ISPs

What's a Good Cheap Basic Internet Plan?

Internet of Things

Episode 1607

John from Mangum, Oklahoma

John wants to get a basic internet that doesn't offer TV or phone or anything else: just basic internet. Leo says that ISPs tend to charge you more for basic internet, vs. one that offers a bundle with phone and TV service. But they are required to offer "dry loop" internet service which may be cheaper than a plan with phone and TV service. Your other option is to use your cell service since it has data anyway. MINT Mobile is a possible solution. They are much more affordable, starting at $15 a month. Ideal, when money is tight.

What's the best option for internet in a rural area?

Exede

Episode 1596

John from San Bernardino, CA

John is moving to a rural area of Pennsylvania, and the only internet available is via satellite. What are his options? Leo recommends first visiting BroadbandReports.com and see if there are any wireless ISPs there. If so, that's certainly going to be a better option than Satellite. But if you have to have a satellite, then the best option is Exede by Wild Blue. It's not cheap and you certainly won't be streaming with it.

Do ISPs Know When You're Using a VPN to Stream?

pfsense

Episode 1574

Mike from Cabo San Lucas, MX

Mike is down in Cabo a lot and he streams using high-speed DSL. He uses a VPN but lately, the ISP has been shutting him down. Leo says that it sounds like the internet companies are getting wise to that. Sometimes users can switch VPNs and get back up and running. Another option is to set up a VPN server at his server in the US, then surf to that with Remote PC. 

How accurate are my ISPs download speeds?

Episode 1566

Rob from Cincinnati, OH

Rob wants to know how he can find out the more accurate speeds he's getting on his internet service. Leo says that when ISPs tell you speeds, it's usually under ideal conditions are are "peak speeds." Look for the phrase "as fast as." Then go to several internet speed testing sites like Netflix's Fast.com or SpeedTest.net. User several of them and get a good average. Also do it at different times. After 6pm is going to be different because people are watching Netflix.

What is a better ISP than Frontier in a remote area?

Satellite dish

Episode 1551

Bob from Rolling Hills Estates, CA

Bob lives in a desert and he's he's stuck with Frontier as an ISP. Leo says that a lot of people are commiserating with him because the access is so bad. They want to charge him $100 for 720kbps. Leo says that's totally unusable. Leo says it's likely because Bob is too far away from the central DSL station. If he had cable internet access, he'd be much better off. He also can't get satellite internet via Dish. Leo says the state of internet in the US is shameful, and Frontier is the worst amoungst them. At best, we have a duopoly, or maybe even a monopoly.

Will a VPN keep my web traffic private?

Episode 1522

David from Anaheim, CA

David is thinking about installing a home VPN. Leo says he understands the security concerns, but he won't like using it for very long. It will really slow down his bandwidth. Leo recommends a service called CloudFlare. It changes his DNS to 1.1.1.1, and then masks his traffic so his ISP doesn't know where he's going. He can set it at the router level and he will protect every device in his house.

Can I control a phone from my computer?

Episode 1500

Adam from Ontario, CA

Adam wants to know if he can control a mobile device from his computer. Leo says that Remote PC does not work in the opposite direction, unless the phone is physically connected. You could control another laptop from a laptop, or Desktop. But not a phone. So in the case of your phone being stolen, you have to get your carrier or phone manufacturer involved to brick it or wipe is remotely.

Does net neutrality affect access in Canada?

FCC

Episode 1456

Isaac from Ontario, Canada

Isaac is worried that the new Net Neutrality rules in the US will affect his internet access in Canada. How can he get involved to try and prevent that? Leo says that as the US goes, so goes the world. Net Neutrality is definitely in jeopardy all around the world, and it's difficult to get his voice heard in the face of huge companies with a lot of money to buy access. But in Canada, the law requires ISPs be treated as utilities. So they can only go so far in protecting under those regulations.

Isn't it good that there will be less regulation of the internet?

Network Neutrality

Episode 1450

Bryan from Panama City, FL

Bryan wants to know if Leo is for or against repealing the Net Neutrality rules. Leo says he's definitely against repealing it, as he believes it will benefit the big ISP companies and not the end user. Sure, it's government regulation, but if you trust the water coming out of your tap, why not trust regulating the internet to keep it open and neutral? By throwing out rules that keep ISPs common carriers under Title 2, it now gives ISPs the power to do whatever they want and charge whatever they want. Leo understands the mistrust of government. Many technology types are libertarians.