This week's NY Times Magazine cover story talks about how the Internet didn't only not turn out as we had hoped, but it may have even made our lives worse. Leo says that part of the anxiety comes from not being able to do anything about how much power internet companies like Google and Facebook wield in our lives. But we're also getting a lot of benefit from it. So don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
John is moving to a rural area of Pennsylvania, and the only internet available is via satellite. What are his options? Leo recommends first visiting BroadbandReports.com and see if there are any wireless ISPs there. If so, that's certainly going to be a better option than Satellite. But if you have to have a satellite, then the best option is Exede by Wild Blue. It's not cheap and you certainly won't be streaming with it.
Kimberly's son is deploying overseas and he has to buy Boingo internet service to get online. It's 6 months required. Leo says Boingo works, but it is kinda expensive. And those six month requirements is untenable if you get redeployed or an "Temporary Duty" which could change. Contact Boingo - https://support.boingo.com/military/s/. Check out the FAQ - https://support.boingo.com/military/s/article/What-are-the-details-of-th...
Mikah left Spectrum internet service, but a recent deal they offered him got him back into the fold. The deal, however, had to include their phone service as well. He was able to continue using his own modem for the internet. He was using an older router before they arrived, but after they came, his router wouldn't work anymore. He had a brand new router, but that wouldn't work at all. He went and got a Netgear Nighthawk AC2300 router, but he's wondering why his other two routers wouldn't work.
Doug likes to visit the Aviation Weather Service online, but he's been having trouble with it lately. Leo says that's because it uses Java and the Java browser plugin has probably been disabled. Doug should go into his browser settings and be sure it's installed, updated, and enabled. But it's getting harder to use Java in the browser. If he has Firefox version 52 or higher, or Chrome 42 or higher, or even Safari, the plugin would have been disabled for security reasons. So his only choice may be to use Internet Explorer for that site. He'll have to turn on scripting for Java apps.
When testing your internet speed, you may have noticed that the numbers reported can vary quite a bit. Internet Service Providers quote a speed, but if you read carefully you'll notice the phrase "up to", which tells you that's just the maximum possible speed they can give. There are many factors that can contribute to the speeds you actually will get.
The FCC has approved an application from Elon Musk's SpaceX to deploy 7,000 satellites into space that would offer global broadband internet access. Elon Musk wants a total of 12,000 satellites around the earth in Low Earth Orbit to provide internet to every square inch of the planet's surface. One of the problems with satellite internet is that there's a lot of latency, but Musk says they can get it down to 25 milliseconds, which could be faster than the internet many of us have at home.
Rich is starting to get a lot of drop outs of his internet access. He gets an alarm on his mesh router whenever it happens, and he's been told the problem is with Comcast, not his router. Leo says that it is then required of Comcast to fix it. Leo recommends getting your own cable modem. Check with Comcast and see which DOCSIS III cable modems are supported. Not only will you get a newer modem, but you'll also pay $10 a month less in modem rental fees.
Greg wants to know if 5G Home Internet is a game changer. Rich says that Verizon is testing 5G Home Internet in five cities around the country. 300/1000 down for $50. Sounds good, but that's ideal bandwidth. Is it a game changer? Well, only if it's available where you live. And 5G requires a lot more antennas, every few hundred feet. So it'll be awhile before it's widespread and Rich doesn't see it happening any time soon. If it's available, sign up.
George has heard that Facebook is going to offer free Wi-Fi soon. What does Rich know? Rich says that both Facebook and Google are working on initiatives, but they're aimed primarily at rural areas, where broadband simply isn't available due to limited population.