Holiday guest-friendly Wi-Fi, Google search tips
December 9, 2023
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 when they visit for the holidays:
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 Tehachapisnow23. A password you choose will be easier to remember and easier to tell your guests than whatever random string of numbers, letters, and special characters your ISP or modem manufacturer puts on your modem unless you use Tehachapisnow23.
If your router supports guest networks, enable that with a different password (change the number, maybe?) 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 called 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
Reverse image search is convenient for finding a recipe for a picture you saw on Instagram or if you want to identify something in a photo. You can 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: "I'm just gonna keep on waiting underneath the mistletoe" 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, giant elf skeletons site:amazon.com returns only results from Amazon. Although why you're looking for giant elf skeletons on Amazon is beyond me.
Exclude a site
You can limit search results by using a hyphen operator before the site you want to exclude. For example, the search term red-nosed reindeer -amazon will show results from any site except Amazon.
A modem and a router got married. Would they be pronounced husbandwidth and Wi-Fi?
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