The Horrors of Moving

Horror movies had a character to give a warning to the would-be victims. Here are some moving stories to serve as warning for your own moving stories!

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Horror stories of old, and some of the new, come with a warning.

The most common interpretation of these warnings is to have the would-be victims stop at a gas station to fill up their vehicle with gas. As they wait for the tank to fill, an eerie-looking person will step out and approach them. He’ll give an ominous warning that the direction they plan to go will lead to chaos, and most likely death.

Moving can feel like a horror movie, which is why you should listen to horror stories of others and heed the Message from the Harbinger.

Here’s the familiar “Harbinger” scene from a recent classic, The Cabin in The Woods.


(If you haven’t seen The Cabin in The Woods yet, go watch it! Also, if you have seen it, go watch it again. I’m even reading the novelization!)

The Harbinger is meant to give the would-be victims an opportunity to try a different path or change course completely. In The Cabin in The Woods, and other horror classics like it, The Harbinger scene is the ominous foreboding of what’s to come if the would-be victims don’t heed his warning.

…They don’t.

If the would-be victims listened and changed, then there would be no story, no horror movie, and no victims.

Your moving story doesn’t have to end like theirs.

Take heed and listen to the following stories so you can save yourself from the same peril that befell these victims! (insert ghostly wailing)

Never Trust a Neighborhood

James (not his real name), had been in his new house for barely a full week. It was Sunday, and he opened the garage to pull out his wife’s car as they made ready to go to church. Sitting in the driveway was his work truck.

Something was missing!

The work truck was a Toyota Pre-Runner, with an open bed.

As a pest control technician, James would use an expensive leaf-blower with an attachment to spray treatment chemicals on lawns. It was brand new. Cost nearly $1000.

Moreover, it was gone!

The previous neighborhood James had lived in was rundown. Cars were parked on lawns, a few homes had windows boarded up, and some of the residents had questionable jobs. However, the truck sat out in the open with the leaf-blower in plain sight…no one touched it.

This new neighborhood, although nicer, was still being built. No one parked his or her car on the front lawn, all the windows were intact, and everyone had a job.

Yet, someone had stolen equipment that James didn’t even own.

However, he still had to help pay to replace, to the tune of $450.

The Warning

New neighborhoods, though they may look nice, can still hide secrets.

If you’re not familiar with the area, you can get information from those who do live there. Check out City-Data Forums to see what locals have to say. You can post a question about your neighborhood there and get answers.

Make a Checklist

Bob (not his real name) had moved into a lovely two-story home with his wife and kids. He’d set up a bundle package through a local home services provider, getting his internet, cable TV, and phone from one source. Bob liked the convenience of the single check, and he was finding that it saved him some money.

Six months after the move-in, however, he got a bill with late-charges, overdue fees, and about seven months of monthly charge.

For services on his previous home!

Bob had forgotten to cancel the internet service at his last house.

With those built-up charges, Bob had to do a payment plan, as well as work with his credit company to keep his credit score from taking a hit.

It would take years before Bob could pay down the bill.

The Warning

Make a checklist to ensure you haven’t missed anything before you move out of your home. It may seem tedious, but when the moving process revs up, you’ll most likely be too busy to remember everything yourself. A simple piece of paper with the items listed can save you time, and in Bob’s case, money. You can even use the notes app on your smartphone to write out a list.

If you’re worried that you missed a crucial step, check out The Art of Happy Moving. The Art of Happy Moving has a checklist you can download. The checklist breaks down the timeline needed to get things ready for a smoother transition.

If you want to make a list yourself, that’s fine, but make sure you make a list.

However, most of all- don’t forget to cancel services at your old home!

Missing Pieces

On a Friday morning, Jack finally found time to start opening boxes that had piled up in his living room from the recent move. The process of moving had been bumpy, but so far, everything had smoothed out.

He’d hired movers to help, and they’d managed to get everything out of his apartment and storage unit, and into his new home in the time allotted.

However, the very next morning he had to go back to work and the stacks of boxes in his living room sat there for several days.

Now he finally had time to get the unpacking done.

