Wi-Fi

Why does my internet radio buffer so much?

Episode 1297

Jim from Gaithersburg, MD

Jim is legally blind and uses an internet radio. He doesn't understand how to use it, though, and it buffers a lot. Leo says that Wi-Fi has a distance issue where the greater the distance, the weaker the system, and the slower the bandwidth. That's why Leo recommends plugging it directly into his router and he won't see nearly as much buffering. Leo recommends hardwire connections for any streaming device.

Stay Secure on Public Wi-Fi Hotspots

If you travel frequently, you're probably relying on public Wi-Fi hotspots often. While they are convenient, you should be aware that some of the things you do while connected to that hotspot could be visible to others. Many of the tasks that people do online, including banking, Amazon, Facebook, and most email providers, are already encrypted using https. This means that everything on that connection is secure. You can find out if you're on an encrypted connection by checking the URL in the navigation bar.

Is Elon Musk really launching satellite Wi-Fi?

Episode 1247

George from Santa Monica, CA

George hears that Elon Musk wants to launch satellites to give everyone Wi-Fi access. Leo says it's true. He wants 4,000 satellites orbiting the earth so that there's nowhere on earth that you can't get high speed internet. He wants to launch them through SpaceX. Leo says that one of the problems with satellite internet, however, is the latency because of the distance it has to travel back and forth twice for each packet of data. Better than nothing, mind you, but there is a cost. Google is taking a different approach with balloons in Project Loon.

Which iPad should I buy?

Apple iPad Air 2

Episode 1245

Shell from West Covina, CA

Shell wants to know if she should buy a Wi-Fi only iPad, or the iPad with 4G access. Leo says that Apple will charge an additional $129 for the LTE capability, plus she'll have to pay for an additional monthly data plan. It's far cheaper to get a Wi-Fi only tablet and then use her phone as a hotspot for about $20 a month. Even Leo didn't buy a data plan with his latest iPad Pro. He just went with the Wi-Fi version.