Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wireless Hell

If you go to Wikipedia they will explain that Wifi is a term used by an AM radio frequency that transmits data wirelessly.  They do not tell where the word WiFi comes from.  I thought for a time it stood for Wireless Frequency.  That only works if you are dyslexic or just a really bad speller, which is sometimes the same thing. After 24 hours in WiFi Hell, I realize now the word stands for "Will Fight It".
Our WiFi has been spooky since the day I installed it. Because at the center of my house we have a triple fireplace, there is a theory that the stone is absorbing the signal. I could believe that if our WiFi issues consisted of a "weak" signal, but it is not. The signal is erratic. Unpredictable... haunted you might say.  Besides over the years I have tried every configuration that might skirt the bricks... but no permanent remedy lasts.
Regular WIAS readers will remember that John Ivy and I had haunted WiFi in the Rochester "star" house.  There was an account named Sammy that kept logging on from a location in the basement. There was no Sammy nor a location in the basement... and we were too far from other houses to have the signal pirated by someone named Sammy. Although I have never identified a "presence" like Sammy, my home WiFi is equally as unpredictable. Routers disconnect, the signal will disappear from certain parts of the house only to reappear for no reason. Download rate can go from blazing fast to glacier slow at any moment... independent of how many of us are on line at the time. 
I called the ISP and determined  they are of no help.  They could determine that the modem was working and a signal being sent, more than that... useless.  I finally told him the things he was suggesting to do I had  done over and over for a year with only momentary help.  I hung up, politely but disgusted.
My solution, which I had not tried, was to shuffle the wireless units in the house and create a brand new network.  What a great idea that was.... not.  
It is like a game of Jinga, you remove one thing and the entire structure collapses. And I didn't just remove one thing, I removed at least five different routers. I was exponentially in deep shit or was I in deep shit exponentially... I'm not sure, deep shit is the key modifier in that sentence. 
I ended up constructing three different networks. This was a lengthy process of hard booting each device and re programing. Each hard boot took a couple of minutes to reset, times the five relay devices, times infinity (because I was trying all possibilities). I spent hours just waiting to find out what didn't work  before I hit on the combination that seemed to.    
At one point I was afraid I would never get back on line.  The router wouldn't talk to the ISP and the HPCH and PPoe were at war with the WPA2 and the signal didn't seem to like the wireless port in the middle bedroom on the opposite of the house.  The protocol for the ID and Subnet was a BFD and I finally said WTF. 
I spent all day getting back to the point I started.  I am back on line and it seems to be a better connection... at least the Microwave oven doesn't shut it down anymore. However, anytime I tried to improve the WiFi efficiency in the past it has only lasted temporarily.
So come on WiFi demons, I am ready for you.  I have holy water for you and Vodka for me. The fact that this post is actually being published is a sign that Vodka is winning.
As you were,
Jay

2 comments:

Paulette G said...

AHA!!! there may finally be a solution...but You will probably never know what or why! ;) Mind Boggling!

Sarah Grabke said...

Doctor Who, episode "The Bells of Saint John". The WiFi can be very scary. Especially when it's gone, I guess... What did we do back then when there was no internet I sometimes wonder...