As items came out, he noticed a couple of his Bluetooth speakers were missing. He was sure he’d packed them in the right box, but they weren’t there. All the boxes had been taped up, so the movers couldn’t have opened them and helped themselves to some of Jack’s stuff before they left.

Where were they?!

After opening every box, and stacking the contents everywhere else, he was still sure the speakers were missing.

He headed back to his old apartment and asked the management if someone had turned them into the lost and found. The answer was “no.”

The next week Jack searched the boxes again, called friends who’d helped him move, and still couldn’t find them.

It wasn’t until he’d just about given up hope that he found his missing speakers- right next to his bed. He’d pulled the speakers out of the box before taping them up so that he could show a friend. The friend had put them on top of the boxes when they’d loaded up the moving truck. The movers had placed them next to his bed.

The Warning

You can inventory your entire house to avoid something like this. But then again, that would take a lot of time.

Apps, like Sortly, allow you to take pictures of your stuff and the app will create QR codes that you can print out to put on boxes. You can then scan the closed box to see what’s inside, or what should be inside. While this doesn’t eliminate the possibility of lost items, it can help you track your stuff and provide peace of mind.

Bad Movers

To get his stuff across the country, Vince hired movers who would pack his stuff, as well as his car, into containers. They’d agreed to deliver it to his new address and help him unpack.

Vince, being busy, flew to his new home and continued working until the movers showed up.

When they did show up, however, they demanded “extra fees” because of some trouble getting it across the country. While Vince hadn’t agreed on this stipulation, the movers had the keys to the truck.

Vince also noticed that his car wasn’t with the truck.

Since his stuff was held hostage, and his car was nowhere in sight, Vince had to walk to a nearby gas station to use their ATM. Then he had to walk back, hand over the money, and wait for them to unload all his belongings.

With that finally done, Vince had to then negotiate for his car.

Another trip the nearby ATM and he was given the keys and an address.

He didn’t know how to get there, so he had to plug in the address to his map and use public transportation to get there.

At last, Vince had found his car- it was in a paid parking space, and he had to pay the parking fee to get it out.

The Warning

Make sure you have, in writing, the exact agreement you’ve made with the moving company that you’ve hired.

Before doing this, check them out on the Better Business Bureau and Yelp. Moving companies who do lousy work will get reported. A simple search of the moving company name, plus the word “complaints,” will help you find out who’s been complaining about them.

More reputable moving companies, though they might be more pricey, will save you a headache and you won’t have to worry about your stuff being held for ransom. They may provide a written contract for you, but you should still make sure you have, in writing, the exact agreement you made with them.

Save the Jump Scares for the Movies

Horror movies, with their copious deaths and arterial blood spray, are the best place for scary things to happen.

Not your moving experience.

Although every problem can’t is avoidable, you can take some steps to eliminate problems or at least mitigate them. Things like a checklist, writing up a “mover agreement,” or taking inventory of your stuff can save you from a jump scare along the way.

There is one last thing you need to set up for your new home- setting up your new home services.

Home services, like energy utility, home security system, and internet service provider, can be set up before you move in. It’s highly likely you’ll be moving to a new neighborhood, one you’re not familiar with. You may not know who provides energy, or what ISPs are in the area.

Check out the best internet packages and deals from KonectEaze. Here you’ll find internet, cable TV, phone, home security, and in certain places, energy utilities. You can research providers here and find out what deals are available by merely searching your new zip code.

You can save yourself some time, headache, and cash all in one place.

Do you have a moving horror story? Share it in the comments below.

For news and updates on moving, home service providers, and horror stories, keep the browser open to On The Download.


Venom: Creepy Enough?

While I have yet to see Venom, I’m hoping what I’m hearing from critics is wrong. Then again, I’ve been disappointed by superhero films before. I’ve also been surprised. We’ll have to wait and see.

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While I have yet to see Venom, I’m hoping what I’m hearing from critics is wrong. Then again, I’ve been disappointed by superhero films before. I’ve also been surprised.

We’ll have to wait and see.

Best of the Bad

I’ve always liked the character of Venom. He was one of those unique villains, the ones you loved to hate and root against. However, you didn’t want them to die away completely.

You know, villains like Dr. Doom, Magneto, and Apocalypse.

