Let’s All Run Through The Front Door
At The Same Time!
Back in 2002 when we first started OnALot.com, all that people had was a single desktop computer. Everyone in the house shared using it, and most had their own user account on it. Websites were largely text based with simple graphics, there was no internet based TV, and music sharing had just begun.
Then, laptops started showing up, and people got routers. Wireless printers were next, followed by game consoles. Now, everyone has a Wifi enabled phone, tablets, laptops, printers, and surprisingly, not so many desktop computers.
Now consider a family with 3 kids. All 5 people have a phone, there’s probably 3 tablets used for school, and Mom and Dad have laptops. At least 2 TV’s in the house are smart TV’s with built in Wifi, and there’s also 2 or more game consoles. Add a couple of wireless printers and bingo! You have 16 devices running on your internal network, with many of them “talking” to the internet. And remember, you only have 1 internet connection (the "Front Door") with everyone trying to get through it at the same time!
I recently went to a long time customers house who was complaining about the service being slow. I asked "what are you running in the house?" Just one laptop and a desktop computer was the answer. I asked "do you have phones, a TV, a wireless printer?" and soon the total was around 10 devices, plus the visiting family on the weekends. His 5 year old "G" router was just screaming for mercy! It's amazing how big someone's eyes get when they realize just how much their demands for internet service have grown!
Even when no one is doing anything, those devices are all talking to their manufacturers websites looking for updates, and any connected computers are scanning for new emails, phones for new texts, and so on.
And, what’s everyone doing on the Internet? Gaming, surfing, emailing, texting, watching TV shows, Facebook, YouTube, eBay, music, news, weather and Skype’ing. And this is by no means a complete list, not even close!
Then there’s the weekend visitors with their stuff also jumping on your home network.
And then we hear “Why do I have to reset my router so often?” Well, maybe your family’s activities are beating the poor thing to death! Plus “Why is the internet so slow?” Again, for just 10 of our OnALot customers, there can easily be over 100 devices all vying for bandwidth. Throw in a few bandwidth hogs like Netflix and Hulu being used by multiple people, and everyone’s speed suffers.
Bandwidth is expensive. We recently installed a 250 megabit fiber optic data line to help ease traffic jams. While it's helped a great deal, those of you with large numbers of devices on your home network continue to see issues. And we've seen many home networks with routers that are 5 or more years old, and were designed when the internet was much less graphics oriented. So, the answer to your home network problems is given below.
Your Router Is A Small Computer
Yep, it is! It has a processor, memory and input / output devices, all of which work very hard to meet all your demands. Sometimes however, you overload the router’s capacity, and it locks up and has to be power reset to clear the jam and get going again. So, what’s the answer?
It may be time to upgrade to a more powerful router, and you might want to consider regulating or limiting the amount of time spent online by your kids. Too much of a good thing is not necessarily a good thing!
But, back to the router upgrade. The “Big 4” router manufacturers have all put together guides to select the best router for your home based on how you use the internet. Here they are, and you can pick the manufacturer you like:
For Belkin, please click HERE
For Netgear, please click HERE
For Cisco / Linksys, please click HERE
For Dlink, please click HERE
Better Routers Cost More Money
This should come as no surprise. However, if you’re sick of rebooting your equipment constantly, the increased cost of a better router may be well worth it.
And while we’re on the subject, please click HERE to learn the best way to reboot your Internet equipment.
Although we do not carry high end routers in stock, we do offer our “Whole House Router” which is quite powerful and has superior speed, memory and range.
You can buy a new router at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Amazon and from a whole host of online sources. Just Google the model you want and it will pop up.
Please call us if you buy a new router, and we’ll be glad to help you get it set up!