When Should I Use an Ethernet Cable?

You know we love Wi-Fi (it’s probably pretty obvious how much) but there are occasions when there is actually a better way to connect to the internet… Shock horror! What is this blasphemy? Well, ethernet cables.

Picture a time before we had Wi-Fi (if you’re old enough). Fighting between the computer and the phone line, the sound of the modem dialling up, the plodding speed. Are you on that t’internet yet? (Peter Kay fans, that one’s for you).

We automatically just opt for Wi-Fi now and connect without being conscious of it. Connecting via cable is probably not something you would ever consider. We’re now in an age where we can connect to the internet pretty much anywhere in our house, stream HD video, play online games, the list goes on.

But what if the signal strength isn’t good enough for any of that? You might not realise it, but wired internet is still a thing, and there are situations when it might be better to go back to the old fashioned way. The fact is, that actually for just about anything a wired connection would be better – Sometimes very subtly, and other times radically.

Just because Wi-Fi has come along and revolutionised how we use the internet, doesn’t mean we have to use it all the time for everything. So here are some reasons why ethernet could be better than Wi-Fi.

  • Inconsistency – There is an entire industry devoted to combatting inconsistent Wi-Fi through additional devices. The signal from your router could be blocked or interfered with by so many factors including thick walls, metal objects, water, microwaves and other common household items. This unfortunately means that your house or workplace could have dead spots or areas where the connection runs very slow. Annoying if you’re trying to stream Netflix, and not very productive if you’ve got a workforce relying on it for work.
  • Signal Drops and High Latency – Depending what you’re using the internet for, this may not be very noticeable, but Wi-Fi is more prone to signal drops and high latency. If you’re using the wireless connection for playing online games then this would be causing you problems, but less so if all you’re doing is having a leisurely scroll.
  • Connection Speed – By no means least is the speed itself – Possibly one of the most frustrating things when it comes to bad Wi-Fi. Wired connections are always going to be faster – You may have a very good connection speed in your home or workplace, but the bottom line is it could be 2 or 3 times faster if you plug in an ethernet cable.
So when should you use a cabled connection?

We said earlier about how it could be a very subtle difference – In which case it’s maybe not worth putting in cables. But in the more radically different cases where an ethernet cable could bring internet access to a dead zone or reduce latency during online gaming, a wired connection could just be your knight in shining armour.

For most, A Wi-Fi connection is perfectly suitable – browsing the web, scrolling social media, answering work emails, watching non-4K video streaming will likely be unaffected by the potential drawbacks of Wi-Fi.

For those streaming 4K videos (rather than the default 1080p), people who frequently need to download large files or those that play online video games, a wired connection should be a very real consideration.

In the online gaming scenario – Do you want to be the person ruining someone else’s gaming experience because of latency problems? A wired connection could drastically reduce this problem – And you wouldn’t be the only gamer happy about it!

A general rule of thumb would be to wire up devices that stay in one place. If they don’t need to move about, then there’s no reason not to wire them up. If it’s something that you move around a lot – Like a laptop – Then leave it connected to Wi-Fi.

You might be thinking it’s all very well us telling you to cable up more of your devices, but many of them don’t actually support that connection. Why?

Possibly because in general, Wi-Fi is good enough for the job. We all rely heavily on Wi-Fi and don’t tend to even think about a wired connection, so the market reflects that. But by only offering Wi-Fi compatible devices with no ethernet ports, they’re also dictating to us what we use.

There are devices you can buy relatively cheaply that you can use as adaptors, for example for streaming sticks, but if the Wi-Fi is good enough then why would you bother?

It also, like everything, comes down to money. Devices are easier and cheaper to manufacture if they’re just wireless enabled, rather than adding in additional ethernet ports that the majority of people likely wouldn’t think to use. This means the price of the product can also be cheaper, again making it the more popular choice in many cases. For example, the Amazon Fire Stick can be plugged straight into an HDMi port and you can be watching high-quality video streaming for less than fifty quid. An ethernet compatible alternative would be much more expensive.

The appeal to these little devices is also often their size, and as ethernet ports are rather big they don’t lend themselves well to streaming sticks.

You will however find ethernet compatibility with the Google Chromecast Ultra which is included by default.

Will 5G internet fix this problem?

There has been much hype about 5G internet and how it’s going to be a big step forward in mobile internet. The 5G revolution is starting, and wireless internet will be much, much faster than it already is.

However, it’s not properly here yet and it will take some time to be accessible everywhere. It’s going to take quite a bit of time before 5G is automatically the default, and even when it is, it doesn’t automatically mean the end for wired connections.

The issues with consistency and interference that we spoke about earlier could still be problems for 5G.

So in summary, there are certainly times when ethernet cables can be the best option and will work well, especially for stationary devices. But 9 times out of ten, people are going to choose wireless. ‘I’ll have one of them Wiffy’s! Two if they’re free!’*


*Another Peter Kay reference… The video’s here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_H1Wu3s77Y


The Weird and Wonderful Ways People Believe Their Wi-Fi Is Being Affected

Ghosts, the government, aliens – What do these 3 have in common? Well they’re all some of the weird and wonderful things that people believe are affecting their Wi-Fi.

