Day
  • National Tie One On Day

Thursday, Nov. 24

  • Thanksgiving Day
  • National Day of Mourning
  • National Sardines Day
  • Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day
  • National Family Health History Day
  • D.B. Cooper Day

Friday, Nov. 25

  • Black Friday
  • Native American Heritage Day
  • International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
  • National Play With Dad Day
  • Buy Nothing Day
  • You’re Welcomegiving Day
  • National Parfait Day
  • Sinkie Day
  • Maize Day
  • Flossing Day
  • Fur-Free Friday
  • Day of Listening

Saturday, Nov. 26

  • National Cake Day
  • Small Business Saturday
  • World Lewis Day

Sunday, Nov. 27

  • National Craft Jerky Day
  • Pins and Needles Day
  • Turtle Adoption Day
  • National Bavarian Cream Pie Day
  • Aura Awareness Day
  • Advent Sunday

Photo credit: © The Good Brigade – Getty Images

Article source: Woman’s Day©

%d bloggers like this: