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

Q: During some text message exchanges on a subject of mutual interest, my son forwarded to me a video clip with the URL address Youtu.be.

As a regular reader of your column in The Seattle Times, this slightly different address construction raised a red flag. I did not open it fearing it could contain malware or spyware. I raised that issue with him and he said he took it straight off the YouTube website using the YouTube App on his iPad.

Related Tech Q&As

Read more from Patrick Marshall here >>

He followed up by going to a website identified as techjury.net where he read that this site is owned by YouTube. I followed up to find out more about techjury.net. One of the reviews was written by techjury themselves. Other reviews claimed these guys are legitimate.

My questions are two: Is this Youtu.be site safe and likely free of bad bugs? My second concern is more of a general worry about risks from downloading/opening YouTube postings. What’s your take on this?

Paul Heins

THE: Fear not. Those are both legitimate sites.

Youtu.be is an alternate URL that takes you straight to YouTube. In my experience, the site has been free of malware. Likewise with the videos it hosts.

And techjury.net is a site that features reviews of tech products. It, too, has been free of malware as far as I can see.

That said, I do recommend running antivirus/antimalware software.

Q: I read in a recent column that a person on Bainbridge Island was having problems using her phone and internet. Back in the spring I finally decided to dump my CenturyLink phone line internet connection and went with T-Mobile’s 5G internet. I also have a T-Mobile phone.

For the first five months everything worked fine. Then in September the internet connection started to drop and it got progressively worse, to the point that I couldn’t get a connection more than half of the time when I tried to log on. When I did connect the internet would freeze or my connection would drop while I was on my computer or watching something. I tried to make this work for more than two incredibly frustrating months, including getting a replacement module and I don’t know how many calls to the “experts” at T-Mobile.

After a couple of those 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 so putridly after that. I did learn during that experience, however, that I had to turn off the Wi-Fi on my phone if I wanted to use it when I was home because it would try to use that connection to make calls. And I dumped the T-Mobile 5G internet.

Chuck Eberdt

THE: Funny thing, that.

I just switched my phone service from Verizon to T-Mobile after waiting so long in vain for Verizon to deliver 5G service to Bainbridge Island.

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

By comparison, my Xfinity internet service delivers 400 mbps download speed and 40 mbps upload speed.

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

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

And yes, I found the same thing out about 5G on the phone. If you want that connection, turn off the Wi-Fi on your phone.

So I, too, opted not to subscribe to the T-Mobile 5G internet service. Still, I’m hopeful that they will work out the kinks and deliver better performance at their lower price.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: