Q: The spam e-mail I receive from AOL on my iPad is escalating, and there’s no apparent way to stop the flow. I have tried unsubscribing, avoiding unsubscribing and keeping contact with websites to a minimum, but I continue to get spam. What’s more, my iPad gets more of it than my laptop does, even though they use the same e-mail account. Any suggestions?

Jim Erickson, Minnetonka


A: No e-mail provider’s spam filter stops all unwanted junk e-mail. But there have been many complaints that AOL’s spam filtering works better for desktop or laptop computers than it does for the iPad.

Why? The AOL software on a desktop or laptop helps filter the spam before it gets to your inbox. But the iPad uses its own e-mail software to connect to AOL, and that software doesn’t filter spam.

As a result, the iPad relies on AOL or any other mail provider to pre-filter the e-mail before it’s downloaded to the iPad. Some other e-mail providers, such as Gmail, do a better job of this pre-filtering than AOL does. So if you switch e-mail providers, you may get less spam on your iPad.

Alternatively, you can try an iPad app such as MailWasher (available in the iTunes store), which helps you remove spam from your e-mail provider before the mail reaches the iPad’s e-mail software.


Q: I have a 12-megabit Internet access speed. Would I get better Internet response time from getting faster Internet access or from installing a solid state drive for data storage?

Michael Pelt, Jacksonville, Fla.


A: The real bottleneck in Internet usage today is the speed of your online connection, not the speed of your PC.

As a result, getting a faster Internet connection will improve your download and upload speeds, but adding a solid state drive to your PC won’t make any difference, even though the solid state drive can access and store your PC data faster than a conventional disk drive. (A solid state drive uses flash memory chips; a traditional hard drive uses spinning magnetic disks.)


Q: I want to get a new Internet service provider, but I don’t want to lose the e-mail addresses that I have through my current provider. The current provider uses Gmail but substitutes its own business name in the address. Since Gmail is free it seems that I should be able to continue using those addresses, but my provider said no because it owns the name in the addresses. Is there any way to keep my current e-mail addresses?

Tom Davis, Chaska


A: No. Your Internet provider owns the rights to its business name and doesn’t have to share it with you. In the future, use a free e-mail account from Gmail or another provider that you can keep if you change Internet service providers.

E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@ gmail.com or write to Tech Q&A, 425 ­Portland Av. S., ­Minneapolis, MN 55488. Include name, city and telephone number.