Late Monday night, after choir practice, I was looking forward to settling in with my new binge-watching obsession, “Mozart in the Jungle” (how did I miss this one before? – blog post on it coming soon). I turned on the Roku and found it was disconnected from its network.
Thus began a three-day saga of unplugging, plugging back in, disconnecting, reconnecting, losing my network, finding my network, connecting to my network, getting no internet on my network, followed by phone calls to Linksys and Comcast (and good the support from both – yes, you read that right,I got good support from Comcast – pigs were flying and hell was freezing over, but yes, I got good service) that didn’t solve the problem.
Through trial and error (“maybe if I unplug this or shut that device off or switch to that network and then back to this one”) I got the high-throughput network that feeds my Roku stick back, so I could watch the ongoing story of Rodrigo and Hai-lai (Hayley never corrects him, I think that’s sweet) without calling support, but I couldn’t get my regular network back.
It’s times like these that make me long for a much larger repertoire of expletives.
The modem was fine. The router was working. I could connect to the internet on one of my networks, but not the other. WTF?
Something the Linksys guy said, that neighbor networks could be causing interference, caught my attention. There are a ridiculous number of networks in range around me. (Don’t people know that other people can see the names of their networks, whether or not they are secured? I have neighbors who don’t change the name of their networks from whatever their provider called it, and some who don’t even secure theirs. I have other neighbors who named their networks something cutesy. Or weird. Or scary. Don’t look through the list of available networks when you connect at home. You will discover things about your neighbors you don’t want to know.)
Back to the old router: based on that idea of interference from nearby networks, I Googled around and found that 2.4ghz is the frequency most commonly used by everything from garage door openers to microwaves to all my neighbor’s networks, but I could change the channel I used to try to minimize interference.
Go to Best Buy. Purchase new router.
Set it up.
Re-establish my networks with the same names and passwords I had before. That way, I thought, I wouldn’t have to tour the house redoing all the networks and passwords on all the devices (a ridiculous number of devices for only two people. “What an amazing modern age we live in.”) Brilliant!
Didn’t work. Devices could connect to one network, but not the other.
We’re a good 12 hours into all this now.
Oh fuck it. Rename the networks, deploy new passwords.
Which is when I realized maybe I could have saved more than $100 by just changing the name of my network in the first place.
Oops, forgot the signal booster. Need to reconfigure that.
Can’t I find its signal.
Oh, there it is.
Move closer to new router.
Configure signal booster.
Success! I am genius, dahlink! (in fake Russian accent, a la Natasha. You know, Boris and Natasha? Rocky and Bullwinkle? If you don’t know, you led a deprived (and much more recent) childhood.
Smugly settle in to check email.
Oh, I should print that document I’ve been sent.
Oops, forgot wireless printer.
Configure. Printer says “connected” but laptop can’t find printer.
Call Brother support.
Refrain from swearing when they told me to redo everything I had already done.
But, discover I connected the printer to the range extender, not the underlying network.
New error message: “Print unable.”
Run through troubleshooting protocol three more times.
New error message: “Clean unable.”
Call by-the-book Brother support people again.
Repeat everything I had already done, three more times.
Swallow expletives and go with it.
Oh, fuck it. That will cost as much as a new printer.
So, this network genius gets to go spend MORE money (did I say money? I meant credit) at Best Buy on a new wireless printer.
And bonus, while angelic daughter (who endured, with spectacular equanimity, my full day and a half of expletive riddled fury, running up and downstairs to modem and router and back to devices “not mad at you, sweets, just venting frustration, I’ll be done soon!”) is out at her dance-exercise class, I get to spend my free evening configuring a new wireless printer.
Something tells me my vocabulary is about to expand.
Marveling at technology and while simultaneously cursing it, I remain,
Your digitized, encrypted, dual-networked, wireless and nearly broke,