Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Is Google's VPN secure?

Episode 1358

Mark from Grand Rapids, MI
Google Pixel and Pixel XL

Mark finally got a Google Pixel XL, which was on back order. Leo says it's been widely known that they're only available in limited quantities right now. It's likely that the demand exceeded Google's expectation. Mark says he likes the Wi-Fi assistant because it'll automatically connect via VPN. Does it really work? Leo says yes. Phones can be a bit promiscuous with random hotspots. So Google adds an encrypted connection via VPN to protect users. Leo says he doesn't really like joining Wi-Fi access points automatically, so he's turned it off.

How can I lock down my network to protect my kids?

Episode 1358

Alan from Pennsylvania
OpenDNS

Alan "geeked" himself into a corner trying to protect his family on the internet. Leo says that OpenDNS is the best option because he can block unwanted websites from the DNS level. That prohibits teens from getting around it. He can change the DNS settings to OpenDNS at the router and it has great filters he can use. Then he can password protect the router so they can't bypass it.

Johnny Jet on Travel

Episode 1358

Johnny Jet

Johnny Jet had to get a last minute ticket to New York when a family member suddenly passed away. So Johnny now suggests keeping some of your miles in a bank just in case you need to fly at the last minute for an emergency. Also, if you want to use your miles for a vacation, plan your vacation at the last minute and fly standby. Often times, that's when you'll get the best deal. What's the best airline for miles? Johnny says it's Alaska Airlines, where you can get one point for one mile flown.

Where can I get a cheap or free database for my non profit?

Episode 1358

Peter from Lake Geneva, WI
BatchBook

Peter has a non profit and he's looking for a database to keep track of his clientele. Leo says that BatchBook is good. It's $35 a month, and free to try. Other options include Donor Snap and NonProfitEasy. Leo says that there's probably some free solutions as well. Peter should check out NonProfitHub.org for more suggestions.

What can I do if there's no broadband in my area?

Episode 1358

Eric from Ft. Worth, TX
Fiber Optic Cable

Eric built a house, but there is no internet connection or cable in his community. So the builder is suggesting buying cellular data as a solution. Leo says that sounds like a lawsuit in the making. Leo says that Eric's only real solution other than cellular is satellite, and although it's getting better, it still has severe bandwidth caps. Leo says logging a complaint with the state Public Utilities Commission could help, but it sounds like it's up to Eric to look for wireless solutions.

Why does my tablet buffer when I stream?

Episode 1357

Bret from Wood-Ridge, NJ
TWiT YouTube Live

Bret says that watching the TWiT Stream on his tablet buffers while his desktop doesn't. Leo says that the tablet is likely not powerful enough and has to buffer. It fills up the memory with frames so he can stay ahead of the stream, and if he's watching a higher resolution stream, that takes up even more room. His PC has larger memory buffers to handle it with no hesitation, but it can buffer as well, depending on the network traffic. Both will also get dropped packets.

How can I upload video while traveling?

Episode 1357

Ron from Rome, ITALY
SanDisk USB 3.0 flash drive

Ron is driving an RV around Europe. He wants to be able to upload all his 4K videos to the cloud. Leo says that he can upload them to YouTube or Vimeo. Both support 4K, but he won't have sufficient bandwidth to do that. Leo recommends saving them to an external drive and then shipping them home. Or he can just send thumbdrives, which he can get as large as 256GB now. Shipping them would be the most efficient way to back them up. Uploading, even at an internet cafe, would take forever.