Repaving our information super highway

JoHome & Garden, Lifestyle

Embracing the internet with Cup of Toast

WiFi symbol

I could go into one hundred reasons why a connected world is a good thing. Education is possibly at the top of that list. Learning new languages; finding out about cultures around the world; having access to facts and figures at the touch of a button in the comfort of our own homes. I love tapping away into my laptop, writing on here or connecting with others on social media. There’s so much positivity in this technology when used in moderation. There is also a downside though. When it doesn’t work.

If you follow me on social media you might remember that our internet went down in the autumn. For three weeks. The back story is that it wasn’t running fast enough to handle me uploading photographs to my blog. You’d be forgiven for momentarily forgetting it was 2018. Dial up internet (as cute as the modem noise was) is long gone and fast broadband with wireless technology is no longer new and shiny.

With a new look website on the horizon connectivity issues and slow internet speed were not what I was after. We did the sensible thing and raised this issue with our internet provider who instead of turning the speed up, accidentally turned the internet off all together. Sigh. So there we were, on holiday, house sitters in place who couldn’t access the external light because we had left it hooked up to Hive and the light switch is in the most awkward place imaginable, without the internet or range of television options that they were promised. Oops. Fortunately they were just as happy with regular lighting and good old fashioned books. Phew. Fast forward to when we got home and unbelievably it took a further two weeks and hours of phonecalls to be reconnected. Except we were back to square one and our old speed where I twiddled my thumbs for 20 minutes per photo as they were sent between a secure drive on the cloud to my image library. It really shouldn’t be that painful in this age where technology is leaping forwards all the time, but it was.

Suffice to say, new year, new internet. Our contract is up this month (hurrah!) and we can finally switch. But to whom? Part of the problem that we had faced was that our provider shared technology and details with another company. Totally standard. Quite often these businesses are the ones with the best deals. Moving forwards though how can we find (1) a reliable service but (2) a great price? We really need to find a balance somewhere.

The second part is relatively straight forward. Taking a look on a comparison website makes it a doddle to whizz through the details of different packages and take a look at the latest offers. Much the same as you might for car insurance, pet insurance or mobile phone contracts. We checked a few sites to compare the deals on offer for our area.

The first part is not so easily solved though. To cut a potentially complicated story about business relationships short, there just aren’t actually that many options when it comes to choosing a reliable and fast service. I’m not sure where that leaves us right now. We can find the deals but do we want to sign up with a provider who sends a forest of unsolicited marketing material through our door each year (looking at you, Virgin)? Or another company who uses the BT line that we are struggling with at the moment?

For now I just know that we will be switching over. For all the reasons that life might be better stripped back (and there are plenty of those too), there are times when it’s really handy to have a service that does what it says it will and simplify life a little. And hopefully, just hopefully, there will be more photos on here too, and less frustrations behind the scenes.