Last night there were some big storms coming through so after a loud clap of thunder, I unplugged all of my computer and TV equipment, though I’ve never had problems with anything getting zapped and I have surge protectors on everything. An hour or so later when I plugged everything back in, my Netgear router wasn’t working anymore. The power light was kind of dim and none of the other lights, showing it was coming back to life, were coming on. I even tried resetting it to factory settings by holding down a tiny button on the back down for 30 seconds. Nothing doing. I have had it for over five years, so I guess it did its job.
I started looking online for another wireless router by connecting my computer directly to the DSL modem. My router is a 802.11g router, but the latest is 802.11n or just N. They seem to run around $45 for a name brand one (Linksys or Netgear) and less than $30 for off brand ones. You can spend over $100 for dual-channel N routers of 450 kbps and up. The low end ones are 150 kbps, but after disappointing searches at Best Buy and Fry’s, I found a refurbished model by Linksys called the E1500 for less than $30 that is 300 kbps at Amazon, so I ordered that one. I doubt I’ll get anything close to that transfer rate in real life and my DSL plan is limited to 100 kbps anyway, so it would only help when I am transferring stuff over the wireless network between computers (or the iPod or the Nexus7, all support N). The new router supports having a guest network, which is how Jeb has his set up. I am debating on whether to just leave that network unencrypted (if that is even possible). Otherwise I don’t have a lot of people coming over to use my network, but with fairly low bandwidth, I’m not sure I want someone using mine either. I wonder if it keeps logs so I could see if people were using it and how much? Although it supposedly has good range, if someone were to get on it they’d have to be next door or on the sidewalk out front probably.
The new router will get here in about a week, I guess. In the meantime, I don’t have wireless in the house. That’s a real problem for the laptop because that’s about all I use it for. And the iPod and Nexus7 aren’t that useful without wi-fi either. I found out about setting up an ad hoc wireless network in Windows Vista (a built-in feature). So I can connect my laptop to my one ethernet line and have the laptop act like a router over its wireless port. This lets me use the iPod to download the weather or software updates, which is pretty neat. But the Nexus7 doesn’t recognize the ad hoc network at all. There is some kind of root setting you may be able to change on the Nexus, but I don’t have mine rooted. It could be there is an app that would enable it, but I don’t know that I can download apps to the computer and then to the Nexus (maybe; that’s how iTunes works). It’s just a few days, so it isn’t a big deal.