Two Internet Providers Are Better Than One

Because we have to move, our attention has been focused on the obvious needs of such a massive effort. Sex has taken a backseat. I’ve been spending a lot of time working out how to support our ability to live without disruption despite inevitable external problems. Mrs. Lion works from home and has to have a broadband Internet connection at all times. We get all of our TV from streaming Internet sources. Our smart home devices also need Internet.

The last time I considered our home network, I looked for the best router/WiFi access point I could buy. I didn’t believe I could protect us from Xfinity or electricity failures. We lease our houses. Buying never made sense to me. That means we have to limit the investment we make in a new home. At minimum, we require an electric vehicle charging station and a way to connect our portable generator to needed house circuits. I wrote about those solutions yesterday.

Until very recently, there was only one viable Internet provider around here, Xfinity. Our local landline phone company also offers rather slow broadband service at a high price. Xfinity is reasonably priced for a 200Mbs connection. T-Mobile recently introduced 5g broadband home service. It uses their cellular network to provide about 50Mbs service. Since this service comes via the cellular network, it is far less likely to fail due to a storm or other natural disaster. This service comes in at $50 a month.

Mrs. Lion’s work gives her about $50 a month for our Internet bill. We’re using that to cover the T-Mobile service. Xfinity costs us $30 a month for 200 Mbs service.  The problem was how to combine the two services. Yesterday I wrote about how we are solving the power failure problem. Today, I thought I would tell you what we are doing to provide uninterrupted Internet.

It turns out that TP-Link makes a $50 router that integrates multiple Internet connections. It has far more features than I need, but will easily solve our problem. This router doesn’t have a built-in WiFi setup. We needed to buy a separate WiFi access point. That cost $80. The total cost of $130 is far less than I paid for our current Asus combination product.

Before Mrs. Lion started her current job, supporting two ISPs seemed extravagant. If the T-Mobile’s speed were reliably high, we wouldn’t need Xfinity at all. Working from home changes the importance of the Internet connection. The home network becomes the office net too. Mrs. Lion loses pay if she can’t access the Internet. Our smart home gets dumb if we aren’t online. I’m glad that I’ve been able to get the education I need to keep up.