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A Computery Reflection

October 26, 2016

We just got a couple of new smart phones. They’re Nexus 5X’s, for what it’s worth, which isn’t very much.

But, were it not for the rest of our infrastructure, the experience would have been very different.

I’ll try to lay it out:

For the longest time, we’ve been RoadRunner cable internet customers at 15 mbps down and 1 mbps up. A few months ago, we got upgraded to 50 mbps down and 5 mbps up (for no increase in price). Then, just last week, and I don’t want to go into the details, we became Spectrum (nee RoadRunner) customers, and for the same $40 a month, we got 100 mbps (actually 120) down and 10 mbps (actually 12 mbps) up.

Aside: so we’re nearly up to the connection speeds enjoyed in South Korea.

This change alone has transformed the little business that I do. It involves uploading huge (by my standards) 10 to 20 Gigabyte files to a server located 20 miles or so from here. At 1 mbps upload speed, it’s not a viable option, and I have to drive those miles with a thumb drive and have the techs do their stuff, and drive home. At 5 or 12 mbps it’s easily doable on line. I miss the social aspects of that, but it certainly saves huge bunches of time (and therefore costs).

Around the turn of the year, we got both a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and, as a result of the fact that the Surface Pro 4 does wireless ac, a new  Asus router that supports wireless ac. Nearly Gigabit network speeds for that Surface, woohoo! (Except that I bought a Surface dock, and it’s currently connected via wires…)

Our current phones were Motorola Moto E 2nd gen. Locked into Android L(ollipop) and no (despite promises) prospect of upgrade, it was getting tiresome, icky and slow to have to deal with the 2.4 G wireless N  connections and general slowness of communication. We live in a condominium, an everybody here has a 2.4 Gig  wireless router. There are literally dozens of them, according to wifi survey. So that band is choppy and unreliable.

So, bring on the new phones, with 5GHz ac connections. Holy cow! The phones were delivered with Android M(arshmallow), and within seconds of connecting to the network were downloading Android N(ougat). An hour later, we were done, including installing new apps. This was Gigabytes of new stuff.

What’s the point of this message? That you need the rest of the stuff to make your phone experience sweet and fast. A good and fast connection to the internet and a router that does dual band wireless 5GHz ac makes a huge difference.

 

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