Broadband

The Internet Will Keep Us Connected During Social Distancing

Social Distancing

Episode 1678

With the Coronavirus outbreak prompting the government to encourage people to practice "social distancing," many companies are letting their employees work from home. Leo says we finally have the bandwidth speeds available to be able to do video conferencing and team applications that can work via telecommuting. Church's are encouraging parishioners to watch services online, and thanks to Google Hangouts, Apple's Facetime and other video chat apps, we can keep in touch with friends and family. So it couldn't be a better time to be facing this.

Will We Have Enough Broadband if Everyone is Quarantined?

comcast

Episode 1677

Tom from Los Angeles, CA

Tom is worried that the Internet will become overloaded if everyone is staying at home. Leo says that it'll work just fine. Networks are engineered with overcapacity now, and there won't be an issue. What about bandwidth caps? Leo says those were more about making money than anything having to do with capability for load. Leo also says one of the problems is people who don't have internet access and rely on work, schools or libraries, will be cut off.  And he thinks the next few months will show that.

Why does my broadband slow down over time?

Spectrum

Episode 1672

Carlos from Torrance, CA

Carlos has Spectrum broadband and it starts fast but then slows down gradually to a stop. Leo says that Spectrum has a "burst mode," which is designed to fool speed tests to make you think you're getting faster service than you are actually paying for. But it shouldn't slow down to a stop. Carlos has said that they have rewired the house, checked outside, and they can't track it down. Leo says it could be a bad splice at the junction box. You can also try a new router. Really the only choice is to change providers. 

What Are My Options for Broadband?

Episode 1638

Grover from Orange County, CA

Grover isn't happy with his internet service through his cable provider. What are his options? Leo says that bandwidth is shared in the neighborhood. If he lives in an older neighborhood, the internet may be slower because there isn't enough bandwidth to go around. Newer neighborhoods may have laid down more cable and as such, faster internet. Leo recommends going to DSLReports.com and entering the zip code. This will tell not only what is available in the neighborhood, but reviews from neighbors will also show.

What options do I have for high speed internet?

Spectrum

Episode 1611

Matt from Anaheim, CA

Matt was told by Spectrum that they'll have to trench in order to get his internet access into his office building, and it's going to take 60 days to do. It doesn't make sense why can't they just route the cable from the pole? Leo says that Spectrum is going to do what they're going to do, but that doesn't mean they're the only game in town. Look for alternatives. You can go to BroadbandReports.com and see what internet access is available in your area. Talk to your building's supervisor to see what choices are available coming into it.

Why is My Internet Speed So Slow?

Speed Test

Episode 1607

Ryan from California

Ryan got a new modem because his ISP is now giving him faster download speeds. But when he plugs in his router, it slows down to a crawl. Leo says that since the router is new, it should be fine. Try a different ethernet cable. If the cable is old, it may not handle the bandwidth. Then, try another computer and see if you can replicate the issue. If you can't, then that will point to something on your computer. It may be the ethernet port is too old. Also, update the firmware of your router.

What's a Good Cheap Basic Internet Plan?

Internet of Things

Episode 1607

John from Mangum, Oklahoma

John wants to get a basic internet that doesn't offer TV or phone or anything else: just basic internet. Leo says that ISPs tend to charge you more for basic internet, vs. one that offers a bundle with phone and TV service. But they are required to offer "dry loop" internet service which may be cheaper than a plan with phone and TV service. Your other option is to use your cell service since it has data anyway. MINT Mobile is a possible solution. They are much more affordable, starting at $15 a month. Ideal, when money is tight.

How can I get faster upload speeds?

Ethernet cables

Episode 1558

Rick from Brentwood, CA

Rick wants an internet service that will give him high speed uploading options. Leo says that Rick's options are to buy business class service. There's no bandwidth caps, and they will commit to a specific speed. He'll pay more, but for business it's worth it, especially because the uploads are faster. He should check out dslreports.com. He can search by zip code and read reviews from customers. Another choice is fiber, if he can get it.

Why is my broadband speed so inconsistent?

Network cable

Episode 1542

Don from Mission Viejo, CA

Don wants to put a flat screen in his back yard, and he wants to use the internet to get content on it. That means he'll need to improve his Wi-Fi. He bought the Google Wi-Fi mesh system to do just that, and he likes it. Leo says Mesh is an improvement for every home, and it's worth the price. But Don wants to know why his speed tests are always different. How can he get a true reading on internet bandwidth speeds? Leo says his ISP will always tell him the maximum possible speeds, not a consistent bandwidth speed from day to day.