I live in an area that some people might refer to as “the country”, although we are within walking distance of a small downtown area and 20 minutes from a large city. Since we’ve lived here, the best available internet package available for us was DSL (35↓, 3↑). It wasn’t ideal, but we made it work.

Recently, we decided to bite the bullet and pay Cox Communications to run/bury a line to our house. That process was pretty straightforward, and although it took a few weeks to complete, was done well.

Finally, it came time for the in-home technician to come out, do a wall drop, and get everything working. I’ve dealt with these companies dozens of times and knew what Cox would do when it came time to actually hook up service.

They would attempt to push their Cox Panoramic Wifi modem/router combo on us for an extra $12/mo. Maybe that’s not that bad of a deal…well, unless you consider actual facts.

Here are a few things to know:

  • That $12/mo is perpetual. You can never pay it off.
  • They say they’ll upgrade it (roughly) every 3 years. If they’re right on time, you will have paid $432 for it.
  • It not the ‘latest and greatest’ specs that they’d have you believe.
  • It allows them to have more access to your setup.
  • Oh, and even if you turn off WiFi (by putting it in bridge mode), it still enables public WiFi (isolated from your network) for other Cox customers to use. I mean, WHAAATTT?
  • Both the modem and router functionality can be beaten by off-the-shelf versions without monthly fees.

As an example, here is a full setup you can get at Best Buy that will exceed the Panoramic junk’s ability and save you money. Best of all, this assumes you have NO existing equipment. Many of you will already have more than capable routers, so need to spend more money there.

If you need help with alternatives from these suggestions, feel free to reach out to me.

No additional fees. No recurring fees. Should last you longer than 3 years. No uncontrollable public wifi for others to use. More reliable and often faster.

Unless you have zero technical ability, there is not a legitimate reason to ever rent (or use at all) an ISP provided modem or router. You’ll lose money and performance.

Apple and Child Safety

It’s a lot easier to get things done if you claim it’s for child safety. With 2 young children, I’m susceptible to that line of thinking in many ways.

When Apple first announced their intentions revolving around child safety measures and photos, my initial thoughts were positive. I mean, who doesn’t want to protect children?

But the more I thought and read about it (and with input from my wife), I quickly began to see how horribly thought out this idea is. The system could easily be used by nefarious actors for all kinds of questionable reasons.

I think it’s good that today Apple had this to say:

Previously we announced plans for features intended to help protect children from predators who use communication tools to recruit and exploit them and to help limit the spread of Child Sexual Abuse Material. Based on feedback from customers, advocacy groups, researchers, and others, we have decided to take additional time over the coming months to collect input and make improvements before releasing these critically important child safety features.

I don’t think I like that last line, as it implies they’re just kicking the can down the road. Hopefully, the massive amount of negative input from all over (including Edward Snowden) will make them shelve the whole thing.

iOS Tips →

This is one of the most comprehensive lists of iOS tips I’ve ever come across. Even as an iPhone nerd, there were a few on here I didn’t know about (or remember).

Read it now. Bookmark it for later.