Victor Von Doom, who would later become Dr. Doom, was a megalomaniac bent on world domination. He wanted to be 'The One Ruler of the Whole World.'

Then we have Magneto. As a Holocaust survivor, he’s seen the worst side of humanity. Being on the receiving end of that hatred led him to believe that humans are not fit to rule the planet, nor are they capable of even taking care of themselves. What’s a metal-bending mutant to do? Take over the world, of course.

We also have Apocalypse. (Not to the movie version. He was weak)

The comic book version was much more terrifying; He was born in ancient Egypt…let that sink in for a second.

This guy’s mutant power allowed him to live for millennia. He was born with grey skin and random blue lines. This terrified his tribe. As a result, they sought to kill him. Thanks to this lack of understanding, Apocalypse, known as En Sabbah Nur at the time, decided humans must be subjugated. Moreover, who better to do that than himself?

A theme among all these bad guys is the wounds, both physical and emotional, received from small-minded people. Instead of understanding that it was small-mindedness that caused this, they’ve decided ALL of humanity must pay. That anger becomes hatred, and that hatred is what drives them to do great and terrible things.

This drive also makes them scary.

Venom gets put in the same category as these guys.

Not because he wants to rule the world. In truth, Venom could care less who’s in charge of the world.

He wants only one thing- to eat.

Moreover, humans are the tastiest of foods available on the planet.

Venom


In his original debut, Venom was an alien symbiote. He’s not a mutant or something created in a lab. Well, in the Ultimate Universe he was, but that’s beside the point.

The point is, he didn’t come from earth. He just showed up.

Now, the symbiotes are different in that they need a host to survive. They bond with a nearby host, or they’ll most likely die. The Venom Symbiote bonded with the nearest candidate, and that was Spider-Man. However, thanks to Spidey’s strength of will and cunning, he separated himself from the thing.

Eddie Brock--arrogant, angry, forever scarred by an abusive father--was nearby and ended up bonding with the symbiote.

While I’m not sure how the movie handles it, and I’ve heard they could have done a better job, that’s the basic gist of how Brock bonded with Venom.

The two have been a pair for much of the character’s history. There were times when Venom was a good guy. There were times when he was tearing through cities and was nigh unstoppable.

Also, there was a time when an Anti-Venom existed. He was the opposite, even in color, to Venom.

Throughout it all, however, Venom wasn’t to be trusted. He could do good things from time to time, yet there was this feeling that he was just *this* close to losing it and tearing things up again.

While Tom Hardy was a great choice to play Eddie Brock/Venom, it remains to be seen if this incarnation will live on in the movies. If that happens then, by all means, keep Hardy. If not, then I suggest Scott Eastwood.

There is plenty of comic book fodder here to keep Venom going, even if it’s just the symbiotes themselves.

You see, Venom wasn’t alone.

A rare trait of this alien species was that they could reproduce asexually- meaning they merely “hatched” another symbiote.

Carnage

When Venom did hatch another symbiote, that one did the same thing and looked for a host to bond to.

The problem was that it bonded with Cletus Kasaday.

Cletus was a cellmate of Brock’s. When the Venom symbiote came to bust him out, it left something behind. That something bonded with Cletus.

Cletus, unlike Brock, was an unstable serial killer.

The pairing of the two led to a real problem for the Marvel Universe.

Instead of a symbiote that could be persuaded to be good, from time to time, Carnage was never interested in doing anything for the good of others. Cletus loved to kill people. Carnage wanted to eat. Carnage could eat while also equipping Cletus with a unique way of murdering others.

He continues to be a problem, mostly for Spider-Man. A few other heroes have had run-ins with the deranged hunter-killer as well. Now and then it looks as though they’ve captured him and put him away, but he always finds a way to escape.

When they do debut Carnage on the big screen, and they need to do it soon, I suggest Toby Kebbell for the role.

Interestingly enough, when it came time for Carnage to hatch another symbiote, he ended up picking someone who was almost his complete opposite.

Toxin

Patrick Mulligan was a New York City Police Officer and was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Carnage, looking to offload his new symbiote, placed it in Mulligan, and left, thinking the problem was solved. If that were true, then there’d be no story and no reason to keep reading the comic. Luckily for the readers, and not Cletus, there was a problem.

