bandwidth caps

Do I need both Wi-Fi and a hardwired connection?

Ethernet cable

Episode 1532

Dee Dee from Pasadena,CA

Dee Dee is moving into an office that's promising free Wi-Fi and hardwired internet. Does she need both? Leo says that she's probably getting local service and she can connect either way. Hardwired connections will be faster and she won't have to deal with congestion. This could also mean they are just providing the wired infrastructure, and she'll still have to buy her own internet to use with it. Or, they may be offering a free public Wi-Fi. Leo recommends checking on that. She should also do a speed test, and ask if they have bandwidth caps.

What is considered fast internet?

Ethernet

Episode 1382

Vladimir from Orange County, CA

Vladimir is thinking of renting an office and his ISP is offering 1 Mbps. Leo says that won't work, it's too slow. He'll want at least 10-15 Mbps, which is a typical internet speed. He also may be stuck with bandwidth caps and that could add up, so he should look in the rental agreement. He may be better off using his cellphone internet in hotspot mode. It'll be faster, especially with unlimited data plans that are now popular, and overages are much cheaper. He can also use a MiFi card, which will enable him to connect up to five devices to it.

Leo Gets Warning From Comcast for Exceeding Bandwidth

Episode 1359

Leo has Comcast at home and he got a warning that he has exceeded his bandwidth cap of 1TB. Leo says he hasn't done anything different than before, however, and he wonders if the metering is accurate. Additionally, Leo has discovered that Comcast uses a man in the middle scheme and can take over his screen if they so desired. That's bad news because privacy issues abound.

How can I monitor my data usage?

Episode 1274

Jonathan from Knoxville, TN

Jonathan is with Comcast and they've put data caps on his service. 300GB per month plus $10 for another 50GB. Leo says that's terrible. 300GB isn't very much if he's watching Netlix. He can check his consumption in Windows 10. He can also check on his mobile device. Asus has a traffic monitor interface that he could use. Wireshark is another option for analyzing the traffic on his wireless. He could also put open source firmware on his router like DDWRT or Tomato which would do that monitoring for him.

Does a larger mobile phone screen use more data?

Episode 1213

Jeffrey (Captain J) from Port Charles, Florida

Jeffrey wants to know if a larger screen phone uses up more data than a smaller screen phone. Leo says that it could the case when streaming video. Sites like Netflix and YouTube will notice that you're using a high resolution screen and automatically stream higher resolution video, and that definitely uses more data.

How much of a data plan do I need?

Episode 1189

Jack from La Junta, CO

Jack is getting his first smartphone with a data plan. Which plan should he get? Leo says that rule of thumb is, unless he's watching a lot of video, he's probably only going to go through 3-4 GB a month. Is 40GB too much of a plan? Leo says he doesn't know of such a plan and it could be that he's confusing throughput with data caps. He should check the website for their available plans.

What could have used up 20GB of my data plan overnight?

Verizon Jetpack LTE Mobile Hotspot

Episode 1074

Bob from Los Angeles, CA

Bob has been getting warnings that he's "overdrawn" on his MiFi data plan and wants to know if he's been struck by the Heartbleed virus. Leo says no. Heartbleed attacks servers, not mobile devices. More likely, Bob has an app that is active and downloading everything. Someone may have also commandeered the system and is using it.