Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Dave from California Comments

Dave needs a new computer for Christmas. He's thinking of going with a tablet that will have its own internet access and drop his broadband at home. Leo says that iPads and Chromebooks aren't usually desktop compatible, but he could get them with 4G/LTE internet. But that's really only practical if he'll be moving around a lot.

Leo says that the Microsoft Surface Pro is a good option. But having his home internet is probably cheaper. If he does go that route, he's still going to want to keep his landline in case of an emergency. Leo thinks that either an iPad or a Chromebook will be the best option for Dave.

Watch David from Tulsa, OK Comments

David hears that you can upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro for free. Is that true? Leo says no. If David bought it with Home, then he would have to pay to upgrade to the Pro version, which is about $150. But Leo says that David probably doesn't really need it. He should search for "Compare Windows 10 Editions." It'll show him all the differences, and Leo says there's really not a dimes worth of difference. Even when it comes to security -- they're identical.

The chatroom points out, however, that Microsoft's privacy settings in Pro are more vast and you can turn off some 'phone home' features that you can't in the Home version. In the end, if you don't know you need pro, you probably don't.

Watch Sam from San Diego, CA Comments

Sam was having issues with his laptop and he clicked on a popup for a place called "Geekatoo" for support. Leo says if it's "computer hand-holding," then it can be beneficial. But Sam will want to be careful clicking on popups and paying for promised support. But from what Leo can tell, Geekatoo seems legit.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jim from Fullerton, CA Comments

Jim runs email for a local school through Gmail and now they're starting to bounce his emails as spam because of his large mailing list. Leo says that just goes with the territory when using a free mail service. They get a bit skittish about mailing lists because of the abuse that comes from spam. Leo says that going with a service like Mail Chimp is a better option. They do a confirmation opt-in/out system so that people are choosing to get the newsletter.

Watch Sean from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Sean is frustrated with his home automation network that runs "Control4." Every time he adds something like a game console, he has to pay someone to come out and configure it. Why can't he just do it himself? Leo says that it may be due to the home automation hardware which requires configuring when he adds or removes something. A more open home automation solution like Smart Things would allow him to do more himself. At this point, however, Sean has spent the money on Control4, and Leo recommends just sticking with it and paying the service call fees when he needs it.

(Disclaimer: Smart Things is a sponsor)

Watch Karen from Huntington Beach, CA Comments

Karen is thinking about getting an eBook reader like a Kindle. Leo says he has a Kindle and it's a great idea. She can annotate books, read what others have annotated, and have an eBook read to her. The eInk display is a lot more like paper than a typical tablet display, which has a brighter, reflective image that can make your eyes tired. The top of the line Kindle is the Paperwhite, which costs $119, but Leo recommends just getting the regular Kindle for $80.

Watch Joe from Phoenix, AZ Comments

Joe is a truck driver and his phone is a 2013 Motorola Moto X. He lives on that phone. Leo says that smartphones are so complete that they are a user's primary computer now. He's thinking of upgrading to the Motorola Moto X or the new Google Nexus 5X. Leo says that the 5X is excellent. It has a great camera, and it's fast.

What about Google Fi? Leo says that for $20 a month, and using Sprint and T-Mobile, it's a great option for a truck driver. And he'll get free data all over the world through T-Mobile. So why not? Sadly, it's limited to Google Nexus phones right now due to hardware compatibility. If Motorola did make a Google Fi compatible phone, then Fi would be a great choice for Joe.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Laurie from Long Beach, CA Comments

Laurie is frustrated with her DSL because it's constantly dropping off. Leo says that DSL often comes on old copper wiring and the farther away you are, the more likely you'll get drop offs. The inside wiring may also be an issue. Laurie's provider also has an inside wire plan she can pay for, but it sounds like Laurie is pushing the edge of her existing technological capabilities. And since they're pushing Laurie to go FiOS, they have little motivation to fix the old lines. But FIOS uses Fiber Optics and it's more reliable and faster. It can also be more expensive, though.

Watch Juan from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Juan is looking to use Tor for encrypted security. Leo says that Tor was invented by the US Navy and it works by making your traffic obscure. Tor is used for anonymity, and it's a bit difficult to set up, but using a Tor browser makes it a lot easier. If Juan is concerned about privacy online, Tor is a good option to look into.

There are some security issues to keep in mind, however. The FBI paid universities to break Tor so they could peak inside it, and all access was in the clear for six months. So it's not a perfect system. It's also a bit slower since it routes traffic through various ISPs around the world to keep you anonymous. It'll keep you protected against every day use though.

Watch Robert from Belgium Comments

Robert is looking for a good network attached storage solution to keep movies on. Leo says that NAS media server storage is a good idea, as is backup. Leo likes Synology. They have a huge range of products from 2 -10 drives. Gigabit Ethernet speed. Are they low energy? Leo isn't sure.

Another option is the NetGear ReadyNAS. But Leo likes Synology best.

Watch Jim from San Juan Capistrano Comments

Jim wants to create a shorter email address because his current one is too long. Leo says he can do that, but 1) it's probably already taken and 2) the shorter it is, the more likely that it'll get spam. So Leo says if he's going to shorten his email address, he should get very specific about the spelling and include some numbers in it. He can sign up for one at GMail and have all of his mail forwarded to his current address through that.

Watch Taylor from Woodland Hills, CA Comments

Taylor bought the cheapest XBox with just a few gigs of space. Can he attach an external hard drive to it? Leo says absolutely. Leo did the same thing and got the Seagate Backup Plus. It's about $59 for a 1TB USB 3 hard drive and it's ideal. But any external USB 3 drive will work. And they're cheap.

Watch Jay from Highland Ranch, CO Comments

Jay is going to "cut the cable" from his HD provider but he wants to still do DVR recordings over the air. Leo says it can be done. Check out TIVO may do it as well, but it requires a monthly fee.

Watch Paul from Lake Forest, CA Comments

Paul has an old Windows 7 computer and he's thinking of donating it. How can he wipe the drive effectively? Leo says most places that you donate to will promise to wipe the drive for you, but it's always a good idea to do it yourself to be safe. Paul should grab an external hard drive, plug it in and then drag and drop his data directly. Once he's done, he should download DBAN (Derick's Boot and Nuke). It will wipe the drive to the standards of the Department of Defense. It's very secure.

Another way to do it is to buy a cheap hard drive to replace his existing drive and just keep his original drive.