Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Myron would like to know about VPN City. Leo says he's never heard of it. Tech Radar says that their speed is pretty good. However, Leo's take on VPNs is that they need to be secure, not spy on you, or insert ads into your feed to make money. It's also based in China and it uses Soft Ether protocol which Leo isn't a fan of.
There are better choices out there like ExpressVPN, who is a sponsor of the TWiT network.
Brian's email has been down for a week, and he's looking to make a change to Gmail. Leo says that's exactly what Brian should do. It's free, and you can set it up to go get your email from your other email server. Your local ISP email is almost always terrible, so go with Gmail.
Vince has a business and wants to go VOIP with his telephone. How is Ring Central? Leo says he uses Ring Central, and it doesn't sound or look like a VOIP solution. The advantage with Ring Central is that all those features are done digitally through an app. So you can make and receive company calls using your smartphone. Leo's been using it for eight years and you'll save a ton of money over a regular POTS service.
Mark's mom has macular degeneration and can't read her email. What can she get to read her email for her? Leo says that Windows does have text to speech (TTS) built-in, so he can try that. Microsoft Outlook also has voice commands. Leo usually recommends contacting the local Foundation for the Blind. Maybe they can set her up with a JAWS screen reader. He could also try a web-based solution through an email provider. They may have accessibility features like using Google Text to Speech.
Irwin is trying to partition a laptop hard drive remotely. But he can't do it and reinstall Windows. Leo says one thing to try is defragging the hard drive to give it all the unoccupied free space it needs in order to reinstall Windows. The Chatroom says one thing to do is use the GPT partition. But Leo advises against it. Windows knows what it's doing when it's installing Windows, so trust it to give it the proper partition. Should he go to DOCSIS 3.1? Leo says yes. It has some power management features that will reduce buffer bloat and save energy. And DOCSIS 4 is on the way.
Sharon has a problem listening to streaming audio and video at home and suddenly, the stream stops for 30 seconds and then comes back on. What's going on? Leo says that's usually a buffering issue. If the internet connection drops out or isn't keeping up, then users get buffering. The internet wasn't really designed for heavy streaming and as such, buffering can occur when the stream needs to catch up. But it's gradually becoming a thing of the past. But another issue is that if she is signed up with DSL, she may be too far away from the central hub and that's causing the buffering.
Jim uses Norton Secure VPN, and sometimes his internet website will say "we can't find your server." So he'll turn it off and it works. Leo says that sometimes internet security can get in the way and prevent connecting. The hotel he's connecting to may be blocking VPNs at the server level. But if they're using https, and Google is pushing most sites to do so, then he'll be OK. Just look for a small lock next to the URL. That means the traffic is encrypted.
Neal has a cheap Samsung laser printer that he used wirelessly connected to his ASUS router. But it would only work in the less secure WEP. He would disconnect it when he didn't use it. But now, he's picked up an Eero Mesh router and it doesn't support WEP. It's configurable through an internet interface, but how does he do that? Leo says that to connect, just enter the IP address in the browser in the desktop. Even an iPad will be able to do it. Then he should be able to connect to it and enter the wifi access point, name, and password. It should then open up the printer interface.
This week, Leo attended a Podcast convention in Orlando, FL. There were 3,000 people in attendance, listening to Leo's presentation. Podcasting has become to popular that users are calling the market "peak podcast."
David is moving to a three-story house and he's looking to get an ASUS Mesh router and wants to know how it is. Leo says he's used most of the Mesh routers out there, but not ASUS. They do make good wifi extenders though. Mesh Routers are better though because it doesn't slow down like an extender does since it spends half its time talking to the router. Mesh has a backchannel for router communication. The eero Mesh router has an automatic quality of service that does a better job managing bandwidth as it's needed, and it gets smarter as time goes by. It also has parental control features.