When your Netflix starts to buffer, do you look to the router or feel goosebumps prickle up your arm and a cold shiver run down your spine?

A new study of 2000 British adults has revealed that the most common culprit for dodgy Wi-Fi is thought to be the weather. Perhaps you’ve experienced this yourself this weekend at the hands of Storm Dennis. But wind and rain aren’t the only thing that these respondents blamed for their Wi-Fi running slow – Also on the list were ghosts, heavy road traffic, house pets, aliens, the government, bright lights, thick walls and fish tanks.

1 in 10 adults also believed that Wi-Fi speeds were slowed down by someone else being on their phone nearby.

But although some of these sound a bit far-fetched, some absolutely can affect your Wi-Fi if the placement of your router isn’t well thought out.

One of these is water. On the face of it, Wi-Fi and water don’t sound like they’d mix well together. Only 3% of respondents listed water as a contributing factor to Wi-Fi connectivity problems, but it is a very real threat.

Fish tanks, weather and even human beings (remember we’re mostly made up of water!) can adversely affect Wi-Fi.

Perhaps this is also linked to the fact that the bathroom and kitchen seem to be identified as the rooms with the worst internet connection. The best room for signal was found to be the living room.

10% of people had 10 or more devices connected to their home Wi-Fi at any one time, and 13% didn’t realise that having more devices actively connected at the same time could cause slow connectivity.

We all get slow internet from time to time, whatever the reason may be, and we all know how frustrating it is. Maybe you’re trying to binge watch a series, or attempting to catch up on work emails – But how many of you have tried to fix the issue by hitting your router? 1 in 10 people admitted to doing just this! Not something we would particularly recommend.

The study also found that 14% of people switched their router off before going to bed. We’re not sure what the aim of this would be, but it could certainly cause connection problems when it gets switched back on and another item for the ‘not recommended’ list.

Researchers also asked respondents what they thought the term Wi-Fi actually means. Is it short for something? 40% thought it stood for ‘Wireless Frequency’ or was short for ‘Wireless Fidelity’. What would your answer be?

Geeky fact: Wi-Fi doesn’t actually stand for anything and isn’t a shortened version of other words. Pure and simple – It’s just what the inventors named it. There’s one for the pub quiz! You’re welcome.

So whether you’re someone that suspects the government is to blame for your slow connection, expects a BOO when you’re buffering, or even gives your router a good old whack when your Wi-Fi is making you woeful – Just know you’re not alone.

All Aboard! 4G, Calling At: London Underground

How often are you commuting through London, jumping on and off the tube? And how often are you disrupted by loss of signal during said commute – Your music streaming service stops, you’re unable to check or reply to emails, can’t access WhatsApp, no leisurely scroll through Instagram? Unfortunately this is all too familiar.

But that’s all set to change as early as next month!

Last year Transport for London announced that 4G signal was coming to the Jubilee line before dispersing to the entire Tube network by the middle of this year.

Fantastic news for London commuters who rely on the tube to get around the capital, but who would rather like to be able to also make phone calls and access the internet whilst on their journeys.

Starting next month (March), TfL will be introducing 4G to the eastern half of the Jubilee line on platforms as well as tunnels.

This section is serving as a bit of a trial, covering stations between Westminster and Canning Town, and means that passengers will be able to stream music, watch videos, scroll social media, reply to emails and even check travel information for the rest of their journey.

Apart from London Bridge and Waterloo stations, there will also be 4G connectivity in ticket halls and corridors. The above two exceptions are due to join the party later this year.

You might be reading this thinking, hang on a minute, I already get free Wi-Fi from tube stations and Transport for London rail services? That is true for 260 tube stations, but there is no Wi-Fi network in the tunnels. The new rollout of 4G networks will be including the tube tunnels as well.

TfL’s Head of Infrastructure said in interview that this new 4G service should support uninterrupted video streaming. What does this mean to you? Maybe you could continue binge watching Stranger Things on Netflix on your way home from work, or stream live Premier League action on your way to the pub?

Or maybe video on the go isn’t your thing – Either way, there’s bound to be something you’ll be glad of 4G on the London Underground for.

If you’re a keen traveller you might already know that subway systems around the globe are largely already equipped with phone coverage – It’s pretty commonplace. Whereas here in Britain, the London Underground is notorious for being one of the few major public places in the UK without phone reception.

But to be fair, it wasn’t really built with that in mind! As one of the world’s oldest subway networks, the Tube isn’t really ideally suited to phone reception in it’s tunnels. The way in which they were built mean that they consist of narrow tunnels, making it difficult to install mobile connectivity devices. They also twist and turn; if you’re a bit of a Wi-Fi boff you’ll know that that doesn’t make it easy for signals to pass through them.

But the time, and technology, has come for them to take that leap and bring their dark tunnels into the connected world. In the same interview, TfL’s Chief Technology Officer said that despite the London Underground being a very challenging environment in which to introduce a phone network, they are well on track (pun intended) to get 4G mobile connectivity in both stations as well as tunnels.

