Home Wifi

Well, it is great Apple is spending so much time on iPhone, iPads and maybe a little on MacBooks and AppleTV, but sadly, that leaves much of the promise of home networking in the dust. With Airport Extremes and Time Capsules kind of forgotten and a sea of not so good Wifi routers out there, what is someone to do who wants a reliable home infrastructure. Here are my notes on how to pay a little to get more:

  1. Access Points. Man, these have really gone by the way side. The Apple products at least have a nice graphical interface, but I’ve had trouble with firmware and other updates. The range of the older ones were pretty bad although the latest ones are decent. What the world needs is a high quality system. It looks like my buddy Bob recommends Ubiquiti gear for this. It costs way more than the generic no-name brands, but the new Unifi AP Pro (coming out this September) could solve lots of problems. It has 2.4 and 5GHz. It does cost $300, but on the other hand seems to have good range, reliablity and performance.
  2. Backups. Well, I’ve had a Drobo for a while and then got a Synology 1812+. Things were going fine right up to the point that I put a new 3GB drive in and said Extend and lost the entire 12TB drive array. The thing said “network connection lost”. They can actually telnet into the the box, but tier 1 tech support said, the whole partition is just gone and they have asked someone in Taiwan to take a look (that was 2 weeks ago). Conclusion is that these no-name boxes are nice, but how do you depend on them. I certainly won’t be doing any extend array things unless I have everything backed up. That does take a long time with 7TB of data, so I guess I’ll keep waiting. My buddy Bob says use ZFS, build your own array and never change anything once you put the drives in. He’s probably right. I loved the features of the Synology, but let’s face it the number one feature is robustness 🙁
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