ISPs

Can I combine internet services to one master service?

Episode 1183

Bob from Yucatan, Mexico

Bob is moving to Yucatan and he says that internet access really isn't all that great. Can he combine both Wi-Fi and cellular into one master service? Leo says that's called modem bonding and it requires a very smart infrastructure from end to end. Generally, he can get it from one ISP that handles it all from the back end. It's a challenge, however. Satellite may be a better choice, although latency will be an issue.

If I change my ISP, will I lose my email address?

Episode 1160

Tamar from Los Angeles, CA

Tamar has been using AT&T for 15 years and she's been thinking of changing her internet service provider. She wants to know if she can keep her AT&T email, though. Leo says no. That's an AT&T domain name and as such, once she cancels her account, the email will get shut down.

Tamar wants to move to Time Warner Cable, but she doesn't want to get rid of her TV service through DirecTV. Leo says she doesn't have to have cable TV through Time Warner, she could just get internet. It may cost her about $10-20 more, though.

How can I get Wi-Fi for my laptop through my phone?

Wi-Fi

Episode 1110

Sharon from Fontana, CA

Sharon wants to create a hotspot so she can have Wi-Fi on her laptop. Leo advises using a MyFi Wi-Fi Hotspot card, which are available through her carrier. In general, she'll be charged an extra $30-50 a month. Leo says it's likely cheaper to go to an ISP and wire her home for internet. DSL Extreme has $13 a month deals for the first year.

(Disclaimer: DSL Extreme is a sponsor).

Where can I find good broadband internet service for my tablet?

Tablet

Episode 1110

Shell from San Gabriel, CA

Shell is looking for an option for internet service for her tablet. Leo says Shell's options are cable or DSL. Cable is faster, but DSL is more consistent. Leo recommends going to broadbandreports.com. It's an independent site that will tell her what service is available in her area and provides reviews on that service.

Leo recommends going to her cellphone provider and tell them you want to add a tablet. They'll add it for a small charge. And if it's T-Mobile, they'll even offer 200MB for free.

Why do I pay so much more for less internet speed than Europe?

Episode 1103

James from Bullhead City, AZ

James says he's noticing that over 300 MBPS is available overseas for under $40 a month. It's maddening that Europe gets that kind of performance and James pays $50 for 3MB down. That's outrageous. Leo says that is disgusting. We pay more than many countries for less service. And because we invented it, we have incompatible systems still in use and that can be expensive. There's a benefit to not being the first, but it's almost always the meddling of governments who have created a duopoly for internet service.

Where can I get free Wi-Fi?

Episode 1096

Dave from Riverside, CA

Dave says that Riverside is ending their free Wi-Fi service tomorrow after complaints that some people couldn't use it. AT&T, who set it up, pulled out a few years ago and Riverside may have decided it was too costly to operate on their own. Leo says that's a shame because Riverside was one of the first communities to give it a try. It's not likely that more communities will be able to join in, as most ISPs have lobbied legislatures to outlaw free Wi-Fi service so ISPs can charge more.

Is unlimited really unlimited on Verizon?

Episode 1090

Johnny from Fontana, CA

Johnny is being offered unlimited internet through Verizon. Leo says that unlimited is never really unlimited. They'll throttle him and slow him down after a few gigs. So he should pay attention to that. He currently has 3GBs through AT&T. Leo says it's hard to get past that unless he's streaming video. And if he has Wi-Fi, it's even harder. So check that the phone he is getting is going to have a hotspot capability, which most do natively. But he'll have to pay extra for it.

Woman Tries to Hide Pregnancy from "Big Data"

Episode 1080

After the story about Target discovering a woman was pregnant and made the information public, a college professor decided to try and hide her pregnancy from "big data" to keep it private. She did everything she could to be private, including routing her online traffic through Tor (an anonymity network), using an alternate Amazon account, and having items shipped to an alternate location. She also quit using Google in favor of the Duck Duck Go.

Why is Earthlink still down?

Episode 1074

Mary from Los Angeles, CA

Mary has Earthlink and for the last three days, they've been down in L.A. Leo says that's terrible! She wants to know if they've been bit by heartbleed. Leo says it's probably more serious than that. Heartbleed can be fixed with a simple server upgrade, but this sounds like a cascading failure where fixing one thing impacts more things. Leo thinks it's time to get a new ISP. DSLExtreme is good. Leo advises asking them to move Mary and request an estimate of how long it will take, because it could take several days or even weeks to make that switch.