Ian wants to know how safe VPNs are. Leo says that VPNs will create an encrypted tunnel for the internet, but only to the VPN network you use. Sooner or later the data still has to run out into the public internet. And you have to trust that VPN company with your sensitive data.
Joe is looking to get a new iMac. Should he buy now? Leo says sure. Even though there's going to be new models announced in the fall, the talk on the street is that it will likely be laptops, like a new MacBook Pro.
David is looking for new speakers for parties and to DJ with, but still use at home. He has a budget of $200 to $400. He wants powered speakers, and preferably Bluetooth. Leo says there's a lot out there. The options are actually more cosmetic now -- water proof, sand proof, etc. Generally, the better sound will be expensive and less robust.
Ed wants to know if a MacBook is a good laptop just for getting online. Leo says it is, but it's also overkill. We've been conditioned to accept that we need a complicated computer for our general purpose daily computing needs. Leo recommends a Chromebook. They're very secure, and extremely affordable at $200 to $500. For most people's needs, it works just fine.
Jane is an author and is looking for the best laptop to run Windows and Microsoft Word. Leo says that just about any laptop, including Macs, can run Word. If she prefers a Windows machine, then Leo recommends a business class Lenovo X1.
Robert is looking to get a Chromebook. He's looking for a well built model with price being no object. He would also like to have a video display port for when he's at home.Leo says that Google's Chromebook Pixel is the top of the line and it's $1,000. It's also one of three that can also run applications from Android mobile phones. So it's a full blown computer system with 2 million apps.
Gene wants to know if it's a good idea to use an LCD TV as a monitor. Leo says no. The reason is that computer monitors are much higher resolution than TVs, and as such, he'll really see the pixels when sitting up close to it. If he's using a 4K monitor, he can abate that a bit. A better choice would be to just get a larger monitor. He can get them pretty big these days. Scott Wilkinson says that 4K would be a better choice because he would need super clean text to make it easier to read.
Dave is looking to get the Dell Inspirion 5000 laptop for about $699. Leo says that for basic work, it'll be just fine for Dave's needs. How can he learn to use it? Leo says he could take a class at a local community college, but it's really better to just get it and play with it and learn as he goes.
Doug has been taking a lot video classes with Adobe Premiere and After Effects, but his HP computer performance isn't all that great. Leo says that when you buy a computer at Costco you're not going to get a pro-grade device. If Doug is being slowed down by rendering, he'll not only want a lot of RAM, but he should also put in an SSD. A good NVidia or ATI Radeon video card will give him a fast GPU to handle the rendering instead of his PC's processor. That's what Premiere relies on -- the GPU.
Terri has an old Razor flip phone and it's about to be disabled by AT&T. Leo says that if AT&T is doing that for network reasons, then they should give her a free phone to replace it. She should be able to get another flip phone if she wants. If Terri wants a smart phone, then she'll have to remember it will cost a lot more with the data plan. If she's ready for that, she'll be able to do a lot more with it. Leo recommends having her son take her to the AT&T store and see what the options are. She could go pay as she goes, or get a 2 year data plan.