When the symbiote hatched, Patrick did all that he could to keep the thing from going on a rampage. Unlike Brock, who was scared by an abusive father and Cletus, who enjoyed killing people, Patrick had a sense of justice and didn’t want to hurt anyone.

That sense of justice caused problems with the symbiote who came to be named Toxin.

Of the three symbiotes out there, Toxin is, by far, the most interesting.

When they do finally get around to casting a Patrick Mulligan, Liam Hemsworth would be great in that part.

After all, his brother Chris has done a stellar job as Thor, so why not let the younger brother have a shot at being a Marvel superhero?

Well, maybe not a superhero, but a highly conflicted anti-superhero.

Which One is Best?

While Eddie does have some sense of right and wrong, he’s ultimately a thug with a unique weapon. Whatever conflict there is minimal. This doesn’t degrade Venom as a character. Instead, he’s someone trying to wrestle with morality. The problem is that the “bad” side is constantly tapping at Eddie’s brain and making him feel hungry. Thus, Eddie usually gives in to Venom’s demands.

Carnage, on the other hand, is a straight-up sociopath.

While Lecter may use medical instruments to kill his victims, and Leatherface a chainsaw, Cletus has a suit that warps into blades and other sharp things. What more could a serial killer want?

For Cletus, the argument of right versus wrong is moot. He knows what’s right and what’s wrong, but he does not care.

Toxin is where it gets interesting.

Patrick feels beholden to justice; there is right, and there is wrong. For Patrick, it’s up to him to bring offenders to justice.

However, there’s this thing that keeps tapping at his brain, causing hunger in his throat, and that crawling sensation under his skin.

It will not go away.

So what’s a good guy to do?

And therein lies an intriguing conflict.

Until we get that movie, Venom will have to do. When it does hit streaming, make sure you’re hooked up with the best internet deals in your area. Just saying...

Between now and then, catch up on all your reading by heading over to Marvel Unlimited. This way you can stream the comics to your favorite device. You’ll be able to catch up on your reading whenever you have a free moment. You’ll also learn more about the characters as well.

The best part about this is you can form your own opinion about Venom, Carnage, and Toxin.

Who do you think is the best symbiote? When someone finally makes a movie about them, which actors would you cast?

For more news on upcoming films, provider reviews, and streaming technology, keep your browser open to On The Download.


Mesh Networks and 9 Spiders

Range extenders and mesh networks, are they important? And what do they have to do with Spider-Man?

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Range extenders and mesh networks, are they important?

As the number of smart devices in our homes is increasing, so the is the need for reliable Wi-Fi.

A pat answer would be to “buy more megabits per second.” That may help and it may not. Your home, or apartment, may be full of Wi-Fi inhibiting barriers, killing the signal before it has a chance to reach every one of the things in your place that requires an internet connection to function.

First, determine the things in your apartment/home that might block or impede the Wi-Fi signal.

Second, if you find out that something is blocking the signal, ask if you can move it to where it will get a good signal. This option may help a little bit, and it may end up forcing you to move everything to one corner of your place.

Therefore, if you up the megabits per second, you may end up wasting your money when you discover you’re still dealing with slow downloads in certain parts of your home.

Options one and two are meant to help save you some money, and headache, before you entertain another option. Don’t be too quick to decide “we need more bandwidth” before you understand what the real issue is.

Without this understanding, you’ll only cause yourself unnecessary frustration. Also, the logic mentioned above is part of the reason why there are so many Spider-Man movies that have cropped up in the last two decades. So far, the count of Spider-Men, or spider-themed superheroes, in those movies sits at nine.

Instead of rebooting the Spider-Man franchise, yet again, why not take a step back and find a different way?

Logic such as this doesn’t seem to be in vast supply in Hollywood. However, it can be when it comes to solving your Wi-Fi problems.

We come now to option three; range extenders and mesh networks.

Range Extenders

Range extenders are as their names imply; they extend the range of the Wi-Fi.

Maybe there’s that exposed brick wall in your apartment that you like, but the computer on the other side of it is super slow. Well, a range extender would help with that.

The device comes in two forms; desktop and plug-ins.

