Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Does the Tiny Hardware Firewall give you extra protection over a VPN?

Episode 1296

Ron from Baltimore, MD
Tiny Hardware Firewall

Ron has the Tiny Hardware Firewall, which he likes. Once he's connected to the VPN inside of it, what does the firewall do, though? Leo says that the firewall is the first level of protection. It acts as a router and is the attack surface, not the computer. A router is a dumb device that doesn't know what the attack is and ignores it, unless there's a security flaw inside the system. Like a router at home, the Tiny Hardware Firewall gives a little extra protection, though.

Should I wait to buy a new MacBook Pro?

Episode 1295

John from Monterey, MX
Apple MacBook Pro

John has a 2010 MacBook Pro and it's started to fail. Will there be a new MacBook Pro announced at WWDC? Leo says that he's been waiting for WWDC. They usually announce new Macs there. The word is that Apple doesn't have plans to do so, though, and they've gotten slower and slower in updating them. We can be pretty sure that Apple will have a new MacBook in the fall, but Leo says to not bother waiting. The update really isn't going to be that big of a deal.

(UPDATE: Apple did not release any new Macs at WWDC.)

Is the Tiny Hardware Firewall a good idea for hotspotting?

Episode 1294

Chris from San Marcos, CA
Tiny Hardware Firewall

Chris is looking at the Tiny Hardware Firewall. He thinks it's a great idea, but what VPN client should he use? TOR? Leo says that TOR and VPN are different things. VPN or "virtual private networks" are tunnels bored through the internet, but TOR encrypts it. It is great and Leo uses it when he travels or is using a public Wi-Fi access point. It just fits in his pocket, too. He should be careful when he's joining a public hotspot. He'll get most of the benefits from a VPN, though, if he just surfs to sites using https.

How can I better control my Philips Hue lights?

Episode 1294

JJ from San Francisco, CA
Philips Hue Starter Kit

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.