Q. It’s so frustrating! I have hardly any cellphone coverage at home. Is there anything I can do?
A. Get a signal booster. Place the unit where you have the best signal and it will boost the signal through the house. Some repeaters include an external antenna to mount outside for a better signal. Your carrier might have a booster it sells (or will give you free to correct its lousy service), but there is a catch. It usually only works with that carrier’s signal. zBoost and weBoost make boosters that work with multiple carriers. These gadgets set you back about $200. If you want higher speed 4G coverage, booster prices jump to $400 or more. Clickkomando.com/296040 to learn more about boosters and if you need to, how to make free calls over Wi-Fi.
Q. I purchased a new TV and the picture is awful. It doesn’t look as good as it did in the store.
A. You need to fine-tune your picture’s settings. Store TV demos are often set as bright as possible to stand out against the lights and other TVs competing for your attention. Check your TV remote for a Tools or Menu button. Manufacturers typically provide a number of presets as a starting point. These are usually “Vivid/Dynamic,” “Standard,” “Cinema/Movie” and “Game/Sports.” Find the one you like and tweak the settings until it looks best. A better option is to calibrate your TV for the ultimate sharpness, brightness, contrast and color. Clickkomando.com/370425 for beginner and professional grade calibration tools.
Q. Hello Kim, I’m noticing that my home internet connection slows down. Could my service provider be limiting my speed on purpose?
A. Perform a speed test using Speedtest.net or Netflix’s Fast.com. Compare your results against what your internet provider says you should be getting for your plan. If your results are consistently 20 to 30 Mbps lower, check your hardware. For example, older DOCSIS 2.0 modems can’t go beyond 38 Mbps. If you’re paying for 50 Mbps and above, upgrade your modem to DOCSIS 3.0. Make sure you don’t have neighbors using your connection. There is a tool that tells you if your internet provider is practicing traffic shaping. Clickkomando.com/368749 to download the tool and learn how it works.
Q. I see Facebook posts where people are raising money for medical bills. I have terminal cancer and would like to see my children before I pass. Can I ask people to donate money for the airfare?
A. Yes, you can by setting up a page at YouCaring, GiveForward or GoFundMe. The sites work pretty much the same. You tell your story, set a fundraising amount, complete account details and start spreading the word on your social media profiles. It’s important that you keep your funding page updated with your status. Donors like to track how things are going. Crowdfunding sites take around 3 percent plus a 30-cent processing fee per donation. Visit komando.com/369811 to learn more about how these sites work and how to use them.
Q. I am planning our family’s ski vacation. What travel site do you use to find cheap flights? I trust your advice.
A. I start my travel planning by using Google Flights. Instead of typing in specific travel dates, just click the date area to bring up a calendar. It will show you the daily prices for the next few months of tickets so you can see at a glance the cheapest days to fly. Just because you found a good deal now doesn’t mean something better won’t pop up later. That’s why at the bottom of the page, Google has the “Save this itinerary” button. It keeps an eye on the prices and will email you if they drop. That way you can contact the airline to see about getting a refund of the difference. Visit komando.com/299434 for more insider Google Flights secrets.
Originally seen on South Bend Tribune