Robert has a cheap phone and wants to know how to use tethering to connect to the internet. Leo says hotspotting is the current way to wirelessly connect, but for Robert's phone, he may need to tether it with a cable. One thing is to know that he may need to pay extra for tethering. He'll also have data limits as well. It may be better for him to get an iPod Touch which will wirelessly connect to his internet. Or a Chromebook.
David tethers his computer through his mobile device, but he's wondering if it's secure. Leo says it's probably more secure because cell phones are encrypted now. Using the Wi-Fi through his phone is a different matter, if he's at a public hotspot. At that point, his traffic is out in the clear and easily grabbed. If he's going to use a hotspot, Leo advises using the Tiny Hardware Firewall and a VPN. The Tiny Hardware Firewall is like a router that then connects to his phone.
Ray got his first smartphone, as well as a new tablet. How can he connect it to his phone so he can get cellular internet while he's on his sailboat? Leo says that if he can get internet through his cell phone, he can create a hotspot with his mobile phone and connect his tablet using tethering. That usually costs an additional monthly fee, though. If he doesn't have cellular data, he could try satellite.
Dan just got a new iPhone and he and his son has shared data. How does that affect when he uses his phone as a personal hotspot? Leo says that when he uses a personal hotspot, it brings no more to the party, he's just paying more for the priviledge of hotspotting. Dan can use a free service like FreedomPop, but it's for a very limited amount of data. Then he'd start paying. Wi-Fi hotspots, though, will cost him nothing. So if he's at a Starbucks, he can connect to that and it won't count against his data at all.
Mike uses his phone as his internet access and he wants to use Netflix from his Android phone wired to his HDTV, but he has issues with audio sync. Leo suspects that the phone isn't powerful enough to drive it. He did get a Chromecast, but it requires a Wi-Fi signal to work.
There are other options. Leo says that using a MiFi card may help, because then it would convert the 4G signal to Wi-Fi. Also, because he rooted the phone, that could be adding to the issue. But rooting helps him to tether and use the Chromecast that way. This could violate his deal with Sprint, though.
Alan went to China and wanted to report his experience getting by the great Firewall of China. He used alternate ports with remote desktop and TeamViewer to skirt China's blocking restrictions, and it worked great. Leo says it sounds like China just blocked standard ports used for RDP and not something more sophisticated like Deep Packet Inspection. He was able to use Google and Facebook through his T-Mobile Smartphone. It was a little slow, granted, because it uses a slower EDGE connection for free digital roaming.
Gail's husband is into photography and uses a program called CAMRanger. Leo says that's a great app for syncing a camera to a computer or mobile device. Many cameras are using that tethering capability natively now as a result. But she's heard that CamRanger can fail, losing the images or requiring reinstallation of the software. Leo says it could be a bug, but he knows a lot of pros who use it and they haven't complained about a bug like that.
Frank has a Google Nexus 7 and has been using tethering. He updated the OS to KitKat and the tethering option has disappeared. When he takes the SIM card out, it reappears, but when he puts it back, and it disappears again. Leo says that it's likely AT&T doing that. They want to charge him for hotspotting and tethering. If he doesn't pay for it, they're not going to let him do it. It's also happened to T-Mobile users. Some solutions will require him to root his tablet, which is certainly possible.