Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Johnny Jet is here to advise that beginning January 1st, travelers will be unable to add stamps to your passport. If you do, the entry will be denied. You will need to get them added by the US Department of state by sending in your passport to add them officially. Or, when you renew, choose the 52 page option at no extra charge.
This week's travel app - City Mapper for Android and iPhone.
Lou's Yahoo Mail account got hacked and has been used to send out spam. He's changed all his passwords, but he's worried that they now have control of his iPhone. Leo says that didn't happen and Lou is being understandibly paranoid about it.
Leo advises changing the password and then turning on two factor authentication. This is usually done by giving Yahoo his phone number and then they will text him if his password is being changed. He'll input the code and then the password gets changed. This prohibits someone from changing the password unless they steal his phone first.
Jim is learning that having business service is way more expensive than consumer grade service. Leo says that's crazy but all too often true. Jim also says that the DSL in his building is terrible. Leo says DSL often has issues being too far away from the central hub switch, which can slow it down and affect the consistency of the service. The closer you are the faster and better it will be. Going with a third party service like DSL Extreme can be handy because they fight to give you better service.
Jim wants to create a shorter email address because his current one is too long. Leo says he can do that, but 1) it's probably already taken and 2) the shorter it is, the more likely that it'll get spam. So Leo says if he's going to shorten his email address, he should get very specific about the spelling and include some numbers in it. He can sign up for one at GMail and have all of his mail forwarded to his current address through that.
Robert is looking for a good network attached storage solution to keep movies on. Leo says that NAS media server storage is a good idea, as is backup. Leo likes Synology. They have a huge range of products from 2 -10 drives. Gigabit Ethernet speed. Are they low energy? Leo isn't sure.
Another option is the NetGear ReadyNAS. But Leo likes Synology best.
Juan is looking to use Tor for encrypted security. Leo says that Tor was invented by the US Navy and it works by making your traffic obscure. Tor is used for anonymity, and it's a bit difficult to set up, but using a Tor browser makes it a lot easier. If Juan is concerned about privacy online, Tor is a good option to look into.
Laurie is frustrated with her DSL because it's constantly dropping off. Leo says that DSL often comes on old copper wiring and the farther away you are, the more likely you'll get drop offs. The inside wiring may also be an issue. Laurie's provider also has an inside wire plan she can pay for, but it sounds like Laurie is pushing the edge of her existing technological capabilities. And since they're pushing Laurie to go FiOS, they have little motivation to fix the old lines. But FIOS uses Fiber Optics and it's more reliable and faster. It can also be more expensive, though.
Johnny is in France right now and he's got a great rental apartment through a website called Paris Perfect. It's a gorgeous home for less than a hotel stay in Paris. Fully stocked kitchen and great bakery. Johnny doesn't know if he can go back to staying in a Parisian hotel.
Jim runs email for a local school through Gmail and now they're starting to bounce his emails as spam because of his large mailing list. Leo says that just goes with the territory when using a free mail service. They get a bit skittish about mailing lists because of the abuse that comes from spam. Leo says that going with a service like Mail Chimp is a better option. They do a confirmation opt-in/out system so that people are choosing to get the newsletter.
Sam was having issues with his laptop and he clicked on a popup for a place called "Geekatoo" for support. Leo says if it's "computer hand-holding," then it can be beneficial. But Sam will want to be careful clicking on popups and paying for promised support. But from what Leo can tell, Geekatoo seems legit.