Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Keith streams on Netflix and it looks terrible at the beginning. Leo says that Netflix uses an adaptive algorithm that starts off at its lowest resolution and then gets better once it guages his bandwidth. If it gets worse over time, though, that means that his bandwidth is inconsistent. Since Keith is using wireless, it could be the Wi-Fi dropping or pausing briefly, dropping packets. Keith needs to wire his router to the TV. If that doesn't fix it, he can look for the Quality of Service (QoS) setting that will enable him to set priority over what traffic he wants.
A new article on Motherboard details how hackers used a spearfishing attack to get passwords and break into the email of members of the Democrat National Committee, namely John Podesta, and also Colin Powell. The attack came as a phoney message from Google that someone had their password and they should change the password immediately, along with a big "change password" button.
Steve wants to know if the rated speed the ISP says he's getting is legit. Leo says it's ideal and it's subject to a lot of factors. Broadband often has shared bandwidth, so if everyone is watching Netflix, it's going to slow down. It's also dependent on wireless congestion. Wired is always faster. It can depend on the quality of wiring, the age of the router, and more. It's very complicated. It can even be his computer that's slowing his internet speed down, and one will be faster than another.
Johnny Jet says that when you're traveling and need Wi-Fi, one hack is to walk into the lounge and request a day pass, then look around for a sign that offers the Wi-Fi password. If you don't buy the day pass, at least you have free Wi-Fi. Check out this website that offers websites for all Wi-Fi passwords in airports around the world. Or use a service provider that allows free overseas data like T-Mobile. Google Fi is also another option.
Charlie was having problems with his Obihai VOIP connecting wirelessly, but it works when he connects it via ethernet. Leo says that could indicate a damaged wireless transmitter, or some congestion in the wireless band. Leo also says that either could cause handshaking issues.
A Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDOS) hit the internet yesterday, tossing several networks offline. Leo says this happens all the time as robot computers are drafted to clog networks with phoney requests. What's disturbing about this particular attack is that it's using not only computers, but it's taking advantage of smart devices used in the home (called the internet of things), like routers, DVRs, smart refrigerators, and even internet enabled home security systems.
Jason doesn't like his YouTube channel name and he wants to change it. Google says that if the channel is connected to Google Plus, it can be changed by clicking on the pencil icon next to the name. There's a limit to the number of times it can be changed, though. Jason should click on the user icon at the top of the YouTube page.
Bonnie says there's plenty of internet options here including AT&T, Dish, Time Warner, and Spectrum. She signed up for Spectrum at 100Mbps with no caps for $30. That's only an introductory rate, though. It'll go up a lot more after that has expired. Leo says that's a great deal and that's why you should always ask neighbors what they get and how they like it.
President Obama has ordered the CIA to develop a "proportional response" to the reported Russian hacking of the DNC which exposed emails about the Clinton campaign. But Leo says what could the CIA expose by hacking the Kremlin? Putin posts bare chested pictures of himself on Instagram? The man is embarrassed by nothing! And could such a response cause an escalation? Leo says that our utility infrastructure is vulnerable to hacking and such a cyber war could devolve into crippling our electrical grid ... or worse.
Nick wants to buy a hotspot or MiFi card and use wireless as his home internet connection. Leo says if he's in a remote area, then that's a great way to go. He'll have to make sure he has a good package that doesn't include bandwidth caps, though.