Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Can I run my computer and credit card terminal on the same ethernet connection?

Sandy from Santa Monica, CA

Episode 1166

Sandy wanted to run a computer and credit card swipe terminal on the same ethernet connection. Leo says that may not work since the credit card terminal needs it's own connection to the net. It requires a unique address. A router could help because it would route the traffic and it would be a different device address internally. Will it slow down her computer? Leo says a minuscule amount. Nothing that Sandy would notice, though. Any cheap router will work for this, but Leo likes D-Link.

Why can't I print a PDF?

Charlie from Missoula, MT

Episode 1166

Charlie can't print an attachment, but he can print other things. The attachment is zipped and when he unzips it, it's a PDF file. Leo says that in order to print PDF files, he'll need a PDF reader. Windows didn't come with a PDF reader until Windows 8, so most people wound up getting Adobe Reader. Leo says to open it in Google Drive, and he'll be able to print from there.

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.