Millions of people use the London Underground tube network each year, so it’s no surprise that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is completely supportive of the delivery of this project, saying it’s an important step for the capital.

Geeky fact: The upgrading of this new network is estimated to need 2000km of cabling!

This is all very exciting but I bet (if you’re a regular London commuter) that there is a part of you wondering how this is all going to take place without disrupting your route to work? Luckily, the engineers carrying out the work are doing so during the night on weekdays as to avoid disruption to passengers as much as possible. Phew.

What will you be using 4G for on the tube?

Common Wi-Fi Problems and How to Fix Them

We only really notice electricity when there’s a blackout – And Wi-Fi is pretty much the same. We don’t think twice about flicking a light switch except when we get home and everything’s dark and nothing will turn on. The same for internet – We look at our smartphones or power up our laptops and if there’s no connection or things are slow to load, we notice. We notice, and get frustrated. At this point in time we expect Wi-Fi, and when it’s not there we really feel it’s absence. Panic even. But don’t worry! Many Wi-Fi problems are actually quite straight forward to fix if you have the know how.

Here are some of the most common Wi-Fi problems and how you can fix them.


My house has certain rooms with slow or no internet access

  • Router placement – First things first; Where is your router located? Wi-Fi uses radio waves to broadcast in all directions. If your router is places in a far corner, then you’re not covering as much of your space as you could be. You’ll also be covering part of the outside world which is rather wasted. Instead try and place your router as central as possible which should improve coverage and reception throughout.
  • External antennas – It’s worth seeing if it helps after adjusting these. Try alternating between putting them completely vertical and horizontal which should help reaching multiple directions.
  • Interference – If you live in a congested area such as a block of flats, then other people’s routers could be causing interference by broadcasting on the same channel. There is software out there that can show you all the nearby networks and what channel they are on. If you’re router is overlapping with others, particularly in a certain room, then you could consider switching to a less congested channel.
  • None of that helps? If after checking all of those, you’re still having problems in a particular room then your router might not be enough to cover your whole home. If you suspect this is the case, then you could try buying a wireless repeater, or setting up an old router to extend the range of the main one.


I’ve got slow internet everywhere

  • Speed test – If your Wi-Fi speed is always slow in every room, then you could try plugging in a laptop directly to your modem and test your Wi-Fi using a speed test site. If it’s still slow then that identifies a problem with your actual internet connection rather than your router and you should contact your provider.
  • Overcrowding – If the speed on the test is okay then it could be that you’ve got too many devices connecting at once, or devices on other networks using the same channel. See if there are any devices you could disconnect, or change the channel on your router in the settings.
  • Reset – If you try that and it doesn’t solve the problem then you could perform a factory reset on your router and set it up again from scratch, making sure to configure it correctly.
  • Fault router – If none of that works, and your internet works okay using a wired connection, then it might be your router causing the problems. You could consider getting a new one and see if that solves the problem.


One particular device won’t connect to Wi-Fi

  • Off/On – Sometimes if it’s just one device struggling to connect, it’s as simple as turning it off for 30 seconds and back on. If that doesn’t work, then try turning the router off and on too.
  • Delete the network – If this becomes a recurring issue, you could try deleting your current network from the list of saved networks on your device and then re-connect it.
  • Troubleshooting – There will be a way to troubleshoot and run diagnostics on your operating system which should help you repair any network issues and restore connectivity.
  • Nothing worked? Consider rebooting the device in question.


Nothing will connect to Wi-Fi

  • Try wired – If you can’t connect to your Wi-Fi at all using any device, then try plugging your laptop into the router directly using an Ethernet cable. If it connects, then the problem is your Wi-Fi, but if it doesn’t then it may be that your internet is down in which case you will need to contact your provider.
  • Reset – We’ve already mentioned this; resetting can solve a whole host of Wi-Fi issues. Try pressing the rest button for 30 seconds to put the router back to factory settings. As we said above, make sure you configure everything properly and hopefully this will fix the problem.
  • Still nothing? – It might be time to buy a new router.


My connection is dropping at random times

  • Is there a pattern? – See if you can identify a common coincidence. Does your connection drop out every time you use the microwave? This is actually quite common, especially if you’re using the 2.5GHz frequency or have an older microwave with shield problems.
  • Interference – Like other Wi-Fi problems, your connection dropping could be do with interference from other networks and devices. For example, if your neighbours are heavy Wi-Fi users at a certain time of day then you could find that your internet slows at this time as well. To solve the problem, try changing the channel in your router setttings as above by seeing which are the most congested and identifying any overlaps.
  • Still nothing? – We’re back to reset. Try resetting your router back to factory settings and hopefully that will solve the problem.


My Wi-Fi network has completed disappeared

  • Lost network on a device – This may be down to your router resetting itself. Have a look at the list of networks on your device and see if there is an unproteted network with your router brand name? That could be yours! Try connecting a laptop with an ethernet cable and set up your wireless router from scratch, making sure to properly configure it.
  • No such network in the list? – If you can’t see a network that looks like it could be yours, then plug your laptop into the router with an Ethernet and check if it connects. You can then find your router’s IP address and log in information to reconfigure it.


