Embracing the seismic changes of Covid-19 by building a new product to help fix home WiFi so that we can all — work, teach, learn, and socialize — via our home WiFi.
Covid-19 was a shock to all of us. Instead of working in the office every day, suddenly I was working from the “home office,” my wife worked from a hastily added desk in our bedroom. And we also found ourselves “home school teachers” as our two elementary school kids early “spring break” became a permanent school shut-down.
Like many of you, I experienced the issues plaguing home WiFi as the entire world found themselves working, teaching, learning, and socializing from home. My home WiFi had been “good enough” when it was only used for casual tasks like reading the news and watching Netflix as a family. But when all four of us were trying to participate in video conference calls our DSL Modem+WiFi Router couldn’t keep up and calls kept freezing or being dropped.
As the founder of MetaGeek, a small tech company that builds tools for managing and troubleshooting medium to large WiFi networks, I began blogging and hosting webinars on how to improve home WiFi. And I quickly realized that the tools we built for WiFi and IT experts don’t work very well for moms, teachers, and everyone working from home during the pandemic.
So building on our 15 years of being an industry leader in WiFi tools, we started from scratch to design a new WiFi tool for teachers, parents, and everyone working from home.
From interviews with teachers and parents working from home we learned that when there is just one person doing essential work online things are fine. But when there are three or more people doing essential work online things tend to start falling apart. We also learned that having a smooth Zoom/Meet calls is more critical if you are the one presenting, as opposed to just attending the call.
In order for everyone in the house to be online at the same time, most families spread out into separate rooms so they don’t disturb each other. Which means the WiFi needs to work throughout the house and not just close to the WiFi router. Most importantly, we learned that although the inner workings of WiFi are a mystery to most people, they are capable of making changes and improving their WiFi network if they have an idea of where to begin.
Today, we are excited to announce the launch of Rampart Home. Rampart Home is a combination of a small application installed on your “work” computer called Rampart Agent, cloud-based analysis, and WiFi educational content.
The first, and most important step in Rampart Home is the WiFi Audit. During the WiFi Audit you take a “snapshot” of the WiFi network in each room where the WiFi is essential. The snapshot includes information about your WiFi network, neighboring WiFi networks, and a speed test. The snapshots are then sent from Rampart Agent to our WiFi anlysis engine to product Insights that help users improve their WiFi network.
After the initial WiFi Audit, Rampart Agent has a Daily Check that verifies the WiFi network is ready for action. We recommend running the Daily Check about 15 minutes before you are planning to do essential work online.
While you are working online Rampart Agent also tracks your WiFi quality and bandwidth usage.
If you are one of the many people that find themselves working from home, or trying to help kids learning from home, or otherwise are relying on your home WiFi please try out Rampart Home and let us know what you think in the Community Forum.