On October 2, 2020, Luis Alvarez, CEO of Alvarez Technology Group, visited Tech Talk’s Time With the Experts podcast for a discussion about October Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Before cybersecurity was the focus of the conversation, the discussion opened with a lively chat about the pros and cons of streaming versus cable. The host wanted to review a past interview with Luis about cable TV and the fees associated with the set-top boxes. He continued to share how with today’s modern television technology and the popularity and growth of streaming that these fees could possibly be eliminated.
The first question posed to Luis was how fast should an internet connection be to be able to stream reliably? Luis explained that the recommended minimum is 25 megabits download, which is below the Comcast minimum of 50 megabits. He continued to say that if you are using ATT Uverse, he believes their lowest is about 15 megabits. Luis said that because providers assume and expect customers to be streaming and using other devices at the same time, they want to make sure customers have plenty of bandwidth. He said that the “rule of thumb” is, “if you already have a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu and it is working fine, streaming Xfinity is not going to be a problem either.”
The host asked Luis the question, “If someone is still using DSL, even if it is a fast line, and the DSL is 75 megs down, should they stay with a connected connection because they would be taking up 50 of the 75 megs?” Luis responded by explaining that it won’t take up the entire bandwidth. “It’s more of a suggested threshold and typically streaming bandwidth is very low, somewhere south of three megabits.” He restated that providers want to allow for everything else and multiple devices that are being used at the same time in one house.
The host asked Luis another question about streaming, posing the question, “If a TV is located next to a router, instead of using the Wi-Fi, could a short LAN cable be run from the router to the TV instead of using the Wi-Fi?” Luis’s response was, “Absolutely! The signal is going to be much more stable without interference from other wi-fi connections that are close by. For example, if you live in a dense community, especially in apartment buildings where there are multiple signals, signals may cross paths while trying to find their own radio space to occupy.” He explained that the user will see it as a blip on their connection until another unique connection is found.
The discussion switched gears to Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Luis explained it is a moment for everyone to focus on ways they can protect themselves and their businesses. He stressed that cybersecurity is ever-evolving. “It gets worse, not better, with regards to threats,” he said. Hacking has transformed over the last 20 years. What used to be a fun activity is now a multi-billion dollar business.