Broadband

What happened to my internet service after I changed phone companies?

Internet

Episode 1120

Catherine from Alta Loma, CA

Catherine got lured to a new phone company to save money and now she's lost her internet service. She was promised that Verizon would maintain her Internet even though she changed services. Leo says that Verizon owns the copper wire, but since she's no longer using their service, she can't have access to the internet. She would have to use whatever DSL that the other phone company offers. Leo says it sounds like she was bamboozled by a promise they had no intention to keep, so Leo advises going back to Verizon.

Is there a better internet option than FiOS?

Episod 1093

Steve from Hermosa Beach, CA

Steve is going to buy the GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition camera because it can go to 4K. Leo says he has one that he used just yesterday while zip lining, and it had great video. He will sacrifice frame rate by recording in 4K, which is why Leo prefers to use 1080p with 60fps. That's best for sports. They also have a super wide angle field of view. It's a great camera. Rock solid.

How can I improve my bandwidth for streaming?

Episode 1092

George from San Jose, CA

George wants to know if he can create his own bandwidth. Leo says that bandwidth is created by a network of devices that provide it's share of bandwidth.The more devices, the more bandwidth. Netflix, for instance, has more bandwidth because it has far more distribution to handle the streaming of video data. And there's other networks that interconnect with each other to create more bandwidth and switches. You can't really create bandwidth at home. The only way he could generate more bandwidth is to pay for it.

What are my options for faster internet access?

Episode 1079

Sheryl from Lakewood, CA

Sheryl has DSL with an external router, but it's overloaded by phones, laptops, and streaming via the Roku. All she wants is fast internet that works. Her cable company won't give her separate internet, they want her to bundle with cable TV. Leo says that she can buy better service, but the price will go up. And since the FCC has given the cable company and the phone company virtual monopolies, she's really limited by the options she has, which is DSL and cable. She can request "dry loop" DSL, but as Sheryl has found out, it's not super fast if she's farther than 1km from the central hub.

How can I get my computer online if there's no internet access in the building?

Episode 1063

Betsy from Clairmont, CA

Betsy likes to play online poker. Leo says that the best way to learn how to play poker is online, although you can't play for money anymore in the US. Betsy says she's having trouble getting online and doesn't have internet in her building. Can she use her cellphone? Leo says that Betsy can use a MiFi card from Verizon. Then she could use that to go online via 4G.

How can I get an ISDN line?

Ethernet cable

Episode 1053

David from Glendora, CA

David is a voice over artist who uses an ISDN line to do his job. But when he asked for one at the phone company, they looked at him like he was crazy. Leo says that if he lives in a smaller town, they may not offer it or may just be surprised he's asking to get one. It's a speciality line and the phone company simply doesn't want to do it because of broadband. It's not required by the FCC to offer it, and because it requires a separate switch, they just don't want to do it.

Can I bond two DSL lines into one and make it faster?

Episode 1052

Sam from Victorville, CA

Sam can get DSL from Verizon, but he's so far away, he can't get it very fast. So he went with DSLExtreme, which is half the price. Can he get another line and then multiplex it for more speed?

Leo says he can, and there's a product called Fusion that will do exactly this. It's dual ADSL2 lines. The problem is that he's so far away from the network hub, and DSL degrades rapidly over distance. Bonded ADSL will work, and he should ask DSL Extreme if they have Fusion in his neighborhood.

(Disclaimer: DSL Extreme is a sponsor).

Should I buy or rent my cable modem?

Motorola Surfboard modem

Episode 1042

LaxMan from Tempe, AZ

Laxman has to get his own DSL modem for his cable internet service, but will they be backwards compatible? Leo says that DOCSIS III modems have auto configuration menus that can handle older devices. But buying is a far better option than renting that modem for $5-7 a month.

Leo likes the Motorola Surfboard. He will have to tell his ISP that he bought one and make sure they support the model he wants to use.