It wasn't that long ago that Google pulled out of China because of the country's authoritarian demands and acts of censorship. Now reports are that the company that once said "do no evil" as their slogan, is developing a special Google browser for China that will allow the country to strictly control the flow of information online. So much for doing no evil.
Ron is going on a cruise soon and he wants to know if the Wi-Fi on the ship will be usable. Leo says it's always slow because satellite connections are slow, with a lot of latency, and on top of that, he'll be sharing bandwidth with 4,000 people. The best he can do is get up in the middle of the night and use it. The worst part is, it's also very expensive. But when he's in port, he'll have access to mobile data.
The state of New York has voted to kick cable provider Spectrum out of the state, after the ISP failed to create a high speed network in rural areas. The company will also have to pay a $3 million penalty, and continue to operate until the New York Public Service Commission finds a company to replace them. New York made a provisional approval of the merger of Spectrum and Charter Communications, but without the rural internet agreement, the state has revoked that approval and kicked them out.
Jean wants to know if she should buy her own modem or not. She has DSL. Leo says that since she has DSL, she should just stick with the modem that DSL Extreme provided to her. Generally when Leo talks about replacing the modem to avoid the rental fee, he's talking about cable modems. He wouldn't mess with a DSL modem. As far as the router goes, Leo would recommend Jean get the TP-Link Archer C8, which is less than $80.
Mimi recently bought a Ring Video Doorbell 2, but she doesn't have internet at home. Leo says she would have to have internet access at home to get it to work. It has to have Wi-Fi to connect. She could use a cellphone in hotspot mode, but that would be as expensive, or more than just having a home internet connection. She could talk to her neighbors to see if she can use their Wi-Fi to connect her doorbell. Another option is to use a MiFi card. That would enable her to connect up to five devices, including the doorbell.
Alan's brother lives in a remote region and he wants to know his best option for internet access. Leo says the best way to do it is probably via 4G/LTE. He can get himself a MiFi device and then he can connect up to five devices and he'll have internet access. For remote areas, as long as you have good cell service, that's becoming the best option.
Kurt says his HP Deskjet disconnects from the internet and he has to turn it off and back on to wake it up. Leo says there's an ECO mode that conserves power in the settings. Disable that. Also, assign a specific IP address and reserve that in your router. Then you'll have a static IP address that will keep it woke up.
Dave is worried that Net Neutrality gives the government too much control over the internet. Leo says that's not really true. Without Net Neutrality, the large corporations control the internet. Is that better? The essence of Net Neutrality is that all bits are equal. Companies can't charge an extra fee based on what the traffic is. Net Neutrality ensures that the Internet remains free and open. Net Neutrality doesn't regulate the internet, it regulates the companies that provide Internet access.
Gloria is having trouble getting a local radio station over her landline. Leo says that often happens when living near a powerful 50,000 watt radio station. It can not only leach into phone lines, but also teeth fillings. She also has a modem connected via splitter so she can plug in her phone. Leo says to try removing everything and plug the phone directly into the wall. Leo suspects the phone line was accidentally cut, and she should call the phone company.
Kimberly is having issues with her U-Verse internet access after wiring her computer directly. She sees things on her browser she doesn't like. Her "IT guy" says it's an IP issue. Leo says someone is overthinking it. It's not an IP issue. IPv6 is invisible, so that shouldn't make a difference. Not all sites are secure, the only ones that are should be the ones she's giving private information to. And a log in form could be secure while a page is not. Yahoo isn't the greatest ISP to rely on, either.