Inexpensive Upgrades – Vol. 1 Be the Household Hero!

Power Backup for your Modem & Router.

Welcome to our first “inexpensive and effective upgrade” installment!!  Through this series of posts here on our blog you will find some awesome deals and setups that we think will help you out, and maybe even improve your tech-life!  For our first entry today we will be talking about adding backup power for your modem and router on the cheap, and also some extra information about the devices we have here in our home office.  We will then discuss why this UPS solution is beneficial and how you can get it done at your home today, for under $40 dollars!  That low price includes the two things we needed for this simple project, a shelf for the devices to rest on, and a power backup system to keep it online when the power goes out.  (If you don’t need a shelf it’s even less)

Upgrade project outline.

Going into this project we already had our upgraded router and modem, which is what makes this added upgrade so inexpensive and effective.  If you do need to buy a new modem or router, the models below are definitely a good choice and work very well together.  The modem we have was bought and owned by us to save on fees with Comcast, and our router is the open-source capable Linksys WRT1900AC.  The modem, which we’ve mentioned in an earlier blog entry, was a steal and paid for itself in the first year, and that is a fact.  Since we bought ours back in October of 2013 we have saved nearly $150, and that figure is after the initial investment of $65 for the device was covered.  This Arris modem has been working exceptionally well since we installed it, and adding the Linksys AC router a few weeks later put it up over the top.  We upgraded our old Linksys E3000 to this new WRT model when the E3000 device stopped working properly after a firmware update.  It was a known issue that was fixable by resetting the internal board, I just didn’t have the time (or desire) to tinker with it.  :-)  -I guess we will explore that project another day!

Location, Location, Location.

For the longest time, we kept our modem and router near our home’s main server, it was just the best place for it.  There was always a coaxial cable nearby, and there was always a power backup system available since the machine runs 24/7.  Since we moved to our new home, however, it was not going to be as beneficial for our WiFi range if we did that same thing here.  So instead, I decided to move the modem and router to a central location in our home, so all floors and corners of the home are reached well, including the main line off of it that feeds our office machine’s gigabit switch.  To get this done I needed to move it away from our home server, which in turn removed the UPS connection we have set up there for when power is lost.  I was all about moving it to a new location away from where I was used to, but I wanted it to have its own backup power still, in case we lose power.  (And we lose power all the time where we are currently.) In comes the search for a cost effective upgrade, without losing out on a few solid hours of run time if the power were to go out… and I surely didn’t want to buy another full sized one!

Upgrade completed, under budget.

I was ultimately looking to spend less than 60 dollars, and it had to be able to run a modem and router for at least 2-3 hours.  Being compact was also feature I required, since I planned on putting it up behind a wall downstairs, off from the office area.  After a few searches and ruling out some oversized models, I found the one I was looking for!  The APC BGE70 was the right price, had the right features and was in stock at my local Sam’s Club!  The install was a breeze and now not only is our network area nice and tidy, but it also has its own power source to keep it going after the house goes dark!  Take a look at the image below for our final result, you too can do this simple upgrade, and be the hero of the household!

NDS Inexpensive Upgrade - Vol.1

 

Below you will find products shown in the above image, from the left.

APC Back-UPS Connect Network Back-Up BGE70  -  $29.88 at Sam’s Club

APC Back-UPS Connect Network Back-Up BGE70

You depend on your network every day. Stay connected to the Internet during power outages by backing up home networking equipment and charging your smart devices with APC Back-UPS™ Connect™ BGE70.  Storms and power outages can easily sever your network connection, just when you need it the most. Losing Internet access breaks our line of communication for business operations, news and weather updates, and restricts us from contacting friends and family. The BGE70 will keep your network up and running for hours

  • Get news/weather updates
  • Make phone/video calls
  • Check email
  • Update social media
  • Maintain home automation and security systems
  • Stream movies
  • Continue gaming
  • 3 hours of network power for extended outages.
  • An efficient design maximizes run time for low-power devices, even outperforming larger UPSes on equivalent low-power loads.
  • Computer-grade surge protection protects your devices from surges and spikes.
  • Fast recharge of the internal battery ensures you’re ready for the next outage.
Buy Now at Sam’s Club

 

Linksys WRT1900AC Ultra Smart Wi-Fi Router  -  $244.87 at Sam’s Club

linksys-WRT1900AC-1-lFor blazing-fast performance, we equipped the WRT1900AC with four Gigabit Ethernet ports–which are 10 times faster than Fast Ethernet to provide the fastest wired speeds. Using the USB 3.0 port, you can add external storage or other devices to share content across your network. For those with an external SATA storage device, the WRT1900AC is outfitted with a unique eSATA port for added convenience and optimal data transfer rates; it can also serve as a USB 2.0 port.

Engineered to deliver best-in-class networking performance, the Linksys WRT1900AC Dual Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Router delivers an unmatched user experience and ultimate Wi-Fi coverage for your home. We’ve upgraded the iconic Linksys blue-and-black design and outfitted the router with the latest Wireless-AC platform along with the industry’s first four antenna configuration with a powerful 1.2 GHz dual-core ARM to provide exceptional signal strength and range to simultaneously support multiple users. We also added a unique dual eSATA/USB 2.0 and a USB 3.0 port to the Linksys WRT1900AC to conveniently connect an array of devices and experience lightning-fast transfer speeds. The WRT1900AC features exclusive SMART Wi-Fi software to monitor and control your network anywhere and anytime. It’s our first router to offer the Network Map smart tool, providing an intuitive at-a-glance view of your entire network. For advanced users who want to customize their firmware, the WRT1900AC stays true to its lineage by offering an Open WRT compatible firmware with Open Source ready capabilities that allow advanced users to expand the capabilities of the Router.

Professional-grade, 1.2 GHz dual-core ARM CPU: the WRT1900AC is one of the most powerful Wireless-AC routers in its class capable of moving data at unprecedented rates in even the busiest of networks.

Buy Now at Sam’s Club

 

ARRIS Touchstone Cable Modem CM820  -  $63.99 at Amazon.com

ARRIS Touchstone Cable Modem CM820The Touchstone DOCSIS 3.0 8×4 Cable Modem CM820 delivers ultra-high speed data access to cable service subscribers homes and businesses. Designed to support the services desired most by advanced users, the CM820 enables the home or small business user to address productivity needs with the speed and performance found only in the 8×4 bonded channel cable environment along with industry-leading ARRIS reliability. With the CM820, cable operators can offer data services at speeds greater than 300Mbps to their subscribers to compete against VDSL and fiber to the home threats, as well as provide a platform to deliver competitive high capacity commercial services to businesses.

 

  • Flexible NxM downstream/upstream channel bonding for superior throughput
  • Two independent 96MHz wide RF tuners to receive downstream channels up to 1GHz
  • Built in MoCA® immunity filter
  • Downstream scanning override via web GUI for rapid installation
  • Meet or exceed industry radiated immunity and surge requirements
Buy Now at Amazon

 

Thank you for joining us on this upgrade adventure!

So there we have it folks, we have upgraded our modem/router area with an excellent power backup solution, and did it for over $10 less than expected.  Looking back on this project, it has been a very enjoyable one.  Lately we have been keeping busy with a decent amount of web work; it feels good to talk about some of the products and projects we take on here at our office.  We look forward to sharing the next one with you soon, stay tuned for Inexpensive Upgrades – Vol.2 in the coming week, it is looking like we will be talking about, and reviewing the new Asus Zen Pad – 8″, in the 32GB assortment!  With a $200 price tag, it is sure to be an incredible Inexpensive Upgrade!

ndsites-vol2-lead-in-screencap

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