My network connects, but there isn’t any internet access

  • Unplug – It’s like the aged old ‘turn it off and on again’ but it could actually help to unplug the model and then plug it back in. If your router is a separate device, also try resetting it. Hopefully that will solve the problem.
  • Use wired – Again, try connecting a laptop with an Ethernet cable. If it connects, then it’s not the Wi-Fi and your internet may be down in which case contact your provider.


My router regularly crashes and I have to restart it

  • Rest – If your router is regularly needing to be restarted, then consider giving it a full rest by holding down the reset button and restoring factory settings. Don’t foget to make sure it’s reconfigured properly!
  • New router – If that doesn’t fix the issue, you might need to think about purchasing a new one or returning it if it’s still in warranty.


I’ve forgotten my Wi-Fi password

  • Reset – Let’s be honest, Wi-Fi passwords aren’t the easiest to remember. If you haven’t got it written down anywhere and really have no idea what it is, then you’re going to have to reset your router. Hold down the reset button for 30 seconds and it should restore to factory settings.


Hopefully this list will have helped you fix whatever Wi-Fi issue you are currently contending with! But if not, there’s always our experts here at Geekabit who are on hand to help! What is your most common Wi-Fi woe?

Threatening Wi-Fi Name Gets Couple Kicked Off Flight

Imagine being sat on a plane, getting your bits ready for the flight and settling down ready for take-off. Finally, you probably check your phone one last time, maybe send a text or upload a selfie and then switch to airplane mode. But what if at that stage you come across a strange Wi-Fi hotspot name?

That’s exactly what happened before one flight this week due to fly from Detroit to Montreal.

Just before the plane was due to take off, the crew came across a personal Wi-Fi network named ‘Remote Detonater’ and it wasn’t switched off. The passengers were requested to turn off all their phones and any mobile hotspots but this particular one remained turned on despite warnings that police would be called if people did not comply.

The passengers were told that staff were dealing with someone in the back, rousing suspicions that there was someone dangerous on board the plane. Police then boarded and removed a couple from the plane – A 42 year old man and a 31 year old woman who were both arrested but then released pending further investigation.

After a 5 hour delay, the plane eventually took off and passengers who asked what happened were told about the threatening Wi-Fi hotspot name.

Surprisingly (or maybe unsurprisingly?) this isn’t the first time a Wi-Fi hotspot name has caused some drama on a light. 4 years ago, a plane in Australia had to let 40 passengers off the plane after someone onboard spotted a Wi-Fi network named ‘Mobile Detonation Device’.

Whether a genuine security risk or someone thinking they’re a bit of a joker, this did get us to thinking about Wi-Fi network names and what people choose to name their SSID’s.


Obviously spotting ‘Remote Detonater’ on a flight wouldn’t be very funny at all, but there are plenty of times where people use their Wi-Fi networks to rouse a laugh or make a passive-aggressive comment against a neighbour. These are a few of our favourites from around the web…


  1. Use this one mum

For the sons and daughters out there who are constantly asked by their mother’s which network it is.

  1. Untrusted Network

Trying to be a bit sly and put freeloaders off trying to access your network with this SSID.

  1. It burns when IP

We actually saw this in real life – You might have seen a screenshot on our Instagram page!


Another one aimed at the people trying to steal your Wi-Fi (check out our last blog for how to find those that are stealing your Wi-Fi and how to block them!)

  1. Stop being so loud

The first of the passive-aggressive ones – When your neighbour is noisy but you’re not sure what to do about it. No need for notes through the letterbox when you can just change your network name!

  1. WeCanHearYouHavingSex

TMI? Another one for the passive-aggressive neighbours out there.

  1. WeCanSeeYouShowering / WeLikeItWhenYouWatch

What better way to respond to your nosy neighbour than with a quick quip via SSID.

  1. YourDogPoosInMyYard

What better place to tell your neighbour that their dog is using your garden as a toilet?

  1. Free CeX / Protected CeX / Unprotected CeX

Familiar with the second hand tech shop? One of their networks was apparently spotted with varying access; free (for customers), protected (for employees) and then a funny neighbour who jumped on the bandwagon with their Wi-Fi wit.


  1. You’re music is annoying / Your grammar is more annoying

Another neighbour spat via SSID.

What’s the best SSID you’ve spotted? We’d love to hear the network names you’ve seen or used yourselves!


Who is Stealing my Wi-Fi and How Can I Block Them?

How protected is your network? Do you think someone might be stealing your Wi-Fi? Read on for how to find out who, and how to block them. Don’t leave your network unprotected!

Have you ever run out of data on your mobile phone? Many people have unlimited data nowadays, but if you don’t and you reach your limit, it can be really frustrating. No spur of the moment Instagram scrolls, no keeping up with WhatsApp messages and no checking emails. And that’s exactly why it’s tempting to ‘borrow’ neighbouring Wi-Fi networks. It might be as innocent as just wanting to catch up with messages or emails, but it can actually cause problems for the owner through a slow or problematic connection.

