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Breaking Bad (Home Networks)…and how to fix them

After Breaking Bad’s big Emmy night (and false rumour of a sixth season), I was reminiscing about the show and how it worked on so many different levels. The main story kept me riveted, but I also enjoyed the subtext which was filled with important lessons that could easily be applied to our use and adoption of technology. The great thing about this show was that these pearls of wisdom could come from anyone. . For example here is an observation from Mike, a former cop turned bad guy, who discusses mistakes he’s made in his life with lead character Walt. . “I chose a half-measure when I should have gone all the way. I’ll never make that mistake again. No more half-measures, Walter.” – Mike

For me, this was one of the best scenes in a show filled with some of the greatest in TV history.  Of course, Mike is certainly not alone. All of us are guilty of half measures somewhere in our lives. We all take short cuts on things, where we:

  1. deem the task unimportant
  2. realise it is important, but we don’t feel like committing the time/effort/money to making the effort complete, or 
  3. don’t realise how important the task is and treat it as if it were unimportant
With the growth of connected homes, many of us who are far too busy already, have let our home networks fall into this third bracket. To ensure you understand how important the home network has become, consider these data points from  Cisco’s Virtual Networking Index:
  • 2/3 of all tablets do not have cell connection and can only be used via Wi-Fi
  • 45% of all mobile data is “offloaded” (i.e. accessed via Wi-Fi, not over the cell network)
  • Compound Annual Growth Rates for mobile data traffic through 2018 range from a low of 50% in North American and Western Europe and a high of 70% in the Middle East and Africa
Considering all of that, I find it shocking that the vast majority of today’s home networks and connected devices are unprotected; a glaring example of a half measure. I can only imagine that this situation has occurred because people have not recognised the critically important role their home network plays in their day-to-day lives and how easy it is to add the protection that is needed to ensure their access is protected during a power outage.

Regardless of how you use your home network (to stream movie content, to enable an IP connected phone, to telecommute, to game, or more), it is highly recommend that you protect your home network with a battery back-up that will provide you with enough runtime to take you through extended power outages. Thirty minutes is often considered the minimum amount of time required, but you may need much more depending on where you live and how you use your network.

To better evaluate your specific needs, try the APC by Schneider Electric self-evaluation(here). Or, click here  to learn more about state of the art solutions with long runtimes (approximately 4.5 hours) to power your home networking equipment.

A great deal is riding on your home Wi-Fi network, so no matter how you decide to protect it, remember to go all the way, no half measures.

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