My fibre optic broadband that we pay handsomely for each month has been getting me down. It won’t allow rendering of images on various websites, takes an age to load LinkedIn (though that may be a good thing given the number of vainglorious egos on there) and is slow to update and back up websites I’ve designed locally near Norwich and further afield.
Admittedly it’s not quite 2G or back to the days when you attached a telephone cable to a laptop and perched on the stairs but you know it’s bad when you consider website design from a pew in McDonald’s. Wi-Fries and all that.
SLOW BROADBAND FOR BIG MONEY
Despite my screenshooting of speeds and emails and calls to the monopoly provider on this Persimmon estate, speeds seemed to be reducing daily.
Yesterday a neighbour kindly tested the wired speed and revealed all is hunky dory in the attached broadband world, but given that I don’t want to recreate 1999 with an iMac wobbling on my knees on the second stair step, I needed to take action.
Like in Scooby Doo, the culprit was quickly unveiled – the pesky router selling for £5 on eBay and supplied free on moving in.
Now you’d think all routers would be created equal but, like me, you’d be naive to make that judgement. They are not. Not equal at all.
I knew I needed to upgrade and the neighbour offered options but when I realised I had to wait til Tuesday to end the 2G, dial up hell I was marooned in, I took action.
IT WAS AMAZON WHAT DID IT
We’ve all been spoiled by Amazon Prime. I need Illy coffee, it’s here next day, I want to stream Blade Runner 2049, boom it’s on.
So the wait for me was unbearable – so I did what any consumer does: head online, turning WiFi off obviously, to research and read router reviews. Exciting life eh?
I knew though of a real life expert whose video on LinkedIn a few months ago struck a chord: a certain Kyle Heath from the West Midlands, who demonstrated Google WiFi, whilst I watched with a quickening pulse. Sad I know.
I messaged Kyle and he told me what to get, a twin pack Google WiFi and I added it to my basket on Amazon. I couldn’t wait til Sunday though once the decision had been made, so I looked for physical stock locally.
Now this used to be easy, but alas, Amazon and its loyal customers, killed Rumbelows, Comet, Tesco Direct so my only options were Currys / PC World and that antiquated half pen catalogue empire, Argos.
I chose Currys because I’m registered there as a business, they had stock and I know their returns policy is sound, unlike Argos, where you have to build a pyre of pens and set fire to them to get within a sniff of a manager for a return.
I got £1 discount for the business purchase (I think) which cost me as it took three times as long to buy and I could have been crafting copy for clients at home in that time. An ex pupil served me, who remembered me as his History teacher, oddly.
WHAT’S GOOGLE WIFI LIKE?
Which means great. If you’re 15. Which I am mentally.
Set up was a doddle with Kyle Heath online assisting and I have one unit in the hall (attached to the ONS) for recreating days of 1999 and one in my foxy office acting as a “mesh”, sitting next to my Amazon Echo, which quietly glares at me for not proceeding to checkout with the basket.
And the speeds?
Bear in mind, I pay for 100 MBS and was getting 28 wirelessly.
To go all 15 again, it’s lit – meaning on fire.
Speeds, I kid you not, of 250 MBS are being recorded in the Google WiFi app, which, I kid you not again, is a masterpiece of user simplicity.
I can set a guest wifi point up, and control the password, which I can see great use of with businesses and hotels. I can control the kids’ devices and pause and stop their broadband access at set times or whenever I feel like being a bastard.
It monitors channels for me so I don’t have that ball ache of finding out the IP address and deciding whether to go Channel 3, 8 or Auto, and I can prioritise devices.
During the day, when everyone is out, and I’m uploading images to WordPress media libraries, working on Photoshop or backing up and migrating websites, I can set the bulk of the WiFi to point at my office iMac via the App and watch as steam rises from its rear orifice.
You can’t just read this though and think “nice ramble Stuart” you want a sales pitch.
A CALL TO ACTION.
My router worth £5 was shockingly bad. I upgraded it for something costing 50 times as much and my broadband now functions brilliantly.
Your website, your digital presence may work and function well – but isn’t it nigh on time you brought the content and design and functionality and user-friendliness up to speed?
Think of me as your human Google WiFi boxes.
I can speed up and optimise your website, your marketing materials, your social media, so your digital presence doesn’t look a bit 1999, whether you’re after new web design Norwich or Northwich.