Maybe this is you and that’s why you’re reading this! If so, keeping reading.

Nowadays, all means of connecting to the internet (ADSL, fibre optic connection, etc) also comes installed with a Wi-Fi router. This means that in places such as shared office space or apartment buildings, there can be a large number of wireless networks. Potentially plenty of choice for the cheeky people among us who want to avoid getting their own connection

Whilst they are all illegal, there are several different ways of accessing someone elses Wi-Fi network. For example:

  • Passwords that are weak or easily guessed
  • Wi-Fi password cracking, either because the word appears in a dictionary, or by the use of old fashioned security mechanisms
  • Using a default Wi-Fi password created based on patterns

Unfortunately, the last point is extremely common. Routers usually come with a generic or pre-generated Wi-Fi network name and password. This password will have been created based on patterns, which unfortunately have largely been discovered, making them easily calculated. So you could have your Wi-Fi set to maximum security, but could be let down by a generic, pre-generated password.

If you’re at home and having your Wi-Fi stolen, then it will usually be a neighbour who doesn’t want to pay for their own internet connection. If you own a bar, restaurant or hotel providing free Wi-Fi then you could well find that it’s more than just your customers making use of it – It could be neighbours, tourists or really anyone within range!

Whether you’re having your Wi-Fi stolen from your business or your home, you need to take the necessary precautions. If someone engaged in criminal activity is using your Wi-Fi, then your IP address is going to be the one that appears in relation to that activity. Whilst you haven’t committed the crime yourself, it’s not an ideal situation to be in and could cause you some problems.

So first things first – How do you know if someone is using your Wi-Fi or not?

If someone is using your internet connection without your permission, you’re going to want to know about it. Luckily for you, there are 3 simple ways you can find out.

  1. Take a look at the router

Your router or access point will have a list of all the devices that are connected at any given time. If you access the router or access point, you can search the list of devices and check them one by one for any you don’t recognise.

Advantages: The router gives us the information.

Disadvantages: Each time you want to know or check, you will have to access the router. You will have to access the router each time. If you have several Service Set Identifiers (ie. Network names), one for 2.4 and another for 5GHz, you will have to look one by one. Unfortunately, some internet service providers don’t provide the router access credentials, or the option is simply not available.

  1. Search for devices connected to the Wi-Fi network

Each time you connect to a network with a device, via Wi-Fi or a wired conncetion, you will obtain an IP address on that network. This means that it is usually visible by other devices, for example, when you want to share something like a document

  1. Wi-Fi LAN client list

Once connected to a local area network, you can scan and look for connected devices. For example, if you know that you are connected via your iPhone and a MAC laptop, but in the list you can see a Huawei mobile is connected, you know that whoever that person is, is stealing your Wi-Fi connection.

Advantages: Straightforward to do and usually provides good results

Disadvantages: Occasionally networks can isolate user, making it impossible to detect them

  1. Analysing Wireless Traffic

If you use a card in monitor , you can view the Wi-Fi packets that are sent between devices and routers. For example, a mobile phone will send and receive packets from a router in order to communicate. These data packets will have a media access control address readable by anyone who is listening. By doing this, you can see which devices are talking to each other and thus who is connected to that network – Without even being connected to it while you are detecting.

This is perhaps the best method as you don’t need to actually be connected to the network to see who is. It will also work with any router or access point, regardless of its settings and features.

Advantages: It always works, it is independent of the network settings and it doesn’t have to be connected to the Wi-Fi network.

Disadvantages: You will need a card that supports monitor mode.


So now you’ve found your Wi-Fi stealer – How do you block them?

We’ve talked about how to identify which devices belong to us and which don’t. This will enable us to detect them and then block them in a simple and effective way.

  1. Change your password

Perhaps rather an obvious one, but if you suspect that someone is stealing your Wi-Fi connection, the first thing to do is to change your password. This will mean that anyone who is connecting to your network will need to know the new password before being able to do so.

If you’ve had your password guessed or cracked once already, then make sure you ensure that your next one is a strong one. Also make sure that the encryption isn’t wired encryption privacy (a security algorithm intended to provide data confidentiality). It’s a good idea to periodically change your password as avid attackers could crack old passwords.

Advantages: It’s the simplest and most effective option.

Disadavantages: Although your device passwords should be periodically changed, it may not always be that simple or possible.

  1. Filter by media access control

If you know the MAC address of your Wi-Fi intruder, you may be able to block that particular device. However, if the intruder figured out what you had done, then they could just change their MAC address to skip your new filter. Unfortunately this is quite easy to do on a computer.

Advantages: It is easy to apply and supported by practically all current routers.

Disadvantages: An intruder will be able to get a valid MAC address or just change their own to skip the MAC address blacklists that you’ve implemented and log back on to the network.


What do we conclude?

It’s worth mentioning that merely hiding the SSID (in other words, network name) doesn’t work as a security or protection mechanism. If a Wi-Fi intruder is intent on find out the name of a Wi-Fi network, it is actually very easy to do even if hidden. It won’t provide you any security against potential attackers.

