Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Why is my Mac running so slow online?

Richard from West LA, CA

Episode 1271

Richard has a friend who's Mac is running slower. Is that because her machine is getting older? Leo says maybe, but it may also be that her hard drive is getting less reliable. As the hard drive gets older, it starts to have to work harder to process data. It begins to cache data more. So replacing the hard drive, especially with an Solid State Drive, can make a world of difference in speed. Updating your OS can also help, though if it's too old, you may not upgrade to the latest (El Capitan). Leo says there's a few easy things to do like resetting your browser and clearing the cache.

What is a VPN?

Episode 1271

Dan from Newport Beach, CA
Tiny Hardware Firewall

Dan wants to know about a VPN. Is it good for security? Leo says absolutely. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and it's essentially an encrypted tunnel through the Internet where your data cannot be seen by anyone sniffing around. All anyone else would see is gobbelty-gook. It's great for security if you're at an open Wi-Fi network like a coffee shop. VPNs are really popular for work, where you're working from home but want access to your work server.

Why can't I get on the internet?

Harry from Akron, OH

Episode 1270

Harry is reinstalling the Windows Vista OS on a friend's computer and now it's connected to "an unidentified" router with a local access only. He can't get online. Leo advises connecting via hardwire. If that works, then it's a setting that's not allowing it to get online. A driver may need to be downloaded as well. Getting the motherboard drivers from the manufacturer could solve it.

Why can't I see images in my web browser?

Hope from Hemmit, CA

Episode 1269

Hope uses Windows 10 and when she goes to a website, she doesn't see any images, just text. Leo says to refresh the page to reload. She can press Shift F5 and that will reload the page. There may also be something that's blocking all the images, like a plugin or extension. Hope uses an ad blocker and that could be doing it. Leo has a hunch that something is running on the system that's blocking it. It could be an overzealous antivirus program. There could also be an extension in Google Chrome that is blocking it.

Why doesn't technology allow us to vote online?

Von from Santa Clarita, CA

Episode 1267

Von is wondering why technology doesn't allow for us to vote on things over the internet. Leo says that there is a movement to do that, but the first step to get everything online is a huge hurdle. Companies that publish all the laws in paper are suing to prevent it. The larger issue is security and accuracy of the electoral process. Voting machines are notoriously unreliable and easily hacked. Online would be even worse. Check out public.resource.org.

Johnny Jet on Travel

Episode 1267

Johnny Jet

Johnny Jet is preparing to go on a river cruise. River cruising is very slow and casual. Nice and relaxing. You don't have to worry about seasickness, either. The Wi-Fi is great and dining is casual.

New website: Cheap Air. They have a tool called When to Buy Flights. It searches 1.5 billion flights to show when the highs and lows are for buying flights. Johnny says that always analyzing and flexibility is key. Avoid prime time and holidays.