The desk-top type looks like another router. They plug into the wall in the area you need a boosted Wi-Fi signal.

The plug-in extenders also boost the signal, but not at the expense of space. Some will take away access to a plug, but there are manufacturers, like Linksys, that make plug-in extenders with an extra socket. You can boost your Wi-Fi signal without sacrificing another outlet.

When buying a range extender, take note of the AC number on your existing router. If it’s a single-band AC1700, for example, look for a single-band AC1700 range extender. If your router is a dual-band AC2400, make sure to get a dual-band AC2400.

The range extenders work by amplifying the signal and rebroadcasting it. By rebroadcasting it, however, it creates a separate network. At the same time, it also cuts the available bandwidth in half to make it happen.

You may get signal on the other side of that wall now, but you’ll have to switch networks to do so. The rest of your place will have less bandwidth available.

Sony did something similar with The Amazing Spider-Man films of 2012 and 2014.

As opposed to continuing the previous trilogy with Tobey Maguire, the choice was made to reboot it. This was hardly a bad idea, given Spider-Man 3 made a mockery out of Venom, and produced more memes than cash. The Marvel Cinematic Universe had launched also and was doing well.

Instead of Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield was brought in to play Peter Parker, and he did a good job. Given the script was just another origin story of Spider-Man, which everyone should have known by that point as well. All they really did was move around a few details and put in a different bad guy than the last origin story. They could have just gone the route of The Incredible Hulk and set up the origin as a quick flashback and then gotten on with a different story altogether.

Then again, what do I know?

After the second sequel, the returns weren’t good. So instead of trying a different tact, Sony allowed for Spidey to join the MCU and let them worry about how to handle the origin story.

However, they did keep the rights to some of his cooler villains, like Venom...and we know how that turned out.

Sigh.

Mesh Networks

We'll get back to Spider-Man in a minute here.

Let’s take a moment to talk about mesh networks; a mesh network doesn’t cut into the bandwidth from the router and make a different network. A mesh network operates as a satellite system. The little nodes get plugged in around the house or apartment and use the router as the base. The nodes network the signal amongst themselves, like a series electrical circuit. If one is unreachable, the other nodes will pick up the signal and link it back to the router. The nodes involved boost the signal, providing you with download speeds close to what you’d experience if you were standing next to the router itself.

By putting all these nodes into one network, in one home, your house will be able to support multiple devices easily.

Overall, this option is a better choice than range extenders. This isn’t to say they’re inadequate. For what you’ll end up paying for a mesh network, you’ll have a more reliable network in your home or apartment, and that will more than make up for the difference in cost.

Now, let’s look at how this applies to the latest Spider-Man offering from Sony.


Instead of setting up Peter Parker’s origin story, which we all should know by now…if not, that’s okay, no judgment here, check out his Wikipedia page and get back to us after you finish reading.

This time Sony decided to incorporate six different Spider-Man type superheroes; Miles Morales as the new interpretation of Spider-Man, Spider-Ham (a Marvel sanctioned parody of Spider-Man), Spider-Gwen (a “what-if?” scenario that has spawned a series), Spider-Man Noir (another “what-if?”), Sp//der (a mech suit operated by Peni Parker), and the original Peter Parker himself.

Now we’ll have six different Spider…people(?)… working together to stop Wilson Fisk from doing something terrible and hurting a lot of people. We'll be getting six different backstories, and six different ways to convey them without slowing down the overall story arc.

Unlike a mesh network, there could be some degradation of the story because of all the characters involved. This author is sure that with the right amount of marketing, the story will be largely unimportant. What’s essential, to Sony at least, is that they set up their own Spider-Man continuity and not worry about losing all their rights to the character.

What Sony fails to understand here is that if the story is bad, then everyone loses.

The Original Spider-Man

Let’s back up here and talk about the first big-budget Spider-Man film.

Premiering in 2002, Spider-Man had Tobey Maguire don the suit and the character of Peter Parker. Directed by Sam Raimi, it was a good movie that pleased audiences. By today’s standards of comic book movies, however, it can come across as a basic origin story. Keep in mind though that this was one of the first comic book movies to “get it right.”

