A VPN is a way to mask an online user's physical location, which is a great way to maintain privacy and security....while also allowing one to watch TV & Netflix in another country (Japan)! VPNs do what "incognito modes" in browsers don't. However, you don't want to sign up for a super low-cost or free VPN service, as those can be quite suspicious. They have to be making money somehow, and it is likely by selling user information (sort of the antithesis of what VPN users want).
If you have an old iPod and there are music files that haven't been transferred from computer to computer throughout the years, it is time to back up that library as soon as you can. If you use a Mac, there's an app called Senuti (iTunes backward!) that can help with the process. For Windows users, try YamiPod. At the very least, back up the iPod onto your computer with iTunes via the "Back Up Now" function. Don't lose those years of music tracks!
John has spinning hard drives to back up data, and wonders if SSDs are more reliable nowadays. Leo says that SSDs have a feature called wear-leveling that takes care of the limited read/write cycle issue they used to have. Whenever Leo buys new drives, it's a Solid-State.
John recently discovered that he was being charged 2.1GB for Sunday, even though it was Saturday when he found out. What gives? Leo says it's likely based on UTC Universal Time Zone or Greenwich Mean Time. So that's why it's listed as tomorrow. But if you have had data used up when you're not using it, then someone may be "borrowing a cup of wifi" from you. You can also check your router's data logs. Call AT&T and tell them that you aren't using that much data.
Sam says that within the next few years, up to 100% of all new cars will have a data connection to the internet. But that poses privacy problems, as that data connection will share your position on the road anywhere you go. Sure, that helps with traffic patterns, and mapping apps already do that, but will you be able to opt-out of that particular provision?
Pulling out the power cord from an awake computer can put the machine at risk for hard drive failure. Interrupting a hard drive writing process could result in a mess of data all over the digital space. The ideal way to shut off a computer should always be the "Shut Down" option in the OS. If the computer is locked up, find a reset button or hold the power button for a few seconds before attempting to touch the power cord.
Richard is wondering if pulling the power cord on a computer (while it is on) hurts the machine. Leo says it is risky because if the computer/hard drive is in the middle of a writing process, pulling the plug could spew data all over the hard drive. Not to mention, physical damage could occur during the interruption as well. It is only okay to pull the cord when the computer is frozen solid and locked up. Unplugging is only a last resort, so always try to hold the power button first before attempting to cut off the power.
Bill wants to know about the Zello walkie talkie app. How does it really work? Does it transmit over the air like a real walkie talkie? Leo says it doesn't broadcast, it uses your mobile phone data network to communicate. So you use data every time you use Zello. It's similar to VoIP in that regard. It's fun and handy, but it does eat through your data.
Don's dad left him an old Windows 98 computer and he has to get data off it. But the laptop won't boot up due to a hard drive issue. What can he do? Leo says a hard drive can wear out and it may be that the drive is dead. But it could also be that it simply won't boot up. It's just getting flakey with critical sectors, meaning that the data is still there. So Leo says to stop trying to boot it up. That'll only make it worse. Take the drive out and get an external drive case or a universal drive adapter and use it as a data drive. NewerTek makes a great one.
If you have an old computer that no longer will power on, you may be wondering how to transfer the data from the hard drive to a new system. Fortunately, this could be as easy as plugging in an external USB hard drive and just copying the files over. The USB Universal Drive Adapter from Newertech makes that possible.