Seperis (seperis) wrote,

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hi and welcome to the new year!

Things I am thankful for in the new year (though to be fair, became thankful for beginning summer of 2019 when I found out about the first two):

1.) Health Savings Account (HSA) covers Uber and Lyft and taxis used to go to appointments or pick up prescriptions. Oh God thank you yes. Yeah, it was still cheaper than buying a car and paying for gas not to be reimbursed, but this? Better.

2.) You can use Amazon receipts for HSA purchases, which is deeply awesome.

Note: if you have a Health Savings Account through work, double check on what it covers. I legit did not believe it covered Lyft and Uber until I tried it no matter what the site said and lo, it worked. Same with Amazon if it's marked as an HSA purchase.

3.) Whole foods had butter at $0.80/lb and for organic $1.25/lb after the new year. I bought 13 lbs. I am not ashamed. I took pictures of my butter mountain, even.

Things I am less thrilled with in the new year:

1.) Cedar fever is trying to destroy me and half my coworkers and i lost three days of work due to that this week.

Things that happened last year that I'm reconciled to now:

1.) I had to buy a new router.

For reasons that I don't even know, my less than a year old Nighthawk router abruptly decided it didn't like the internet. After resetting, reconfiguring, et al, it cut my bandwidth (more on this later), and as I don't have cable and stream everything, I needed a new router. While my eventual goal is to set up my entire network on DD-WRT, and I had two routers running DD-WRT, that was eventually, as in, when I know what I'm doing as more than theory and a lot of experimenting. I don't know enough about networking to trust my firewall configurations, much less write my own DHCP/DNS configurations and port forwards wouldn't end in the least secure network in the world.

Under literally any other circumstances, I'd be ecstatic (NEW ROUTER! NEW TOYS!), but this was the worst possible time.

For one, it was Christmas, as in bought many presents.

For two, I'm currently trying to raise my credit score for future housebuying purposes on a two to three year timeline, and my credit has not yet achieved 'Good'

This means a.) paying off all outstanding debt not student loans (nine more years there), paying my rent and bills on time, of course, and the hardest part for me, using credit regularly, both the pay-off-each-month and the pay-over-several-months with no interest. This is hard because I like buying shit and this is my fifth try at healthy use of credit. I made a good start with my phone from Samsung (and avoided for three straight months buying a tablet!) and so I added Amazon in.

Back in August, I got Child a bicycle, paid it off in December, and went looking for something that was in the sweet spot of 'can justify a five to six month pay off period' but not 'ridiculous why', and I had to really want it, as it had to be something on one of my wishlists for at least a year and survived several purges. I surveyed and ended up with Sonos Subwoofer and two SonosOne SL when the latter dropped to half price and the subwoofer by like thirty percent, which meant it was just into 'not ridiculous' but barely.

(Note: if it had been ridiculous, I wouldn't care now; holy shit, I had no idea what I was missing)

A new router--specifically, a router that can handle a gigabyte connection and roughly sixty wifi and ethernet devices, connect to work easily, has the power for handling gaming and streaming and works with my network setup--is not cheap. In fact, if my other router had broken down about two weeks earlier, this would have been my 'not ridiculous but need' purchase. So I went to my network wishlist (I have my wishlists categorized) and scrolled past "cheap router that if they become warehouse deals will buy for DD-WRT" to my Primary Router nominees.

If you remember back in March when I bought my last one, the process of buying a new router takes me about a month; I wishlist everything I'm interested in, compare on multiple sites, spreadsheet it, then finally pick one after much thought. In that month, I also start planning out the new network configuration using knowledge I've learned since the last time I bought a new router and make corrections, and that can also influence which router I choose. In other words, end to when I say "i need a new router" to it showing up in my home is a month to six weeks.

I had three days because streaming was skipping, gaming was timing out (Child got penalized three times one night for that), and things started randomly dropping, which is such a bad sign.

Worse, this happened in the middle of learning the pros and cons of VLANs with IoT devices (aka home automation) and I'd been tentatively planning to have a fun Christmas vacation implementing a new network configuration when I'd have time to mess it up and restore it without work or sleep interrupting me. And just to salt the wound, I'd started a new spreadsheet when I discovered my router had a hard limit of only allowing sixty-four devices to reserve IPs, and I was learning about the limitations of static IPs.

Suffice to say, I hated everything for about three days.

From the overpriced nominees, I picked the least expensive, which ironically was usually the most expensive: Nighthawk AX8. No, not at that price, Jesus; Amazon Warehouse had it Very Good, which dropped it by about thirty percent, and for reasons, they took an extra 20% off. My end total was $160.00, so something went right.

Yes, it looks like a spaceship. It has five ethernet ports, two of which can be combined, and it's wifi 6, which I made fun of in March and in a minute, I'm going to have to mock myself. The interface is stark grey and depressing.

Now, remember what I said about my router cutting bandwidth and things dropping? Yeah, interesting story.

Over the three days between purchase and arrival, I revamped my network spreadsheet to take into account the 64 device limit for reserving IP addresses, did some moving around, and wen it arrived, I was ready. I unplugged all the APs and switches, plugged in the AX80, and started configurating it. Then, with nothing connected but my laptop by ethernet, I did a speed test.

I pay for 1G internet; that's ideal, I get that, and for the most part, I was happy when it hovered around 250 to 350 MB/s, though usually lower, which I thought was number of items and channels, magic, whatever. I was told by numerous authoritative people and sites that was about right.

My first test over ethernet showed 800 MB/s.

Me: ...wait.

I thought speedtest was broken; it was very much not. I connected my phone to my wifi, and on my phone, over wifi 6, I was getting 572 MB/s internet. My LAN speed, however, was 4898.05 MB/s. Yes, four fucking thousand MB a second or a little over 4 Gigabyte speeds. Never, ever, ever has my LAN been that fast or even close. This continued over the next day as I added back in every wifi device and hooked up the switches. To clarify, I have two routers to act as wireless access points because concrete and because of router device limits; if I didn't have concrete walls, though, I wouldn't need the wireless access points. This thing handed every device--49 wireless, 23 LAN (ethernet), for a total of seventy-two--without a single drop. My bedroom and Child's bedroom--so much concrete--the Ring doorbell outside...the connection was very weak (fuck concrete), but not a single drop. When I brought the APs up, everything was--well, perfect.

I've now had this router for about three weeks, and it has flaws--my God I could list them--but there's no dropping, the speed remains incredibly high, even during peak hours, and there's not a single hiccup during gaming or streaming. I've run so many tests, and I honestly don't know what the fuck.

So that did indeed happen. If you pay for 1G internet and you have a phone with Wifi 6 or computer you can install a wifi 6 card on (they're cheap, like under $40), yeah, get a Wifi 6 enabled router. I am really not over these speeds or the sheer lack of remedial attention my network needs.

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Tags: networking without trauma
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