Mo­dem con­fu­sion

Mac Format - - APPLE TALK -

I read with in­ter­est last month’s fea­ture re­gard­ing home net­work­ing tips. At some point, would it be pos­si­ble to cre­ate an ar­ti­cle on the best mo­dem to connect to the var­i­ous wire­less routers avail­able, es­pe­cially Ap­ple’s Time Cap­sule con­nected to var­i­ous Air­Port Ex­press units that could be placed strate­gi­cally around the house. I would like to pur­chase a re­li­able mo­dem that will work with many of the In­ter­net Ser­vice Providers – Talk­Talk, BT, etc – and work with fi­bre op­tic, but will work ex­cep­tion­ally well with the prod­ucts listed above. I’m look­ing to pur­chase Ap­ple’s Time Cap­sule, but I re­ally am at a loss with which mo­dem to buy. Can you help please? Alis­tair Scoble Alan Stone­bridge says: The trou­ble with a head-to-head com­par­i­son of modems is that in­ter­net con­nec­tions vary, and your ex­pe­ri­ence of a router’s re­li­a­bil­ity might dif­fer from ours due to char­ac­ter­is­tics that we can’t re­pro­duce – not just the line qual­ity, but also due to dif­fer­ences in the way ISPs man­age traf­fic at dif­fer­ent times of the day. We rec­om­mend stick­ing with the hard­ware your ISP pro­vides to man­age your con­nec­tion to the out­side world be­cause, in the event of a prob­lem with your in­ter­net con­nec­tion, your ISP might in­sist on you us­ing that in or­der to di­ag­nose the is­sue.

Although net­work­ing prin­ci­ples and ter­mi­nol­ogy are sim­i­lar across the popular mo­dem man­u­fac­tur­ers, your ISP’s sup­port staff are likely to be most familiar with a spe­cific se­lec­tion of hard­ware.

If you feel that your ISP isn’t as sup­port­ive as you’d like it to be, check re­views at ded­i­cated con­sumer broad­band sites, start­ing with broad­band­buyer.com and thinkbroad­band.com. Such sites also in­clude re­views of net­work­ing equip­ment, though we can’t vouch for whether they’ve tested modems with the likes of Ap­ple’s Air­Port and Time Cap­sule hard­ware. and doesn’t ap­pear in any of the other chan­nels. The Com­edy cat­e­gory now in­cludes Ra­dio 4 which used to be in its proper place in the News cat­e­gory. It’s not re­ally a prob­lem be­cause we can, and now do, lis­ten to Ra­dio 4 Ex­tra via the BBC web­site, but I am cu­ri­ous as to why there’s been a some­what il­log­i­cal change. Barry Cardy Alex Blake says: In­ter­net Ra­dio is a some­what ne­glected area of iTunes th­ese days. A quick search with Google re­vealed to us that BBC sta­tions dis­ap­pear­ing from or be­ing re­cat­e­gorised within the list of sta­tions has hap­pened in the past, long be­fore iTunes 12 was re­leased. On our copy of iTunes 12, both Ra­dio 4 sta­tions ap­pear un­der Com­edy. To make mat­ters more frus­trat­ing, you can’t use iTunes’ search bar to quickly fil­ter the whole list of avail­able sta­tions to those whose de­scrip­tions men­tion your key­words.

We agree that it’s strange that BBC Ra­dio 4 ap­pears in the Com­edy cat­e­gory – af­ter all, it airs drama too, though there’s no ob­vi­ous cat­e­gory in iTunes’ In­ter­net Ra­dio list­ings for that type of pro­gramme.

Though sta­tions broad­cast con­tin­u­ously, they can, coun­ter­in­tu­itively, be added to a playlist to keep your favourites in one place. That makes them eas­ier to find, and you can use the search bar to fil­ter the playlist.

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