Saturday, May 31, 2014

The hell of changing the router in a connected house

Today my BT Home Hub Wifi died and I entered the hell which is the installation of a new router.

I happened to have a spare BT Home Hub which I duly installed via the CD, carefully arranging not to have BT-Yahoo as my home page and not to be parasitized by the Yahoo toolbar.

My first mistake was to change the WiFi security password. The laptop immediately dropped the wireless connection and refused henceforth to recognise the router - and could not be persuaded otherwise. Trying a re-installation with the CD, it wouldn't accept my preferred password. So back to factory defaults and at least the laptop can now access the Internet.

What's easy? Mobile phones and tablets are no problem. They find the new SSID and the password is accepted no problem. Other devices are more problematic.

It seemed impossible to configure the D-Link cameras to the new router wirelessly. I have had to connect via Ethernet (in one case by dusting off my old Netgear Powerline devices).

The printer was a pain when I forgot that entering hex using UPPER CASE characters is never going to work. Eventually I did it again - properly - tapping away on the front of the printer's tiny screen.

The Sky Wireless Connector, used for iPlayer and similar, is reconfigured through the Sky Box itself and after (a) refusing to throw up the necessary screen, and (b) denying it had succeeded, it eventually worked.

It's amazing how many devices around the house are wirelessly linked to the Internet, and ludicrous that it took me two hours of messing around with diverse management interfaces to get most of these devices rehomed.

What's needed is a standard all-device management interface which is universally implemented, so that a home management system can do the whole thing once and for all. The amount of human input actually needed is zero - it should all be plug and play.