Our house or something near our house got hit by lightening, which killed the wired connection to both of our computers somehow (it also blew a ton of fuses and somehow managed to break two of the lighbulbs above the stove, but nowhere else). The wireless was still fine, but half the router was fried. (Thankfully DH is super risk averse and has a very fancy surge protector on our desktops.)
On top of that, having 4 people needing to video conference at the same time was putting us dangerously close to our data limit and would occasionally cause DC1 to drop internet during things like exams (this was especially problematic after the lightening strike).
So we upped our internet plan to get unlimited data for an additional $10/month, which also doubled our speed.
It is great. We haven’t had any data dropping problems since. It does a much better job of covering DC1’s station in the breakfast nook and DC2’s station in the dining room. Wireless is still about the same speed as before, but my and DH’s wired speed has doubled to just under 200 Mbps dl. And we can walk around the house without losing and then picking up wireless again, which is a nice bonus. DH says that’s because it switches between 5g and regular wireless automatically.
I had also tried to get a new webcam since DC1 needed DH’s for school and DC2 has commandeered my laptop. Since March I’d basically been using my iPad Pro as a camera which meant I had to have two zoom windows open (not a problem for office hours when I need to switch between whiteboard and desktop so need both windows anyway, but a problem for some meetings). But when we tried, they were all out of stock everywhere. Just recently, DH’s relative’s kid, the only one in community college, needed a web-cam for remote school exams and looking for one made us realize that they were back in stock. We got her a cheap $40 one and we got me a super fancy C922x Pro Stream by logitech. (I think we would have made this same choice had we known DH’s company was going under at the time.)
If you want more information, here is DH back in September:
The recent storm damaged our current modem + router, the Arris SURFboard SBG6782-AC, such that the ethernet sockets no longer work, though the wifi does. This has 8 download channels and 4 upload channels (8×4).
I am going to buy a new modem and router, because I am worried that this one will eventually fail.
Our ISP says that any DOCSIS 3.0 compatible modem will work. That apparently includes DOCSIS 3.1 modems that are also compatible with 3.0, according to Amazon reviews of various modems.
I think I want to get a separate modem and router, instead of an all-in-one, because I want a better router that will reach across the house.
Puma chips are bad. https://www.classactionlawyers.com/puma6/
Meanwhile, Broadcom chips may be susceptible to the Cable Haunt exploit. https://cablehaunt.com/
The Netgear CM1000 is listed as vulnerable, as is the Arris Surfboard SB8200. But not the Motorola MB8600.
The Motorola MB8600 is Wirecutter’s “upgrade” pick, a 32×8 DOCSIS 3.1/3.0 modem. https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-cable-modem/
On the router side, wifi 6 (i.e., 802.11ax) has been released relatively recently, and though we do not have any devices that would take advantage of it, I would like to get it if possible. Tri-band is more important though.
I looked into mesh router systems, but they are expensive and they all seem to get seriously negative reviews. Our house isn’t that big (~2800 sq feet unheated area [Editor: (!)]), so a single good router should be sufficient. Review sites recommend making sure the router has a good processor and RAM.
Based on the Wirecutter recommendation, and the price point of ~$200, I got the TP-Link Archer A20 (AC4000), which is a wifi 5 tri-band.
And here’s DH after purchasing:
I’ve really been enjoying the higher speeds, the higher reliability (and lower congestion due to the router’s two 5GHz channels, aka tri-band), the ability to get a good signal all the way at the other end of the house, and the router’s “smart connect” that automatically switches between the three bands.
The modem and router are somewhat overkill, because they could handle a 1Gbps speed, while our plan tops out at 400Mbps, but they work so well that I’m glad we went with these.
And they run a bit warm to the touch, but not hot like some modem+router combos we have used before.
Has your place ever been hit by lightening? How do you handle internet problems? What’s your internet situation?