bandwidth

Why is my video streaming buffering so much on my Roku?

Joanna from Marina Del Rey, CA

Episode 1035

Joanna is having trouble with streaming video frequently stopping and downgrading in quality on her Roku. It's only about 6 feet away from her router, and she even hard wired it and still had trouble. Leo says that indicates an issue with her ISP. It doesn't help that 40% of all internet traffic after 6pm tends to be streaming video traffic. That can cause a lot of buffering since there's only so much bandwidth.

How much bandwidth should I buy on 3G?

Episode 959

Corina from California
iPad

Corina wants to get a mobile device that she can stream video to watch. How much bandwidth should she get for a 3G tablet? Leo says that 8GB is usually fine, but if she's going to stream video from it, it's better to stream via WiFi and not 3G. Video takes up a lot bandwidth and she can burn through 1GB an hour watching it. Most portable devices have a memory for WiFi that it's near, and will automatically join a hotspot.

Why does the internet get slow whenever I stream Netflix?

Dan from Pasadena,CA

Episode 955

Dan got a new 802.11n router and when they stream Netflix at night, nobody else can use the internet because it gets too slow. Leo says this is because of his bandwidth. Netflix uses a ton of bandwidth, and after 6pm, over 40% of all internet traffic is Netflix. Dan could use a hard wired connection from the router to his PlayStation, but he only has so much bandwidth. He could pay to get more, but Netflix may just increase the picture quality if it gets more bandwidth and he'd be back to square 1.

How can I improve the audio quality in Skype?

Episode 942

Michele from Los Angeles, CA
Skype

Leo says that there's a few things she can do to improve her connection. First, she can use a headset to eliminate the echo that results from using the computers built in mic and speakers. When she uses the built in mic and speakers, Skype uses 'echo cancellation' to prevent the caller's sound from going right back into the microphone. This can cause noise and other problems. A USB headset like the Plantronics 655 is ideal.

What wireless router would you recommend?

Episode 897

Paul from Castaic, CA
Airport Extreme

Since Paul is an all Mac household, Leo recommends getting an AirPort Extreme. It's more expensive than other routers, but they're also the best routers. It handles tough situations where there's crowded bandwidth well, and is also very secure. A lot of Linksys routers have a very insecure 'WPS' encryption. This can't be turned off either to make it secure, so Leo can't recommend that.

Should I get Direct TV Everywhere or AT&T Uverse for TV service?

Tamar from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 895

Tamar is considering AT&T Uverse but the salesperson at Direct TV told her that on Uverse the Internet will slow down when she gets a phone call or watches TV. Leo says it may be true, but she'd have sufficient internet bandwidth to easily do both. However If she's watching an HD TV show and recording another HD show on DVR, then the internet speed will suffer because Uverse puts a higher priority on the TV signal.