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Episode 1770 February 13, 2021

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Brian from Bryan, TX Comments

Brian has a Dell PC and after the recent Windows update, he had to reinstall all of his apps. Leo says that's unusual behavior, and it usually comes after a feature update, not a security update. That's why Leo recommends only doing critical security updates, not the optional ones. And it's shenanigans like this that Leo tends to avoid using Windows in favor of Linux. But updating Windows while still using it is a very tricky thing. It's like pulling a table cloth out from under the dishes while eating dinner. Sometimes, it just doesn't work right for a small percentage of people. And Brian is one of those who got affected by it.

Watch Ed from Orange County, CA Comments

Ed has an Apple Mac Air that he uses with Tunnel Bear VPN. He wants to do whatever he can to protect himself from identity theft. Leo says that there are several things he can do. First, register his own email domain. That way, anything that he signs up for, will come to him and he can see if that information gets sold. Then he can block the address because he knows it's been sold. Check out MySudo.com.  It lets users create a unique email and phone number for signups that aren't related to their own email. Another idea is to use Privacy.com whenever a user makes a purchase online. Privacy.com (TWiT sponsor) will generate a one-time use, or temporary credit card number that users can use without having to compromise their private information. They can also be tied to a merchant with a set limit. There's no way to use it for anything else. Great solution. 

Keep all personal information, social security number, birth date, etc. as private as possible. 

He can also put a fraud alert on all three credit reporting agencies, and use a service like LifeLock to prevent credit to open in your name. 

Check out the FTC website identitytheft.gov for more tips.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Suzanne from Redondo Beach,CA Comments

Suzanne's laptop drops off the internet all the time, giving her an error that she's offline. Leo says that it could be many different things. Her router could be dropping out. Routers wear out and after a few years, problems like dropouts on wifi or the internet can happen. Try surfing on another device to replicate it. If so, then it's not the computer. If not, then she can focus on the computer as the culprit. Next, try using an ethernet cable to wire a connection and see if the problem persists. If so, then she knows it's a wifi issue and isn't the router or internet service provider. So the WiFi may be the issue. There are two wifi interfaces, one from the laptop and one from Windows. There could be a conflict. So type Windows Key + "Intel," and take off the Intel WiFi Manager. Also, go into the device manager (windows key + X) and look at the WiFi adapter or WiFi card. R/C and select properties, then select power management. Uncheck "turn off this device to save power." It can cause problems, as Windows turns off the WiFi to save power. 

Go into Windows Update, and then optional updates. There may be an update available for your network stuff. Install those. There could be a firmware update in there for it. While at it, go to the computer manufacturer and download any firmware updates or drivers. That can also help.

But it could also be that her WiFi card has gone bad. A USB WiFi adapter can bypass all of that. 

Lastly, Suzanne may have disabled WiFi with a function key by accident. Look in the control center and see if Airplane mode has been turned on. Turn it off. Lower right-hand corner.

Watch Bob from Hermosa Beach, CA Comments

Bob is looking at T-Mobile's home internet, but it seems to slow at 25MB or more in speed. Leo says that's probably T-Mobile's Cellular internet service. He can run SpeedTest.net and verify it as well. They will publish the ideal that is usually peak speed, but not regular everyday speed. Also, upload speed is just as important as download speed, if he's doing zoom calls. Also run the speed test in prime time, when everyone is streaming Netflix. Then Bob will know how fast it will really be.

How much bandwidth does he really need in this Zoom-centered world? Leo says Netflix recommends at least 25MBps for a single 4K stream. So add everything else, and 100MBps should be more than enough. It just depends on how much he's sharing.

Watch John from Lincoln, NB Comments

John wants to know if a third-party cellular company, or MVNO, is really as good a deal as it seems. Leo says he can save a lot of money, but the MVNO buys bandwidth and resells it, so the main provider may prioritize their traffic over the MVNO. Also, traveling internationally may be an issue as he loses the international benefits. But Leo is very happy with Google Fi, which is probably the best. And they have the same international service. 

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Quincy from Las Vegas, NV Comments

Quincy likes using MINT Linux on his old Dell Latitude laptop because it looks a lot like Windows. But the video has been glitching. Leo says that Mint may have chosen the wrong driver when he installed it. Linux uses video drivers made mostly by enthusiasts, and relying on the motherboard graphics is the easiest to get drivers for. But he may want to check the video card manufacturer to see if they have a Linux driver available. Try googling the model laptop with Linux and see what drivers pop up, and who has solved that issue.

Mike may want to try another Linux distribution. Leo likes Majuro.  There's also PopOS by System76. That's actually very similar to MINT.  There's also ARCH. 

Watch Bill from Denver, CO Comments

Bill got a Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 for his birthday and he keeps getting knocked off the internet with it while being on the phone, through AT&T. Leo says it could be the location, with a cellphone tower that is having trouble. Leo says that it would be a good idea to go back to the AT&T store and have them reset it. From the chatroom ... here is a conversation about how to reset it. There is a troubleshooter with your AT&T Account. Log in and go to the Troubleshooter. 

Watch Bruce from Phoenix, AZ Comments

Bruce keeps getting spam but the email address they are using isn't his. What gives? Leo says that spammers can "spoof" the address in the to and from settings, but it's likely a BCC of Bruce's email address that is causing it. He can't see the BCC, so he keeps getting it. But he may be able to filter out all those addresses through Gmail. Also, be sure not to open those emails. They could be potentially dangerous. He can block them, but it's like playing whack-a-mole. Eventually, they'll move on to another target.

Watch Bruce from Barberton, Ohio Comments

Bruce needs to get his daughter a new laptop. Budget $500-600. What's the best option for the money? Leo says that since Bruce's daughter uses HP, why not go with one of the newer models? HP has improved a lot in the last few years. The HP Envy is very affordable. There's also the Pavilion line which is around $500. Get at least 8GB of RAM.