Sometimes being productive means having the right tools at the right time.
Sometimes having the right tools means having to shell out extra dollars just to get them.
I wanted to do stuff over the internet when I am at home during the weekend. Being productive for me also means I have time to do things that I like to do on the side.
I have a laptop that I use for everything I do online. I basically run my blog off my trusty, old laptop.
I have a decent internet connection around my house. I can do multiple things online at once. I can stream HD-quality movies on my secondary monitor while working on an article I need to publish.
But I need another workstation at home. One of the options is to buy a new laptop – one of those high-end, multicore little machines. Or maybe the latest iPad.
Being productive – money-wise – means being practical. I have a decent desktop computer sitting on my tech junk in my storage. The technical specifications of this desktop are still on the range of those decent newer models. I decided to set it up.
My garage is a place in the house where I cannot be distracted when I want to focus to work on something important. So I set up a “remote office” there.
But the problem is that my desktop does not have a built-in wireless network card to connect to my router.
One solution is to purchase an ethernet cable and run it over from the house to the garage (I have a detached garage). That doesn’t work for me. I think it’s not gonna look good.
Ethernet cable is cheap and, perhaps, I can buy some cables long enough to connect my primary router to my desktop at the garage. Who really cares about aesthetics, right?
I decided that running a cable from the house to the garage is not a good choice.
There is this firmware hack that I can use to make my old router receive signal from my primary router. It’s called DD-WRT.
Here are the 3 general steps:
1. Flash your router (the secondary router you’ll use as “receiver”) with the DD-WRT Firmware (follow the link). You MUST follow the step-by-step, or you’re putting your router at risk.
2. Setup your secondary router with the installed DD-WRT Firmware.
3. Sync your secondary router with the primary/base router. You have the option of making your secondary router either as a Client Bridge or Repeater.
In a Client Bridge setup, you can only connect to your secondary router via wired ethernet.
In a repeater setup, you can use your secondary router to broadcast Wi-Fi to internet devices (e.g., cellphones, laptops, tablets, etc).
If you want to connect to your secondary router both wired and wireless, you setup the secondary router as a Repeater Bridge. See other ways to link your routers here.
By choosing Repeater setup, you’re expanding your Wi-Fi signal. That is useful if you have some dead spot within your house. But since the repeater process need to distribute the signal between routers, that will slightly impact the performance of your Wi-Fi signal.
I opted to use my old Linksys router as a Client Bridge using the DD-WRT firmware. It’s neat. It only requires some steps to run the connection setup in no time. My wireless signal from my primary router to the garage area is still strong; so, I don’t need to “repeat” the wireless signal in that area.
Another hack tip for you…
Do you know that you can make your internet speed faster by using the Google Public DNS?
I can explain to you how it works and how to implement that but I would just waste your time and my time. It’s enough that you believe me that changing your computer DNS can somehow optimize you internet connection. Just follow this instruction to change your DNS setting.
See, that’s being productive. Saving money and improving your work condition without spending a dime is some wise, productive move!
Photo Courtesy of flickr user fensterbme