The No Wifi Five Survival Guide

One day, and it could be any day, one day, your Wifi will drop out.

At first, of course, no big deal. Tap a few buttons, you're good to go.

Didn't work?

Maybe a restart? Unplug something, count to ten, plug it back in. 60% of the time it works every time.

But one day, one day, none of that will work.

And your whole existence will come crashing down like a Russian space station.

But there is hope. Before you start filling your bathtub with water and gathering all the half empty first aid kits in and around your house, if you just remember a few simple rules, we'll get through this together, you and I.

First Rule Don't Panic.
I know it sounds crazy, but there was a time not too long ago (I'm looking at you, 2005) where the high speed connection had to come through an ethernet cable. In fact, I'll bet there is a box in the garage loaded with coaxial cables, telephone chords, ethernet cables and so many various pluggy inny things that it looks like Chewbacca was trying to put C3PO back together. Find that box and keep it secret, keep it safe.

Of course, this is only the beginning. You may possibly have much bigger problems. Like, your whole modem might be down, and that ethernet cable isn't going to save your day. You may have to call Comcast at some point and get ready for at least 20 to 30 minutes of fighting with the coaxial cable. (it just keeps spinning and spinning and never getting on the damn connector)

But the biggest problem you are gonna have to face is your family.

Second Rule: Occupy your family
Remember that peaceful garden of Eden the moment your Wifi first went up and everyone drifted quietly away? They had Facebook and Netflix and Halo 4 and Words With Friends and the Huffington Post. They didn't need you. They didn't want you. You were nothing to them from the time you got home 'till it was time for the little one's bath. Sure you may have to check some homework, and you may have to get a bowl down from the top shelf, but otherwise you were just a ghost in the machine and could take out the trash whenever you felt like it.

But all that has changed now. YouTube is broken and your wife can't remember if the marinara sauce is going to need fresh basil and she can't look it up because AllRecipes is broken and the little one, who was once so self occupied now tries to get on line, but can't, so he comes to you and asks if the internet is working and you say no, he then goes back to the computer and tries to log on, but it doesn't work, so he gets up, and he walks back down the hall in to you room and asks if the internet is working. This time he adds the word "Yet!" and this repeats itself every three minutes for an hour and a half, each "Yet" coming with louder and louder exclamation points. He doesn't have a 2005 to look back on and the digital kitty on his iPod is going to die soon if he doesn't feed it and you can hear her pathetic meowing from the other side of the house because your wife insisted on hardwood floors and those mother f**kers telegraph sound at the speed of light.

So do yourself a favor. Proclaim Thursday night "Pizza Night" and since the land line isn't working they're gonna have to make a trip to the pizza place (Do not remind them that the cell phones still work) and give your wife an extra $20 and tell her that we can splurge on some garlic knots. And if the little one refuses to go then bet him another $20 that he can't build build a Death Star out of Legos because he's nowhere near as good as his old man. This will buy you a quiet 20 minutes until he figures out that he doesn't know what a Death Star is, in which case you will pop Star Wars into the DVD player. Do not be the cruel Dad that makes your son start with The Phantom Menace.

Rule Three: Your understanding of the problem and vast experience in basic trouble shooting will do you absolutely no good when you are on the phone with an IT Professional.
Almost every problem (97%) is solved by turning things off and then back on again. Then, another 2% is solved by replacing the connecting wires with different ones. You know this. You've got this. You do this. But you, my friend, are the 1%. It is either a programming glitch which you cannot solve, or your eight year old modem is dead.

This however, means nothing to the six Comcast Operators you will be on hold for. They have a protocol. They want to help you, but the little old lady they were just talking to for 90 minutes turned out to be having a problem with her toaster oven, and they've kind of had enough.

I know you've already done it seven times, but would you please just unplug it and plug it back in sir, please.

(Note: There will be a moment during this process where the IT person will say out loud that they don't know why it's not working. You'll be tempted to kick your dog. Don't.)

Rule Four: In a pinch, remember the Peet's Coffee and Tea has free Wifi at all of it's store locations. They also now have sandwiches. You like sandwiches.

Rule Five: Know when it's a "Tomorrow" problem.
Wanting to throw your cat out the window is the first sign that maybe it's time to give up for the night. If the first three operators keep sending you to someone else, then you know it's a hardware problem and the office doesn't open until 8am. Wait until they put you on hold and then let the line go dead. Don't hassle them about it. Don't hang up in their face. They're human beings and they really want to help, and you're not a monster. The good news, is that going to the Comcast office is actually pretty pleasant. You bring in your broken modem, they give you a new one. They might try to up-sell you a new service, but they don't try too hard. My only word of advice is to try and get there before the lady with the toaster oven problem.

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