Thursday, October 07, 2010

New Router, New Speed

We here in Canada suffer from slow broadband because the big companies who rule our connections don't feel like stringing fast lines from central server to our homes (I hear though Bell Aliant is in Nova Scotia). So we make do with slow speeds and hiccuping videos. But, as I learnt recently, there is a way to speed things up in home at least.

I had an old router and after several calls to my ISP about hiccuping videos and speeds that slowly dropped from optimal to <1Mbps (as measured by Web-based SpeedTest), I learnt that my router was probably too old. It did use the 'g' version of WiFi, but now routers are using the 'n' band, some have dual bands, one for email, one for gaming and movies. Some of the 'n' band routers can only handle incoming speeds of up to 10Mbps, but others can easily take in what Bell considers high speed (25Mbps), and they deliver faster in-home speed and spread their goodness farther, right into the deep corners. So I installed my fancy new dual-band router and instantly noticed I could read the WiFi, even with my iPod, in what were dead zones previously. My iPad picks up both bands as does the Ubuntu OS, but not the iPod Touch or Windows. I had some problems with networking, but after hours and hours with tech support, I've learnt that a bad-assed anti-virus and firewall can cause havoc, even when uninstalled. Fully uninstalling ZoneAlarm, in Windows Safe mode, and tweaking anti-virus Resident Shield settings suddenly let the network work and upped the speed of my ancient desktop to stunning levels.

So new router = faster WiFi, better two-way networking between Windows and Windows and Ubuntu machines, and faster Windows computer. Awesome. Worth the money!

2 comments:

dualband said...

Shireen, I enjoy reading your posts but I never comment. It is worth getting a dual band router after all, I did not know that ZoneAlarm can wreack havoc on the computer and communitaction. Thanks for the heads up.

talk talk talk / Shireen said...

You're welcome! :)

And thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it!