Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Why can't my Mac connect to the Internet?

Betty from Madison, WI

Episode 1296

Betty can't log into the internet with her Mac. It says there are no plugins to do so. Leo says to check your router connection to see if your WiFi router is turned on. You can do that in the Apple's Network system preferences. If you can't see your access point, you're not connected to it. If it's connected, then look if the internet connection is available. If the WiFi router isn't working properly, it'll be connected, but it won't go anywhere. It'll just be a local address starting with 168. Try resetting your router.

How can I get a better Wi-Fi signal?

David from Long Beach, CA

Episode 1296

David's landlady has wifi but she doesn't want to improve the signal so he can get a better connection. Leo says you can get a WiFi antenna to improve your signal,but if you can convince your landlady to put the access point in a better location, that would be the ticket. Check out RadioLabs.com for tips on which directional antenna to buy to get a better signal. You could also offer to buy her a newer 802.11 AC router. Leo likes the Asus C3200. It goes a long way.

Is there a third party option to Dell's Click to Fix?

Brett from Woodbridge, NJ

Episode 1296

Brett has a Dell computer and wants to know if there's an open source program that can speed up his computer like Dell does with Click to Fix? Leo says that Dell doesn't share their secrets and Leo doesn't think that it's safe to use a third party open source option for this. Dell's Click to Fix knows its own hardware and as such, can do a targeted fix. Open source stuff can't do that and can be overly aggressive and cause more problems than it fixes.

How can I make sure open source software is safe?

Dave from Concord, CA

Episode 1296

Tony wants to know how to check to be sure the ISO of open source software is legit. Leo says that an ISO is found to be legit by signing. A hash has to be generated in order to provide proof of a legitimate ISO. If the ISO has changed, then the hash would be modified. There's also a signing key, which is based on GPG encryption. It has to be authenticated by the developers of the software.

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.

Twitter Gets Hacked, Exposing 32 Million Accounts

Episode 1296

Twitter security officials have admitted that the social media site was hacked this week, exposing the passwords of over 32 million twitter accounts. Though hackers posted the passwords online, officials say that they are confident no other information was obtained.

Leo says that if you are a Twitter user, you may want to change your password, and even better, use a password vault to generate it.

Read more at TechCrunch.com.

Johnny Jet on Travel

Episode 1295

Johnny Jet is in Alaska this weekend, going hiking. The airfares are so cheap from LA - $220, he couldn't resist a weekend getaway. But ironically, he's never been on an Alaskan cruise.

Website and app - Alaska Tour Saver, offers 2 for 1 deals after an initial membership of $100.

There's also FindYourPark.com. This year is the 100th anniversary of the national parks, and this site will tell you where the nearest national park is. Go now or just after school starts to avoid the rush.

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.

Is there a streaming alternative to live TV on cable?

Episode 1294

Ralph from Huntington Beach, CA
Roku 4

Ralph has been victim of the transition from Verizon to Frontier and he's looking for live TV alternatives. What about cable TV over the internet like Vstream? Leo says it depends on the source of the channels they bring. Many are either illegal, or foreign language TV. He could end up with soccer from Ecuador. It's not going to be ABC, ESPN or his local news. It really comes down to content. He'd really be better off going with Roku and then add things like Netflix, HBO, etc.