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Q&A about getting the most from your home technology - ANSWERS BACK

(52 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 24-Jan-13 09:36:27

Does the idea of setting up a new home computer system fill you with dread? Do you have a Christmas gadget still sitting unopened because you're unsure how to use it? Do you want to find out how to get faster broadband speeds? This week we have Isaac Fofie on hand to help with all our technological difficulties. Isaac is part of the BrightSparks Team who are TalkTalk's highly qualified engineers whose job is help customers make the most of their home broadband and who help with everything from setting up broadband and connecting new devices to making sure everything is running as fast as possible.

Isaac has been a TalkTalk BrightSpark working primarily in South London for four years. His favourite gadget is either his iPhone 4 or his netbook because the battery lasts all day and he can get online when he's out working. In his spare time he likes to write poetry.

Send your questions to Isaac before midday on Wednesday 30th January and we'll link to his answers on Thursday 7th February.

This Q&A is sponsored by TalkTalk

PigletJohn Thu 24-Jan-13 22:32:32

I have a Cable wireless hub with a number of plug-in ports on it. The house is 3-storey and the more distant parts get poor wireless. If I want to cable up the house, and possibly add another wireless hub at the far end, what do I need to buy and do? I want to be able to use Internet TV in future as well as laptoys and smartphones.

I am a competent DIYer

funwithgrandma Fri 25-Jan-13 09:12:07

I have a PC with a D-Link wifi hub, only one computer in the house which is in the same room as the hub, I also have an iPhone 3GS with internet access. I use googlechrome and it's very slow and often freezes and tells me to either wait or kill pages. It's very frustrating! I've tried firefox which is even worse and internet explorer which is much the same. Any suggestions please? I am not computer savvy at all!
Many thanks.

BigBlackBagBorderBinLiner Fri 25-Jan-13 16:45:22

My computer periodically has a software failure which it blames on 'Guru Meditation' - any ideas?

Phineyj Fri 25-Jan-13 17:50:42

My desktop connects to our home broadband wirelessly using a gadget whose name I forget (plugged in things that look like walkie talkies, one connected to desktop and one to the router downstairs). This was the only way to do it as there's only one phone point in the house, downstairs. Recently, when I try to access the internet via the desktop, it works for about an hour and then cuts out. We have two other laptops and an ipad which don't have this issue (unless the router needs rebooting, but we've checked and it's not that). There are no other issues with the desktop, which was recently serviced.

Any ideas? The desktop and all the other office devices are plugged into an extension which plugs in behind a rather heavy filing cabinet -- which is why I haven't investigated this thoroughly yet.

hatchypom Fri 25-Jan-13 17:53:33

Why oh why do I still have to use DVDs when all my CDs are on iTunes

Oodsigma Fri 25-Jan-13 17:54:41

We have the same problem pigletjohn

We are setting a home cinema up. Any tips regarding hard drives, projectors and sound systems. We don't want to end up with the next Betamax!

fossil971 Fri 25-Jan-13 18:32:43

ok. I only have one small request. I want to listen to BBC iplayer / listen again radio. ON a radio. i.e. a portable device I can carry from room to room etc. I don't want to have to plug it into a phone or computer and trail wires around or be in the wrong room!

We have the normal broadband/pc set up and we do have an internet radio on a Sony midi system but it doesn't seem to have any iplayer services. Can you recommend a make/model that will interface with iplayer radio? We haven't got any particularly intelligent TV yet but looking to get one soon - a radio that could talk wirelessly to that might be a possibility.

I really just want to listen to my favourite programmes that I keep missing sad but on the radio just as if I was listening to the live broadcast.

Being able to record radio programmes (like as in the days of cassette recording or similarly to how you can programme a HD recorder to record TV series etc) would be a big bonus too.

FannyBazaar Fri 25-Jan-13 23:27:31

I have an iphone and ipad and have remote control sockets to switch things like the modem and speakers off and on. Can I control the remote control sockets via the iPhone or iPad?

Babycarmen Mon 28-Jan-13 12:07:21

I have an energy metre thing that I got free from my energy provider, the thing that shows you how much energy you're using. It has been sitting in the box for about a year now. Is it really worth getting out and setting up or not?

