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Making the Internet faster ... for free

  • Episode 221
  • December 13, 2011

Robbie and Rachel demonstrate how to make your Internet service faster by using different DNS servers than those supplied by your Internet Service Provider. And best of all, it's a free upgrade, and you can change it at any time if you're not satisfied.

This episode is sponsored in part by: Liquid Image, Garden Gate Farms, Planet Calypso & Pogoplug.

Topics Covered:

  • Robbie Ferguson and Rachel Xu present live from the Category5 studios in Barrie, Ontario.
  • Introducing the new live viewing page for Category5 Technology TV.
  • Viewer Question: Are you using a green screen?
  • Santa Claus pays a visit and extends a very special greeting to Rachel Xu, courtesy of
  • Viewer Comment: Greeting from India.
  • Greetings to new viewers.
  • Viewer Question: How can I connect to a Windows share on my NAS from my Linux computer and output a list of all the files in that share?
  • Connecting to a Windows share the typical way from within the Linux GUI.
  • Installing smbfs on Linux using the apt-get command.
  • Creating a mountpoint in Linux to connect your NAS to.
  • Mounting a samba (Windows) network share to your Linux machine using the mount command and smbfs.
  • Demonstrating a few of the different "simple" commands to list files in Linux.
  • Piping bash (Linux terminal) commands into a text file using either overwrite method or append.
  • Viewer Question: Which movie software is better, Moovida or XBMC?
  • Viewer Question: Can you explain what the speed of SD memory cards means?
  • Using Google to quickly convert megabits to megabytes.
  • The effects of SD card speed on both video and still digital cameras.
  • Understanding the class rating of SD cards.
  • Top Stories from the Category5.TV newsroom.
  • What "sandboxing" means.
  • Rachel's Question: Is the Pogoplug simply USB storage?
  • Remeniscing when flash drives were more than $100 for less than 100 MB.
  • Robbie's use of a Brother MFC scanner to scan directly to USB flash drive, and then plug the drive directly into the Pogoplug to share and backup.
  • Viewer Comment: The star over your head needs to be turned down.
  • Viewer Comment: The Pogoplug software is not working on my computer.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of Pogoplug software vs Pogoplug hardware.
  • Important Notice: Apparently some cashiers have been ringing through orders at the checkout with "cash advance", and then pocketing the money. Check your receipts as you check out.
  • When forwarding email, use BCC to protect yourself, friends and family from viruses and spammers.
  • Why Robbie always checks the ATM before inserting his debit card.
  • Feature: Making your Internet faster ... for free.
  • What DNS is and what it does for you.
  • Why DNS really matters: it's not just about getting to the page, but every single http request required to generate and navigate the web site.
  • Obtaining GRC's free DNS Benchmark tool, which works on Windows, or via wine in Linux or Mac OS.
  • Running DNS Benchmark on Linux using wine.
  • Generating a custom name server list in DNS Benchmark.
  • Understanding the "orange" redirecting DNS servers generated by DNS Benchmark.
  • Running a DNS Benchmark to determine the fastest DNS servers for your Internet connection.
  • Using Linux Network Connections tool to edit your DNS settings directly on your Linux computer. Note: this can be done on both Windows and Mac OS, but the process is simply a little different. Simply use a search engine and search for change dns windows xp, change dns windows 7 or change dns mac os according to your needs.
  • GRC DNS Benchmark's advantage over other products such as namebench: it not only offers the fastest servers, but also lets you see their reliability.
  • Christmas gift for Rachel Xu: a Christmas pickle.
  • Contest: Click Race. Congratulations to Jot who won the Pogoplug and Knightstarr who won 250 Category5 Viewer Points as the runner up.
  • Viewer Comment: The reason I'm so good at clicking the mouse is from playing Planet Calypso.


Links to Relevant Web Sites:

  • Host: Robbie Ferguson
  • Co-Host: Rachel Xu



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