I fell down another technical rabbit hole yesterday when I was supposed to be working on the projects I have signed up for—another rabbit hole altogether.
It started when the husband mentioned—more than once—that our Internet seemed slower. Uploading is always slower than downloading, according to the tech wizards, but ours seemed just, well, slow in both directions, skyward toward heaven and earthward into our greedy little laps. My first attempt at a solution was to investigate Internet providers. My brother-in-law, my go-to tech guru, crows about his fiber speed. We are still in broadband purgatory, but the glistening wires of fiber optics do flow through our little Oregon town and just outside our house, too.
With some trepidation, I called one of them. Their rabbit hole was a persuasive sales person who told me my options and of course wanted me to sign up stat. I demurred, telling them in wifely fashion that I wanted to talk this over with the husband. I could have hung up on her, but I agreed to allow them to call me back in a week. For nebulous reasons, the husband was against, and I agreed because, well, hassles. We are disconnected from the landline (the fiber company tried to talk me into one), and so would need to get a tech out to string one up, etc, etc. Oh, bother!
Next, my eager gaze focused on our gateway modem. This is the sort of tech creature that is router and modem in one. I had bought our current one, and set it up—another Saturday morning shot to hell—about five years ago. Maybe longer. So I went shopping.
There is the 5G thing, for which our existing gateway is already configured, but I’d read that 5G is not everywhere yet, although maybe it is. Who knows? I only know I notice no difference in speed. The other thing is 4K, a new density of streaming excellency that my go-to guru is all about as he and my sister are big movie buffs, as am I.
The new gateway was not cheap, but it had 5G, 4K and gigabit speediness. The husband argued, convincingly, that we may as well get it now, so that when Internet benefits increase, we may partake of them.
Installing the new gateway—delivered same day free, so I don’t have to advertise the behemoth emporium from whom I purchase it—was ALOT easier to install than five years ago. And now I have an app on my phone that keeps all the data about our device, including the password in case I forget it, despite the fact that I entered a password that we could both remember and promptly made an error in the password as I was trying to set up the husband’s computer with the new network and blah, blah. Or yada, yada, if you prefer.
Of course, as with all cyber updates, there arose another glitch.
Our wonderful Oregon house has two small bedrooms—from the original bungalow to which the rest of the house is attached— that get next to no wireless signal from our router. Currently these rooms stand vacant, ready for guests when the plague has passed, and I put our old TV in one for their use, whoever these future guests may be.
On my go-to guru’s advice, I bought a wireless repeater, which boosted the bedrooms signal enough to improve streaming on the TV and the use of laptops and phones in those room. Although the remodel of this home is as unique as all get-out, it was done before technology began to require more than one personal computer and Internet-ready TV per home. Thus the house is not wired for ethernet connections far and wide.
Naturally, I thought, the repeater doesn’t work now because it has to get connected to our new network. Thus the rabbit hole opened underneath me and down I went.
After learning that not all repeater-extenders are alike, after hours spent on the Internet, chatting with the gateway manufacturer, and watching You Tube videos, I learned that something about my repeater’s IP address—at least I know what that is—makes it so my repeater will never work with my new router unless . . . . this is a question for my go to guru.
I also carry a vague hope, raised by a You Tube video who showed how to repurpose your old router to be a sort of wifi extender. I pulled the old one out of our storeroom and looked it over longingly. Maybe . . . ? Go-to guru, whaddya say?
The upside to all of this is that streaming is faster with our new gateway. If I were to charge an hourly rate for my fruitless research, the installation of this gateway would cost hundreds more dollars than what the behemoth emporium charged me.