Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Tom's son is moving to a rural area and they use rather slow radio-based ISPs. Leo says that the benefit of living in a rural area is the beautiful area. The downside is, that if there isn't a lot of people per square mile, broadband companies simply won't provide connectivity. So they end up with satellite, cellular, and radio-based alternatives. Cellphone internet is getting faster thanks to LTE and 5G. And it'll get faster. And thanks to Elon Musk's Starlink program, Satellite wifi is coming.
Johnny Jet says that in the last two weeks, nearly a million travelers have gone through TSA, the first time since March. It's on track to break the 1 million mark on Sunday. Travel is bouncing back now since airlines and airports are now instigating their own testing. It's not cheap at between $125-250, but some airports like Oakland, are offering free testing. One test is a 15-minute test and then there's a three-day test. Going to Hawaii requires the three days (72-hour test). The test eliminates the two-week quarantine.
Bobby remodels homes and creates professional before and after images. He'd like to have a cloud-based solution to showcase the work with privacy, but also be able to share the images when interested. Leo says that Google Photos has that ability and it can be private and secure, but allow for sharing with a link. Easy and free. If Bobby is doing this commercially, G Suite is the way to go, and it offers a considerable amount of storage. Alternatives include Microsoft OneDrive.
This week, Microsoft announced that employees can opt to work at home permanently now. They will give up their office space, but Leo says who needs it? Leo also believes the Covid19 outbreak will be a seed change, prompting more work from home options, keeping cars off the road. And that's a good thing.
Marcy is tired of the high cost of cable after that initial bundle deal. She's ready to cut the cable. Leo says that you have to read the fine print in your bundle deal to see what the details are. Usually, they raise the rate pretty dramatically. Marcy went scorched earth and canceled her service, then waited a few months to get the next offer. Leo says you can do that, but you can also threaten to cancel and ask to speak to the retention specialist. They can give you a better bargain.
Alex wants to get Spectrum but they are pushing a bundle. Leo says that sometimes it's cheaper to get it with Phone service. But the catch is, the deal is only for the first year, and then the price goes up. So you have to call them a week before the deal expires and threaten to cancel unless they give you a better deal. They will also give you a cable modem and router and there should be an ethernet out connection that you can plug into your own router to split off the data. You want to be sure you have at least 5 MB up for video streaming.
Dave has an email account that has been hacked and now he's getting requests for new passwords. He found out by noticing the forward codes after the request. Leo says that it's a common scam. Fortunately, Spectrum changed his password for him. But now Apple Mail can't make a connection with the new password. Leo thinks that the email client may not like the password. So Dave could try changing the password again. But Spectrum may have turned on a feature that limits what Dave can do to protect him. What Leo suggests is to delete your email account and then set it up again.
Michael uses a Chromebook in the garage for working out. But the video is rather janky. So he added a Chromecast and a video monitor. The Video is improved, but he doesn't want separate audio output. Leo says the HDMI carries both audio and video, but you can split it into a stereo. Leo adds though, that it can be tricky because you'd need a powered speaker to do it. Michael is currently using a headphone jack connected to computer speakers. Not really optimal.
There's a town in a remote area of Washington State that was destroyed due to fire, and Elon Musk's Starlink has volunteered to restore internet access to the beleaguered town at no charge. With about 600 Starlink Satellites in orbit, the town now has access to the private beta for use of emergency services and communications.
One can also "roll their own" VPN through a router, but that doesn't give the benefit of being geographically anonymous.