It didn’t skew the overall narrative to pump up just one character as they did with Wolverine in the original X-Men movie from 2000. Nor did they corrupt the characters to make them more “marketable” as they did with Daredevil in 2003.

So Spider-Man brought hope to the comic book enthusiasts of the early 21st century. ‘Maybe now,’ we all thought, ‘they would treat our beloved heroes with the respect they deserve and not make some campy b-movie with sub-standard productions.’

Sadly, that was still going to happen. Even with Iron Man in 2008 and Chris Nolan’s Batman Begins in 2005, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man devolved into a joke. Not to mention we’re still getting superhero films that lack respect for their subject matter.

For those who’d like to argue the point, take a look at the fact that Cyclops has yet to be redeemed.

Just saying…

An Option That Works for You

While Tom Holland is playing Spider-Man in the MCU, and the Spider-Verse is launching in December of 2018, there are more options for watching your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man save the day. You can still catch the other versions of Spider-Man through your favorite streaming service, make sure you have the best internet deals and packages first.  Also if you are considering using AT&T or Frontier internet service check out our reviews

Also, if you’re wanting to watch them in another room while someone is playing their Xbox, then make sure you have a mesh network set up first. This way you don’t have to sit right next to the router to enjoy all the web-slinging action!

For more answers to your questions about internet providers, stay up to date with On The Download.

 


4 facts about Wi-Fi routers Internet service providers won't tell you

They're small, they're compact, and they affect the entire outcome of a war. It’s your Wi-Fi router. Here are some facts about routers that centurylink, AT&T, Frontier, Rise Broadband, HughesNet, Viasat and spectrum won't tell you

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4 facts about routers Internet service providers won't tell you


They're small, they're compact, and they affect the entire outcome of a war.

Unfortunately, we’re not talking about hobbits.

It’s your Wi-Fi router.

Wi-Fi, the wireless internet connection used in almost all homes and businesses, is made available through a Wi-Fi router. Most Wi-Fi customers get their Wi-Fi through the router provided by their ISP (internet service provider). These do a good job of handling the basics of wireless uploading and downloading. AT&T, Spectrum, CenturyLink, and many more will provide a router for you when you sign up with their service.

This does not mean that you can’t purchase a Wi-Fi router from Best Buy or Amazon. In fact, getting a Wi-Fi router on your own can help save some cash on your internet bill as you won’t have to pay the router rental fee.

Check out reviews from PC Mag, CNet, and Tom’s Guide to see which ones are considered “the best.”

While there are those that are “the best,” they may not be what’s right for you, your home, or even your internet provider.

It’s the same with hobbits.

You may like one more than the other, it’s all a question of preference.

Is One Hobbit Better Than the Other?

Your home, like you, is unique.

Don’t just go with the router that is labeled “the best” by a source that doesn’t know you.

That's like saying Frodo was the best hobbit.

You know, hobbits, from The Lord of the Rings.

In J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world, there were wizards, humans, elves, dwarves, orcs, and dragons. The smallest of these creatures were the hobbits. These were the guys who were half the height of dwarves. Being that dwarves were half the height of humans, this made hobbits very, very short. Sometimes they were even referred to as halflings.

As a result, hobbits were regarded as unimportant. Irrelevant even.

And the hobbits, as Tolkien explained, were happy with this. They were fine to stay in their part of the world and not bother with international politics. If the outside world didn't interfere with them, they would leave the outside world alone.

One such hobbit, Frodo Baggins, came into possession of the One Ring- the one thing that could decide whether good or evil prevailed.

And so Frodo, small and unimpressive, set out with his friends to take care of the ring. Journeying with him was Samwise Gamgee otherwise known as Sam, Peregrin Took aka Perry and Meriadoc Brandybuck aka Merry. Each was unique with their own quirks and personality.

These four hobbits, though small and “irrelevant” ended up becoming the deciding factor in entire battle for the soul of the world; Merry would go on to help slay the Witch-King, Perry would play a vital role in distracting Sauron, the grand leader of the evil forces, and Sam would help Fordo get all the way to Mt. Doom, where Frodo tossed the One Ring into open lava.

Thanks to these four hobbits, peace was restored.

Not bad for four hobbits.

