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Bits and Pieces. In the normal course of a day, we travel all over the our area. Working on trouble, installing new services, and replacing or repairing lines. One of the things I have noticed is the number of people that don't have a visable address on their rural mailbox. This really is a problem. I can't tell you how much time is wasted driving up and down a road looking for a specific house number. This is a problem for all utilities, your mailman, and one of the most important, 911 and emergency services. If you are having a medical emergency and it takes medical personel 5 minutes longer to find your house, this time could be significant! If you don't have your house number in an easy-to-read-from-the-road location, you need to do it.
Bandwidth Speed Tests Bandwidth has 2 notable variables, throughput and latency. How big is the pipe and how fast does it travel through the pipe. When measuring, your results will only be as good as the slowest link from point A to point B, including routers and your PC. Think of it as a highway, how many lanes does it have and how fast can you go on it. A bigger highway (throughput) does not always mean better latency (speed) and a small highway doesn't mean your speed (latency) will be slow. Low latency is important to gamers, voice-over-IP applications and streaming programs. High throughput is important to people that download a lot. If you just surf, do email, and facebook, a big pipe isn't really needed. When testing, you can do it a dozen times and get different results each time. It is important to disable any firewall/AV you have running that may skew the results. Running from a router will add additional overhead lowering your results due to the translations. If you run a speed test on a 10 yr old PC running limewire at the same time, you are not going to get what you expect. This isn't the road's fault, it's the car.
Storms and Lightning It's raining and lightning. You hear the familiar crack of lightening, maybe a flash of lights, maybe your lights dim a bit. Your Internet &/or TV goes out. When I was a kid, my parents made us unplug the phones, TV, and electrical devices. You don't hear people do this much anymore. The truth is nothing has changed regarding lightning in 40 or 400,000 years. 1 average bolt of lightning is up to a billion volts, 30,000 amps, 50,000 degrees, and 6 miles long... and it's looking for a path of least resistance. There is not much we can do to stop it. Unplugging your electrical devices and phone lines remains the most effective way to prevent damage as a result of a lightning strike near you. If your Internet or TV service goes out during a storm, and nothing appears to be smoking :), your modem may have got a small jolt or power fluctuation. Try power cycling it by turning it off and back on. Wait a few minutes for the modem to boot back up and most of the time your service will restore itself. If you see obvious damage, unplug any device that may have been hit. If it doesn't have any lights or service does not resume, call us.