Broadband

Can I combine internet services to one master service?

Episode 1183

Bob from Yucatan, Mexico

Bob is moving to Yucatan and he says that internet access really isn't all that great. Can he combine both Wi-Fi and cellular into one master service? Leo says that's called modem bonding and it requires a very smart infrastructure from end to end. Generally, he can get it from one ISP that handles it all from the back end. It's a challenge, however. Satellite may be a better choice, although latency will be an issue.

How fast of an internet connection do I need for gaming and streaming videos?

Episode 1182

Steve from Tacoma, WA

Steve is going to be streaming video and playing video games online. How fast does his internet connection need to be? Leo says that Netflix has an ISP Speed Index to let him know what he'll need and where he can get it. They also offer recommendations about speed here. 10 Mbps should be sufficient, and 25Mbps would be better yet. He can even use that to Skype with his parents.

How can I transmit Wi-Fi from a long distance?

Episode 1182

Logan from Knoxville, TX

Logan has to create a long range wireless access point that will enable him to have broadband from up to 10 miles away. Leo says that's a long way for Wi-Fi, even for line of sight, which will help a lot.

Leo suggests checking out RadioLabs.com, they make long range Wi-Fi antennas. He'll need a highly directional antenna, and maybe even microwave antennas, because Wi-Fi may not be the best idea for such a long distance.

What are my options for broadband in remote areas of Florida?

Episode 1176

Gary from Panama City, FL

Gary lives out in the remote areas of Florida and he uses cellphone access for his internet. But are there other options? Leo says that WISP, which uses Microwaves is an option. There's also satellite. It can be expensive, and the bandwidth caps, speed issues and latency is tedious. It wouldn't be good for Skype or Gaming. But if that's not important, Leo suggests checking out Wild Blue by Excede.

Why is Time Warner Cable suddenly using copy protection when I try to record?

Episode 1174

John from Biddeford, ME

John was a Time Warner Cable customer for nearly 15 years and he discovered that they were copy protecting everything that he was recording with his DVD recorder. Leo says that this is why Time Warner Cable and Comcast shouldn't be allowed to merge. Time Warner has a monopoly on TV in John's area, and an effective monopoly on the Internet.

What does the FCC's decision on Net Neutrality mean for broadband competition?

Episode 1165

Mark from Santa Ana, CA

Mark says if the government wants to make broadband internet a utility, the FCC should regulate it like a utility. He makes the point that the reason it's a utility is because there's only one place to get it, like the gas or electric companies. Leo says we can blame the FCC for giving the cable companies a monopoly years ago. But he says they had been more or less blackmailed into that decision because the cable companies told the FCC they wouldn't build out the infrastructure otherwise.

How can I get faster broadband at home?

Episode 1164

Kelly from Fuquay-Varina, NC

Kelly's DSL is incredibly slow. Their house is "cable ready," but they don't have the ability to connect to cable since the nearest connection is a mile away. Leo says that there are good satellite providers like Wild Blue out there, but it's very easy to overwhelm the satellite bandwidth and they usually have low caps. So if Kelly is a heavy user, then that's not a good option.

What are my choices for internet access if I don't have cable?

Episode 1158

Wayne from Tampa, FL

Wayne just moved into a new house and it doesn't have cable or internet access. What are his options? Leo says that there are wireless internet providers (called WISP) if he doesn't want to trench and wire the house from the cable junction. He could also go with satellite, but it's a bit slower. The other choice is DSL through his phone company. FiOS would be the cream of the crop. The question isn't really who to go with, but who's going to have to do the trenching?

Why don't they use power line networking over the electrical grid for internet access?

Power lines

Episode 1151

Joey from San Diego, CA

Joey doesn't understand why we can't use the electrical grid for internet access if it's possible to have power line networking in the home. It would seem to be a good idea for remote locations. Leo says that it would be a good idea in theory, but it has the side effect of jamming radios because it creates a giant transmitter in the power lines.