ISPs

How Can I Bond Two ISPs So That One Takes Over Automatically When the Other Drops Out?

Speedify VPN

Episode 1781

Gary from Buffalo, NY

Gary has two internet services, T-Mobile and Spectrum. One is for work. He wants to be able to hook them up, so if one goes down, the other picks up. But there's a lag when he uses Zoom. Leo says you can do it with Speedify. It's a VPN that does what's called "failover." But it causes that latency because it goes through different servers. Leo does it with his Ubiquity router Edge Router X and two WAN ports. There's zero latency. TPLink also does that, and they make good stuff. 

Is It Normal to Get 20% Less Than the Advertised Bandwidth Speed?

WideOpenWest

Episode 1779

Paul from Columbus, OH

Paul is spending up to $75 a month for internet access. He's getting a notice for an alternate service for $60 a month, called WOW, and they are offering an Eero router to boot. They also promise 80% bandwidth speeds, or 800MB down. Leo says it's about right to have a 20% loss over time. But he gets a warning from his alarm service that it goes out. Leo says that Paul is using Ooma, and it could be that there's a thruput issue when balancing your ISP and your internet phone service, which your alarm uses.

Why Can't I Check Email in Windows?

AOL

Episode 1750

Kirk from Phoenix, AZ

Kurt has a three-year-old Dell XPS laptop that he calls a "marvelous" computer. But he's been having trouble lately after a recent update and Microsoft Outlook. He waited to update to make sure that the updates were OK. 2004, for instance, was a nasty update. 20H2 has been a good one, but Kurt had to update 2004 before updating. But now he's getting send/receive errors requiring reinserting passwords for AOL, even though LastPass does it. Leo says that there are two servers he uses for checking email ... inbound and outbound. SMTP servers (outbound) will require a different port.

Did I Get Hacked By Spectrum?

Spectrum

Episode 1695

Bill from San Diego, CA

Bill noticed his cable bill was higher than it should be. So he tried to use the online chat feature to get support. About an hour later, he discovered that his password had been changed by the support people, and he also learned that his account was hacked by the support person. Leo says that Bill should report them right away. He did and has not received any reply. What's his next step? Leo says that what Bill will want to do is go to all his accounts that use that email and reset passwords. It's a hassle to be sure, but a must.

How can I have 100% reliable internet access?

Skyroam Solis X

Episode 1655

Chris from Miami, FL

Chris had an issue where the power went out and wants to know how he can have an always-on WiFi thing no matter what. Leo says that the only real solution is redundancy. Leo has three different ISPs for the studio, so if something goes out, they can switch over. So if you have an iPad with LTE, you have a backup. And you can always hotspot through it. Another option is a pay as you go access point with day passes. That way, you can turn it one when you need it. Try SkyRoam. 

Why Isn't Powerline Broadband a Thing?

internet

Episode 1654

Joey from San Diego, CA

Joey doesn't understand why powerline internet isn't a bigger thing. Especially for municipal internet. Leo says that BPL (broadband power line) has a problem where it interferes with radio signals. In essence, BPL was killed by an aggressive lobbying campaign by amateur radio operators and manufacturers for that very reason. But ISPs may have also had a hand in it. Leo also says that ISPs are against community-based broadband. 

Do I Need to Use the Router and Modem Provided by my ISP?

Netgear

Episode 1638

David from Bethesda, MD

David has a router/modem combo. Is this common? Leo says it's common for an ISP to provide those. But keep in mind that he'd be paying about $10 per month to rent it, and it's likely not as up to date or fully featured as one you can buy. That's why Leo recommends buying a separate router and modem. DOCSIS 3 or 3.1 should work. NetGear is recommended by TheWirecutter. Just make sure the gear is supported by the ISP, and call the ISP and they have to "ping it" and disable the rental gear.

What's a Good Cheap Basic Internet Plan?

Internet of Things

Episode 1607

John from Mangum, Oklahoma

John wants to get a basic internet that doesn't offer TV or phone or anything else: just basic internet. Leo says that ISPs tend to charge you more for basic internet, vs. one that offers a bundle with phone and TV service. But they are required to offer "dry loop" internet service which may be cheaper than a plan with phone and TV service. Your other option is to use your cell service since it has data anyway. MINT Mobile is a possible solution. They are much more affordable, starting at $15 a month. Ideal, when money is tight.

What's the best option for internet in a rural area?

Exede

Episode 1596

John from San Bernardino, CA

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.