data

Is it possible to build a hard drive to contain all the information in the world?

Episode 1445

Paul from Ohio
Hard drives

Paul wonders if it would be possible to build a hard drive that could hold all the information available in the world. Leo says that currently, we have hard drives large enough to hold all the information in the Library of Congress. But we really don't know how much information we really have in the world. We do know that by 2025, there will be 163 ZetaBytes (a trillion gigabytes). We're creating data at a rate of 16 trillion GB a year. The largest hard drive out there is 8,000 GB. So probably not. But that's what we have the cloud and the internet for.

How can I stay in touch with people at home while traveling overseas?

Episode 1408

Carl from Las Vegas, NV
Cell Tower

Carl's wife is going to the Philippines soon and he wants to know the best way to stay in touch internationally. Leo says that the real answer is WiFi. She'll be able to make calls or even video conference via Skype, Facebook, or WhatsApp. If she uses WiFi, it won't cost her anything. She should just make sure to turn off data roaming on her phone. She can also use Google Maps and preload map data so that she's not using data while getting around.

How should I back up my data?

Episode 1400

Steve from Riverside, CA
Synology DS416 Slim

Steve is in the process of digitizing everything and backing it up. Now he needs to consider backup options. Leo says the first thing he should do is make sure his data is encrypted. Windows 10 Pro offers BitLocker, which uses full disk encryption that unencrypts when he logs into his Windows account. He should be careful not to lose his password or certificates. He should back those up and keep them in a safe place.

How can we avoid data roaming while overseas?

Episode 1388

Paul from Guadalajara, Mexico
SIM Cards

Paul is going to be traveling to Great Britain and wants to know how they can use data while out of the country. Is SkyRoam a good option? Leo says that SkyRoam is an interesting pay-as-you-go option when traveling. Google Fi is another, as is a MiFi card. Pay-as-you-go is nice because Paul would pay for only what he uses. He'd also want to be sure they support high speed data.

What should I do about my data if I'm selling my computer?

Episode 1376

Jeff from Valley Village, CA
HDD

Jeff wants to do some spring cleaning by getting rid of some old computers, but is concerned about privacy and the data on the hard drives. Leo says that the easiest thing to do is to simply remove the hard drives. He could also use something like Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) to completely wipe the drive. It erases everything by writing zeros across the drive, and then erases it again. If he does that several times, he'll be safe from everyone save the NSA. Solid State Drives, however, can be easier to get data off of.

Set Up a Metered Connection in Windows 10

If you're using your mobile phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot for your Windows PC, or just trying to stay within a data cap from an internet service provider, you'll want more control over what things get downloaded and when.

First of all, you can easily see in Windows how much data you've used. In Control Panel --> Network and Internet, there's a data usage tab. This will show you how much data has been used and which apps have been using data.

Is my data safe in the cloud?

Chris from Miami, FL

Episode 1284

Chris is worried about storing all his stuff in the cloud. If the cloud goes down, will he lose everything? Leo says that storing in the cloud is practical because we use multiple computers and as such, he'll need to have a central storage area for all of them to contribute to. But the downside is that if he loses access to the cloud, he'll lose access to the data. That's why having a local backup is so important.

What happened to the images and music on my hard drive?

AJ from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1281

AJ opened up a laptop he hadn't used in awhile and all of his music and pictures were corrupted. A popup actually said the disk couldn't be read, and must be formatted. He tried to recover it. Why did it become corrupt? Leo says that hard drives die, and that's why you need a 3-2-1 backup strategy. 3 copies, on two different formats, with one off site.

How can I get LTE data as my home and mobile internet connection?

Steve from Hemet, CA

Episode 1273

Steve is a truck driver, and he uses a Galaxy Note 4 on Verizon as his primary internet connection. At home, he has Time Warner cable for TV, internet, and landline. Now that he's back on the road, he's only going to be at home for 1 week out of every 6 or 7 weeks. So he's trying to figure out how to get rid of Time Warner at home, and just use mobile internet. He'd like to get rid of Verizon, but it has the best connectivity for him across the country.