Complicating my home wireless setup

I’ve recently run into some trouble with the wireless in my home and no matter what I do I can’t seem to fix it.  I’ve tried everything from rebooting the thing, messing with the configuration, to even calling Comcast to see if they could do anything on their end to make the thing stop dropping the wireless signal every hour or so which forced me or the wife to reboot it.  I’ve been using the Netgear since I switched over from AT&T to Comcast because it had gigabit Ethernet, wireless capabilties, and it supposedly had a media drive component so I could stream stuff.  Well the Netgear has been quite disappointing to date, I’ve never been able to get the media server part to work (and its well documented that it totally sucks as a feature), the wireless is completely unreliable, the only part that even seems to work is the cable modem aspect of the device.

I was able to dig out my Linksys X2000 that I used when I was using AT&T.  It has a wireless router component to it and I decided to dig this out of my little tech storage area and connect it to the Netgear.  Now this thing is really old so it only can do 10/100 on its ethernet ports so its not as fast as the Netgear when I connect something to the modem directly.  What I did do though was I connected the Linksys to my home desktop and the router and I connected the Linksys and Netgear to my NAS so it can still take advantage of Gigabit ethernet and regular 10/100.

I was able to check everything out that connects in my house and it all seems to be OK.  I changed the SSID on the Netgear to be unique and as my backup and used the original SSID on the Linksys so everything would still be able to connect like it used to.  So far so good, I haven’t really tested the speed between machines but at least to the internet it seems to be the same as if I was just using the Netgear by itself.  While I’m glad I found a work around solution this is by no means something that I wanted to do.  I purposely bought the Netgear to be my single device to consume internet and be able to use it from multiple devices.  The fact that I had to bring out my Linksys after all this time is kind of a bummer.  It does do Wireless B/G/N but doesn’t use the 5Ghz band but thats technically ok by me since I was using the 2.4Ghz band at home because of my HP Photosmart printer. Linksys actualy makes a better product than Netgear so I’m expecting to have a lot less trouble with the wifi going forward.

Now the thing I really want is fiber to come to my neck of the woods.  I would love it if I had Google Fiber or something, then my internet would be screaming fast!  I think I’ll have to wait a while until that happens, until then I’ll be suffering with Comcast.

Finally upgraded my printer

HP Photosmart 7520

Due to a slight misunderstanding with the picture for my daughters new passport that my wife is trying to get, I ended up doing a full upgrade of my homes scanning and printing capabilities. I have been itching to get a new printer for a while that was wireless so that I could print directly from my MacBook Pro. I actually had two different printers at he. One of them was over 10 years old but it made really awesome photo prints. My other one was only 5 years old but the print quality was less than stellar.

I did some research and finally settled on the HP Photosmart 7520. One of the requirements I had was that it would be able to print wirelessly. I don’t print an awful lot but there have been times when I needed to but I had to turn on my desktop, transfer files, and them do my printing. Now I have the ability to print wirelessly from my iPhone using AirPrint or through my wireless network. The ink setup is quite awesome too since it uses more inks than just two cartridges. I like how it has dedicated cartridges for just printing photos. I won’t be giving up my Shutterfly account soon but this will make creating prints easier and I can do it from home.

The best part about it was that I got it at Best Buy using their Price Mat program. Amazon.com offered the the printer for about $160 and at Best Buy it was selling for around $200. Since Best Buy price matches from Amazon, they gave me the printer for the Amazon price. That might make me go to Best Buy more due to price matching but since I now have Amazon Prime, shipping is down to 2 days. I also needed the printer ASAP to make my daughters passport photo. Time will tell how useful the printer is to me but I’m already ready to try to print out some 4×6 prints for my house.

Jammin with my Jambox

Today I picked up a new toy for myself called the Jawbone Jambox.  What is this little device you say?  It’s a portable speaker that connects to any Bluetooth device to play music or, if you have it paired with your cell phone, to be used as a speakerphone.  The picture is about as big as it is in real life which is to say its pretty tiny.  The sound out of this device is pretty bad ass so far.  It’s definitely better than trying to use the built in speaker on my iPhone or my iPad.  I decided to give it a test today after charging it by sitting outside for about 2 hours with my work laptop to update a project file.  I used my iPhone for the music and it sounded pretty good in the courtyard at my townhouse.  Now I have something to use in my garage while I clean my car and stuff and it won’t be nearly that boring since I’ll have music now.  The unit is pretty pricey, but I think it was well worth the money.  I can take it to the beach, the pool, pretty much wherever I want since it runs off a rechargeable battery.  There are supposed to be configuration apps that I can download for it but I haven’t tried that out yet.  I’m still pondering if I should take this on the road with me.  It might be useful to have to pair with my iPad when I watch Netflix movies while at hotels.  I know the sound will at least be better or I can pair it with my work cell phone and use it as a speakerphone for my conference calls.

I don’t know what other tech gadgets I’ll be acquiring in the future, well besides the iPhone 5 for me and the Mrs., but this was definitely a good purchase and its coming with us during our next vacation for sure 🙂

Boingo or GoGo Inflight????

This is the post that I lost on my iPod Touch on Monday and I’m going to try and recreate it if possible.

I recently bought an iPad for my personal use at home and on the road. I only purchased the Wifi version of te iPad because I don’t want to possibly pay for another 3G data connection on AT&T. This leaves me with two choices, Boingo or GoGo Inflight. Both of these servces offer wifi but there are some major differences but I won’t go into detail. The big difference is that Boingo works on the ground while I am in an airport and GoGo works when I’m in the air flying to my client.

I spend a great deal of time in both locations due to the nature of my work but making a decision like this is tough. I have an iPhone already so I know I will always have connectivity when I’m on the ground but if I have an iPad or need to use my laptop, being able to connect in the airport will be invaluable. I do need entertainment in the air as well, my current flight doesn’t even have inflight radio, I have to provide my own entertainment and wifi on the plane might help in this area.

The other factor is cost. Both soutions aren’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination and I don’t know if I can bring myself to pay for such a service. I guess I’ll have to see how much o desire to use my iPad in the plane or in the airport. Until I get the iPad, I will continue to use my iPhone most of the time to grab data and check emails. I guess if I’ve survived this long without wifi, it’s not that important. We’ll see!!

Sent from my iPod