Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Dave from Quincy, IL Comments

Dave has a Chromebook. Leo says that Chromebooks are secure, and now you can run Android apps on it. Soon, you will be able to run select Windows 10 apps as well. Your Chromebook doesn't run Windows per se, at least not without a lot of modification, but soon you'll be able to use some Windows apps, which is cool.

Watch Jonathan from Scottsdale, AZ Comments

Jonathan has a Philips Hue lights and uses the Wiz App to control them. But they keep disconnecting. Leo says that's a common problem, and he says that using the Home Hub will make WiFi connection to the lights more consistent. But Leo also thinks that the smart lights are more of a gimmick these days and really more hassle than they are worth. And they are expensive too. 

In general, smart home IoT as a technology still has a long way to go. 

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Roger from Bowling Green, FL Comments

Roger has decided to build his own router as a project using an older computer. What would be the best operating system for it and how should he configure the LAN? Leo says that's a project that Leo has wanted to do for a while now. Steve Gibson has also talked about the DIY router project and uses PF Sense and the NetGate SG1100 with an ARM chip to run it. He likes it a lot and it's open source. It's the way to go. You could also use a Raspberry Pi.

As for segmenting the LAN, you may have to put extra ethernet connections, but it should be a simple thing through PFSense. But remember that any IoT devices will be a gateway into your network, so you'll have to pay extra attention in locking it down. 

Watch Kenny from Springfield, MO Comments

Kenny wants to know if there's a security camera that supports iCloud or DropBox for storage of their security video. Leo says that probably the best bet is the Wyze Cam. It's under $30 and doesn't include any cost for storage. The trick is, it doesn't always record, just when it detects motion or noise. But that's kinda what you want. And you can't beat the price. And now, they have an outdoor version.

Watch Georgia from San Marcos, CA Comments

Georgia wants to know how safe online banking is. Leo says it's very safe now, and you don't need to worry about having your bank account compromised. Nor do you have to have a separate computer dedicated to banking. All websites now are encrypted by design. Google began requiring that last year. Just be safe with your online behavior. Don't click on links, open attachments, or reply to emails from a bank. They will never contact you. 

Watch Jim from Hart, Michigan Comments

Jim has a solution for remembering passwords. He uses a date mixed with his name and an @ symbol. Leo says that's easy enough for a hacker to remember, and anything that makes a password not random makes it easier to break. And hackers are very adept at breaking personal generated passwords. That's why Leo uses a randomly generated and long password using his password manager. But even your OS will do it. It's much better to let the computer do it, and remember it. If you can remember it, it's easy to break.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Pente from Thousand Oaks, CA Comments

Pente's Chromebook has an issue of stalling during a Zoom meeting. Leo says that the Chromebook could be underpowered for video conferencing and as such, have problems keeping up. But it could also be an issue with the Chromebook's radio or network card. You get what you pay for and if the Chromebook is a budget model, it may not be able to handle the bandwidth. You can help by making sure there's no other tab or extension running. 

A higher-priced Chromebook will have a faster processor, more memory, and better quality parts. 

The chatroom recommends getting an external wifi dongle. It'll have a better antenna for reception.

Watch Mike from Burbank, CA Comments

Mike recently upgraded his old Acers to Windows 10. But after running the Microsoft System File Checker, he's having issues accessing features in his account, particularly settings. So he did a repair reinstall. Now he can't get back online to the Internet. 

Leo says to go into the device manager (Windows + X) and see if any devices are missing or have a red "x" or "!" in the corner. It could be a driver issue. Also, look in the settings to see if sleep is enabled and turn it off.

But your WiFi card may not be supported anymore. Luckily, they're cheap.

Watch Jay from Temecula, CA Comments

Jay was thinking of dropping his cable connection and getting a SilconDust HDHomeRun Premium. Leo is waiting for it, but it's been delayed. And cable is ridiculously expensive. How can he get channels with an antenna without a receiver? Leo says that the Home Run Duo or Quatro have multiple tuners to watch one show and record another. Midnight Commander is another good one. The Amazon FireTV ReCast is a new one. Tableau (they want a fee though). You can even use PLEX on your network. If you have an antenna that's line of sight, then you're in a great position to use it to watch over the air broadcast for no charge. 

And streaming isn't the deal it used to be, because they're getting more expensive now too, as content creators and local channels demand more money. Over the Air for live and local channels will always be free.  Check out TVFool.com and AntennaWeb.org, both will tell you what channels you can get in your area and what's the best antenna for your needs.

Watch Gary from Buffalo, NY Comments

Gary uses an MVNO as his phone service. But not all VNMOs will support his phone. Leo says to check out GSMArena for what phones support what ISP. You should be able to find out which MNVO supports your phone's radiofrequency.  

Also, Google's Pixel 4a should be out this week.

Watch Bart from West LA, CA Comments

Bart uses Piriform CCleaner. Leo says that there's a new warning out to avoid CCleaner. Leo says that Microsoft Defender is flagging CCleaner has unwanted software because it includes other apps as part of the download. None of which Leo recommends. It's always best to avoid software that comes with a separate installer that ads other apps you don't want. CCleaner has addressed that issue to make sure it's no longer flagged.

And Leo says you don't really need CCleaner anyway. It's too risky because it modifies the registry and you could make your PC unusable. CCleaner can do it without running into that risk, but it's really conservative and doesn't do anything that helps for the cost.

Just keep Windows 10 updated and you'll be fine.

Bart has also noticed that cheap desktops are harder to find these days. Leo says that resellers are dying out in favor of online sales. So more often than not, you have to go directly to the manufacturer. Leo advises Asus and Acer, and even Dell. What about refurbs? Leo says never buy refurbished from a third party; only directly from a manufacturer.

But if you want a cheap computer, get a Chromebook.