Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

How can I troubleshoot my streaming buffering issues?

Episode 1153

Jeff from San Tan Valley, AZ
Buffering

Jeff has great bandwidth - 100Mbps down - but when he's streaming on his TV, he gets constant buffering. Leo says that smart apps on a TV are terrible. So Leo advises avoiding them and going with a streaming box like the Roku. Jeff says it's also happening with the Fire TV, though. Jeff is mostly having a hard time streaming DirecTV content. He has a SWiM box which is connected over the LAN in his house to his DirecTV receiver. There shouldn't ever be buffering, so Leo thinks it's the SWiM box.

How can I access my desktop from my tablet?

Episode 1153

Rob from Tarzana, CA
Desktop computer

Rob's job keeps him on the road, and he wants access to his desktop PC at home via his laptop or iPad. What's a good option, and can he do it without adding an app? Leo says that he can do it in a browser, but it's better in an app.

Atlas Remote Access on the iPad works well, according to the chatroom. There's also TeamViewer. But he'll need to install something. Google Chrome Remote requires installing an extension, but if the hardware isn't locked down from browser extensions, that's an option.

Johnny Jet

Episode 1153

Johnny Jet

Johnny Jet has some new websites -- RouteHappy gives reviews on flights. There's also SkyTrax, which is kind of like Yelp for the airlines. It gives you an idea on how airlines are ranked for customer service.

Travel App - FirePlace. Fireplace is an app that is what you expect -- a fireplace. Quite nice to set a mood for a romantic dinner. It's $0.99 for iPhone and iPad.

How can I get tech support help through Twitter?

Episode 1152

Don from Mojave Valley, AZ
Social Media on an iPhone

Don wants to know if Twitter is a good way to get the attention of Samsung's support people. Leo says it is. The trend was started by a support person at Comcast with "ComCastCares." And everyone has picked up on that trend. It helps to also have "hashtags" (#) which can make it searchable. A good company will pick up on it and take quick action. But companies are now starting to get mean about the bad press they get on social media.

What's the minimum bandwidth I need to stream Hulu?

Episode 1152

Brandon from Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Ethernet

Brandon wants to know what the minimum bandwidth is that he can get away with to stream Hulu Plus. Leo says for a good quality stream, he'll want at least 5 Mbps down. But that doesn't meant that's what he would get all the time. Beware of the term "up to." Run SpeedTest.net to get an idea what the sustained throughput is. That will give him an idea. But if he's sharing bandwidth with the neighborhood, then it could be less.

How can I get rid of a hacker who's stalking me?

Episode 1151

Karen from Sun City, CA
Hacker

Karen is having an issue with an online stalker who has hacked into her computer and has been deleting her files and other things. Leo suspects that Karen isn't really being hacked unless she has incurred the wrath of someone who can do that. More likely, what may be happening is that she's got malware and she probably should format the hard drive and reinstall Windows from a known, good source.

Why can't I send email when I'm traveling?

Episode 1151

Glennis from San Diego, CA
Email

Glennis took her iPad to New Zealand, but she couldn't send email. Leo suspects that outbound email may have been blocked by ISPs like Cox cable. They probably looked at where she was and notice that she wasn't on the network, and blocked her. To get around it, she can use an outbound SMTP server that isn't her ISP's. She can do that through Gmail using their outbound servers.

Johnny Jet

Episode 1151

Johnny Jet

Johnny Jet is back from his Hawaii holiday, but only for a brief time. News came out that a kid created a service called Skip Lagged, which used the "hidden city" technique to get the best deal. But now he's being sued by airlines. The "hidden city" trick is to book a flight that has a stop, but your stop is actually where you want to go. So you simply don't show up for the connecting flight. But this means you'd have to fly with no checked bags.

Why don't they use power line networking over the electrical grid for internet access?

Episode 1151

Joey from San Diego, CA
Power lines

Joey doesn't understand why we can't use the electrical grid for internet access if it's possible to have power line networking in the home. It would seem to be a good idea for remote locations. Leo says that it would be a good idea in theory, but it has the side effect of jamming radios because it creates a giant transmitter in the power lines.

How can I extend my Wi-Fi range?

Episode 1150

Jonathan from San Jacinto, CA
Apple Airport Extreme

Jonathan has Verizon FIOS with 75 Mbps up and down. Leo says that's nice! He has great signal on one side of the house, but it's terrible on the other side. How can he extend the Wi-Fi? Leo says he has to use Verizon's FIOS modem and router, but he doesn't have to use it for Wi-Fi. He can get a better Wi-Fi access point like an Apple Airport Extreme. Then put that in bridge mode so it'll pass the signal along to the rest of the house. If he needs more, then he can add a few $99 Airport Express's to act as a repeater. Leo has three of them.