the itjerk

my adventures with technology

Monthly Archives: January 2020

the joy of a very good wireless router

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Wifi in the home has been wanting for some time now, so I went to my local Microcenter and purchased an Orbi System from Netgear. It was model RBK20W and was a whopping $173.99. So what is it? Orbi is a “Whole Home Mesh WiFi System” – fancy term for a router and a wall plug Satellite. It’s good for 3500 sq feet, which is enough to cover the three floors in my house. I did a perfunctory review-check and CNET rated it highly. FWIW…

What sold me on it was this: the two pieces of hardware actually “sync” to form one unified network throughout my home. That’s great news, because those wifi-extenders I was using didn’t really work that well. In certain rooms, we would need to toggle our wifi to get it working, and the issues I have had with the Google Home/Nest Minis may also be related.

Anyway, setup was a breeze because the Orbi has browser-based configuration, a big plus over using an app, and another selling point. After a quick firmware update, I setup my WAN, LAN, DNS servers and SSIDs for both wifi and Guest-wifi. I did need to go into my U-verse modem and mark the new router for DMZ services. One niggle, I had to buy a switch because the router has only one (1) ethernet port.

All seems pretty good, I did check “beam forming” to boost quality, and did move the satellite’s placement. The web interface does have a very graphic display detailing Attached Devices to the router, including which access point it’s connected to. It also allows device annotation and is great for seeing exactly what’s connected in my home. Happy wifi days ahead? We can hope!

One the web:
Orbi Wifi System (RBK20W)

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android file transfer

Happy New Year!
When the year changes, I make a concerted effort to backup and archive my digitalia. While some backups are easily defined, others are becoming more and more cumbersome – mainly the thousands of photos on my phone. What to do? Google no longer syncs my photos to my computer. Do I really want to leave them on Google cloud forever? This actually works:

1. Unlock your phone.
2. With a USB cable, connect your phone to your computer.
3. On your phone, tap the “Charging this device via USB” notification. Under “Use USB for,” select File Transfer.
4. A file transfer window will open on your computer. Use it to drag files.
5. When you’re done, eject your phone from Windows.
6. Unplug the USB cable.

Another recommendation: Completely clear your browsers of everything, cookies, saved info, etc. Sure it’s a pain to log back into everywhere, but that doesn’t stop this from being a good idea.