cellular data

How do I stay connected while on a cruise?

Episode 1503

Ellie from Honolulu, HI
Cruise Ship

Ellie is cruising the Hawaiian Islands. What should she do for internet access? Should she buy the cruise ship internet? Leo says don't ever do that! It's satellite internet and it's only a few MB up and down, and everyone on the ship has to share it. She'd have to get up in the middle of the night to get decent speed. It's also obscenely overpriced. Since Ellie is cruising around the Islands, she may be able to rely on local cellular service if she's near shore. She'll have data, but won't be charged a roaming fee. AT&T says that she will, though. Leo says that's nonsense.

Why am I using so much cellular data?

Casey from Orange County, CA

Episode 1397

Casey changed her Apple ID password because she thought she was getting hacked and people were using her data to watch YouTube. Apple said that she wasn't, though she says she hasn't been using her data and it's almost entirely used up for the month. Jason says that her Apple ID shouldn't have an impact on YouTube, so he's skeptical about whether it's connected to her Apple ID. More likely it's preferences for YouTube.

Why is my iPhone 6 using so much data?

Episode 1182

Rick from Escondido, CA
Apple iPhone 6

Rick recently upgraded to the iPhone 6. He set it up just like the iPhone 4s he used to have and his data usage has skyrockted, even though he's using it exactly the same. Leo says that there was an issue where handing off from LTE to Wi-Fi occured, but Apple fixed that. It's more likely there are apps that are causing it, like Facebook which has autoplay on movies set by default. That can easily cause it. Also, with faster speeds, apps like YouTube will automatically bump up the quality, and use more data.

How can I improve cellular data reception on my property?

Larry from Irvine, CA

Episode 1180

Larry is having issues on his property where he gets 3G in some areas, and 4G in others. Leo says he's on the edge of both. Will an antenna or amplifier help? Leo says that a cellphone amplifier could help. The benefit being that it becomes a Wi-Fi access point for up to 5 different devices. He can also set up an ad-hoc network with his laptop wired in. A directional antenna aimed at the cell tower will also be beneficial. He should watch his signal as he aims the antenna, and when the signal improves, he'll know where to have it pointed.

What's the best internet option for rural areas?

Louis from Peterborough, Ontario

Episode 1028

Louis has an internet radio program and wants to know what Leo would recommend for satellite internet where he is. Leo says that it's often a problem in rural areas because it's not financially viable to install it. All satellite options have the same flaws of expensive equipment and latency, which is terrible for live podcasting, gaming, and VOiP. Leo's current preference is Wild Blue, which is a brand of Exede. Leo says it's very fast, but it isn't cheap ($50 for 10GB, up to 10MBps).