Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Dan upgraded to OS X Catalina last week, and he's starting to get a warning that Google will be able to read, delete and compose email in his account. Leo says that isn't from Google. He suspects that Dan may have an extension installed in Safari that's causing that, or that it could be a standard European GDPR warning message. But even if he approves it, he can revoke the permissions in settings. But first, look at extensions. Safari-Preferences-Extensions.
Dan signed up for a VPN recently, and he can't use it with his banking, Netflix or other apps. Leo says that the bank is probably blocking it. VPNs can break IP-based authentication. BBC iPlayer, for instance, blocks VPNs, because you're not paying for the TV license fee. Netflix does it because it doesn't want another region to be watching content that isn't available for licensing reasons. Banking activity is encrypted, so you don't really need a VPN for it. Google has also been pushing for HTTPS encryption with every site, so if every site is encrypted, there's no real need for VPNs.
After a lengthy paternity leave for his second child, Johnny Jet is getting back on the road this week. Site of the week - DOCTOURS. Travel to another country for medical care. You'll save 30-80% on your medical costs, and you get a trip included. Over 70% of the doctors are trained in the US too.
App of the week - LiveKick. Two-way video conferencing with a personal trainer via Facetime. iOS only. Available anytime from all over the world.
Jeff is having issues with his WiFi coverage at his studio. Leo says that congestion is a major problem with WiFi because of the Internet of Things, phones, tablets, the works. What Leo recommends is Powerline Networking. It's gotten a lot better the last few years and being wired will always be better than WiFi. So check it out. TPLink makes some great PLN devices.
Karen wants to know if putting a VPN on her router would keep her secure. Leo says that it would encrypt stuff in your network, but in order to get your traffic encrypted going out, you need to have the software on your desktop. Leo likes to use the Tiny Hardware Firewall VPN because it's in between your computer and the outside world. It's a great way to go.
Paul wants to know more about Mesh Routers and Internet of Things, but is concerned about security. Leo says that if you stick to main brands like Eero and Netgear, they will keep their firmware updated for security purposes. Leo recommends the Eero. But you may have to pay a monthly security subscription, which Leo hates.
Mike recently self-published his first book. Now he needs help advertising it. Leo says that social media, Google, and Amazon are the three best places to advertise. But he also asks "where are your readers"? For that, Facebook and Google are the best to go for buying advertising. And the marketing is very narrowly focused, with small $100 buys. Leo recommends APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki.
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.