While it would be easy to say that Frodo was the best hobbit of all because he destroyed the One Ring, that’d be a little presumptuous. He did have the hardest job, but without help from the other three, Frodo would have never gotten close to Mt. Doom.

It's okay then to prefer Sam, Merry, or Perry to Frodo. People have their reasons for liking one over the other. Just like they have their reasons for not choosing "the best" product out there.

Like when it comes to picking a Wi-Fi router.

Bands and Numbers

Before picking a router, take stock of your Wi-Fi needs at home.

For those using one device on a consistent basis, 5 Mbps is the download speed that works best for you. With that in mind, you can save some money by avoiding the higher end routers.

If you’re downloading content on multiple devices—like Netflix through your Apple TV and streaming a game on your PlayStation 4—getting a download speed of 45 Mbps is best to handle the larger amount of data going back and forth.

Knowing this will help you decide which router is best for your home.

For homes with light internet usage, a single-band router is best. For homes with heavy internet usage, a dual-band router would be best.

Single-Band

Single-band routers use just one frequency.

This is great if you’re using a few devices throughout your home. They can handle the usual amount of data going back and forth.

The downside is the frequency they use; 2.4 GHz. This frequency is usually used by Bluetooth devices, microwaves, and wireless phones. Those devices can inadvertently disrupt your Wi-Fi signal.

Dual-Band

The dual-band routers use the 2.4 GHz frequency and a second frequency of 5 GHz. That 5 GHz frequency is less common. This second frequency is better used for third-party devices, giving you a less-impeded channel to work with. The drawback with the 5 GHz frequency is that it has a smaller coverage area. With this in mind, you may want to put your Xbox, Playstation 4, or computer closer to the router.

Dual-band routers are great for homes where multiple devices are downloading at once. You can even assign a channel to a specific device. And with more than one frequency in use, downloads can be performed simultaneously instead of one at a time.

As you would expect, dual-band routers are more expensive, so take that into account when you decide to purchase.

Tri-Band

Tri-band routers use the 2.4 GHz frequency and two frequencies of 5GHz.

Routers of this type provide the most connectivity and speed. But they’re also the most expensive. Thus, if you use one device in your home on a regular basis, then avoid dual and tri-band routers.

Numbers

No matter what router you decide to buy, you’ll notice that all will come with a number and the letters “AC.”

AC refers to Wi-Fi protocol number, 802.11ac. AC is the version of the protocol in use. There’s 802.11b, 802.11m, and others. The letters denote the gradual improvements and modifications over previous versions. 802.11ac is the current version that allows for simultaneous downloads.

When it comes to designing routers, the engineers involved decided to use this "AC" for labeling purposes. The AC is for the protocol number. 802.11ac indicates the level of the Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output (MIMO) the router is capable of. For example; Of all the data streaming through the router at one time, the projected maximum speed the router can handle is something like 1300 Mbps. You won’t get that speed exactly, but the router can hypothetically handle the volume of 1300 Mbps. Therefore, if you’re downloading 50 Mbps in one room and 30 Mbps in another, an AC1300 router will handle that just fine.

Of all the numbers on your router, look for the one that starts with “AC.” This is the best indicator of whether your router can handle the amount of data you plan to be downloading and uploading at one time.

Hobbits and Wi-Fi Routers

Just as there are preferences when it comes to hobbits, you can have preferences when it comes to Wi-Fi routers and ISPs. You can check out the best internet deals and packages for AT&T, Spectrum, HughesNet, Viasat, or another provider in your zip code to help you get started on your search.

And make sure to you download The Lord of the Rings onto your favorite eReader or audiobook app. It’s well worth the read! When you finish reading the books, go watch the movies. They’re good, but I’m preferable to the books.

Have you bought a Wi-Fi router on your own? Is there a Wi-Fi router you’d recommend?


Should Netflix Have Content Quotas?

Netflix provides a lot of content. But should a percentage of that content come from a specific geographic region?

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Roughly 90% of what I watch, I stream through Netflix. If I’m not streaming through my TV, then I’m streaming it through the Netflix app.

I consume my content this way because of convenience. It's easy, it's right there, and there are no commercials! Yes, I'm admitting I’m lazy. It’s something that I’m working on. Netflix is also enabling me.

