Upgrading the house internets

I spent last evening upgrading our house internets. First off was a replacement for our aged and infirm Arris combo device modem and wifi which seemed to drop every other packet and not let upstairs residents have reasonable wifi. It often felt like the Arris was blocks away instead of some feet. Perhaps some attributable to the house itself. I wanted to move away from combination devices though since when you get one, one or the other component will suck. I think both sucked on the Arris.

I got this cheapo modem from Amazon to replace it.

This one cost all of $44.00 with Amazon Prime. Its not a combo device and its tiny.

Since it has no WiFi included I had to then procure wireless for the house. I had first thought I would just get another single router and install downstairs but I realized that I would most likely be faced with the same issues as before with that approach.

I have been wanting to try wireless mesh networks for awhile so the Google WiFi mesh sounded pretty cool to use.

This cost a bit more but I enjoyed learning how it works and perhaps I will get some of it back from the landlord. I don’t really care though. It was the fun of learning and improving on really dismal internet in the house.

All you do is setup the modem first and get it running but therein was the problem. Its been my experience dealing with Comcast that while the service is pretty good most times the actual dealings with the company leave a lot to be desired. In this case, I could not get the modem going because my name is not on the account. Bah and humbug. I also could not get the home owner who does not live here to pick up his cell phone for awhile. Finally though I had the modem and was ready for step 2.

I plugged in the first of the Google Wifi devices by the modem and used my Galaxy 8plus to set it up. It runs through some self-tests and then it asks the big question. It wanted to know if I had more than one. I said yes. It then switches on its mesh networking and tests its connectivity to the modem. It passes and then wants the second one. I move over by the downstairs bedrooms and install it. I tell the app I have the second one up and it runs a set of tests for connectivity from first to second and sets up the mesh on the second. Now the second is done. Finally I move the problem part of the house. Upstairs. That’s where I live. Never had good wifi upstairs. I installed the third one and it called home to the first one and checked things out.

Then I was done and I wanted to test out what the result was. So I headed over to speedtest.net and ran a speed test and got this.

Screenshot 2017-05-21 at 9.32.54 AM

So that is better than I ever got upstairs!

As a result of doing the upgrade for the house, I learned that comcast is still frustrating to deal with and wireless mesh networking is cool beans. I chose the Google WiFi mesh because I wanted to try it. I did not compare it against other wireless mesh networks.

Author: Michael Perry

I've been blogging for over 20 years and now am living in Southeast Asia. The blog is about my slow vagabonding wherever I want to go. My home base is in Cambodia but I'm rarely there.