Is satellite internet access viable for rural areas?

Episode 987

Richard from Montana

Richard lives in an area that doesn't give him either broadband or cellphone coverage, and is wondering if satellite internet is a viable option. Leo says if it's all he can get, then that's the only option. The equipment is expensive, though, and the upload speed is very slow. There's latency that's pretty bad so gaming and VOiP such as Skype would be an issue. There's also serious bandwidth caps. If that's not important, then it'll work. Leo recommends Exede, also known as WildBlue.

What's the best internet provider for rural internet access?

Episode 976

Frankie from Victorville, CA

Frankie is moving to a rural area and would like to have an alternative that's similar to FIOS. Leo says that rural areas are hard because there's not enough in population to justify laying down broadband cable. So that leaves Satellite and 4G. Satellite has the downside of being expensive and that there's a lot of latency. It's also slow and subject to weather. The chatroom also recommends Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs). Exceed is the best satellite Internet provider.

Why is broadband so expensive?

Episode 967

Sam from Costa Mesa, CA

Sam's internet connection is costing him $100 a month. Why is it so expensive?! Leo says that Sam didn't realize that they set him up with a super fast, high cost internet plan. He should contact Time Warner and tell them he wants to cut it back, because Sam is overpaying! He should tell them he wants to cut the cost in half. It shouldn't cost more than $50 with cable.

How can I fix DNS errors?

Episode 957

Steve from Detroit, MI

Steve is getting DNS errors and his internet connection is slowing to a crawl. Leo says it's likely a flakey cable modem. He advises taking the modem to the Comcast cable store and telling them it's broken. Ask them for a DOCSIS 3. It's fast and more reliable. Or, he can just buy a modem and avoid the monthly rental fee.

If that doesn't fix it, it could be malware. It is not unusual for malware to modify DNS. If he can't get to an antivirus page, that's often a sign of malware.

Should I get Direct TV Everywhere or AT&T Uverse for TV service?

Episode 895

Tamar from Los Angeles, CA

Tamar is considering AT&T Uverse but the salesperson at Direct TV told her that on Uverse the Internet will slow down when she gets a phone call or watches TV. Leo says it may be true, but she'd have sufficient internet bandwidth to easily do both. However If she's watching an HD TV show and recording another HD show on DVR, then the internet speed will suffer because Uverse puts a higher priority on the TV signal.