Broadband

How can I get faster broadband at home?

Episode 1164

Kelly from Fuquay-Varina, NC

Kelly's DSL is incredibly slow. Their house is "cable ready," but they don't have the ability to connect to cable since the nearest connection is a mile away. Leo says that there are good satellite providers like Wild Blue out there, but it's very easy to overwhelm the satellite bandwidth and they usually have low caps. So if Kelly is a heavy user, then that's not a good option.

What are my choices for internet access if I don't have cable?

Episode 1158

Wayne from Tampa, FL

Wayne just moved into a new house and it doesn't have cable or internet access. What are his options? Leo says that there are wireless internet providers (called WISP) if he doesn't want to trench and wire the house from the cable junction. He could also go with satellite, but it's a bit slower. The other choice is DSL through his phone company. FiOS would be the cream of the crop. The question isn't really who to go with, but who's going to have to do the trenching?

Why don't they use power line networking over the electrical grid for internet access?

Power lines

Episode 1151

Joey from San Diego, CA

Joey doesn't understand why we can't use the electrical grid for internet access if it's possible to have power line networking in the home. It would seem to be a good idea for remote locations. Leo says that it would be a good idea in theory, but it has the side effect of jamming radios because it creates a giant transmitter in the power lines.

What alternatives do I have to 4G internet in rural areas?

satellite dish

Episode 1138

Mark from Amherst County, VA

Mark uses Verizon 4G Wireless service and runs through 40GB in an afternoon with video conferencing. He also ends up roaming, so he's paying for that as well as overages. Verizon told him that FIOS would be coming, but Leo says that'll never happen now because they've stopped growing that out. It all has to do with a tug of war with the FCC over net neutrality.

Does fiber work more like cable or DSL?

Fiber

Episode 1135

Julian from Los Angeles, CA

Julian wants to upgrade his internet with fiber. Does it work like Cable or DSL?

Leo says it's more like DSL. But it's likely that they are piggybacking on AT&Ts fiber. Leo says that DSL Extreme is a great service and if they're moving into Fiber, it'll be a good move. He won't be burdened by sharing bandwidth like with cable, either. It's actually better than DSL because it has better range from the central office. Leo also suspects that the Fiber doesn't go straight to his house, but to a head end that then transfers it to copper. That's not going to be as fast.

Why does my internet connection drop out frequently?

ethernet

Episode 1125

Dustin from Glendora, CA

Dustin's network connection goes out several times a day. Leo says that he's been experiencing the same thing on his Mac. Leo suggests checking for firmware updates. That could make his router more stable. Most people rarely update the firmware in their router. There's also something that Verizon can do since their switches tend to be cheap and break often. He should also start at the plug and check all connections to the wall.

What happened to my internet service after I changed phone companies?

Internet

Episode 1120

Catherine from Alta Loma, CA

Catherine got lured to a new phone company to save money and now she's lost her internet service. She was promised that Verizon would maintain her Internet even though she changed services. Leo says that Verizon owns the copper wire, but since she's no longer using their service, she can't have access to the internet. She would have to use whatever DSL that the other phone company offers. Leo says it sounds like she was bamboozled by a promise they had no intention to keep, so Leo advises going back to Verizon.

Is there a better internet option than FiOS?

Episod 1093

Steve from Hermosa Beach, CA

Steve is going to buy the GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition camera because it can go to 4K. Leo says he has one that he used just yesterday while zip lining, and it had great video. He will sacrifice frame rate by recording in 4K, which is why Leo prefers to use 1080p with 60fps. That's best for sports. They also have a super wide angle field of view. It's a great camera. Rock solid.