Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Do I have to pay a monthly fee to use a NEST Thermostat?

Episode 1643

Jerry from Hatfield, Pennsylvania

Joe was thinking of getting a NEST thermostat, but he doesn't want to pay a fee. Rich says the only fee you pay is for buying the device. NEST uses WiFi to connect to the internet, where you can control it using your mobile device. But you don't have to pay a subscription fee to use it. Can you control it using your computer? Rich says you should. But the NEST doesn't have to be programmed since it uses machine learning to learn how you want it to operate. Also check with your energy company. NEST also offers a $50 rebate.

How Can I Regain Control of My Site?

whois

Episode 1642

Bill from Los Angeles, CA

Bill has lost control of his business website and wants to know how to get it back. He paid a guy to build the websites, and now he's disappeared. Rich says that trusting a web guy to register your website is problematic because of situations like this. Most often, the guy you pay will register them in his name because he controls them. It's better to make sure your domain is owned BY YOU first and foremost. The best way to find out contact information is to do a WHOIS search on whois.net. Just type in WHOIS and the website domain and it should give information.

Johnny Jet ... living it up

Johnny Jet

Episode 1642

App of the week ... Waze has new audio voice features including the Cookie Monster. If you're on a road trip with kids, they'll get a kick out of it. 

Travel Tip of the Week.... take a trip with your fiance before you get married. You don't want to ruin your honeymoon without an understanding how your potential spouse reacts while traveling.

Website of the week - ResortFeeChecker. Find out what your hotel's resort fees are, and what they cover. 

How can I minimize my footprint online and be anonymous?

Google

Episode 1641

José from Modesto, CA

José would like to be anonymous online. How can he minimize his online footprint with Mac addresses? Rich says that most systems are encrypted now, and Google is pushing all websites to update to https. So your traffic gets more encrypted. If that's not enough for you, then randomizing your Mac address is a good way to do it. In iOS 13, for instance, Apple devices generate randomized Mac addresses while online. That's a good way to keep yourself protected. You may try using a VPN, or you can browse privately.

Why can't I port forward on my Comcast router?

Arris TG1682G (Standard Comcast Router)

Episode 1641

Joe from Knoxville, TN

Joe has switched his parents over to Comcast for internet access and TV, and he's having a hard time opening ports through the router for their alarm system. What can he do? Rich says to try what Xfinity recommends here - https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/port-forwarding-xfinity-wireless-gateway. If that doesn't work, then it may be that the port forwarding capability of Xfinity is limited. Rich also says to make sure the firmware is updated.

How Can I DVR TV OTA?

Fire TV Recast, over-the-air DVR, 500 GB, 75 hours

Episode 1640

Von from Columbus, IN

Von recently cut the cord and would like to use an antenna with a DVR. What can he use that doesn't require the internet? Rich says that Amazon Fire TV Recast can be set up with the internet and then disconnected. Trouble is, he has to do it over and over again every few weeks. TIVO may work for weeks without connecting to the internet. Rich says that TMobile has a new Internet for everyone's service.

Leo usually recommends ChannelMaster.