What are alternative options for getting wireless broadband?

Episode 1011

Nancy from Carson, CA

Nancy lives in a mobile home park, but can't get any broadband cable installed due to park regulations. So she's stuck with 4g wireless hot-spotting. She doesn't want to get stuck with overages. Leo suggests using Virgin Mobile, as they don't have data caps on their service. T-Mobile has data caps but they can't charge for overages, they just would slow her down a bit. There could be some Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) in her area.

I'm in a rural area stuck with dial-up internet. Is there a better option?

Episode 1007

Arlene from Temecula, CA

Arlene lives in a rural area and is stuck with dial-up. Leo says that one option is satellite internet from WildBlue. She'll have to pay for more equipment up front. The other option is cellular. If there's 4G access in her neighborhood, then that could also work. If not, then dial-up will be as good as it gets.

Do I have any choices for Internet other than cable?

Episode 1002

Yureal from Long Beach, CA

Yureal is a gamer and he's got cable internet. He's cancelling the service because it's too expensive ($70) and they want to charge him because "they have to leave the line in." Leo says that's nonsense. If he's having issues with his cable, it could be because of how far he is away from the office. If there's no competition in the area, he'll probably have to pay more for less. The only other choice is a wireless provider.

Is there a Wi-Fi router with a Roku-like function built into it?

Episode 990

Michael from Valley Village, CA

Michael is going with DSL Extreme and he needs a WiFi router for it. Could his old AT&T Wi-Fi modem work instead? Leo says it could act as a router, but it has to have Ethernet into it. He should make sure that he's enabled it for bridge mode. It'll either work or it won't, but Leo says that Michael should just get a wifi router instead. Leo recommends Dlink.

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.