Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Ed is tired of using Gmail. What are his alternatives? Leo says he'll want an IMAP service, and Leo uses Fast Mail. It's a pay service and it lets him use multiple devices to access the same mail in addition to a web interface. It's encrypted. Another good one is Proton Mail, which offers end-to-end encryption, if privacy is a priority.
Lately, Johnny Jet has been frustrated with Uber and Lyft drivers that are late, and have no room to stow his luggage. So he's starting to use Blacklane. It's about two to three times more expensive, but it's more of a limo service with professional drivers. It's all around the world and they use roomy cars. They show up early and wait for you, not the other way around. And you can use your phone to order it.
This week Verizon Wireless severely throttled the wireless internet speeds of the Santa Clara Fire Department, unless the department paid double. Verizon says it was merely a mistake and has nothing to do with new net neutrality rules. Leo says that throttling the fire department is a danger to public safety and doesn't buy the excuse. But it'll take years to settle in court, if it goes at all.
Dan is going to be in a hotel for a few weeks while his apartment complex is being renovated.How can he be secure with Wifi? Leo says that a portable travel router like the Tiny Hardware Firewall will keep you good and protected. But if you turn your phone into a wifi hotspot, you're just as secure because it's encrypted, especially on GoogleFi.
It wasn't that long ago that Google pulled out of China because of the country's authoritarian demands and acts of censorship. Now reports are that the company that once said "do no evil" as their slogan, is developing a special Google browser for China that will allow the country to strictly control the flow of information online. So much for doing no evil.
John is a fire fighter and they share the cost of Wi-Fi with multiple access points. But when they increased his data plan to 300 Mbps, the most his router will get is 80. Leo says that typically, Wi-Fi is 60% of what they say. So he should be safely expecting 180 Mbps. But at 2.4Ghz, he's only going to get 80. He's going to need a TriBand router. For pure speed, Leo recommends the NetGear Orbi Pro Mesh router. He can get one extra unit for every 1500 sq ft coverage.
Travel Tip of the Week - Wear your backpack in the front of you when you're walking around. There are a lot of pickpockets who can get into your backpack without you knowing it, but if you wear the pack in the front, they can't get to it.
Website of the Week - US State Department Travel Advisories: Information for the country your visiting. It'll include scams, problem places, and other travel advisories. And also read Canada's, Great Britain's, and even Australia's.
Kyle wants to know what router is the fastest for the money. Leo says that Netgear Orbi is an excellent mesh system for someone looking for maximum speed. It has a 4GB ethernet as well. And for under 2000 feet, one is enough. Asus also has a good router for the hardcore hobbyist. Leo says what he really will want is an intelligent routing system, so it will delegate speed to the things he needs the most at that time.
Dean wants to buy his own router. TheWirecutter likes the Netgear CM500. Leo likes the ARRIS Surfboard. The key is to get a DOCSIS III modem. He'll also want to check with his ISP to see what modems they support. Most support these two main brands. But he'll also want to have a separate router and modem. Routers will change more often than the modem will because they wear out.
Ron is going on a cruise soon and he wants to know if the Wi-Fi on the ship will be usable. Leo says it's always slow because satellite connections are slow, with a lot of latency, and on top of that, he'll be sharing bandwidth with 4,000 people. The best he can do is get up in the middle of the night and use it. The worst part is, it's also very expensive. But when he's in port, he'll have access to mobile data.