Q: Do you know anyone in Kitsap County who could network my home?
I’m in a dead spot for cell phones and internet in Poulsbo. I’m willing to acquire new equipment if needed, but I just don’t know and have a very low level of confidence for most “pros”.
I can’t get Xfinity and I’m on CenturyLink DSL with about 22 Mbps download, which is fine, but my office is in a separate structure about 150 feet from the modem, and I’m constantly getting service outages for a few seconds. I use my computer to trade stocks and am online at least five hours a day.
— Dean Davis, Poulsbo
A: I’m afraid I don’t have recommendations for local support. You can, however, check with Kitsap Computer Seniors, a non-profit organization that, despite its name, is open to computer users of all ages. You can find them at https://kitsapcomputingseniors.org.
I can offer a few points. Mobile phone service is of course different from DSL Internet.
First, you can get signal boosters for cell phone service. I have the same problem on Bainbridge Island and I have a booster sold by Verizon, my service provider. It works well.
As for your CenturyLink DSL. It looks like your service is working near the DSL modem, but the computer in your furthest office is losing connectivity. I suspect you are trying to connect from the office via Wi-Fi. You can get Wi-Fi signal boosters to bridge this gap. Check with your Wi-Fi router manufacturer to see what they offer.
Q: I haven’t been able to log in to my Hotmail account for a month. I bookmarked it and also pinned it to the homepage of my Mozilla Firefox browser. No matter how I try to login, the login.live.com window opens but it’s blank. If I refresh, the same window opens, but it’s still blank. I tried using Microsoft Edge but I get the same result. The only way I was able to open this email account is to restart my computer and open Windows 8.1 in safe mode. Since I can’t access the internet in safe mode, I then restart in normal mode and try to log into hotmail and it works. However, the next day when I try to login, I get the same login.live.com window which is empty.
I’m using a Lenovo desktop computer that’s about 8 years old. I have no problem accessing other web pages, including my CenturyLink email account. Do you have any idea what could be causing this inability to access the login.live.com page?
— Gabriel Mijares, Auburn
A: Good idea to try another browser. That would have been my first suggestion.
However, it is possible that you have malware or a conflicting program causing the problem. I saw a few reports of an update for Windows causing the problem and rolling back to the previous version fixed the problem.
The fact that you can connect when you restart the computer in safe mode tells me that the problem is probably a conflicting driver on your computer or possibly malware connected to a driver. Have you added any peripherals to your computer in the last month?
I would suggest using Windows restore function to go back to system settings before this problem appeared. Instructions can be found here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/use-system-restore-a5ae3ed9-07c4-fd56-45ee-096777ecd14e.
Support for Windows 8.1 will end in January. Upgrading to a newer version of Windows may resolve your issue.