Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Travis wants to know how he can measure his bandwidth to see if he's getting what he's paying for. Leo says that Windows 10 has a bandwidth monitor built-in, but that will only measure what your machine is using. Modern routers also have bandwidth monitors, but if you've been given a router by your ISP, it likely won't. That's why Leo always recommends buying your own router. He recommends the Ubiquity Edge Router X. And you won't be paying a rental fee on that gear either.
This week, at Oculus annual VR conference, Oculus announced a new virtual social network called Facebook Horizon, where you can join friends in a virtual room and hang out. It's like the infancy of Ready Player One. Leo says it makes sense now the way Facebook would spend $3.2 Billion for Oculus, now. They see the future. Here's what it will look like:
Seth wants to know what the best consumer-grade WiFi routers are. Leo says it's constantly changing. And now, WiFi 6 (aka 802.11AX) is here. Designed to make IoT devices more efficient, WiFi 6 will certainly change up the game. Leo recommends the new MESH routers. They are more expensive, but they are much better for homes, especially those with spotty WiFi coverage. Leo also says that the older Eero Beacons can be used with Ethernet, so if users have their home wired for Ethernet, they can plug in for even better performance. The other alternative is Powerline networking.
Travel Tip of the week - when you're traveling, avoid taking pictures with characters in Times Square. There are very aggressive people trying to get you to pay them for a picture. They're very in your face. So it's best to avoid it altogether. Also, prices for taking a PediCab can be more than you think. Often up to $7 a minute. So make sure you know upfront how much it's going to be.
Al uses a VPN with YouTube TV on a Linux computer because he doesn't live in California anymore. Sometimes it gets disconnected and YouTube thinks he's somewhere else. Leo says that YouTube may decide to block your VPN. Netflix does that.
Gary uses TMobile's home service for $50 a month. Speeds fluctuate from 25-115 MBps. Leo says that's pretty usable. Gary likes YouTube TV, but TMobile thinks he's in another city, and so he can't get local TV. Leo says that's the problem with mobile-based internet. It's based on where your IP is located. It's a universal problem because people trust geo-located IP and it's never accurate. Leo says that there may be a way by contacting YouTube.
Doctor Mom says that YouTube now has a page where you can tell YouTube TV where you are.
American Airlines ran a fundraiser with Stand Up to Cancer, where you can donate to get your name on a plane, and his mother's name is now enshrined on one of their fleet of planes. You can still donate $25 and have a chance. Plus AA will give you miles for doing it.
The FAA has ruled that airlines must allow passengers with horses as service animals, to provide space for them.
Tip: Always do your research to see if you can bring a carry-on for free or not, especially with low-cost airlines (i.e. Spirit)
Tim's internet is terrible because he lives in a rural area. His router managed to give him decent speed, but it went bad. So his wireless ISP gave him another one and it's terrible. Leo says that Brainstorm is a WISP, or wireless internet service provider, and you're most likely required to use their dedicated hardware. But you may be able to use your own router. But Leo suspects the problem is on their end. Routers to look at are TPLINK. Asus. NetGear. Check out thewirecutter.com for their recommendations.