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Episode 1496 June 10, 2018

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jose from Ontario, CA Comments

Jose is concerned about being snooped on when using public Wi-Fi. What can he do to protect himself? Leo says the first thing to do is turn on hard drive encryption. That will keep his data safe should his laptop get stolen. But for just being on a public Wi-Fi, VPNs can be beneficial. VPN stands for "Virtual Private Network," and all of the traffic that goes through it is encrypted. It's like a secure tunnel through the internet. Most web pages are encrypted now, though, so no one could see his activity on those sites anyway.

Leo also recommends the Tiny Hardware Firewall. It's great not only for protecting his traffic, but he can also connect multiple devices. Another option is to avoid the public Wi-Fi altogether and use his own cellphone in hotspot mode. He'll have to pay extra for that ability, but it's worth it for security.

Watch Greg from New Brunswick, Canada Comments

Greg's laptop is caught in a reboot loop. What can he do? Leo suspects that Greg's hard drive is failing, causing the laptop to stall during boot up. Leo says he can use SpinRite by GRC to move the data off bad sectors and mark them to avoid in the future. But the software is expensive and hard drives are cheap. If he needs to get his data, though, it's worth trying. Leo recommends that Greg buy a new drive, and he should get an SSD while he's at it.

Watch Mike from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Mike wants to know what he needs to use his iPad on Wi-Fi. Leo says that any iPad will work on Wi-Fi. If he has LTE, however, he could use it anywhere. But for Wi-Fi, a regular iPad will work just fine. Since Mike is traveling internationally, Leo recommends also getting a MiFi card, which he can put a local SIM in for Wi-Fi. But since Mike is in the US Virgin Islands, international data roaming won't be an issue. Leo recommends getting an AT&T carrier version of the iPad. Leo likes the iPad Mini for traveling. It's 7" and ideal. His favorite, though, is the iPad Pro 10.5". It's just the right size that it can also be used as a laptop as well.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Dennis from Oceanside, CA Comments

Dennis replaced the laptop in his hard drive with an SSD and it was the easiest thing he's ever done. Leo says that's the best upgrade one can do to speed up a computer.

Dennis also wants to get his first smartphone. Leo says that smartphones will open up a whole new world, but they don't have as good reception as flip phones in poorly covered areas. What phone should he get? He's looking at one by Kyocera because it's really ruggedly built. Leo isn't a fan. Kyocera isn't on the cutting edge and they try to mask it with other features (called fins). Plus the phone Dennis is looking at is antiquated, using Android 5.1. We're up to Android 9 Oreo. So it's probably not secure either, and most apps may not even work with it. The screen is probably not that great, or the camera either. If he's on a budget, he should check out the Motorola G6 and the OnePlus 6. He shouldn't get anything below Android 7 or 8.

Watch Dale from Santa Monica, CA Comments

Dale would like to sync his Android phone to iTunes. Leo says he can't, but he can use an app called DoubleTwist, which will read his iTunes library and copy it to his phone. It costs $8.99

Watch Terri from Whittier, CA Comments

Terri wants to buy a phone with a keyboard. Can she still get a Blackberry? Leo says that Blackberry doesn't make phones anymore, but the brand/design is made by TCL. The Key2 is the new model. It also runs on Android now. Blackberry's OS died a few years ago. It will retail for $649 and is available in July. If she likes a physical keyboard, this is her last, best choice.

Watch Brian from Indio, CA Comments

Brian wants to know about the Amazon Fire TV Cube. Leo says he recently ordered one and it looks great. Plus, it's very affordable. It'll also have Alexa built-in with no remote control. It's completely voice operated. But it can also control other devices via infrared. It's a very interesting concept. Stay tuned, Leo will be reviewing it.

Watch Quame from Phoenix, AZ Comments

Quame routes his computer display to a TV screen using a splitter, but the TV is only being shown on one monitor, and not the one he wants. Leo says he can arrange the displays within the display settings. Leo says that the Splitter is his problem. That won't see all three devices. So he should take the splitter out. He'll need a laptop that supports multiple monitor connections.

Leo recommends using an external USB video monitor for his laptop instead. Asus makes one that's about 15". Or he could use a plugable USB video adapter for $47.

The chatroom suggests this HDMI display adapter.

A universal docking station could also help..

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Ron from Carlsbad, CA Comments

Ron has UVerse and an extender and it slows to a crawl when he streams. Leo suspects that it's his modem that's causing the problem. It's likely an out of date modem that's slowing the network traffic down. Rebooting could help. A better Wi-Fi router could help too. Routers do wear out over time. Leo recommends the NetGear Orbi. He can set up the AT&T router to work in bridge mode and then use the new router to route the traffic. It'll be a lot better.

The chatroom suggested checking out this community page at dell.com. There seems to be an ongoing issue with some of Dell's Wi-Fi cards. This one is called the "Killer."

Watch Jose from Modesto, CA Comments

Jose bought an Epson EcoTank printer and wants to know if it has the same problem of the ink drying out and being unusable. Leo says that's a common problem with inkjet printers. Epson says that they have put a new coating on the print heads to prevent the ink from drying out. So it's not supposed to. If he only prints a few times a week, then Leo says a laser printer is a better option.

(Disclaimer: Epson is a sponsor)

Watch Nathan from Grand Rapids, MI Comments

Nathan wants to get his son an Android phone. What should he buy? Leo says that the Motorola Moto G6 is a very good phone, and it's very affordable. He can get the G6 Play for about $200. It's good for kids. Leo also recommends considering a refurbished phone from Gazelle, and he should make sure he gets a good case for it.

(Disclaimer: Gazelle is a sponsor)

Watch Jeff from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Jeff streams gameplay videos on Twitch, but he can't get viewers to get advertising. Leo says that Let's Play videos are all the rage these days and he'll have to have a hook to get viewers to stick around. Promoting outside of Twitch would also help. Social media could benefit him, too.

Jeff also needs a more powerful computer. Having the best quality stream will be his best bet. He'll need a great graphics processor for his computer and a strong CPU. But Leo says that a XEON processor is even better because it's designed for hyper threading and handling a lot of video encoding and compression. AMD's Threadripper processor could be the most economical way to get the horsepower he needs. Jeff should check the OBS forums for what everyone else is using.