Internet

What's the story about Google Voice?

Episode 1017

Dave from British Columbia, CAN

Dave is curious about Google Voice, which is being rolled out in Canada. Leo says that Google Voice was originally called Grand Central and was designed to be a cloud based PBX system that could route calls to various phones and voicemail. He could also put a Google Voice app on his smartphone, which would allows him to bypass text message charges. He can also use this to make phone calls. Best of all, it's free!

Is gmail's spam protection good?

Episode 1015

George from London, UK

George wants to know how good the spam protection is with Gmail. Leo says that Gmail's anti spam filters are great and getting better. George also wants to be able to get his mail from other mailboxes. Leo says that there's a unified mailbox feature he can enable to do that with. Set up with IMAP. That'll give him the least delays. Gmail will also allow him to create filters and tabs to filter and sort his mail.

Why does GRC's Shields Up test keep failing?

Episode 1015

Francine from Gloster Township, NJ

Francine has been running Shields Up! from GRC and it keeps failing. She used to be "stealth" but lately she isn't. Leo says it's a router issue. Router makers decided to make routers easy to set up, but they ended up leaving everyone vulnerable, especially with instant UPnP connection. In fact, there's a new UPnP test on grc.com that Leo recommends everyone run to see if their routers are vulnerable.

Why is my Wi-Fi so congested?

Episode 1013

Deborah from Santa Clarita, CA

Deborah has a wireless internet connection, but she frequently gets disconnected even though it appears that she has strong signal. She looked in her network connections and she sees one that is getting a lot of her bandwidth. Leo says that in congested neighborhoods, it's possible that someone is leaching off her Wi-Fi access point. It could be dozens of things, though.

Can I use Google Glass without an Internet connection?

Episode 1012

Dillon from Anchorage, AK

Dillon is interested in Google Glass, but he wants to know how it works out in rural areas. Leo says he can't use it without connection via an Android phone and Bluetooth. Without that, he could take pictures, but he wouldn't be able to upload them. That would just be a mighty expensive camera.

Google Glass isn't even out to the public at this point, so things may change by the time it does hit the market.

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.

How can I send PDF files over the Internet?

Episode 1011

Kevin from Anaheim, CA

Kevin sends his clients PDFs and he wants to know the best way to send them over the net. Leo says that sending attachments via email is a security issue and he always tells people not to open attachments from people. He recommends putting a PDF up on Google Docs or Google Drive, and then sharing a link to it. That way they can open it up in a secure environment and don't run the risk. Kevin may have to educate his clients, and that's a negative, but it would be safer to do it this way.

Encryption Isn't Safe From the NSA

Episode 1011

The news has come out that the NSA has been spending millions every year to subvert encryption protocols by putting back doors into them for spying purposes. So, it turns out that all of that encryption may be useless in protecting your privacy from the long arm of the federal government Leo says the only real protection right now is to keep in mind that everything you do online is public.

Do I need a separate backup for both Windows and Mac in Parallels?

Episode 1010

Theresa from Long Beach, CA

Theresa dual boots her iMac with Parallels, and is wondering if she needs to have a backup of each operating system separately. Leo says she does not, if she's running the other operating system in Parallels. If she was using Boot Camp to run each operating system natively on her Mac, then she would need to have separate backups. When she runs Windows in Parallels, it's actually running within OS X. That means, when OS X backs up, so does her installation of Windows.