Perhaps your internet connection is running slow or fails every now and again. If this is the case, it is worth looking into the possibility that someone may be stealing your Wi-Fi connection. If this is found to be true, then you must take the necessary actions to stop this Wi-Fi intruder and block them from your network and change passwords

If you’ve done all of this and still your connection doesn’t work properly, then you could consider an analysis of your Wi-Fi network and functionality. Geekabit offer a Site Survey service where we can come to your home or office and identify where any potential Wi-Fi problems may lie. If you think this would be beneficial to you, please get in touch and we can start to take steps to improve your Wi-Fi.

Tiny 5G Router could replace all of your home’s Wi-Fi hardware

Happy New Year! Hope you have all enjoyed a well-connected break over the festive period. We’ve kicked off the year finding out some some exciting new developments as announced at the CES 2020 tech show in Las Vegas over the past few days.

You’ll know about mobile hotspots – A vital tool for many people such as frequent travellers and remote workers, keeping kit connected for work or leisure activities wherever you are. But what if it could work for you in your own home, perhaps as well as or even better than your Wi-Fi equipment?

This week Netgear’s new Nighthawk M5 5G Wi-Fi 6 Mobile Router was unveiled at CES 2020. This pocket friendly hotspot device could replace your home router as well as providing fast Wi-Fi on the go.

This is going to be 5G’s year. Mobile networks are continuing to roll out 5G across the country and the thought of mobile internet as an alternative to cabled Wi-Fi is becoming more viable. And if your coaxial cable is providing questionable reliability then why not consider 5G?

5G will be capable of delivering up to 2GB’s a second download speeds. As it’s signal is capable of reaching homes, theoretically it could deliver enough throughput to stream all the home necessities like streaming 4K content and enjoying online gaming.

Netgear’s Nighthawk M5 Mobile Router has all the standard features that you’ll find on most hotspots including a dedicated touchscreen LCD display for:

  • Accessing settings
  • Showing connection status
  • Monitoring data usage and monthly limits

What this hotspot has that other’s do not, however, is the ability to not only connect to 5G mobile networks, but also Wi-Fi 6 devices. Even with multiple devices connected at the same time, it promises the fastest wireless performance and minimal bottlenecks. So

So if you were thinking that the amount of devices you would have connected at home would be significantly more than on-the-go, it would seem that it wouldn’t cause much of an issue for the M5.

Hence why Netgear is positioning the Nighthawk M5 as a viable alternative to getting your home internet through wires. How many times have you been let down by your internet at home? A problem with your provider, roadworks outside disrupting cables, slow to get connected in a new home – All of these reasons and more would also present the M5 as a reliable backup for if/when your cable internet or fibre service gets disconnected for whatever reason.

The M5 device includes a handy removable rechargeable battery, so if you did decide to use it in the home you could just plug it into a socket. The downfall may be the coverage – Hotspots generally don’t have the same Wi-Fi range as larger routers or mesh networking hardware. But this can be worked around by using the mobile router’s gigabit ethernet port, enabling you to connect it to your normal Wi-Fi router and transmit a stronger signal throughout your home.

If we’ve got you all excited and eager for this handy bit of kit then sorry – It likely won’t be available until the latter half of this year. You won’t be able to find out the price until this time to unfortunately. If you’ve got the M5 within your sights then bear in mind that you’ll need a mobile plan and a carrier operating a 5G network in your area.

So ditching your cable internet asap is probably not a great idea – And also may be a pricey one. But the conveniences of it may just make it worth it!


What Does 2020 Have in Store for the Wi-Fi World?

Let’s face it, whether we’re a business or just a consumer, we use Wi-Fi like our lives depend on it. Whether we are at work or at play, we live in a world where we are always connected, and if – shock horror – we lose that connection, we can feel lost and even a bit panicked.

Productivity in the workplace and entertainment at home all depend on a strong, reliable and fast Wi-Fi connection. And when that connection is slow or unreliable, we suffer.

It’s not surprising then that technology is always striving to drive forward – To deliver us stronger, faster, more reliable connections with the implied promise that our lives will be better.

We know that technology is a dynamic business – Fast paced and always moving forward.

With that in mind, we thought we would look at a few predictions for 2020 specifically with Wi-Fi in mind.

  1. Hello Wi-Fi 6

You’ve probably already heard of Wi-Fi 6 – Some smart devices are already Wi-Fi 6 compatible ready for it’s imminent widespread use. It debuted in 2019, but 2020 will really start to see this Wi-Fi standard being used everywhere. Otherwise known as AX Wi-Fi or 802.11ax, this next standard for wireless technology was especially created to support the growing number of deployed devices with improved traffic routing. But the end of 2020 we’d expect all smart devices to be using Wi-Fi 6 – It’ll be mainstream.

  1. Every major city to introduce 5G

Here’s another one that’s featured on a few of our blogs this year; 5G. There’s been a lot of talk of ‘5G vs Wi-Fi’ but they don’t really need to compete with each other. It’s not been an easy road for 5G, but in 2020 we will start to see this new standard in every major city around the world. This in itself will bring fundamental changes to network connectivity, offering greater speeds, reach and flexibility. I bet I know what you’re thinking – That’ll keep customers happy! But it’s not just that. With 5G improvements comes scope for better connectivity, SD-WAN, video surveillance and network capacity.

