If you buy a laptop computer under €750, chances are the wifi module used isn’t going to be very good. To get to that low price point, manufacturers need to choose cheap components over good ones. So they usually put a decent processor in, and a big hard drive, because customers ask for those kind of things. But from there on in they complete the system with bargain bin components. Most of those are integrated onto the computer’s motherboard, and impossible to replace. Fortunately however, most laptops do let you replace the wifi module. And it’s really not hard to do.
More Upgrading your laptop’s wifi might be easier than you think
If I remember correctly, the first wireless router I ever bought was a Linksys WRT54G. I’d had a couple of wired ones before that, and knew from experience that cheap routers can be very frustrating. Many of us now use the internet almost 24/7, and buying a sub-par router is like buying a good stereo with terrible speakers. It’s the central hub in your network, on which all other devices depend. It makes sense to get something decent.
More Linksys WRT1900AC review
A long time ago, long before wifi was invented and the World Wide Web was still merely an idea in someone’s head, a contractor built my house. Not knowing this would hinder wireless LAN reception, they used reinforced concrete, and put the cable and telephone connectors in a far corner of the structure. As a result, I now have an upstairs study that’s almost impossible to get to with wires, and where only the best wireless adapters get a decent signal.
To deal with this, I’ve been using an wireless bridge. Strategically placed for best reception, it connects to my wifi, and allows (wired) devices in my office to connect through it. This setup works pretty well, except that the first, rather low-end adapter I got turned out to have some pesky issues. The most irritating being that it lost the wifi password every time the power was disconnected, and had to subsequently be reconfigured. So when DrayTek offered to send me one of their offerings to check out, I jumped at the opportunity.
More DrayTek VigorAP 800
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about the importance of WAN to LAN speeds in routers. Since then I’ve replaced my DrayTek Vigor 2910G with a Linksys E4200. Time to share my impressions so far.
More Linksys E4200 impressions
When I ordered a new router last week, I decided to also try and tackle a networking issue that had been causing me headaches for a while. My wife’s network printer is located in her study, and we were using powerline adapters to connect to it. This would usually work just fine, except when we needed to print something important, or quickly. That’s why, with a strong wireless-n wifi signal now available in said room, I added the C150APM to my order.
More Conceptronic C150APM first impressions
I’m writing this post hoping it’ll save someone the trouble I went through last night. After I’d installed my new Linksys E4200 router yesterday, all of my gadgets connected to it as expected, except one. My wife’s HP Compaq Presario C700 laptop would connect, it accepted the WPA2 passphrase, but connectivity would be limited to “local only”. I assumed it was having trouble connecting to the new wireless-n network, so I tried to see if there was a driver update for the Compaq’s Atheros network card. And thus, I entered the incomprehensible maze called hp.com…
More Quick tip: Atheros AR5007 wifi and Linksys routers
Recently, I upgraded my broadband connection. Bits now flow into my house at 120 mbps. Well, almost. The cable modem provides that speed, but as it turns out, my router doesn’t quite route that fast. It maxes out at around 20 mbps. And this is an expensive SOHO router. Whenever routers are reviewed, the focus is usually on features and wireless performance, but there’s another metric that’s getting more important as home internet connections are speeding up.
More High speed internet? Make sure your router can keep up!
When I read Engadget’s “Ten Gadgets that Defined the Decade“, I was amazed by some of their choices. I could easily think of a few gadgets that changed the way we use technology, but weren’t listed. While I agreed with a couple of items on their list, like the iPhone, I couldn’t help writing my own top 10 of the most influential gadgets of the last ten years. Here are my candidates in random order.
More My attempt at the top 10 gadgets of the decade
Back in the days when the first DVD players were introduced, I was employed by Europe’s biggest audio-visual facilitator. So naturally, we dove right in, and I even worked on the menus for a few major movie releases. I remember being blown away by how hours of great image quality could fit onto such a small disc. But recently, those same discs have started to really annoy me. They scratch, they’re easy to misplace and they take up a lot of space if you’ve got many. That’s why I’d been looking at the latest generation of network media players. I got one this weekend for the person in my household who has the most DVDs, my six year old daughter :).
More WD TV Live first impressions
As Jamie pointed out in a comment on this blog, Nabaztag creator Violet has been purchased by a company called MindScape. The news had escaped me because most of the press released are in French, but I’m happy to see these adorable little rabbits saved.
I’ve written in the past about how poor Violet’s service was at times, and I firmly believe this, at least in part, caused them to go under. They were getting a really bad rep. Nabaztag bunnies need to connect to a central server to operate, and is Voilet hadn’t found a buyer they’d probably all have let their ears hang.
Let’s hope MindScape fixed the software, adds WPA2 compatibility and launches some cool new ‘services’. My bunny has been disconnected for months now because it won’t connect to my network and it didn’t really do anything anymore (email notification was broken last time I tried, so were lots of other services). It will be hard to come up with a business model though, as people already have the hardware, and paid services failed miserably for Violet.