John has DSL and he's frustrated how slow it can get throughout the day -- often slower than dial up! Even worse -- he's being stonewalled by the national support center of the ISP. Leo recommends running the SpeedTest by Broadband Reports. Internet speeds are not consistent, but DSL should be more consistent. But if they have more customers than bandwidth, this can happen. It sounds like John's ISP is buying bandwidth and they simply don't have enough to go around. But it could also be bad routers and software.
Katherine has really slow internet of about 1Mbps on Verizon DSL. Leo says that's probably because she's too far away from the central hub. The farther out you are, the slower it gets. What can she do in order to watch Netflix? Leo says to get Netflix, she'll need a consistent 5-6 Mbps for standard definition, and 10-15 Mbps for HD. And that's not even including data caps. What about Satellite internet? Leo says that the best is Exede by Wild Blue, but the drawback is buying expensive equipment, data limits, and a lot of latency. But it should be fast enough.
Ken's ISP in the Dominican Republic locks down his router so he can't make any changes at all. Leo says as long as he can change the password and give it encryption, he'll be OK with everything else. But Ken says it causes his cell phone to lose connection when he's using VOIP on his SIP phone. Leo says he'll need a QOS feature that will prioritize internet telephones.
Bob is having trouble with his download speeds. They just aren't consistent from computer to computer. Leo says it's important to understand that he's paying for *up to* the maximum download speed. It can vary wildly. But Bob says sometimes is slows down to a crawl on one of his computers. Leo says he can experiment by rebooting the computer and see if it goes back up to max download speeds. If so, that means there's a program running. That's called a "memory leak" and the computer is using up bandwidth by that program.
Bob is moving to Yucatan and he says that internet access really isn't all that great. Can he combine both Wi-Fi and cellular into one master service? Leo says that's called modem bonding and it requires a very smart infrastructure from end to end. Generally, he can get it from one ISP that handles it all from the back end. It's a challenge, however. Satellite may be a better choice, although latency will be an issue.
Steve is going to be streaming video and playing video games online. How fast does his internet connection need to be? Leo says that Netflix has an ISP Speed Index to let him know what he'll need and where he can get it. They also offer recommendations about speed here. 10 Mbps should be sufficient, and 25Mbps would be better yet. He can even use that to Skype with his parents.
Logan has to create a long range wireless access point that will enable him to have broadband from up to 10 miles away. Leo says that's a long way for Wi-Fi, even for line of sight, which will help a lot.
Leo suggests checking out RadioLabs.com, they make long range Wi-Fi antennas. He'll need a highly directional antenna, and maybe even microwave antennas, because Wi-Fi may not be the best idea for such a long distance.
Gary lives out in the remote areas of Florida and he uses cellphone access for his internet. But are there other options? Leo says that WISP, which uses Microwaves is an option. There's also satellite. It can be expensive, and the bandwidth caps, speed issues and latency is tedious. It wouldn't be good for Skype or Gaming. But if that's not important, Leo suggests checking out Wild Blue by Excede.
John was a Time Warner Cable customer for nearly 15 years and he discovered that they were copy protecting everything that he was recording with his DVD recorder. Leo says that this is why Time Warner Cable and Comcast shouldn't be allowed to merge. Time Warner has a monopoly on TV in John's area, and an effective monopoly on the Internet.
Mark says if the government wants to make broadband internet a utility, the FCC should regulate it like a utility. He makes the point that the reason it's a utility is because there's only one place to get it, like the gas or electric companies. Leo says we can blame the FCC for giving the cable companies a monopoly years ago. But he says they had been more or less blackmailed into that decision because the cable companies told the FCC they wouldn't build out the infrastructure otherwise.