Life at Home Without Wi-Fi



On Saturday my 2-year-old Time Capsule had a melt down. If you own a Time Capsule you know how hot they can get. And for some models (like mine) the power components eventually begin to melt inside. Then one day the thing just shuts itself off and if you try to reset it and plug it back in you’re greeted with a high pitch squeal followed by the device turning itself off again.

I never buy AppleCare. But fortunately Apple is freely replacing mine and other certain Time Capsules which are experiencing this squealing melt-down effect. (Which, ironically, only affirms my resolve to not spend money on Apple Care.)

And so the past few days I have been without wi-fi at my house. I’ve actually been enjoying the simplicity of having just one computer connected to the Internet and not having the distraction of being able to get online at any time, in any room, with any device.

By plugging the ethernet cable directly into my MacBookPro it has been nice to have an instant network connection when waking my laptop from sleep. Some people plug in because it’s “so much faster” than Wi-Fi. Which is true. But unless I’m downloading big fat files I really don’t notice the difference in connection speed. I prefer to have less cables.

Syncing my Things apps across devices is even more arduous now because I have to create a network with my laptop and then join my iPad and iPhone to it. (I realize that I could use my MacBook Pro as a wireless router and constantly be sharing its internet connection, but that would defeat the experience of being without wireless for a few days.)

Now that I’m on the $15/month 200MB data plan with AT&T I am annoyingly conscious of my iPhone data usage. Without wi-fi, a casual check of Twitter or email on my iPhone means I’m paying for those bits of data.

But it’s not just my iPhone I’m using less. I’m using my iPad a lot less, too. I have always assumed that the 3G version would not be much better for me because I always have wireless internet wherever I am. Which is true. But knowing that I won’t be connected to the internet has made me less eager to grab the iPad. Even for non-Internet tasks, like reading an ebook.