Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Should I get a DOCSIS III modem?

Episode 1193

Michael from Newport Beach, CA
Asus Router

Michael would like to get a DOCSIS III modem and Leo says to be sure this his cable company enables it on their end when he does. He's also going to want to have a router that can support it, and Leo likes the Asus line. These are DDWRT compatible, and will protect him from the router bug that has hit lately. He should definitely get a good router. It'll be more expensive, but it's worth it.

How can I make my router more secure?

Episode 1192

Marco from Portugal
Asus Router

Marco just heard of yet another router hack called NET USB that is breaking into routers. Leo says that's because most router companies use the same code and it has bad security. The irony is that these hacks don't effect Apple routers like the Airport. So that makes the Airport a better way to go. But they are more expensive. If he can't afford to buy them, then he should get a router that is DDWRT compatible (like Asus), then he can use open source firmware to keep it locked down.

Why is my internet access slow when uploading photos to Google Drive?

Rick from Torrance, CA

Episode 1192

Rick has Google Drive, and he's noticed his internet slows down when it's syncing data. Leo doesn't think this is a likely cause for slowing down his internet, because these programs are supposed to be "nice" -- they only will use a small fraction of the available bandwidth. Rick can pause the activity on Google Drive to see if that makes a difference. It could take up more bandwidth during the initial sync.

What mobile Wi-Fi hotspot should I buy?

Emily from Orange County, CA

Episode 1192

Emily is thinking about buying a portable Wi-Fi hotspot so that they will have the ability to connect to the Internet with her iPad. Leo says that's a good idea. Are the independent carriers any good? Leo says that there aren't any independent carriers, really. They're just reselling coverage from the big guys (called MVNO) and she'll want to be sure she checks out the coverage maps for the carrier they're reselling. Is Karma good? Leo says that Karma is a Kickstarter campaign that would let her pay as she goes.

How can I sync my contacts to the cloud properly?

Diana from Laguna Beach, CA

Episode 1190

Diana bought a new Apple iPhone 5. The Apple store employee merged her contacts, but every contact in her phone was from iCloud and not her personal contacts. Leo says that's probably true. He assumed that Diana's phone was backed up, and it wasn't. Going forward, Diana should continue to backup to iCloud so if she loses her phone, she'll still have her contacts. She should just clean it up first. Then back up her contacts to the Cloud and have it continue to backup regularly.

How can I create an e-commerce site?

Derek from Charlotte, NC

Episode 1190

Derek wants to create a website for his business and add e-commerce to it. Leo says that's a smart idea. Every business should have a website. It's his digital brochure. Having an e-commerce site is huge because it gives him customers all over the world. And there's a variety of options including Shopify or BigCommerce. They are experts in building online stores. They can also help him with marketing. It's the easiest, but they do charge a fee for it.

How can I use my own router with FIOS?

Steve from Hermosa Beach, CA

Episode 1190

Steve has FiOS and the Wi-Fi seems to be slow. How can he speed it up? He'd like to bypass the Verizon router and use his own. Leo says that he'll have to use the Verizon device to connect to FiOS, but he can disable the router part and use his own router instead. He'll need to connect them with ethernet to make it work. The router is also built into the modem and is using network addressing. Steve should put the router part in "bridge mode" to just hand it off to the router.

Why doesn't my VPN work?

Joe from Zipolite, Mexico

Episode 1189

Joe was installing a VPN on a new Asus laptop and it worked just fine using Tunnel Bear. Leo says that Tunnel Bear is awesome. Then he moved to an open source VPN and he can't get it to work. Leo says this is why using a service is beneficial. You can have support when things go wrong. The other problem may be that Joe still has Tunnel Bear on his computer. So there's probably a conflict. And you also need to connect to an open source server. You can't just drop the client software and use their service.