Faulty connections and T-Mobile’s 5G internet | Q&A with Patrick Marshall

Q: While exchanging some text messages on a topic of mutual interest, my son forwarded me a video clip with a Youtu.be URL.

As a regular reader of your column in The Seattle Times, this slightly different address construction raised a red flag. I didn’t open it, fearing it might be malware or spyware. I brought this up with him and he said he pulled it directly from the YouTube site using the YouTube App on his iPad.

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He went to a website identified as techjury.net and read that it was owned by YouTube. I followed to learn more about techjury.net. One of the reviews was written by the techjury. Other reviews claimed these guys were legit.

My questions are two: Is this Youtu.be site safe and likely free of nasty bugs? My second concern is more of a general concern about the risks associated with downloading/opening YouTube posts. How do you feel about it?

Paul Haynes

A: Don’t be afraid. Both are legit sites.

Youtu.be is an alternative URL that takes you directly to YouTube. In my experience, the site is free of malware. Same with hosted videos.

techjury.net is a website that reflects reviews of technological products. It is also malware free as far as I can see.

However, I recommend running an antivirus/antimal software.

Q: I read in a recent column that a person on Bainbridge Island is having problems with phone and internet access. In the spring, I finally decided to ditch my CenturyLink phone line internet connection and go with T-Mobile’s 5G internet. I also have a T-Mobile phone.

In the first five months, everything was fine. Then in September the internet connection started dropping out and it got progressively worse until I couldn’t connect more than half the time I tried to log on. When I was connected the internet would freeze or drop out when I was on the computer or watching something. I spent over two incredibly frustrating months trying to get this working, including module replacements and I don’t know how many calls to the “experts” at T-Mobile.

After a few of these calls, the service worked fine for two or three days, but then the interruptions started again. I don’t know what they changed, but they must have changed something for the service to work so well for five months and then work so badly. I learned during this experiment that if I wanted to use it while at home, I had to turn off Wi-Fi on my phone because it would try to use that connection to make calls. I dropped the T-Mobile 5G internet.

Chuck Eberdt

A: Funny thing, that.

After waiting in vain for Verizon to bring 5G service to Bainbridge Island, I switched my phone service from Verizon to T-Mobile.

And like you, I found that while T-Mobile’s 5G phone service works well, the current 5G internet service leaves a lot to be desired. In fact, according to T-Mobile, its 5G internet provides download speeds of 33-182 megabits per second and download speeds of 6-23 mbps. My experience: 40 mbps download and 4 mbps download.

In comparison, my Xfinity internet service offers 400 mbps download speed and 40 mbps download speed.

The difference? Xfinity is delivered via cable, while T-Mobile’s internet service is delivered over the air. The latter are more susceptible to variable performance issues due to factors such as distance from transmission towers, weather conditions, and other sources of interference.

Yes, T-Mobile’s 5G internet is much cheaper than the level of Xfinity service I subscribe to. And you can try T-Mobile service for two weeks before you decide to pay. So it’s worth a try if you don’t need the internet speeds I need. Even a 40 mpbs download is more than enough for most users’ current browsing and streaming needs.

Yes, I found the same thing about 5G on the phone. If you want this connection, turn off Wi-Fi on your phone.

So I also chose not to subscribe to T-Mobile 5G internet service. Still, I hope they remove the kinks and perform better for a lower price.

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