Margaret wants to get on the internet, but she's on a tight budget. Leo says that Margaret already has a cable subscription, so she could get a deal through them. She should ask what their cheapest package is, then shop around. DSL will be slower than cable. And the upload/download speeds they boast will be ideal max conditions. For standard email and surfing with little streaming, she should be fine with 1.5 Mbps up.
Harry is reinstalling the Windows Vista OS on a friend's computer and now it's connected to "an unidentified" router with a local access only. He can't get online. Leo advises connecting via hardwire. If that works, then it's a setting that's not allowing it to get online. A driver may need to be downloaded as well. Getting the motherboard drivers from the manufacturer could solve it.
Hope uses Windows 10 and when she goes to a website, she doesn't see any images, just text. Leo says to refresh the page to reload. She can press Shift F5 and that will reload the page. There may also be something that's blocking all the images, like a plugin or extension. Hope uses an ad blocker and that could be doing it. Leo has a hunch that something is running on the system that's blocking it. It could be an overzealous antivirus program. There could also be an extension in Google Chrome that is blocking it.
The New York Times has an interesting article about a company that has started, called BillFixers, which will act as your agent to cut your cable, internet, and other bills. They split the difference of the money they can save you, and that's how they get paid.
But Leo says there's plenty of ways to accomlish the same goals and keep all the savings for yourself.
Neil has the fastest internet tier that Cox offers, but he's still not getting a consistent 300 Mbps speed. Sometimes it's about 20% of what it should be. Leo says that a DOCSIS 3 modem is ideal, and it's also better if his cable modem doesn't also do Wi-Fi. He should be using a third party router.
Carlos has recently updated to Windows 10, but whenever he plugs his computer into ethernet cable, it disconnects and defaults to Wi-Fi. Leo says that in network settings he can prioritize his connections. So he should just make sure his ethernet connection has a higher priority than his wireless connection. He can also just turn off wireless. Another thing that can cause problems is IPV6 compatibility, so he should turn that off as well.
Chromebooks are a great, inexpensive and simple solution for kids. But you may have discovered that it's not as simple to set up tools that allow you to limit and manage your kid's internet access. Hidden in the Chromebook, however, is a setting to allow creating "Supervised Users" which will give you the ability to keep an eye on your kid's activity.
Edgar has a trio of granddaughters and two of them are into robotics. Leo says that's a great hobby that can teach them and move them into greater endeavors. Currently, they're using LEGO Mindstorms. His kids are also involved in a special program partnered with NSA to teach them to use their skills to serve the country. He's realized that he needs to get them a computer so that they can learn more.
Victor wants to know how the Internet works and who owns it. The Internet is essentially a collection of networks. There's a great book about its foundation called Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet by Katie Hafner. It was a project of DARPA which got computers and networks to talk to each other. So in essence, the Internet is merely a protocol, with individual networks owning each other. The wires between them, however, are owned by ISP companies.
On the eve of Apple's iPhone 6S announcement, Leo says that 77% of US users have smartphones and the majority of internet use as a result is done with them. Leo also says that translates worldwide as mobile phones are the number one way to use the Internet as well. Leo says that this is largely due to the flood of cheap Android phones out there, like the Motorola Moto C.