Despite Netflix enabling of my apathy, I enjoy the content offered. It also helps that I checked out the best internet deals and packages.

Not everything I find there is something I want to watch though.

I would prefer, every now and then, to partake in content that’s centered around my hometown of San Antonio, TX. Not southern California dolled up to look like San Antonio. Instead, I'd prefer a more realistic facsimile.

Not only that, the program should present the city of San Antonio as it truly is. The representation should be based on current trends and not what people in Hollywood assume it is- some uber-conservative town steeped in old thinking (San Antonio is quite progressive, and I should know, I live here).

Can I find this on Netflix?

No, not at all.

Should it be a near-accurate representation of San Antonio in both image and sociological makeup?

I would say, “Yes.”

And can I require Netflix to create that show just for me?

Given my laziness—yes, absolutely I should!

Is it the right way to create content?

…hmmm.

Content Quotas

Although I might have some influence—something like 0.000000000000000001% influence—I highly doubt Netflix will scramble to make my dream become a reality.

Why?

Because they’re not even doing that for the European Union.

Recently, the EU took to changing up the rules they impose on outside entertainment services. Part of that rewrite includes demanding that Netflix allot 30% of their catalog to content centered on European works.

Netflix, understandably, balked at the maneuver.

I can see where the EU is coming from though.

They want to see more and more content that reflects the socioeconomic, ethnic, and regional background of their viewers. This will lead to less alienation, and hopefully, more confidence in oneself. Or maybe they’re just looking to provide opportunities to the content creators themselves? I’m inferring those last two points.

Anyway, this move could backfire.

You’ve heard the saying “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”?

The road to hell can start with these good intentions.

By holding Netflix responsible for creating content specifically geared towards a subset of their audience, Netflix gets hamstrung. They need to figure out what types of programs those viewers like to watch, bring in producers for it, and create the appropriate content. This ties up money and creative powers.

Sure, it helps those specific content creators.

But are they going to create something worth watching for the wider audience? It's possible.

Ethics aside, forcing the many to watch something that appeals to the few will end up alienating the larger group in the end.

And if there’s a quota to meet, then quality will get sacrificed so that Netflix can say, “Hey, we met the quota, so what are you complaining about?”

A Different Tact

Is it more advantageous to create content aimed at specific sub-groups?

Sure. Why not?

As I mentioned earlier, I demand a program centered on San Antonio that doesn’t involve someone butchering a Texas accent, or making all Texans look ignorant.

But forcing Netflix to create that just for me will end up alienating viewers from Dallas, Houston, and the hipsters up the road in Austin. Soon they’ll get their own shows too. When that happens, I’ll refuse to watch them based on principle. This will drive overall viewership down and put Netflix in a bind. They could end up losing money on this content.

This solution is bad.

To solve this problem I’m required to (sigh) get up and do something about it.

If I desire to watch content about San Antonio that represents it honestly, then I need to go out there and make it myself. And if it’s no good, then Netflix can pass on the project. This will, in turn, force me to work harder to create content that’s of quality and will appeal to the mass audience.

And it will involve…sigh…work.

For those who want to have content that better reflects who they are, they’ll have to go out and create it themselves. Or get on board with a project.

Others Can Help

Given how much Netflix is pouring into their content creation, they probably can accommodate new content from creators from specific areas. If the content is approved, Netflix can add it into their catalog and appeal to that specific sub-category whilst still putting out content for the larger audiences. Netflix will handle the distribution while the creators handle the production end.

Another option would be for local and regional governments to offer incentives to content creators. For example; the San Antonio Film Commission offers a 7.5% incentive on film and television project with at least $100,000 of approved San Antonio spending (check the details at filmsanantonio.com). This is to help content creators secure locations and equipment in San Antonio for their projects.

With this kind of assistance, burgeoning projects can find a place to shoot their film in and around San Antonio. They can avoid straining their budget and keep an authentic look. Once filming is wrapped, they can move forward with presenting it to distribution outlets, like Netflix.

It serves as a better motivation for content creators, as opposed to making Netflix go and find content creators. While it sounds a little elitist, this keeps sub-par content from getting distribution.

In the end, it will work out better for Netflix, the greater viewing audience, and even me!