  1. The cloud is coming to you

We have very much been living in the cloud era – We might have personal computers, but so much of our data is sitting in the cloud via Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft 365, Slack, etc etc the list goes on. There are a few main players when it comes to cloud services – Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM. You also have the private clouds like Facebook and Apple. But we’ve sort of reached the limit of the cloud – Everything that can be centralised, has been centralised. And that’s what leads us to the Edge. Literally. Edge computing will bring cloud date closer to you geographically. Rather than rely on a small number of centralised data centres, the Edge will bring cloud based intelligence closer to where it’s needed. Let’s take Amazon’s Echo as an example. Previously when you asked Alexa a question, it would have to process your speech, compress it, send it to the cloud, the cloud decompressed it, resolved the query, and then sent back the answer. By shortening this process geographically, and bringing the cloud’s intelligence to the Echo itself, the latency is less and people will know what the weather is doing that day as quick as it would take to look out the window.

  1. We’ll be needing network automation

As we become more reliant on Edge computing and Internet of Things with all our smart devices in our homes and in our pockets, the need for automatic updates will increase. More devices will rely on cloud data and intelligence, and will likely require constant updates to centralised data stores.  In order to make this process reliable, consistent and quick (especially in a business environment) will be to automate network environments. This will mean more complex networking solutions that don’t depend on human intervention. In 2020 it will become even more important for networks to be reliable with strong connections.

  1. Networking, meet Artificial Intelligence

If automated networks are to work well, then they will need to include artificial intelligence. We just spoke about Alexa accessing cloud intelligence in the Echo itself – Amazon are managing this through an AI chip that is always ‘listening’ for it’s wake sounds ie. Alexa. It means things can be processed quicker. AI will drive forward network deployment automation and will be the key to smarter networks. As more 5G networks are introduced and edge computing becomes the standard for the rapid increase in IoT devices, AI will be crucial in allowing businesses to route traffic with greater intelligence and predictability.


Will they come true? Only time will tell! What do you think 2020 will bring to the Wi-Fi world? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Our Top Ten Wi-Fi Blogs of 2019

The festivities are increasing by the day as we hurtle closer to Christmas and the end of another year. With the New Year looming large, we thought we’d take a look back over the past year and what happened in the Wi-Fi world.

It’s popular at this time of year to round everything up into a Top 10 so here is our annual round up of our top blogs of 2019. Which articles got the most hits and what was trending in 2019’s world of Wi-Fi? Let’s find out…



In at a respectable number ten was ‘Wi-Fi For Your Start Up Office.’ Some of the most common questions that our team of Wi-Fi experts often get asked are about Wi-Fi connectivity for start-up offices, so in this blog we jotted down some of our thoughts for anyone in a similar position to bear in mind when setting up Wi-Fi.




Next up was ‘Why Site Surveys are a Good Idea.’ This blog was prompted by a client visit to someone experiencing difficulties with their Wi-Fi signal. Turns out, their router was placed right next to a very thick, hundred-year-old castle wall. The signal just isn’t going to get through that – Placement of Wi-Fi kit is key, hence why site surveys are a good idea for buildings old and new.




Not far ahead was ‘#NewYearNewWiFi.’ When we wrote this blog for the New Year we were inspired by the ‘New Year Same Me’ hashtags circulating in the first week of January. The New Year brings with it all sorts of resolutions, but last year many influencers were purporting almost the opposite – No crazy diets, no impossible exercise expectations, no ‘be more this’ or ‘become less that.’ And almost all of them said to get offline We’re all about being positive in your skin, but we’re an ambitious bunch over at Geekabit and we love a realistic goal to be working towards! And if you’re going to be switching to offline for some time out, then at least make sure that when you are online you have a good, reliable connection. And that’s where #NewYearNewWiFI was born!  If this sounds similar to your resolutions for 2020, click the link and have a read.




In at lucky number 7 was ‘Capacity, Interference and Roaming – 3 Wi-Fi Myths.’ There are many myths out there about Wi-Fi (including the infamous ‘Don’t let your Christmas lights ruin your Wi-Fi’ articles that circulate this time of year – We’ve blogged on that too!). This one however focused on electromagnetism and how the same laws that govern mobile phones and radio waves also govern Wi-Fi – meaning that there are particular elements that are predictable. Throw in a pub analogy to make all the physics make sense and you’re onto a winner!




Narrowly missing the top 5, this blog asked ‘Which Wi-Fi Antenna Do I Need?’ Blogs on Wi-Fi kit and placement of Wi-Fi devices seem to be popular reads. This blog featured a brief overview of Wi-Fi antennas with the aim of helping you identify which one would work for your network. If this is something you’re wondering about right now, then click the link below!




