SEARCH

How-To Geek

Ask HTG: Connecting to Multiple Wi-Fi Nodes at Once, Changing the GRUB Boot Order, and Speeding Up the Kindle Fire’s Browser

Ask-How-To-Geek-TemplateOnce a week we round up some reader questions from the Ask How-To Geek inbox and share the answers with everyone. This week we’re looking at using multiple Wi-Fi nodes at once, changing the GRUB boot order, and speeding up the slow Silk browser on the Kindle Fire.

Can I Connect To Multiple Wi-Fi Nodes At One Time? 2012-02-13_142356

Dear How-To Geek,

Is there anyway to connect to multiple Wi-Fi nodes at one time using a single Wi-Fi card in order to merge the connections and boost speeds?

Sincerely,

Wi-Fi Binder

Dear Wi-Fi Binder,

While it is possible to do what you’re asking, the return on investment is pretty low in nearly all circumstances. There is an old and unsupported package from Microsoft, for example, that allows you to tune your Wi-Fi card to multiple access points at one time. It does this by essentially building a virtual layer between the operating system and the hardware, and then navigating all the communication choices within that layer via a series of virtual Wi-Fi cards.

You can read more about Microsoft’s VirtualWiFi heredownload the package here and read about installing it here.

How Can I Change the GRUB Boot Order?

Dear How-To Geek,

I have multiple operating systems on my laptop, but their boot order in the boot loader is a huge pain. Right now if my laptop boots unattended, the top choice is XBMC Media Center, the second choice is Ubuntu, and the third choice is Windows 7. This means if I boot my laptop and don’t pay close attention, it boots into XBMC! I don’t want to uninstall the other operating systems, I just want to move Windows to the top of the list. How can I do that?

Sincerely,

Boot Load Madness

Dear Boot Load,

Your complaint is a common one, so common in fact that we have a step-by-step guide to helping people re-order their GRUB menu. You’ll need to boot into Linux to do it, but once you tweak your settings you’ll have Windows 7 at the top of the list in no time.

How Can I Speed Up the Browser On My Kindle Fire?

image

Dear How-To Geek,

So far I’m enjoying my Kindle Fire, but the web browser seems so incredibly slow (even compared to the little browser on my phone)! Is there anything I can do to fix this? Either I’ve got a screwed up installation or this is a widespread problem!

Sincerely,

Web Crawling

Dear Web Crawling,

You’re not imagining it—not by a long stretch. The speed of the built-in Silk browser has been a primary complain about the Kindle Fire since its release. We messed around with our office Fire and found we could greatly increase speeds with a few simple tweaks (such as disabling plug-ins and turning off load acceleration). Check out our guide here to see a full walk through for the tweaks.


Have a pressing tech question? Shoot us an email at ask@howtogeek.com and we’ll do our best to answer it.

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 02/13/12

Comments (7)

  1. Terry Crawford

    Along the same line of questions.
    Is there any advantage (speed) to using multiple WiFi internet connections (different ISPs) on one computer?
    For example, I can hook up to WiMax, Sprint 4g phone tether and DSL.

  2. Marc

    You could try that and go to speedtest.net. Also, they used to have routers that would use multiple Internet connections to supposedly boost the speed when combined.

  3. Sesses

    A few questions about the Multiple Wi-Fi, if anyone can answer. .
    Any easy way of doing this on a Linux box? Also, could you configure it so it automatically connects to any / all open networks in range?
    The idea being that you can stay connected while moving around a city, and automatically get the best speed for where you are.

    Thanks

  4. Doh

    @SESSES That is very insecure. You are asking for trouble connecting to strange unencrypted networks. Best place to ask that question is on an actual Linux forum.

    @TERRY It would not be of any use. You could bridge the virtual adapters but you would be bottlenecked by the slowest connection, if it works at all. I believe you can only bridge onto the dame subnet/network.
    Someone correct me if I am wrong.

  5. Anonymous

    More connections to the Internet is NOT going to speed things up.

    The reason more connections is not going to speed things up is because the other side of whatever you connect to is almost always only using one connection itself. And if you use the famous tubes example about how the Internet is just a series of tubes, your Internet connection or “tube” to whatever will only allow you to get you to that one destination. So the more tubes you have (more connections) is probably a waste of time and energy unless you want/need to connect different machines to different places all at the same time. What you really want is a fatter tube that has more capacity, sort of like how a water hose can only deliver so much when compared to a river.

    But if that isn’t simple enough then think of it in terms of roads. There are a myriad of different ways to get to your home but once you get close to your building there’s eventually only one drive way and/or one walk to your front door – and only one you. And even if you could split yourself up and have other addresses, you still don’t re-materialize until all your parts arrive meaning you only arrive as fast as the slowest delivery pathway.

    So my advice would be to get the best connection you can afford and stop paying for other connections that won’t really help.

  6. Anon

    @Anonymous
    Yes, but if you are ‘multitasking’ you might see advantages by having separate tasks on separate networks. .assuming you have access to multiple connections without much cost/effort.

  7. zs5zk

    Hi all, I Have 2 spare samsung sgh i900 omnia phones running winmobile 6.1. Are there any other OS`s that one can use to replace the old OS as windows as usual stopped any upgrades to this phone only to force a person to go and buy a win 7 phone,but bad news for Bill Gates, no more microsoft phones for me. It will be a shame to toss these phones as they are in great condition and never had a moments trouble.
    Thanks for any advice forth coming.
    Barry

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!