Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Should I pay for Google Voice?

Episode 1585

Gary from New York, NY

Gary wants to know if it's worth buying GSuite from google. Leo says it makes a lot of sense for companies. But for $10 a month, you don't get anything new. But Google is replacing Google Hangouts with Meet and Chat, so you may have the opportunity to use that. It also offers Google Voice for new users. Look around. Check out Grasshopper. Mighty Call. Line2. Leo uses Ring Central. 

Gary also found out that PlayOn, his DVR service online, is going up to $50 a lonth. Check out YouTube TV. And you don't have to give them your password. 

Another Security Issue Hits Facebook

Episode 1584

Facebook had another security issue hit this week, as the social media company admitted that millions of Instagram passwords were stored in a plain text file that could be easily accessed from anyone on the network.  But they swear that it wasn't accessed or maliciously maligned. But since they initially stated thousands, and then admitted millions accounts were at risk, and that it has happened many times now, Leo says that Facebook's priorities are out of wack. They don't really care about protecting user data.

Is the Fire TV Stick Great Alternative to Satellite Service?

FireTV Stick 4K

Episode 1583

Gloria from North Hollywood, California

Gloria wants to know if the Fire TV stick is a good deal for cutting the cord. Rich recommends the Fire TV Stick 4K because it's the best option and it's only $10 more. Then he recommends also picking up the Fire TV Recast for the local channels. However, Gloria will need an antenna or subscribe to DirecTV Now for those local channels, minus KTLA. 

Has my Browser Been Hijacked?

Malwarebytes

Episode 1583

Greg from Anaheim Hills, CA

Greg's wife has an iMac running El Capitan, but now the Safari app just goes to Yahoo Safefinder no matter what! Rich says that there's some malware on the browser, likely an extension. Rich recommends Malwarebytes, and give the iMac a scan. Also, go through the apps and see if there are any that are unrecognizable. CleanMyMac is a program that can also clear out malware. Greg can also look for a browser reset in the settings, which will wipe out everything and start over.

AT&T Launches 5G, but Good Luck Trying to Use it

AT&T

Episode 1582

AT&T has launched its 5G service in 17 cities around the country, but Rich says good luck trying to use it. First, you can't find a map of 5G coverage to see where it's available, plus you need a $500 hotspot device to use it if you do. Also, 5G doesn't travel very far, requiring even more towers.

Meanwhile, Verizon has launched in Chicago and Minneapolis for everyone, but in very small areas. Rich says that while 5G is the future, it's just not the future now. 

Is Google Recording our Duo Video Calls?

Duo

Episode 1582

Christie from Mission Viejo, CA

Christie wonders about Google Duo, the Google version of Facetime. Could Google be recording those? Rich says not likely. The video and audio are encrypted, so that would be difficult to do. However, the metadata is fair game. Who she called, how long she was on the call, where she is, etc. But the reality is, free services still cost "something", so it comes with the expectation that some monetization is going on to pay for it.