Friday, August 18, 2017

Now, I have a router. Ho. Ho. Ho.

Yesterday, I bought a router from the electronics store in my office building. Like many Korean routers, this one hooks me up with the "iptime" network. It took a bit of tinkering—and squinting at installation instructions in Korean—to figure out things like how to configure for passwords and how to rename the router so that it isn't listed simply as "iptime." I have now renamed my device "bighominid," and things seem to be running perfectly smoothly.

I had been using my MacBook Air laptop as a Wi-Fi hub for the past few years, but I think the laptop is starting to get old, and the Wi-Fi connection has lately become unstable. I used to be able to watch YouTube videos on my phone thanks to my laptop's Wi-Fi signal, but lately, the signal has been crapping out, which forces my phone to default to its standard LTE connection. Since video streaming easily piles on the gigabytes (and I've allotted only 3 GB to myself per month), I can't afford to watch videos while on LTE—ever. So I knew I needed a stable Wi-Fi connection, and the obvious solution was to buy a router.

Koreans refer to routers by the hangeulized name ra-u-teo (pronounce the "eo" somewhere between "aw" and "uh"), or by the pure-Korean designation gongyu-gi, i.e., a sharing device (cf. the English term "data sharing"). To set the router up, you need to type the router's IP address into your browser, then follow the step-by-step setup prompts from the "router wizard." I more or less managed to do that, and I can now unplug my laptop and watch YouTube from any part of my apartment.

My phone is also connected to "bighominid," so we're stable and in business. My laptop, meanwhile, is starting to show its age, so it won't be long before I have to start looking for a replacement. I'd actually like to expand a bit, with a blazing-fast desktop computer for my, uh, desktop, and another laptop to be able to tote around. But those aren't purchases I'll be making just yet—not until I've paid off my final major debt.

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