Mark hears that FreedomPop is a free service for under 500MB. He's thinking of using it with his home alarm system, but it's ethernet hardwired and he's not sure it will work. Any ideas? Leo says a Wi-Fi Ethernet dongle is a cheap and easy way to do it. Leo says to also look at the fine print, as he seems to remember that FreedomPop doesn't work with burglar alarms from legal reasons. Another option is a CDMA cellular radio interface.
Steve wants to know if the rated speed the ISP says he's getting is legit. Leo says it's ideal and it's subject to a lot of factors. Broadband often has shared bandwidth, so if everyone is watching Netflix, it's going to slow down. It's also dependent on wireless congestion. Wired is always faster. It can depend on the quality of wiring, the age of the router, and more. It's very complicated. It can even be his computer that's slowing his internet speed down, and one will be faster than another.
Ricky thinks his Triple Play package is just too expensive. What is the best provider for internet, cable, and telephone? Leo says that the only real advantage of a Triple Play package is that he'd get one bill. For a phone service, he prefers real phone service because in the event of a disaster, the plain old telephone service will continue to operate. Leo advises going to DSLReports.com because they will give him the best ratings on what is the best coverage and reliability. Leo also recommends talking to neighbors.
Rose says her Facebook has been hacked. She keeps changing it, but she's still having issues with her Facebook account posting things and tagging everyone she knows. Leo says that in the past, Facebook has had security issues with accounts being hacked, but as far as he knows, they've fixed all the exploits. So here's a few things Rose can try:
Sally has a cable bundle with a billed shared speed of 300 Mbps. She doesn't think she's getting that, though. Leo says she probably isn't, at least not all the time. The key is the phrase "up to." Sally can run SpeedTest.net to see what she actually gets.
Terri bought a new NetGear router but she still can't connect to the internet. Her ISP, Frontier, says that she needs a firmware update. Is this true? Leo says it may be. Terri is using DSLExtreme and Frontier together and it may be that there's an older version of the firmware that's causing the hiccup. Updating the firmware is easy to do. She should go to Netgear.com and download it. Follow the instructions, log into the router, and then run the firmware update utility.
Mark is finding that links aren't changing color anymore. Leo says that with the advent of CSS, links have stopped changing colors and just remain the same color, unless specified in the style sheet settings. One option could be to use the accessibility settings in Chrome to make that change. Google search will change link colors. A feature could be turned off in his browser. He may want to try resetting it. The chatroom says that when you're in incognito mode, the color won't change.
JJ has the Philips Hue lighting system and his lights turned on in the middle of the night. He's discovered that his landlord shares the same breaker with him and after the power had been cut and restored, the lights came on. Is this common? Leo says that the Philips Hue system is really cool, but it can get reset when the power goes out or if there's some sort of change on the breaker. There's no real way out of it short of convincing Philips to change it.
If you're using your mobile phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot for your Windows PC, or just trying to stay within a data cap from an internet service provider, you'll want more control over what things get downloaded and when.
First of all, you can easily see in Windows how much data you've used. In Control Panel --> Network and Internet, there's a data usage tab. This will show you how much data has been used and which apps have been using data.
Doug uses Verizon wireless for his home Wi-Fi and he's rather shocked in how much he's been using the last few days. He's only really checking email and such. Leo says that in Windows 10, under the control panel, there is a data usage tab on the Network and Internet. It'll show him how much data has been used and which app has been using it. This can help narrow it down. He should also check his browser history. And he shouldn't leave his browser open if his computer is left on.