This is basically a moan about the time soaked up by technology. And another “lost” weekend.
Broadband is supposed to be a basic human right, or something close to it, but we’ve always struggled with it, and it’s been costly in terms of time, effort and hard earned cash.
We had a really crap internet speed for years, along with a noisy phone line. We switched several times. Then we switched to Primus – who promised on the phone to sort it out by getting us a new connection outside, from a new green box. This meant losing the phone number I had had here for over 20 years, and doing without broadband for several weeks, but we went for it. In the end, nothing improved, and we switched again – this time to BT, and they actually did change the outside line – and we got another new phone number. Then we were sued by Primus for the full year, and we had to pay up.
BT was expensive, so when the renewal was due, knowing we had a good line now, we switched to Tesco broadband – and it was cheap and good and we were happy.
Then Tesco decided to stop doing broadband and phone, and passed us onto Talk Talk. As soon as the switchover happened, our speeds dramatically reduced. We complained, we got new routers, we even got free netflix – but as the speed was so bad, it was unusable. We were losing business, the children were upset that their games didn’t work, so we switched to Sky (we have few options on our exchange). Sky said they would manage the switchover for us. Cool.
As soon as the switch to Sky happened, our speeds quadrupled! We were delighted. However, we got charged for the full year (again) by Talk Talk for leaving them before the contract was up.
The thing about broadband and phone is that what we do, what we want, changes over time. The children game on-line more, and we are now video chatting – Skype, Facetime and also uploading back-ups of photographs and videos.
The download speed matters, of course, but increasingly now the upload speed matters too. Our upload speed is less than 10% of the download.
To back up our photos to flikr or Google has taken months, and is still not done. This is not merely because the upload speed is poor, but because uploading is killing our downloads. Meaning we can only upload at night.
This is apparently a QoS issue – but Sky routers do not have QoS settings. However, as this is not fibre, I am able to connect another router. So this weekend I dug out the old Tesco router, connected it to the laptop and set it up via a browser. I set the channel, turned on wifi and gave it a cute name SSID. Then I connected it to the Sky router. Connecting the Sky router to the laptop I turned off wifi. Now the phone line and validation goes through Sky’s router, but all the wifi goes through the old Tesco router.
We noticed an improved wifi range and signal strength, but the Tesco is too old to have a QoS setting. Bummer. Looks like I am going to have to try to buy a router – unless I can persuade someone at Tier 2 Sky customer relations to crank up my uploads.
They MUST be able to do this, forums are full of uploads set at 797kbps – an unusual number and happening too often to be a coincidence.
TL;DR: Yet another bunch of hours soaked up by computers and internet. More stress, and headaches. Time I will never get back!