OneLieIn Mon 28-Jan-13 12:53:09

Oh please dear Isaac, help me understand about how to back up over the internet. Thousands of photos, thousands of songs, all need a home on the internet where I know they are safe. I cannot figure out which to use (if any) and what the downsides are......

Bramshott Mon 28-Jan-13 13:47:14

I live in a rural area (about 50 miles from London, so not the back of beyond) and our broadband is TERRIBLE - I get about 0.3mb on ADSL because we're a long way from the exchange, and slightly faster, but less reliable service with a mobile dongle from three (the only one which covers us) which has to hang in the upstairs window pointing in the direction of the mast. I run a business from home and it's very difficult.

What's the solution for rural communities? Can technology help or do we just have to resign ourselves to getting more and more left behind (I just laugh when people talk about watching iPlayer)?

turnipvontrapp Mon 28-Jan-13 13:59:30

Do laptops have a shorter life than desktop pc's?
I also am scared re losing my photos, bought an external hard drive and it blew up so that was really useful grin.

I love technology when it works but hate it when it all goes wrong and takes up all my precious evenings to fix!

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 28-Jan-13 14:21:30

Same as OneLieIn.

I have been losing sleep over this!

Glittertwins Mon 28-Jan-13 14:29:35

I'd like to know the same as pigletjohn in potentially adding another wireless hub. We have a gadget that plugs into router on 2nd floor and its partner is plugged to TV on ground floor with the MAC or IP address so we can watch films stored on the PC 2 floors up.
But, what to do with the TV on first floor, can we get another d-link gadget and add on to the existing set up or do we need another hub to talk to the original?

Oodsigma Mon 28-Jan-13 15:34:25

Same as oneliein blush

StuntNun Mon 28-Jan-13 15:42:11

I would like to back up my photos and iTunes library (so over 100 GB) to Cloud storage or similar so that I won't lose them if my computer dies/gets stolen/house burns down. What's the best way to go about this? I'm particularly worried about iTunes as last time I replaced my computer iTunes wouldn't let me copy the files to a new hard drive and I had to rip all the CDs (about 300) all over again.

MmeLindor Germany Mon 28-Jan-13 16:57:09

I would like to know about wireless speakers. We are having the house rewired, and I would like to install small speakers in the kitchen, maybe the living room/dining room too, which would work via iPhone or iPod.

I can have wires installed when we have the house rewired, but would I be wasting money to do this? Should I just install wireless speakers instead?

When I say speakers, I mean something like the Bose cube speakers. Small, wall mounted cubes.

MrsPear Mon 28-Jan-13 17:15:43

Hi

I am going to ask a stupid question but how do i connect my TV to my computer?! I am pretty sure i don't have a stick for internet access but a box; so i need a cable but which one?! What i want to be able to do is watch catch up e.g bbc i player on the big box. Thanks.

Snog Mon 28-Jan-13 18:45:37

We have pigletjohn's problem too - 3 storey house and hard to get a good wifi signal in most of the rooms.

Also our Internet is slow to load pages even in the room with better signal! I find 3G much faster.

PixieHot Mon 28-Jan-13 21:38:26

What kind of poetry grin?

rainand Mon 28-Jan-13 22:23:08

Hi,

Can you recommend a tablet that I can use to browse the Internet & watch iplayer? Preferably it can edit Word documents too. Thanks!

CambridgeBlue Tue 29-Jan-13 09:23:13

I'm in the same boat as Bramshott - rural(ish) area, far from the exchange, absolutely dreadful broadband. I also run a business from home and can just about do the basics of surfing and emailing but anything like iPlayer/YouTube/backing up to Cloud etc is pointless because it takes so long regardless of which device I use (Mac connected directly to router, iPad/iPhone/Kindle Fire). It's incredibly frustrating and I'd welcome any tips - we are with TalkTalk and have had a visit from a BrightSpark engineer so I assume there's not much more that can be done sad

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 30-Jan-13 12:14:54

The Q&A is now closed. We'll be sending your questions over to Isaac later today and linking through to his answers on 8th February.

CambridgeBlue Tue 12-Feb-13 10:09:02

Hi, did I miss the answers to this or have they not been posted? My internet is so dire (although I can just about manage to MN smile ) that I'm very keen for any tips from the experts.

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