Internet and Web

Why did the 2.4 GHz band on my router become unusable?

Episode 1355

Alan from Kentucky
WiFi

Alan is having issues with his wireless routers since a power surge, especially on the 2.4 GHz band. Leo says that's because 2.4 GHz is overcrowded. Everything seems to use it. That's why having a dual band router is beneficial. It could also be that the power surge fried his 2.4 GHz band. Routers also wear out, and over time, it starts getting slower and more unreliable. It's probably time to get a new router.

Can I use DDNS with a VPN instead of paying extra for a static IP?

Episode 1355

JC from Mississippi
Netgear AC1750

JC was looking for a new router to get some more advanced networking features, such as VPN and VLAN. He found the Netgear AC1750 with VPN support for $130. He found out that the VPN support also supports DDNS, which can be used for free as long as you go in every 30 days and click the link to renew it. You could also pay $50 a year for it. He was paying $45 a month for static IP addresses along with the necessary equipment and taxes to have it in his house.

Can I use my phone as a hotspot on a cruise?

Episode 1354

Sue Ellen from San Diego, CA
Cruise ship

Sue Ellen is going on a cruise to Hawaii next month and WiFi is $0.75 a minute. What are her options? Can she use her phone as a hotspot? Leo says not while she's on the ocean. When she gets to Hawaii, that's an option. While she's at sea, she'll be stuck with what they give her and there's nothing but pain. It's very slow and inconsistent. It's definitely not worth $0.75 a minute!

Do you like Twitter?

Episode 1354

Fahrid from Bradford, UK
Twitter

Fahrid wants to know if Leo uses Twitter and got his tweet. Leo says that Twitter is just too hard to read these days, and it's generally nasty. He'll use it to see what's going on, but he avoids the replies. Social media has gotten so foul. Who needs that? But the compliment is appreciated!

Fahrid also wants to know if TWiT could use personal information of his callers to improve the show. Leo says that while he has show notes that include details of caller questions, they don't collect the personal information of their audience and would certainly never seek to profit from it.

Why are my downloads so slow?

Episode 1354

Scott from Orange County, CA
Speed gauge

Scott is having issues with his downloads being inconsistent and slow. Leo says that ISPs usually use the phrase "up to" in their claims, and that's usually with the ideal conditions. Leo says that uploading can also slow down his internet access. How does uploading slow him down? Leo says that servers require acknowledgement that his traffic is coming through, so if he's downloading while his data is being backed up, it has to wait for its turn to upload that acknowledgement. This is why Carbonite uses very little upload bandwidth and why it takes so long to back up with it.

Russians Crack Popular Encryption System

Episode 1354

Telegram

Telegram is an encryption system that many use to keep messages secure. The news is that Russians have cracked it, though. That could impact other apps like WhatsApp, but Open Whisper Systems says that WhatsApp, Signal, and even Facebook are still secure in encrypted mode. Leo also says that if you want to encrypt your email, PGP and GPG are still solid.

Read more at Mashable.com.

How can I get my Slingbox to work again?

Episode 1353

Mike from Newport Beach,CA
Slingbox

Mike bought a Slingbox about six years ago and it worked great as he traveled the world. But now with iOS 10, it doesn't work. So now he has to bring along another iPad with the old version of iOS 9 on it. Leo says that's likely going to be the only fix. Dish bought Sling and converted it to a TV service. Now it's effectively 'end of life' for the previous hardware because they want people to spend $10 a month to stream it.

Is email secure enough for sending sensitive information?

Episode 1353

Vernon from Pennsylvania
Email on iPhone

Vernon was told by his insurance company that they would be sending him documents via email, and the first two times, he didn't receive it. The third time they sent it, it arrived. They told him the document was encrypted, but he could put anything in the password field to open it. He's now concerned that his personal information could be out in the wild.