Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

How can I extend the Wi-Fi range between two houses?

Episode 1166

Matthew from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Apple Airport Extreme

Matthew wants to know if he can bridge two Airport Extremes, put them 300 feet apart and still get a signal. Leo says it's no problem, except for the distance. 300 feet is a long way for 802.11,b,a,c, which max at about 150. 802.11AC, though, can go about 300 feet. One thing he can do is use a directional antenna from one to another. A new Airport Extreme, though, will work. Leo advises sticking with the same company's products to make the extension.

Is the SSL certificate "Comodo" safe?

Steve from Long Island, NY

Episode 1166

Steve is worried about Comodo for security. Leo says that Comodo is not Kommodia, so it's not a security issue like Kommodia is. Superfish uses Kommodia to get beyond web browser security, but it was even worse. Comodo, though, is a completely different software. SSL certificates can be circumvented by those who visit Steve's site and there really isn't anything he can do about it. It doesn't really affect you -- it affects them. So Steve should get the encryption he can and understand that it's possible the end user will get something that breaks it on their end, not his.

Is a Wi-Fi hotspot safe for surfing the net?

Rick from Salisbury, NC

Episode 1165

Rick's wife got unlimited cell service for him, and he wants to know how to keep his tablet secure while at a hotspot. Leo says that by using his own cell service, his data is encrypted and safe. But if he's relying on Wi-Fi hotspot, then he'll have to be sure his passwords aren't given out in the clear. Especially if it's bank information. But even then, he's dealing with an encrypted portal, so it's pretty safe. He'll want to turn on encryption for his email, though.

How can I download a browser without a browser?

Ted from Woodland Hills, CA

Episode 1164

Ted's Browser crashes every time he tries to open it. Leo says he'll need to clear the cache and reset the browser. He can go into Control Panel > Internet options > Advanced > Reset Settings/Clear Cache. Ted will lose his cached stuff including bookmarks and cookies, but it may fix it.

In Add/Remove programs there's also a "REPAIR I.E." function. Once he has it fixed, Leo suggests downloading Chrome. It's more secure.

How can I get faster broadband at home?

Kelly from Fuquay-Varina, NC

Episode 1164

Kelly's DSL is incredibly slow. Their house is "cable ready," but they don't have the ability to connect to cable since the nearest connection is a mile away. Leo says that there are good satellite providers like Wild Blue out there, but it's very easy to overwhelm the satellite bandwidth and they usually have low caps. So if Kelly is a heavy user, then that's not a good option.

How can I tell the FCC my concerns on Net Neutrality?

Adrian from Jackson, TN

Episode 1163

Adrian is worried that the FCCs proposed Net Neutrality rules are still worse than what we have now. What can he do to have his concerns known? Leo says that the need to protect the Internet is important and most people who are sounding the alarm bells really don't understand it. But if he's concerned, he should go to the FCC and email the commissioners. They're going to be the ones who make the decision on the new rules. You can find their email addresses here:

Is internet TV a bad idea?

Lunella from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1163

Lunella doesn't like the idea of TV being on the Internet. It just uses too much data. Leo says that there's more bandwidth available that we currently use, and it can be expanded infinitely. Having said that, the bottle neck occurs in the "last mile," where the ISP isn't providing enough bandwidth. The real issue is power consumption.