Tin Foil Hat Fail


The short story: our ISP service is inadequate. The free-with-broadband Zyxel monstrosity is utterly unconfigurable. An eventual call back from customer services at a terrible time without followup ensures that the new all-singing-all-dancing DSL wifi router I bought with rave reviews from Amazon stays uselessly unconfigured.  So why is this a problem? Because the teenager can access the Internet from any device 24/7. And that has not proven helpful to his sleep hygiene, his content hygiene, or indeed his hygiene hygiene.

Solution A: Persuade the teenager of the error of his ways and the need to adopt new habits, whilst saving his parent all the time and effort of making the technology prevent the bad habits. Let’s call this the alternative universe solution as frequent failures in the present universe seem to offer little optimism for this approach by itself.

Solution B: Keep at the ISP customer service in the vain hope of getting the wonder box to replace the idiot box and receive all the configuration power needed. Months and threads have passed and I think this is a hiding to nothing.

Solution C: Change ISP. In this case it’s not straight forward – but I am starting to think this is the way to go.

Solution D: I’m an Electronics Engineer, among other things, so let’s do this with a hammer! I mean, detach the wifi antenna from inside the DSL router and use other – actually configurable and already plugged-in – wifi routers for the wireless home network. Two screws and a little initiative later: the Zyxel Monstrosity revealed a wonder of one board integration. i.e. nothing to detach without a soldering iron or hammer. (I haven’t entirely ruled out the soldering iron option and a hammer has a very satisfying action to it.)

Solution E: The Tin Foil Hat. Raid the kitchen for aluminium foil, cover the 2 wifi antennae, add a bit more around the side where it’s electrically safe to do so, reassemble, power on whilst tensing all muscles and closing eyes, following no explosion await smoke, following no smoke reattach everything and smile. Smile until you wander everywhere in the house getting a great signal from the pseudo-Faraday-cage-enveloped wifi. Drat!

I’m staring to wonder about the word ‘Solution’. Anyhow, a teenager without internet is a teenager with time on their hands. Time enough to show curiosity as the product was foil wrapped and then angst afterwards as their rubbish youtube streaming didn’t deteriorate but could now be blamed on the foil hat instead of rubbish internet.

Good idea but a resounding fail!

Time to recap on alternative ISPs before the hammer and heat option.

This entry was posted in children, parental control, product, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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