Guest-friendly Wi-Fi, Google search tips
December 17, 2022
You're all set: you've updated your Wi-Fi router's firmware, changed your router's default password and added all your computers, printers, phones and tablets to your new, secure Wi-Fi.
Here's how to make it easy for your friends and family to connect to and use your home Wi-Fi network:
If you haven't already, make your Wi-Fi network name easy to pick out from your neighbors' Wi-Fi networks and make the password long but easy to remember. Something 11-15 characters long using two random words and a number works well; pick something like holidaysnow22. A password of your choosing will be easy to remember and easier to tell your guests than whatever random string of numbers, letters and special characters your ISP or modem manufacturer put on your modem unless you use holidaysnow22.
If your router supports guest networks, enable that with a different password to let people access the internet, but keep them off the devices on your home network.
Smart speakers will answer any voice in a room. If you don't want your guests to have access to your Google or Amazon account info, unplug your Google or Amazon speakers or devices and put them away. Then, you can bring them back out when your guests leave.
People connecting to your Wi-Fi network with their devices is known as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD.) If you don't want to support BYOD on your Wi-Fi, you can set up a tablet with an iPad, Amazon Fire or another Android or Windows tablet. Then, connect it to your guest Wi-Fi network, keep it charged, and you can hand it to anyone wanting access to the internet using your Wi-Fi.
Google search tips
Here's how to get better results when you're searching with Google:
Reverse image search
Very handy for finding a recipe for a picture you saw on Instagram or if you want to identify something in a photo. You can either save the image locally on your computer or copy the address of the image, then open Google.com and click on the word "Images" under the search area. Now click on the camera icon and either upload the picture or paste the image's address into the search bar.
When there's a song stuck in your head, and you can't remember the name, enter part of the lyric in quotation marks and the word song. Like this: "me upon my pony on my boat" song.
Searching only on a particular site
You can also tell Google to return results from a single site using the word 'site:'. For example, alternator brackets site:amazon.com returns only results from Amazon. Although why you're looking for alternator brackets on Amazon is beyond me.
Exclude a site
You can limit search results by using a hyphen operator in front of the site you want to exclude. For example, the search term four-channel mic mixer -amazon will show results from any site except Amazon.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went camping. They pitched their tent under the stars and went to sleep. In the middle of the night, Holmes woke Watson up and said, "Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."
Watson said: "I see millions and millions of stars."
Holmes asked: "And what do you deduce from that?"
Watson: "Well, if I can see millions of stars, and even a few contain planets, there are likely many planets like Earth. So, there may be other forms of life out there."
Holmes replied: "No, Watson. It means someone stole our tent!"
Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at email@example.com.