Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Is my Amazon Dot secure?

Episode 1356

Steven from Las Vegas, NV
Amazon Echo Dot

Steven is worried that his Amazon Dot could be hacked since it becomes a Wi-Fi access point during setup. Leo says it only becomes an access point during that setup process, and after that it turns off. This does bring up an interesting issue, however, about how the Dot communicates with the device used for setup. Is that communication encrypted? Leo thinks it probably is, but there's no password required to access the Dot during setup, so we don't really know.

Why is my internet access so slow on my computer?

Episode 1356

Amy from Orange County, CA
HP Spectre

Amy is experiencing very slow access to internet and remote desktop, and sometimes it just times out. Leo suggests shutting down remote desktop to see if her browser works better, as it may be taking up resources. It's possible malware may be the culprit, but if she's not seeing anything with MalwareBytes, that's unlikely. It could be something simple like a bad network cable to her router. So she should start easy with swapping out the cable. Since her other computer works just fine, that eliminates the internet connection itself. So we know it's a problem with this particular computer.

Why did the 2.4 GHz band on my router become unusable?

Episode 1355

Alan from Kentucky
WiFi

Alan is having issues with his wireless routers since a power surge, especially on the 2.4 GHz band. Leo says that's because 2.4 GHz is overcrowded. Everything seems to use it. That's why having a dual band router is beneficial. It could also be that the power surge fried his 2.4 GHz band. Routers also wear out, and over time, it starts getting slower and more unreliable. It's probably time to get a new router.

Can I use DDNS with a VPN instead of paying extra for a static IP?

Episode 1355

JC from Mississippi
Netgear AC1750

JC was looking for a new router to get some more advanced networking features, such as VPN and VLAN. He found the Netgear AC1750 with VPN support for $130. He found out that the VPN support also supports DDNS, which can be used for free as long as you go in every 30 days and click the link to renew it. You could also pay $50 a year for it. He was paying $45 a month for static IP addresses along with the necessary equipment and taxes to have it in his house.

Can I use my phone as a hotspot on a cruise?

Episode 1354

Sue Ellen from San Diego, CA
Cruise ship

Sue Ellen is going on a cruise to Hawaii next month and WiFi is $0.75 a minute. What are her options? Can she use her phone as a hotspot? Leo says not while she's on the ocean. When she gets to Hawaii, that's an option. While she's at sea, she'll be stuck with what they give her and there's nothing but pain. It's very slow and inconsistent. It's definitely not worth $0.75 a minute!

Do you like Twitter?

Episode 1354

Fahrid from Bradford, UK
Twitter

Fahrid wants to know if Leo uses Twitter and got his tweet. Leo says that Twitter is just too hard to read these days, and it's generally nasty. He'll use it to see what's going on, but he avoids the replies. Social media has gotten so foul. Who needs that? But the compliment is appreciated!

Fahrid also wants to know if TWiT could use personal information of his callers to improve the show. Leo says that while he has show notes that include details of caller questions, they don't collect the personal information of their audience and would certainly never seek to profit from it.