Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Why does my Google Chrome shortcut take me to MSN?

Walter from West Virginia

Episode 1246

When Walter clicks on his Google Chrome shortcut on Windows, it keeps taking him to MSN.com. Leo recommends right-clicking on that shortcut and clicking on "Properties." This will show him what that shortcut is actually doing. Leo suspects that at some point, perhaps while installing something, he clicked something that made MSN his home page. But he should look in that shortcut for something about MSN, and he can remove that.

What's the best inexpensive word processor for Mac?

Bridget from Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Episode 1246

Bridget got her first Mac and she's stunned that the cost of the apps for the Mac are so much more expensive than the ones for her iPhone or iPad. Leo says that's true, and Mac users are willing to pay it too. Bridget needs something she can use to edit a Word document that won't cost an arm and a leg. She's seen a lot of negative reviews on Apple's Pages. Leo says he likes Pages, but it isn't Word, which is why it gets a lot of negative reviews. Most people only use about 5% of Word's features, though. Pages is the best tool to layout and edit a resume.

How can I use my domain name with Gmail?

Elliot from Boston, MA

Episode 1246

Elliot just bought a domain name for a website he's going to build, and he wants to know how to route his Gmail account through his domain name. Leo says that Gmail offers mail forwarding, and he can just go to Hover and request the email redirection. Then he'll just go into his Gmail settings and look under "Delegation" to make sure it says his domain name in the reply fields.

Johnny Jet on Travel

Episode 1245

Johnny Jet

Johnny Jet is here to advise that beginning January 1st, travelers will be unable to add stamps to your passport. If you do, the entry will be denied. You will need to get them added by the US Department of state by sending in your passport to add them officially. Or, when you renew, choose the 52 page option at no extra charge.

This week's travel app - City Mapper for Android and iPhone.

How can I prevent my email from being hacked?

Lou from Pasadena, CA

Episode 1245

Lou's Yahoo Mail account got hacked and has been used to send out spam. He's changed all his passwords, but he's worried that they now have control of his iPhone. Leo says that didn't happen and Lou is being understandibly paranoid about it.

Leo advises changing the password and then turning on two factor authentication. This is usually done by giving Yahoo his phone number and then they will text him if his password is being changed. He'll input the code and then the password gets changed. This prohibits someone from changing the password unless they steal his phone first.

Why is my DSL service so bad?

Jim from Orange County, CA

Episode 1244

Jim is learning that having business service is way more expensive than consumer grade service. Leo says that's crazy but all too often true. Jim also says that the DSL in his building is terrible. Leo says DSL often has issues being too far away from the central hub switch, which can slow it down and affect the consistency of the service. The closer you are the faster and better it will be. Going with a third party service like DSL Extreme can be handy because they fight to give you better service.

Can I get a shorter email address that will work with my current email address?

Jim from San Juan Capistrano

Episode 1243

Jim wants to create a shorter email address because his current one is too long. Leo says he can do that, but 1) it's probably already taken and 2) the shorter it is, the more likely that it'll get spam. So Leo says if he's going to shorten his email address, he should get very specific about the spelling and include some numbers in it. He can sign up for one at GMail and have all of his mail forwarded to his current address through that.

What's the best network attached storage device?

Robert from Belgium

Episode 1243

Robert is looking for a good network attached storage solution to keep movies on. Leo says that NAS media server storage is a good idea, as is backup. Leo likes Synology. They have a huge range of products from 2 -10 drives. Gigabit Ethernet speed. Are they low energy? Leo isn't sure.

Another option is the NetGear ReadyNAS. But Leo likes Synology best.

How secure is Tor?

Juan from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1243

Juan is looking to use Tor for encrypted security. Leo says that Tor was invented by the US Navy and it works by making your traffic obscure. Tor is used for anonymity, and it's a bit difficult to set up, but using a Tor browser makes it a lot easier. If Juan is concerned about privacy online, Tor is a good option to look into.

Why does my DSL drop off?

Laurie from Long Beach, CA

Episode 1243

Laurie is frustrated with her DSL because it's constantly dropping off. Leo says that DSL often comes on old copper wiring and the farther away you are, the more likely you'll get drop offs. The inside wiring may also be an issue. Laurie's provider also has an inside wire plan she can pay for, but it sounds like Laurie is pushing the edge of her existing technological capabilities. And since they're pushing Laurie to go FiOS, they have little motivation to fix the old lines. But FIOS uses Fiber Optics and it's more reliable and faster. It can also be more expensive, though.