Autumn has been having buffering problems while trying to watch YouTube videos. Leo says there are a number of things that could be causing this. It may not even be her internet, it could be her computer. Autumn says her computer is a five year old Lenovo that doesn't seem to be slow otherwise. It's not unusual for DSL to have trouble with bandwidth as well. The problem with DSL is that the company that sells it is at the mercy of the phone company.
The Senate has voted to overturn an FCC regulation that was designed to protect customer privacy. The regulation that was put out in October of last year said that internet service providers would have to ask for customer permission before selling personal data, such as browsing history, current location, and more.
Read more at WashingtonPost.com
The way your email client is set up on your phone or tablet can determine how email is handled on your desktop as well. For instance, you may find that after downloading all of your email to your phone, the email disappears on your desktop. This behavior can be changed by either using IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) or POP3 (Post Office Protocol version 3).
Jack is wondering if Leo had heard of LiFi, which uses light to transfer data between the ISP and the computer. This is not the first time we've seen this kind of thing, and there are a number of ISPs that use microwave as well. Microwave and LiFi require direct line of sight. Leo says in theory, this makes sense, as it uses the same type of technology as fiber-optic. But there are issues with this, and this line-of-sight light could be interrupted by weather and other factors.
President Obama this week came out in favor of Net Neutrality by regulating Internet Service Providers as common carriers, giving the FCC the power to prevent paid prioritization. This means Internet Service Providers would not be allowed to charge extra for faster access to customers.
Net Neutrality: President Obama's Plan for a Free and Open Internet (WhiteHouse.gov)…
Louis says that cookies or tokens are a violation of privacy. Leo says they're pretty benign, though. The cookie only exists to allow him to keep from logging in to a site every time he visits. It reads the token and knows who he is. He could turn them off or prevent third party cookies. The browser leaks enough information about him to identify him, though. He could surf privately and delete all of his cookies, but even with all that, his ISP knows everything he does online. So if he really wants to be anonymous, he'd have to pretty much give up being online.
The net neutrality issue is whether ISPs should be allowed to charge to have access to us, their customers. But Time Warner claims the controversy over fast lane access is a red herring. They claim that the shoe is actually on the other foot, and that Google and Netflix could demand payments from the cable company. Leo says that's why Net Neutrality is important. It protects both sides.
Whenever Netflix has been having buffering issues, they have been checking with other customers of the same internet service provider to verify that they also are having problems. If they are, Netflix has been displaying a message that puts the blame on that internet service provider for being too congested. Verizon sent Netflix a cease and desist letter to get them to stop doing this, though.
The new chairman of the FCC thinks Internet Service Providers should be able to favor some traffic over other traffic.
FCC Chair: It's Ok For ISPs To Discriminate Traffic (Slashdot)…
If you've noticed your internet connection speed slow down to a crawl often, then there are things you can do to diagnose and fix the problem: