Broadband

What alternatives do I have to 4G internet in rural areas?

satellite dish

Episode 1138

Mark from Amherst County, VA

Mark uses Verizon 4G Wireless service and runs through 40GB in an afternoon with video conferencing. He also ends up roaming, so he's paying for that as well as overages. Verizon told him that FIOS would be coming, but Leo says that'll never happen now because they've stopped growing that out. It all has to do with a tug of war with the FCC over net neutrality.

Does fiber work more like cable or DSL?

Fiber

Episode 1135

Julian from Los Angeles, CA

Julian wants to upgrade his internet with fiber. Does it work like Cable or DSL?

Leo says it's more like DSL. But it's likely that they are piggybacking on AT&Ts fiber. Leo says that DSL Extreme is a great service and if they're moving into Fiber, it'll be a good move. He won't be burdened by sharing bandwidth like with cable, either. It's actually better than DSL because it has better range from the central office. Leo also suspects that the Fiber doesn't go straight to his house, but to a head end that then transfers it to copper. That's not going to be as fast.

Why does my internet connection drop out frequently?

ethernet

Episode 1125

Dustin from Glendora, CA

Dustin's network connection goes out several times a day. Leo says that he's been experiencing the same thing on his Mac. Leo suggests checking for firmware updates. That could make his router more stable. Most people rarely update the firmware in their router. There's also something that Verizon can do since their switches tend to be cheap and break often. He should also start at the plug and check all connections to the wall.

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.