At our spring meeting there were two reports of Internet outages. Both homes commented they were happy with the new 6-8x speeds but not so much with being down-down.

The first piece of good news is, after a couple weeks, those homes report no further outages. Additionally, since then, no one else has seemed to take a techno-nap either. It was most likely a one-off.

Truthfully, any technology occasionally hiccups and we should expect random unhappiness. But our DSL hiccups should be rare and brief.

Here’s why: The only true advantages of DSL Internet (telephone) is price and reliability. It’s the cheapest technology because it’s already in your walls and the companies have been around forever and have it figured out and optimized. They also know they need to remain cheap and reliable to compete against the new guys (cable, satellite, WiNet …). DSL evolved with great uptime and bandwidth-consistency (voice clarity) metrics. After all, telephones served in the past as America’s central means of communication and in local or national emergencies.

A second piece of good news is that some of us run Internet bandwidth “speedometers” and compare notes. The verdict: CenturyLink is pretty much delivering our contracted rates (36 Mbps down, 4.5 Mbps up, 95% of the time).

However, that doesn’t mean sometimes you won’t feel a bit “slow.” I’ve also talked to a bunch of you and helped troubleshoot speed issues. Problems that we’ve seen and solved are WiFi versus cabled Ethernet use, VPNs, background processes like software updates, brick walls, saturated modem/routers, and older equipment with slower WiFi antennas and communication protocols.

Unfortunately, this issue is trickier because it’s about 50% technology and 50% alchemy. Especially when you go off into WiFi voodoo land.

We’ll continue to monitor things and if there seems to be enough interest we could start sharing some tips for better Internet performance here on NEWS.

For now, remember that our CenturyLink contract gets us a US-Based Bulk Plan support line. If you go down-down, re-boot your modem and see if life improves.

(In fact, I would recommend re-booting your modem once a week prophylactically. Un-plug the modem, slow-count to 30, then plug it back in. It helps a LOT of things!)

If you are still down-down, call 855-234-5733 to report this and have three things ready to identify yourself. FYI: Different CenturyLink personnel seem to respond better to one or more of these IDs. Heaven only knows why …

  1. Cochise Vista Del Oro Homeowner’s Association in Hereford, AZ
  2. YOUR street address (They actually seem to like YOUR street address as the best ID.)
  3. YOUR DTN(s). I sent it (or them) to you during your installation and it’s also written on your CenturyLink modem box.

Thanks and keep me posted,

Mark Doyle
VDO Webmaster



Zoom Video Conferencing Alert

With a lot of us now spending more time at home but still wanting to stay in touch with co-workers, family, and friends, the free video conferencing platform Zoom has recently received a lot of attention.

I’m hearing a lot of questions asking how something that looks this good can really be free. ALWAYS a good question. Everyone should be cautious and aware that Zoom isn’t really ready for prime time yet.

Their platform is full of holes. Important security holes. They’ve admitted it and are working to fix things but it’s gonna be a long time until it’s anywhere near acceptable vis-à-vis privacy, encryption, and breach security.

Truth is, most everyone already has a bullet-proof solution in Facetime or Skype. For now, stick with them!

Click below for a good high-level NPR article highlighting some of the Zoom issues.

[NPR Article Link]




Subscribing to our VDO NEWS Feed

Want to be the first to know about something for sale or offered free here in the neighborhood?

It’s now pretty easy! With our new website tools HOA communications can come instantly to your email inbox.

This week there’s been free patio paint, a free window, a couple looking to buy bikes, someone selling a brand new Alexa Echo cheap, and even a good samaritan offering to shop for folks who can’t get out to the grocery store.

It’s also how you’ll receive HOA meeting notices and minutes, technical tips, wildlife alerts, and more!

Click [here] or on the page to the left for easy step-by-step directions … and welcome aboard!