I’m writing this post today using some new technology, at least new to me, and still pretty new to the world when you consider all the time that has elapsed since the Big Bang (and lord knows what came before that).
I’m talking about the Wi-Fi router I purchased from my internet provider this week. It is yet another miracle of modern technology: the pages on my laptop are loading at near-lightning speed now.
It wasn’t that long ago when I was using a 14K dialup modem to connect to the internet with my old Mac, which I still have, by the way, because I can’t bear to part with it — or with the three successive Macs I used. Sometimes pages would load so slowly that I would go make a cup of coffee and return to find they were still loading.
For the past 10 years, I’ve been using wireless mobile sticks to connect to the internet, a vast improvement compared with the old 14K modem. I figured they were as good as it got for my circumstances: living in the mountains of Quebec. That I could get any service at all with them was another miracle, thanks to the particular location of my house. It’s higher up than most of the other houses around the lake. Some of the other homeowners have no cellular service at all.
I was not-so-blissfully unaware of jargon like “download speed” and “upload speed” until I was speaking to a representative from an alarm system company a couple of weeks ago about the cameras they install in homes. Unlike the alarm system I currently have, he told me, today’s alarm systems and their cameras all operate on the cellular network, and security cameras need a minimum of two mbps of upload speed.
(Yes, I was looking into all of this because I am beefing up my home’s security in light — or darkness — of the recent rash of break-ins around here.)
“What is the upload speed of your internet connection,” he asked.
Umm . . . “I’ll get back to you on that,” I told him.
Well, I found out by going on to my ISP’s website and taking a speed test. My rocket stick had a download speed of just over two mbps and the upload speed was less than one mbps.
I tested my g/f’s rocket stick, which is newer, and discovered it had a download speed of more than six mbps and upload speed of more than four mbps up here in the mountains
Clearly, my stick was slow compared to hers. Time for an upgrade.
I would need a WiFi router, of course, if I want to start adding surveillance cameras that I can view on my smartphone and such.
So, to make this long story a little shorter, I am the proud owner of “the latest” such device my ISP provides, and I now have download speeds of 10 to 12 mbps and upload speeds of eight mbps, give or take one or two mbps depending on the clouds — the real ones, not the virtual ones.
The “Rocket hub,” as it is so dubbed, could provide download speeds of 150 mbps in the city, apparently, but the speeds I am getting on this mostly clear morning up here in the mountains are just fine, thank you very much. I feel like I have joined the modern age. I finally have a decent internet connection.
I had considered the internet service some of my neighbours are using, provided by some company that sells a maximum of six mbps of download speed. But the neighbours say that when a lot of people are on the system, it gets very slow. And it is six times more expensive than the monthly router service fee I’m paying for my new miracle of modern technology.
Which all got me to singing an old Cat Stevens song, which I ad libbed a little:
“Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wireless world . . . ”
Feel free to thank me for that earworm below.
Photo credit: RRZEicons/Wikipedia