Thursday, October 18, 2012

WiFi and beyond

I spent yesterday trying to upgrade a home network. After 5+ years, the old "b" router was crashing everytime certain devices connected to it, and the coverage was never what it needed to be. The primary computers are on wired connections, and would also benefit from gigabit ethernet vs. the 100mbits they were getting.

So it began, router and modem into the basement (various benefits to being down there such as a UPS), and gigabit ethernet was alive in seconds - an improvement beyond expectations, and no more crashing with certain connections. But the range seemed more confined than previously. A hopefully easy sollution, using the old router as a wireless access point. The challenge of getting a cable where it is needed quickly became a issue... So first a test, with wires running down halls, a temporary setup brought perfect signal where it is needed, and 2 discoveries: the router still crashed with certain devices, and more importantly, androids approach to picking a stronger signal is broken - tablets and phones hang on to the weak wifi singnal from the basement rather than switch to the strong signal in front of them.

In the end the router came out of the basement, and all seems well. Lessons learned: watch your bottlenecks, lay cables wherever you can, and while technology is great - think of your weakest link.

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