Sheryl has DSL with an external router, but it's overloaded by phones, laptops, and streaming via the Roku. All she wants is fast internet that works. Her cable company won't give her separate internet, they want her to bundle with cable TV. Leo says that she can buy better service, but the price will go up. And since the FCC has given the cable company and the phone company virtual monopolies, she's really limited by the options she has, which is DSL and cable. She can request "dry loop" DSL, but as Sheryl has found out, it's not super fast if she's farther than 1km from the central hub.
Ruth is thinking of bundling all her services. Leo says it's easy, but it's not necessarily a better deal. Leo doesn't like them in general, although there are advantages. But one of the downsides is that they rely on voiceover IP for their phone service and if your internet goes down, so does your phone, and your TV. If the power goes out, you have no phone. Phone service has it's own power, and Leo says it's worth having it for emergencies. But you do end up with a better set top box. But if that's not floating your boat, there's really no advantage to it other than convenience.
Steve wants to know why it's so difficult to tune into an Internet radio station. There has to be a better way than just search and then hunt around. Why isn't there a search protocol that's common? Leo says that it only works like that if there's a central authority. But the Internet isn't like that. Googling a radio station isn't always the best because every station does it differently.
Esther would like to monitor her teenagers' activity online. Leo says that parents should have every tool they can, but one thing she can do is change her DNS settings to use OpenDNS.com. That's the "phone book" that routes web traffic to the appropriate addresses. OpenDNS has great parental filters and blocks, and a lot of schools and business use it.
Gina tried to change her Windows account to a limited user, but now she has no internet connection. What happened? Leo says that sometimes a program won't operate properly unless it runs as an administrator. So that may cause the issue connecting to the Internet. She also has DSLExtreme and it may be that downgrading may have broken her connection to them. Leo says she should double check her connections as well. But at this point, Leo advises contacting DSLExtreme to ask them for help.
Mary has Earthlink and for the last three days, they've been down in L.A. Leo says that's terrible! She wants to know if they've been bit by heartbleed. Leo says it's probably more serious than that. Heartbleed can be fixed with a simple server upgrade, but this sounds like a cascading failure where fixing one thing impacts more things. Leo thinks it's time to get a new ISP. DSLExtreme is good. Leo advises asking them to move Mary and request an estimate of how long it will take, because it could take several days or even weeks to make that switch.
Michael has noticed that he gets a warning that some websites are suspect and it won't let him in unless he agrees to take the risk. Leo says that is a function of Google and Microsoft which searches websites and flags them as being at risk for malware. Leo says it's a good service, and helps prevent malware from poorly designed websites from infecting users, especially on the Windows platform. Forums are frequently bit because they are written in open source and rarely updated. They should fix it, because if Michael is having issues, then everyone is.
Bobby wants to know what Anti Virus he should use. Leo says that AVS software isn't as important as behavior. If he's very careful with his online behavior, then having an antivirus is a good last line of defense. But if he isn't being safe online with his behavior, AVS really won't save him from himself.
Here's what Bobby should do:
The World Wide Web had its 25th birthday on Wednesday this past week, March 12. It wasn't exactly the birth of the World Wide Web, however. It was actually when Tim Berners-Lee came up with the proposal for it. Tim Berners-Lee was a particle physicist working at CERN in Geneva in 1989, and was frustrated by the way scientists were sharing research and papers with each other.
Leo says that the US hasn't "controlled" the internet for awhile. It's free, public, and open. What it did do is pull out of ICANN, the naming organization that provides all domain names and URLs. Leo doesn't think that's a big deal, though.