Sherry is looking for an affordable Chromebook, budget $350. Rich says that to be sure you don't get one so cheap, that it's underpowered. Acer makes a good model in that price range. Also, get one that has a touch screen so that you can use Android apps. Unfortunately, Chromebooks won't let you install third party apps other than those Android apps, but if you can live with that, Rich recommends going to Costco and pick up one. They're a great deal, so you can get more bang for your buck. Can I connect to the internet with my mobile phone and the chromebook?
Dave has a mobile phone and he wants to know how he can stream to his TV from it. Leo says to get the Google Chromecast. This will allow him to pull up a video stream on his phone, and then hand it off to the Chromecast to put it on the TV. He'll need internet and Wi-Fi to make it work. If all his internet access is through his phone, then he could use a hotspot with his TV if it supports that, and then Chromecast that way. But he'll take a bandwidth hit on his phone.
Bill is going to be RVing full time and wants to be able to stream Netflix while on the road. Does he need a cell booster to get a better streaming signal? Leo says that LTE is in most areas and it's quite fast and consistent. Bill can pay extra for hotspotting and then stream to a Roku device.
Joe is having trouble with his ZTE Z988 phone and hotspotting. He keeps turning it on and after a minute, it drops. Leo says to call T-Mobile and let them know his hotspot feature isn't working, because it sounds like they haven't activated it. But it's also possible that it's not available with that phone and his new carrier. There can be some hardware limitations too. But if he's getting data anyway, then that's not it. It probably just needs activation.
Norma is retired and has begun to cut expenses. She wants to hotspot her prepaid wireless internet to her iPad. Rich says companies don't usually allow that for prepaid mobile plans. He recommends giving freedompop.com a try.
Vic's Verizon Mi-Fi is broken. He's replaced it and it still doesn't work. Leo says that Vic could use his mobile phone as a hotspot and bypass the MiFi altogether. It'll cost about $20 a month to be able to do it. Leo also suggests a mobile hotspot called Karma Go. It's pay as you go through Sprint and Leo loves it. $15 a GB, or $10 GB in a package. It's a great option.
Dan just got a new iPhone and he and his son has shared data. How does that affect when he uses his phone as a personal hotspot? Leo says that when he uses a personal hotspot, it brings no more to the party, he's just paying more for the priviledge of hotspotting. Dan can use a free service like FreedomPop, but it's for a very limited amount of data. Then he'd start paying. Wi-Fi hotspots, though, will cost him nothing. So if he's at a Starbucks, he can connect to that and it won't count against his data at all.
Hank wants to know if hotspotting on the iPhone can turn it into a repeater. Leo says it can be a wireless hotspot, but the carrier would have to allow it. Sometimes he would have to pay extra depending on the carrier. Then in the settings he could turn on the hotspot which will turn it into a Wi-Fi access point.
Frank has a Google Nexus 7 and has been using tethering. He updated the OS to KitKat and the tethering option has disappeared. When he takes the SIM card out, it reappears, but when he puts it back, and it disappears again. Leo says that it's likely AT&T doing that. They want to charge him for hotspotting and tethering. If he doesn't pay for it, they're not going to let him do it. It's also happened to T-Mobile users. Some solutions will require him to root his tablet, which is certainly possible.
John would like to use his smartphone as a WiFi hotspot. Leo says he can, but he'll have to check with his phone provider to determine if they have an extra charge or not. If it's Verizon, they're legally not supposed to charge extra. Does he need a special app? Probably not. If he does pay for it, it's a usually a monthly fee and has a separate bandwidth cap.