Internet

Is Verizon 5G Home Internet a big deal?

Cell tower

Episode 1523

Greg from Chino, CA

Greg wants to know if 5G Home Internet is a game changer. Rich says that Verizon is testing 5G Home Internet in five cities around the country. 300/1000 down for $50. Sounds good, but that's ideal bandwidth. Is it a game changer? Well, only if it's available where you live. And 5G requires a lot more antennas, every few hundred feet. So it'll be awhile before it's widespread and Rich doesn't see it happening any time soon. If it's available, sign up.

How can I watch YouTube on my TV?

YouTube

Episode 1513

Fiona from Agoura, CA

Fiona bought a computer and wants to watch Youtube on her TV. Can she connect it? Leo says the first thing she'll need is internet. Fiona has tried to get internet but she's on a limited budget and AT&T doesn't want to give her the senior rate. Leo says that chances are, the rate for seniors won't really give her enough bandwidth to stream HD video. DSLExtreme would be a good option. Leo says that the problem is with AT&T.

What's the difference between a TV converter box and a cable internet box?

Cable

Episode 1490

Paul from La Jolla, CA

A TV converter box is the set top box that comes with a cable subscription, and it takes the signal coming in through the copper cable and turns it into something the TV can understand. He would use the converter box to switch channels. The internet box is a bit different, and would give him the cable internet access. Often times companies will combine the two and offer a converter box and a cable modem. He would get more channels on the hybrid cable TV and internet box, but he'd have to pay for the internet access to use that.

What's the cheapest way to cut the cable?

https://www.att.com/

Episode 1487

James from Downey, CA

James has had it with cable and wants get rid of it and stream. Leo says for most people, the best choice is to get broadband from the cable company, and then get TV from something like YouTube TV or Sling TV. The other choice is DSL, but there will be varying degrees of success depending on how far away from the main hub one is. With DSL, it slows down the farther one is away. Fiber is the other choice, and may be the best solution of all. But its coverage is spotty. High speed wireless is coming and once that hits, one can completely cut the cable.

Should I replace my router?

eero.com

Episode 1479

Brian from Indio, CA

Brian wants to know why he should replace his router. Leo says that routers wear out, like when they are getting hot. That's an indicator it's working harder to push the traffic where it needs to go. He'll want to look for a router that that updates its firmware. He'll also want a reliable manufacturer who cares about updates. Leo also recommends a MESH router, which are great for homes that have issues with WiFi reception.

Get a mesh system at Eero's website (sponsor of TWiT)

How can I keep track of my bandwidth?

Ubiquity Edge Router X

Episode 1469

Al from Upland, CA

Al recently signed up for satellite internet because he lives in a rural area. DSL was an option, but it was very limited. He has to be very conscious of data use. Is there a way to keep track of how much data he uses? Leo says that Windows 10 keeps track of data used, and his cell phone will give him an idea as well. His ISP may have a way to do it, and may even send him an email warning when he's approaching his bandwidth cap. Personally, the best way to do it is through the router. Many routers keep track of this information in the menu settings.

How can I get around work's locked down internet?

Computers

Episode 1462

Rick from Irvine, CA

Rick's wife is trying to get around her job's internet restrictions with a VPN. Is there any way to do that? Leo says probably not. They will likely have it locked down to the point where she can't get around it. Leo recommends using her mobile phone in hotspot mode. She should turn off Wi-Fi though because she'll still be under their policies even when she's on her phone using the Wi-Fi. The company has the right to not only prevent her from using her own devices on their network, but also to spy on her. So she should be careful.

RIP Net Neutrality

Ajit Pai

Episode 1448

In a strict party-line vote, the FCC voted 3-2 to kill Net Neutrality rules, in spite of overwhelming support to protect it. Leo says that while the rules were in place in 2015, we've really had it since the beginning. Leo says he believes the smaller ISPs will probably still keep the spirit of Net Neutrality, but he believes the bigger companies like Time Warner, Comcast and others will probably charge Google, Facebook, and others for access to their customers. He doesn't believe at this point that customers will see a direct impact, though.