Monday, 20 February 2017

Installing the New Home Network

So to buying and installing. Given the amount of time I spent in Maplin, I took a look at their prices and products first. I don't mind paying a little over the odds for buying at a retailer, which is why I buy books from Foyles rather than Amazon. Support your local retailer. However, Maplin didn't have the specific modem-router I wanted, though they did have the next one up, but for full price, around £150. For that, I could order the router I wanted, and two USB adaptors, from Amazon and still have change from £150. Sorry guys. I did buy the Cat 6 cable I needed from them. I know there is dirt-cheap cable on Amazon, but it's made in China, doesn't have the guarantee of a Western brand, and you never know what you're getting. That was Monday evening. Amazon told me I could take delivery at my local Doddle Thursday. I could and did, skipped the gym and went straight home to play with my new toys.

Install the driver for the Netgear adapter on the Samsung. Windows 10 doesn't have it. When installed, plug in the adapter and Windows 10 spots it immediately.

Realise after some wandering around its menu with the remote, that the WD media player only understands how to talk to Wireless-N adapters. So now I have a spare Wireless-AC adapter. I can live with this. One day, the media player may get an upgrade to cope with Wireless-AC. (I bought it as 780p and one day it upgraded itself to 1080p.)

Darn! Run out of power sockets and I need an extra one for the Netgear router. Scrabble around for a 6-gang extension lead.

Take all the old wires out, unpack the new wires, connect the NAS and printer to the D6400 gigabyte LAN ports, connect the HG533 modem to the Internet socket on the D6400. Do all this while not tangling wires. I’m OCD about having non-tangled wires.

Turn off the HG533 wireless. Turn everything else on. Open up the Mac. There's a NETGEAR90 and an NETGEAR90-5G SSID visible. Realise after a while that “5G” isn’t a telephony protocol by the 5Mhz Wireless-AC. The 5G SSID belongs to the 5-Mhz Wireless-AC and the other one is the 2.4Mhz Wireless-B/G/N. So I paired the two laptops to the 5G, and the media player and my i-Devices to the other one. The Canon and the Blu-Ray player attach themselves to whatever they can find, and that will be the 2.4Mhz signal, leaving my 5Mhz alone.

It all Just Works. For those of us who can remember the pain of trying to get Windows 2000 to talk to wireless or even modems, this is nothing short of miraculous.

When browsing through the modem-router set-up, DO NOT tell it that the ISP needs a username and password to sign on, and then provide both. Everything stopped working. I think the built-in modem fires up and the router stops listening to the LAN port. It took me a few minutes to guess the cause and put it right, and then everything Just Worked again.

My web pages load snappy-fast on the laptops. Haven't noticed the iDevices being any quicker, but I did put them on the Wireless-N channel. I can live with that. And it's easy to change.

On your Mac's Network Settings, you will need to move the 5G SSID to the top of the "connect in this preferred order" list. Or it will default to something else.

Put a shortcut to the new router's management URL in your browser favourites.

While I was waiting for the new kit to arrive, Talk-Talk sent me a mail asking me to leave my HG533 on for ten days as they were doing stuff to make my Internet Experience even better, and if they did, it would be between 03:30 and 05:30. Sounds like a firmware upgrade to me. So we'll see. At some point I'm going to experiment with signing on using the D6400.

Worth it? Oh yes. In the end, even counting £40 on cable (I bought 10m of Cat 6 as well), that's less than a decent pair of trousers from a Jermyn Street tailor.

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