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A SERIES ON OUR Wi-Fi DEPENDENCY
Wi-Fi has become a utility for our homes holding similar importance as water and electricity. A bold statement for sure but consider this; in the twentieth century when the power went out candles would be lit and a classic board game like Clue or Monopoly would pass the time. Keeping the refrigerator door closed was the most painful part of the evening. On these rare occasions it would often be the next morning before the power would be back, an inconvenience for sure but certainly not a major life event.
In the twenty-first century when the power goes out and the white noise goes silent the gentile calm lasts all of ten seconds before the gravity of the situation reveals itself, the Wi-Fi is out. During the Mother’s Day storm of 2006, the Halloween nor’easter of 2011, and more recently the Halloween windstorm of 2019 the power being out for multiple days certainly was impactful but not having Wi-Fi is what had folks on edge. My experience was like yours; countless times I would go to do something only to realize that even for devices designed to operate without power, it was the lack of Wi-Fi that was the dealbreaker.
Dozens of devices in our homes rely on a constant source of power to operate and it has been like that for decades. The difference now is that dozens of devices in our homes can operate without power for a short period of time, however, take away the Wi-Fi and those devices become dumb.
The on/off relationship most have with electricity is simple. When the power is on things work and when the power is off, we miss those things that work. Our relationship and reliance on Wi-Fi is more complicated. Our homes are full of devices that rely on Wi-Fi to be useful beyond paper weight status. It is time to understand more about our Wi-Fi dependency. This four-part series will begin with two truths and a lie about Wi-Fi, followed by a look at what all the Wi-Fi related words mean. The series will continue with an examination of the home Wi-Fi network, how it was established and why, along with how it is performing now. Finally, a look at what improvements can be made will round out this series on our Wi-Fi dependency.