If your wireless goes out during a storm, don’t do what I did

I’ve never experienced weather affecting my wireless before. Last night it started acting up but it was late so we didn’t mess with it. Upon awakening my first thought was, I bet the internet isn’t working.

Sure enough, no internet when I woke up. I didn’t know how to start my day without Twitter to go along with coffee. I immediately started troubleshooting. I even tried getting in to a neighbor’s wireless so I could Google, but everyone is smart and password protected.

We have a router through T-Mobile because we have one of their home phones. We had gotten it after I went blind because we had both gone over our cell minutes. I’m not sure why we bother to keep it now, but anyway. The phone worked, but not the internet. I know nothing about the interworkings of a router so I thought perhaps the wireless part of it was broken. I decided to troubleshoot using an old Lynksis router I had kept.

There I was, not fully caffeinated, switching out a router blind. There’s a first for everything.

My laptop recognized the network but naturally, I couldn’t remember my old password. I tried to get in to the modem settings page to change the password but I couldn’t without being connected to the internet so I moved the laptop on top of a tall cabinet near the router to hardwire in. For some reason though, I could not access the modem page even now being connected to the net. I was chatting with Erik, checking IP configurations, neither of us understanding why I couldn’t pull up the modem page. My IP showed that my laptop was talking directly to the modem even though it was connected to the router. I realized why much later while at Gamma’s.

B got up and I finally just walked him through accessing the modem page on his desktop but I had the incorrect login information. I’m still not sure why, since I’m pretty sure Carol and I set it up to match the wireless network, but perhaps since it was a different router, therein lay the problem. I still don’t know. By this point my body was screaming after standing at the tall cabinet to access my hardwired laptop for I don’t know how long.

I decided we’d just hardwire the laptops and figure it out later since I needed to get to Gamma’s. Months ago I had planned on buying a fifty foot ethernet cable when I was dropping baseball feeds, but after Carol fixed the wireless, I never ordered the cable.

The one I had was short but B could use it for his laptop. I sent him to Best Buy to pick me up a fifty footer and he called while I was eating at Gamma’s. They didn’t have a fifty footer, only a twenty-five and it was $140. Gag what??? I told him that was nuts. I had found a fifty footer on Amazon for seven bucks. Look around, ask an employee. Best Buy was swamped so he went next door to Office Max. An employee walked right up to him, listened to what we needed and found it for him. $42. Gulp, but I was desperate and that as better than 140.

I should back up and mention that just before going to Gamma’s, I called Carol to ask what to do in Vista to get B’s laptop to recognize the ethernet. She told me, but also suggested turning off the power strip. She’s had to do that before when there’s crazy weather, which we have right now. Power everything down so it all comes back at the same time.

We did that but there was still no wireless so we left and that’s when B got my ethernet cable.

Of course I kept thinking about it the whole time I was at Gamma’s and figured out the reason my laptop was showing connection to the modem and not the router. Initially I had plugged directly into the modem. I think that’s when the laptop got confused. I then plugged into the router to attempt to access the router password.

When B picked me up, he said that when he got home, the wireless worked fine. Everything was fine. Ugh. It must have just needed more time after the power down.

Now the wireless works fine and I have a $42 ethernet cable. I can’t decide if I should return it, or hang on to it, since I’ve wanted to hardwire anyway. I can get one cheaper on Amazon, but I like the security of having the ethernet cable in my closet.

Long story short? If there’s weather and your wireless is hinky, power down, power it all down and give it time after you give it all juice again. That way you might not waste three hours on a Sunday and end up exhausted because you didn’t have your morning ritual.

Hey, at least now I know it’ll be simple to hardwire and I can do it myself if I ever so desire. 😉

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