Improve Your Home Wi-Fi By Meshing It Up

Google Wifi - mesh networks improve coverage

Got any Wi-Fi dead spots in your home? You can improve Wi-Fi coverage in your home more easily than ever before. There’s new Wi-Fi technology – “mesh networking” – that dramatically improves Wi-Fi signal strength without requiring any technical expertise. You’re feeling smug because you know all about Wi-Fi “extenders”, right? […] continued

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How To Measure Your Internet Speed

How to measure your Internet speed

This is a basic tip but it comes up all the time. Everyone needs a fast Internet connection. You might want to check your Internet speed out of curiosity, or because you suspect that your ISP is not delivering the connection that you were promised, or because some problem has developed with your equipment or your network. […] continued

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Gazing Into The Abyss: Republicans Are Selling Out Your Privacy

Gazing into the abyss - Republicans are selling out your privacy

When you think about the future, you may start to suffer from “abyss gaze,” the depression that settles in when you realize that we’re all doomed. Warren Ellis coined the term in a novella named “Normal,” which tells the story of futurists who suffer nervous breakdowns after discovering that there is no hope for humanity as a result of the trends in whatever area they study. […] continued

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Comcast Turning Homes Into Public WiFi Hotspots

Comcast free public wifi expanding to homes

Comcast customers can already connect to free WiFi on their laptops and phones in hundreds of thousands of locations across the country. Now Comcast is expanding its free WiFi network by turning home routers into public hotspots.

It’s a rare case of a large company doing something good for its customers that it’s not required to do – no immediately obvious evil motive, nothing that justifies cynicism. […] continued

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Comcast Offers Free Wireless For Subscribers In California

Comcast free wireless - Xfinity wifi

If you are a Comcast Internet subscriber, you may be able to take advantage of Comcast’s rollout of free WiFi access from thousands of wireless hotspots around northern California.

Comcast free wireless - Xfinity wifi map

The hotspots broadcast the name Xfinity WiFi. Wireless access points have already been widely deployed around the Bay Area as well as areas in central California and around Sacramento. […] continued

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Comcast Speeds Up Internet Service In California

Comcast speeds up Internet service in California

Without much fanfare, Comcast has doubled the speed of its Internet service for most California subscribers, at no extra charge.

Comcast has several service tiers. Most subscribers are in one of the plans that have been upgraded – Performance, Blast, and Extreme. The increases range from 25% faster downloads in the Performance tier to a full 100% increase in the Blast and Extreme tiers. […] continued

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Verizon Brings 4G LTE Coverage To Santa Rosa

Verizon 4G LTE coverage in Sonoma County

An email arrived tonight from Verizon announcing that 4G LTE service has officially arrived in Santa Rosa and nearby areas in Sonoma County. Verizon actually turned on LTE up here about a month ago; I noticed the LTE indicator lighting up on my Verizon devices and loyal correspondents left comments about it on my earlier article about 4G. […] continued

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Sonic.Net Recognized For Best Privacy Policy

Sonic.Net Recognized By EFF For Best Privacy Policy

The Electronic Frontier Foundation published its annual study of the privacy polices of top Internet companies and awarded four stars to one and only one company: Sonic.Net, Sonoma’s County’s much-loved broadband and phone service provider. Sonic is the only company to have achieved that distinction in EFF’s annual surveys.

EFF examined the policies of eighteen companies, including Amazon, Apple, Comcast, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter. […] continued

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Getting Through A Transitional Year


Let’s gather up all the things that are on the verge of changes large and small. It covers just about every category.

The common thread is that not one of them is ready now.

Everything is in play. Anything that you buy now will seem like a poor decision in hindsight within a short time. […] continued

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The Joy Of Networks, Routers, And VLANs

Cisco network equipment for small business

The request was deceptively simple:

Six very small offices want to share a single Internet connection. Each office wants to have a secure network for its own computers, not shared with the other offices. The offices want to share a single big Toshiba eStudio printer/scanner.

That shouldn’t be so hard, right? […] continued

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Dane Jasper And Broadband Monopolies

If you live anywhere in the U.S. other than a big city, you likely have one choice – and only one choice – for broadband service.

If you live in a rural area, there is a good chance that you cannot get broadband service of any kind.

Dane Jasper, founder and CEO of, wrote an article a few days ago that provides a useful reminder of how the U.S. […] continued

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Whining About Wireless – The Home Edition


Whining About Wireless

I’ll tell you a story about my own experience. You won’t learn anything and there’s not a happy ending, but perhaps it will give you a little perspective on why I’m not urging you to ditch your wires and set up wireless everywhere.

I’ve had a wireless access point at the global headquarters of Bruceb Consulting for a long time. […] continued

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The Increasing Need For Bandwidth, Part 2


The Increasing Need For Bandwidth, Part 1

You should know the basic details of the Internet connection at your home or business.

sonicdsllevelsFind out the speed of your existing service. If you have a DSL line – typically from AT&T or Sonic, occasionally from smaller players – it has a rated speed. […] continued

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The Increasing Need For Bandwidth, Part 1


Many small businesses and homes will feel the need to increase the speed of their Internet connection in 2011.

In the late 1990s, we began the serious movement away from our dialup modems and started signing up for DSL service as it became available in selected areas. Moving from a 40K connection to a 1.5Mb connection was such a staggering improvement that many people still think of plain old DSL as a “broadband” connection, ten years later. […] continued

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IPv6 And Really Large Numbers


Previously: First Rumbling Of The Coming IPv6 Transition

In the early 90s, a bunch of smart people in a position of authority got together and put together a replacement for IPv4 named IPv6, after many committee meetings and a few false starts. Since the immediate issue was the shortage of numbers looming on the 20-year horizon, let’s look first at what they came up with to make sure we wouldn’t run out again. […] continued

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