Tis the season, for shopping. Black Friday sales started early this year, and there have already been a slew of them since the start of November. Technology, furniture, clothes, oh my!
November is a hard month on my wallet. A Black Friday sale on PlayStation Now and Plus memberships a few years ago means those annual payments are due just before Thanksgiving. My car’s annual registration also is due in November, and inevitably something technological goes out this time of year. Usually it’s a smartphone, but not this year. No, this time it was my Wi-Fi router.
About a week ago, we noticed that our wireless stuff — Nintendo Switches, the PS5, our cellphones — were no longer connecting to the wireless service at home. I checked out the lights on the modem/router, and sure enough, it stopped broadcasting the wireless signal. I pulled the plug, waited a few minutes, plugged it back in and it began broadcasting again. Then, a few days ago, the wireless signal was gone again. So, I called Suddenlink and went through the power cycle again. When it stopped broadcasting again the next day, we got an appointment with a service tech.
Turns out, the modem/router was just getting old and couldn’t keep itself together anymore. So, the tech replaced it with a new one and made sure the internet service was up and running. In the living room, where the Wi-Fi modem/router resides, everything is great. We have great signal, great speed and no issues. But go around the corner and into the master bedroom, and Netflix starts buffering.
So, I ran a speed test — 107 Mbps in the living room became 8.1 Mbps in the bedroom. That’s a pretty gnarly drop-off. I knew then this new modem/router was going to need some help getting that Wi-Fi signal around my home.
Enter Black Friday sales — thank goodness. What I needed was mesh extender to improve coverage, and I found the Netgear AC1900 for less than $100. It’s a pretty simple device that just plugs into a socket. Download the Netgear Nighthawk app for setup, and within 15 minutes, I was ready to test the Wi-Fi signal in the bedroom.
The difference was unbelievable — we went from getting less than 10 Mbps to 95 Mbps. I’m paying Suddenlink for fast internet, and my extender is making darn sure I get it.
With any luck, we’ll make it through the rest of November without anymore technology hiccups. I’d like to spend the rest of the Black Friday sales month getting gifts for my family instead of replacing everything that’s mine.