The Tech Guy Blog

Use Google Fi + Moto G6 when Traveling to Turkey

If traveling to or staying in Istanbul, Turkey for a while, buy an affordable Motorola Moto G6 and use a Google Fi phone plan with it. It is only $10 for each gigabyte of data (until 6GB) and $20 per month for unlimited calls and texts. Leo used this combination when he went to Turkey and had a great, convenient time while enjoying the bridge country where the East (Asia) meets the West (Europe).

Use a Google Voice Number to Filter Out Non-Contact-List Calls

Google Voice's Screening feature allows you to configure your phone's reaction to calls from outside your contact list. Actions include sending directly to voicemail or asking for the caller's name. You can keep your normal phone number, or you could even get a whole new number! An alternative is Nomorobo for iOS, which compares a caller's number to known scammers/robocallers. However, it requires a paid subscription, unlike Google Voice.

Check Out Google Voice

Be Cautious of Kaspersky Anti-Virus Software

If you're going to use antivirus software, you may want to choose something other than Kaspersky. While Leo believes Eugene Kaspersky, the CEO of Kaspersky Lab, is a great person, his company is Russian and may be prone to manipulation or seizure by the Russian government/military. In any case, Leo simply recommends excellent alternatives with less baggage. While we don't know for sure what goes on with companies like Kaspersky or Huawei, it's best to err on the side of caution.

Buy a Home Automation Hub from a Dedicated Company

If you're going to buy a hub for home automation, Leo recommends purchasing from a tech company that's dedicated to IoT. Samsung SmartThings is a good, safe choice, and they use the Zigbee and Z-Wave protocols. Apple is making it difficult for companies to support Homekit, and Google has its own items that they may pull the plug on anytime. Unfortunately, a company like Lowe's just isn't big enough to support the breadth of the internet-of-things, which is why their IRIS service is being discontinued.

Get Data Off of an Old Android Phone

If you need to transfer your data from an old phone to a new one, there are a few ways to do it. First of all, check to see if your data is already being synced to the cloud. Data such as email, contacts, and calendars are likely already stored with Google or Apple's iCloud. You can verify this by logging into your Google or Apple account from a web browser and checking to see if the data is there.

Find Out If Your Accounts Have Been Compromised

If you've seen a warning message or a popup online telling you that you've been hacked and that you need to take immediate action, chances are good that it's just a scam. These are nothing more than scare tactics designed to make you fall for something, whether it be giving your information or actually making a payment. But with all of the major security breaches happening, like the one at Marriott, there is some legitimate concern that your accounts could have been compromised. In other words, there is a chance you've been "pwned."

How to Analyze Your Internet Speeds

When testing your internet speed, you may have noticed that the numbers reported can vary quite a bit. Internet Service Providers quote a speed, but if you read carefully you'll notice the phrase "up to", which tells you that's just the maximum possible speed they can give. There are many factors that can contribute to the speeds you actually will get.

How to Prolong Your Device's Battery

There's a lot of conflicting information about how to properly care for a lithium-ion battery (the kind of battery that is in your smartphone). There are basic things we know are bad for batteries, including extreme temperatures (hot or cold), overcharging, and complete discharging. Fortunately modern devices, including all smartphones today, are built to protect the battery automatically. For example, your phone will shut down before the battery is completely depleted, and it won't allow it to overcharge either.

Put Emergency Info on Your Phone's Lock Screen

If you've been in an accident or have suffered a major medical event that leaves you incapacitated, one of the first things that first responders will check is your phone for medical information or an emergency contact. Modern smartphones have created standards for this, and have made it easy for users to put in their information so that first responders have easy access to it. Here's how to put in your information on iPhone and Android phones: