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Sorting out the IT

Managing the home computer network was always very much Christopher’s role. The network around the house developed organically over the years, and is a mixture of wifi, wired Ethernet and Home Plugs (i.e. Ethernet over the ring main). He never explained it all to me properly (or if he did, I wasn’t listening), so I don’t understand the decisions he made, or how it’s all connected together. It’s all at least nine years old, dating from when we had the extension built, and it’s getting increasingly unreliable – one home plug has completely failed, my printer has stopped printing, the external hard drive backup has failed, and worst of all my broadband keeps falling over. The latter may be the fault of BT and/or my internet service provider, but I suspect that the geriatric router doesn’t help the case.

I’ve finally decided that I really ought to upgrade everything – strip out the aged and obsolete components, and start from scratch with a more modern solution. It would be good to have wifi upstairs in the extension, but the metallic lining on the cavity-wall insulation has a Faraday-cage like effect and there is no signal there at all. However, I’m really not confident at picking and installing a new network infrastructure. It’s not going to be as simple as a single wifi access point and router – the geometry and construction of the house just isn’t conducive to a straightforward solution. So I’ve called in an expert and had a chap from the local IT support company round after work today. I’ve given him a list of what I want to achieve, and have asked him to cost up supplying and fitting a modern network that reaches all the main rooms in the house.

So hopefully I’ll soon have a modern, comprehensive and maintainable wifi network round the house. If the broadband then continues to fall over, I’ll be able to harangue BT and my ISP safe in the knowledge that it’s not my equipment that’s at fault. 

{ 3 } Comments

  1. pauld | 14 March 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    so glad i was able to ditch BT as a phone/internet supplier and jump from 2MBit to upto 40-50 ! with a small independent company who are freindle and helpful and dont lie and cheat their customers. WiFi’s limited due to walls that are 2 foot of good cumbrian stone.

  2. Gillian | 14 March 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Even with new gear I’ll still be limited by the distance from the exchange. Doubt I’ll get more than 1-2Mbit/s until they roll out fibre. And since I haven’t even got gas or mains drainage yet that could be a while! Wifi is handicapped by walls made of solid Malvern Granite over a foot deep. So altogether I’m a bit of a Poor Relation when it comes to being interconnected to the modern world…..

  3. pauld | 15 March 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I’d just replace router with a new more uptodate and one try some new home plugs. I’d also now allways stick with good old fashioned solid stones walls rather than these new fangled cavity and brick things they through up today, old ways are the best 🙂

    Last winter our small ISP even got a 4×4 up mountain in snow to fix a problem with their wireless transmitter, with BT you’d have been waiting for days. BUT i guess the malvern hills conservators would kick up a fuss if someone wanted to build a transmitter on top of hills so your probably stuck until BT can scrounge more money out of government for another round of cabling as their so hard up and useless. Notice a strong anit-BT theme here.