cable

What are my options for canceling my ISP?

Gloria from North Hollywood, CA

Episode 1423

Gloria wants to get rid of her ISP and change her email. Leo says if she's going to get rid of her ISP and its email, Leo recommends going with Gmail first and setting it up to get the email off her old email account. Her ISP is DSL Extreme. Leo says that DSL Extreme is a good provider, but if she's having issues, it may not be their fault. It may be the carrier that DSL Extreme is piggy backing on, which is usually AT&T. They have to allow them to carry it, but they don't really want to share. So they make it difficult.

Can I own my own modem?

Episode 1419

Cecil from Hemet, CA
Motorola Surfboard DOCSIS III

Cecil has been dealing with issues with Spectrum and he's replaced the router. Can he replace the modem too? Leo says yes. He can buy his own modem and save himself a $10 a month rental charge in the process. He'll want to check with Spectrum to see what routers Spectrum supports, and based on those, he can buy his own. Most support the Surfboard DOCSIS III. There's also the NETGEAR Nighthawk.

How can I get cable channels for free?

Episode 1418

Jennifer from Norco, CA
Roku Express

Jennifer is retired and doesn't want to pay for cable, so she has an antenna. She wants a few cable channels, though. Leo says she may be able to stream those channels online through her internet access. Leo recommends streaming from the cable channel website, or use a streaming box like the Roku Express. It's cheap. She should also check out tvfool.com for how to point her antenna to get the most channels.

What cable should I use for my TV?

Episode 1332

Laurie from Napa Valley, CA
RG6 cable

Laurie wants to move her TV across from where her cable is. Leo says she can, and she can make the cable as long as she wants, but she shouldn't use a splitter. The better the cable she uses, the better it looks too. Flat cables are for running under the carpet. She'll want low resistance RG59, RG11, or RG6 cables. RG6 is what the cable company uses and it's the best choice.

Laurie should check out BlueJeansCable.com for recommendations and descriptions.

How can I find the best cable, internet, and phone service?

Ricky from Chatsworth, CA

Episode 1329

Ricky thinks his Triple Play package is just too expensive. What is the best provider for internet, cable, and telephone? Leo says that the only real advantage of a Triple Play package is that he'd get one bill. For a phone service, he prefers real phone service because in the event of a disaster, the plain old telephone service will continue to operate. Leo advises going to DSLReports.com because they will give him the best ratings on what is the best coverage and reliability. Leo also recommends talking to neighbors.

Do I have an alternative to my phone company?

Frank from Huntington Beach, CA

Episode 1286

Frank's cable company was taken over by Frontier from Verizon and it has constant outages that drive him nuts. Leo says it's gotten so bad that they're having hearings about it! Frank wants to change, but what are his options? Leo says that he probably won't have a choice for telephone, but he can change his internet service. He will have other TV options as well because he can always go with satellite or even Time Warner Cable. In fact, he can switch to Time Warner for all three and his phone number may be portable. Time Warner wants his business, so he should try to call them.

How can I monitor my data usage?

Jonathan from Knoxville, TN

Episode 1274

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.

What speed internet should I get?

Margaret from Burbank, CA

Episode 1274

Margaret wants to get on the internet, but she's on a tight budget. Leo says that Margaret already has a cable subscription, so she could get a deal through them. She should ask what their cheapest package is, then shop around. DSL will be slower than cable. And the upload/download speeds they boast will be ideal max conditions. For standard email and surfing with little streaming, she should be fine with 1.5 Mbps up.

How do I cut the cable?

G. Scott from Lake Tahoe, CA

Episode 1257

G. Scott is thinking of cutting the cable, and streaming all of his TV online. Leo says that we're on the cusp of being able to do that with the FCC looking to allow third party cable boxes. But the industry is drastically changing as it becomes easier and easier to get TV shows online. The only challenge is live TV, but if he has a direct line to the TV stations with no obstructions, he can put up a TV antenna and get even better HD quality then that cable box anyway. But even that is changing, and Leo predicts that we'll have live streaming everywhere very soon. It's already started.