Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ted the expert saves the day

This week has been technologically challenging.

Every design firm needs big bandwidth, and ours is no exception.  DSL in our area of Ohio (USA) is provided by Windstream, and due to tariffs, they have a monopoly on phone company broadband. 

On the plus side, Windstream has provided exceptional service and have worked diligently to resolve our issues.  On the other hand, they are a company that chose a 50's Chevy pickup truck to symbolize their company.  My perception of this brand positioning is "as slow and efficient as a US Auto manufacturer..."

I'm not certain that's what they intended.

So to supply our thirst for bandwidth, because we're too far from the central office to get the juicy 6 MB download speed, Windstream suggested installing a second DSL line.  Brilliant, if it would work.  A Google search led me to the Netgear Dual Wan router, (affectionately known as the FSV124G).  This device would create one huge fate pipe by combining two.  Or at least load balance the two lines so that when one was busy, the other would balance the load.

Being the fiercely-independent-do-it-all entrepreneurial type, I unpacked it and tried setting it up.  About 1.5 hours later, I decided to do the wise thing: call an expert.

Enter Ted, a networking and VoIP expert and consultant.

Ted had it working in less time than it took to unpack the box and set it up.  And gently explained to me what I was doing wrong.

Lesson learned: Hire experts to do the kind of work that design firm principals are not good at, even if one is capable of figuring it out (eventually).  If your choice is billable work or bragging rights that you "did it yourself," choose the former.

And yes, we now have much faster internet access.  And I have one less technology thing to worry about.

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