‘Do I Need a Car with a Wi-Fi Hotspot?’ Apparently that’s one of the burning questions from this year. Last year many of our readers must have been considering a new car for the new year – And with that, the thought of needing a Wi-Fi hotspot too. In this blog we looked at the Wi-Fi hotspot options for vehicles, and whether it’s really needed or just a bit of an added luxury. If a new car is on your January sales shopping list then you might want to re-visit this one!




‘What is 802.11ax Wi-Fi, and what will it mean for 802.11ac?’ If you’ve heard (or even muttered yourself!) the whines of ‘Why is the internet so ssssslllllooooowwwww?’ in airports, hotels, stadiums or even offices and homes where multiple people are trying to use various wireless devices, then this blog might explain things for you. You may have heard talk about 802.11ax and how it is the emerging Wi-Fi standard that seems set to displace the current 802.11ac standard. With higher throughput and the scope to overcome poor performance in crowded environments, this is an exciting development in the world of Wi-Fi so not surprising this blog came in at number 4!




We’re back to kit and devices once again with the third most read blog of 2019. ‘What’s The Difference Between Wi-Fi Bridges and Wi-Fi Mesh?’ we heard you ask – So this blog delivered the answers, and it seems it was well received! If you’re sat there wondering what these things are then the quick answer is they’re both alternatives to physical cabling. For more info click the link!




Getting close now! Missing the top spot was our blog on ‘Cat5 vs Cat5e vs Cat6 Cables – What’s the difference?’ More kit questions that we willingly answered for all you Wi-Fi expert wannabe’s. All we hear about when it comes to Wi-Fi is wireless, wireless, wireless. Everything nowadays seems to be wireless! But there are instances and situations where cables might be better or necessary, so this blog was to provide info on the types of cable you might require.




And finally, *drum roll please* in at number one; the most popular article we shared in 2019 was ‘How Many Access Points Do I Need?’ And by quite a long way! It seems you know what you like, and similar to last year, what you like is technical information about Wi-Fi and how to get it working to the best of its ability in your homes and businesses.


We’ve rather enjoyed taking a look back at what’s made Wi-Fi news this past year – From Wi-Fi related new years resolutions to the technical aspects of Wi-Fi in your office and how best to set it up with the appropriate devices.

2020 is tipped to be the year we start to see some real digital transformation and technology that has been quietly moving along in the sidelines is set to become centre stage. Keep your eyes peeled for our New Year blog detailing what we’re expecting to see in 2020!


Top Tips to Improve Wi-Fi Speed at Christmas

75% of adults in the UK will be spending an average of 4 hours on the internet on Christmas day. Broadband providers such as BT and Sky have seen an unprecedented surge in online usage over the festive period in recent years, with streaming platforms taking a huge leap in popularity.

Christmas morning seemed to be peak time for internet usage, probably with people opening their new gifts like smartphones and tablets and immediately connecting them. Sharing snippets of their Christmas on social media was also a popular pastime up until early afternoon when everyone was likely munching on their turkey and then falling asleep in front of the tv full of Christmas dinner.

A third of people will use the internet via Skype or WhatsApp to make voice and video calls to loved ones, and 22% plan to use apps to play family games such as Trivial Pursuit.

And let’s not forget those who will be streaming festive films on Christmas Day – A quarter of you are likely to be using streaming services and downloads to watch Christmas TV.

Or maybe you are the one in five who seek out the January sales and want to grab an early bargain.

With smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, laptops and other internet-enables devices being the top of many Christmas lists, it’s no wonder that households welcome multiple new devices on the 25th – All of which will be connecting to the home Wi-Fi.

It’s obvious that people are relying more on reliable Wi-Fi on Christmas day and throughout the festive period – And not to avoid family time, but to enhance it. Whether that’s keeping in touch with people you can’t see face to face, Googling a new brussel sprout recipe (fried with Pancetta, anyone?) or choosing a festive film to watch together after dinner, the need for Wi-Fi is there.

Here are some top tips to keep your Wi-Fi connected this Christmas:

  1. Check the location of your router. Make sure it’s located away from thick walls and windows. Also try not to place it next to a shared wall in case your neighbour has theirs in a similar location (this could cause interference with yours).
  2. Avoid signal interference. Make sure your router is placed away from electrical devices, such as baby monitors, cordless phones and even your Christmas lights! Other things such as the water in fish tanks can make for weaker Wi-FI signal.
  3. Do you have privacy settings? Ensure your Wi-Fi network is password protected. Not only will it mean you are in control of whether your guests can connect to your internet, you will also stop anyone else (e.g. neighbours) from using your Wi-Fi and subsequently slowing it down.
  4. Stay up-to-date. Did you know that download speeds can be improved simply by making sure you have the latest update of your browser? It may even be worth checking other providers and versions to see which one is best.
  5. Do you need everything to be connected? If you have multiple devices all connected at once then you might see some issues with speed. If there are any devices connected that don’t need to be, then consider switching them off until you need them.

If you have a house hold full of online gamers desperate to try out their new game, or are trying to stream The Holiday for the 10th time this month whilst 3 other family members are uploading photos to Facebook, watching Instagram TV and downloading the latest software onto their latest device then you might be putting an unlimited DSL or fibre package at the top of your Christmas list.