Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Is it possible to log into sites and programs without a username and password?

Episode 1156

George from Santa Monica, CA
Password

George wants to know of a way to use his computer without having to use a password or user name because he keeps forgetting them. Leo says that passwords don't work. We have to remember them, so we tend to make weak passwords and use them on multiple sites. Steve Gibson has an idea called SQRL (Secure, Quick, Reliable Log In). The idea being that a smartphone app will automatically authenicate using a QR code so it just lets the user right in. Great idea, but behind the scenes it's a lot more complicated than that.

How can I make my router work better?

Episode 1156

Aaron from Tuscon, AZ
ASUS 3-In-1 Wireless Router (RT-N12)

Aaron just bought a Belkin router and he wants to know what he can do to make it work better. Leo says that he can make it more secure by turning off WAN administration and Universal Plug and Play. Both allow for holes in the router to let in traffic like gaming.

Another option is to get a router that can use open source firmware like DDWRT or Tomato. Asus is one such manufacturer.

Google Sets Prohibitive New Rules for YouTube Musicians

Episode 1155

YouTube

A YouTube musician named Zoe Keating is resisting YouTube's latest demands that all musicians sign a draconian, 5 year agreement to provide ads on all music videos, make the entire music catalog available, and release exclusively on YouTube first. She would also be prohibited from putting any music on other free services like BandCamp or SoundCloud.

Can I change my Gmail address?

Episode 1154

Mike from Glendale, CA
Email

He can't change the email address without creating a new Google account. But he can use a "+" symbol at the end of his address before the @ sign, and then type something else and it will still go to his address. This is particularly useful when signing up for a service because he can add "+signup" or something similar, and then he can filter it in Gmail so it gets labeled appropriately.

Have you heard of Li-Fi?

Episode 1153

Jack from Thornton, NH
Light beams

Jack is wondering if Leo had heard of LiFi, which uses light to transfer data between the ISP and the computer. This is not the first time we've seen this kind of thing, and there are a number of ISPs that use microwave as well. Microwave and LiFi require direct line of sight. Leo says in theory, this makes sense, as it uses the same type of technology as fiber-optic. But there are issues with this, and this line-of-sight light could be interrupted by weather and other factors.

How can I change the default browser settings in Excel?

Episode 1154

Mike from East Vail, CA
Spreadsheet

Mike always ends up in Internet Explorer when using Excel, even though Google Chrome is his default browser. Leo says there may be a setting within Excel, or in the file association database, that's associating with Explorer. Leo suggests going into the control panel and look in there. He may be able to change it in the settings.